The Tyranny of the Mundane

This is a story of magic.

Once upon a time, there was magic in the world. It is the nature of magic to take two forms: dark and light. It is in the nature of the dark to eclipse the light. So a dark enchanter rises, and in that person’s hands, all terrors and all sorrow. In the end, the dark enchantments break, and following, the dawn; and the light sets down its burden, and, having its enemy no longer, retreats entirely from the world.

“It was magic’s nature,” say enchanters wise and bright, “to lessen the things of the world. It cast its shadows—dark and light—and hid the light and dark of humankind. We are needed no more, so let our shadow pass.”

Unhooking from their ankle magic’s jess, the people spread their wings.

This is a story of the mundane. Once upon a time, there was no magic in the world. Magic is law—it is the law that makes all things as they are. Thus, when the world had no magic, the nature of things had no protection. A steel-drivin’ man could challenge a steam drill, and lose. A woman could throw her life away to save her children, and fail. With lies and cruelty, tyrants and madmen could take from people that most sacred thing: the nature of their self.

It is the nature of the mundane to take two forms: dark and light. It is the nature of the dark to eclipse the light; so the sickness of the world must deepen. A thousand thousand monsters rise, and in their hands all terrors and all sorrows. In the end, it calls to magic; and things happen that none could foretell; and, following, the dawn. In that dawn, people live according to their laws; and when they cannot sustain themselves, when the shadow falls, when the center does not hold, the magic in them rises, to break the tyranny of the mundane.

These are stories, and they are not true.

2 thoughts on “The Tyranny of the Mundane

  1. It’s been a year since I finished reading through the archives, and every once and awhile I still come back to this, my favorite post in a long list of favorite posts on here, probably one of my favorite pieces of writing ever actually
    I don’t know why I like it this much, it’s just, comforting, I guess. Something about the style and the subject matter and the way the words are put together,,,
    I don’t know, I just know that I read it when I’m sad and when I need comfort and when my brain is being terrible to me, and it’s nice and it helps and I wanted you to know that, that this is my favorite piece of Hitherby and that, every few months, I open the bookmark I have for it and read it again

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