Twilight of the Emperors

Welcome to the brief inertia before the long fall. That moment where we sense the comfortable weightlessness after the steady crush of upwards motion.

The old emperors ruling their respective lands have been overthrown or else their agents have grown fat and absent of duty. We the people raid their cellars and grow drunk on stolen wine. Giddily we pass from room to room walking mud across ancient marble and scrawling profanities upon the pillars which hold up our very civilisation.

We experience anarchy at its most luxurious. Permitted as we are to live in the moment when the emperor has only just left; to dance beneath roofs raised by others, enjoying gardens well kept until just before our coup.

We are, briefly, all kings. Ruling, unchallenged, over a crumbling dominion of our own.

But news of our usurping travels far. It travels all the way to the gods. 

They come down to our realm with an insatiable rage. They scour us from our palaces, crushing bone and lacerating flesh. We are chased into the wilderness without walls.

In the long days of exposure and hunger we remember the peace we once knew under the emperors’ rule. We see our resentment of the required tribute for the pettiness it was. We see the truth of it now; the emperors shielded us from the gods and their destruction.

The humane, ordered rule gives way to visceral chaos. We are without shelter from creation’s primal forces. The twilight of the emperors is the dawn of the gods. 

We saw marriage as an unwelcome lord to whom we did not owe tribute. So we tore him from his throne and the god of romantic jealously took the kingdom instead.

Abstinence’s fiefdom became burdensome so the subjects slew her and now the goddess lust takes all they have.

The taxes required by wisdom came to be seen as onerous and so now impulse steals everything instead.

How many more emperors will we wish dead before we see that their absence costs far more.

Photo by Kayle Kaupanger on Unsplash

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