in fiction

[Fiction] How the seasons came to be.

There once was a King who had two great scientists in his court. He encouraged them to discover the laws of the world and loved hearing of their discoveries in court. One day, the scientists came to him and told him that they had calculated precisely, the time it takes for the Day and the Night to come and go from the Kingdom. They told him of twenty-four of what they called hours, split into minutes of sixty each and each of those of minutes went on to become sixty seconds.

The King was delighted! Long had he wanted to know how time went on, how the day turned into the night and when he could tell his people to come visit him. Now he had that means. He could tell his people when the court of the King would start and his spies that their visitation would have to be at a set time of the night.

But there was a problem. This was not a time of mechanics. The scientists told him what to count, but not how to count it. Never one to fear progress, the King ordered a dial made that showed on its face, twenty-four hours, each hour of sixty minutes, each minute of sixty seconds. This dial was run by a man, denoted the Dialmover and the time was told by a man standing on a tower above the dial, called the Timeteller. The Dialmover would move the dial, day and night, slowly moving along the face of the clock and turning seconds into minutes, and minutes into hours, and hours into days altogether. The King hired four twins to be the Dialmovers and the Timetellers and called them the Time Guild. These brothers were the brothers Summer, happy, warm and loving, the brothers Autumn, old and wizened, the brothers Winter, cold and distant and the brothers Spring, young and radiant.

The Dialmovers and the Timetellers toiled day and night, moving the clock every second and telling the time whenever princes, noblemen or their King would ask. The Dialmovers changed duties often, as they grew tired and the Timeteller changed less often, as his job was to just sit and wait.

But one night, weary and exhausted, the Dialmover Summer slept. Watching his brother drowse off, his Timeteller brother slept too. The next morning, the King came to them, to ask the time, but they could not tell! The dial was stuck at two in the night, while the Sun was shining above them, telling the King it was time to attend court. In a fit of rage, the King threw both the erring Dialmover and the Timeteller in jail and had them beaten up as a lesson to all other Dialmovers and Timetellers, lest they ever repeat such folly.

Angry at the King for such a move, the Time Guild decided to teach the King a lesson. They wielded such power over the Kingdom that it was easy for them to do as they pleased. On times when the King was stuck with a Diplomat he did not like, it would seem that time could not move fast enough, as the dial moved ever so slowly, extending the day long beyond its allotted twelve hours, and the brothers covered up by running the dial faster at night. On days when the King was in a particularly sour mood, the day ended rather quickly and night fell much sooner and went much longer than it should have. But no one could say anything to the Time Guild, because they seemed to be doing their work more diligently and methodically than ever.

Slowly, as time passed, as it always does, the Summers, the Winters, the Springs and the Autumns got stuck to their habits. The Spring brothers were not that angry with the King and would treat the Day and Night equally, but the Summer brothers after them would run the Day more slowly than the Night. The Autumn brothers after that would balance out the Day and Night again, but the Winters were harsh and would end the Day rather quickly.

That is how it will be for all eternity.

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