The next true memory I can recall is the last memory I have of my true self.  It was just after the ballet, as the flowers took their bow.  The sun had just come up, and I was mostly recovered as the sleepiness evaporated from my bones.  I had never seen people up close before.  I'm afraid I never found my sanctuary from them again.

They carried sharp instruments, strange gleaming tools.  They circled around my base, and the first man raised his gadget high behind his head, poised to strike.  The sun's rays glinted off of the tool, uncharacteristically cold and gleaming ominously.  And then, without hardly a moment's pause, he swung.

I can honestly tell you that I have never felt anything like it, before or since.  It was excruciating.  They worked as a team, in unison.  Taking turns swinging, striking repeatedly at my base.  They operated as a well-oiled machine, designed solely for efficiency.  

Hundreds of years, endless days and nights.  In all of the seasons, the countless solstices I've celebrated...  This was the longest day by far.  

That night, I fell with the sun.  

The End

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