This is a Celtic hero quest myth of sorts. Consider it through the lens of just about every modern (and timeless) issue--nationalism, war, fanaticism, sexism, racism, homophobia, environmental destruction, eugenics, etc.

Though the fires have been extinguished decades ago, the air remains stale, almost suffocating. Dust particles fly into the eyes of the traveler’s horse, eliciting a soft whinny and a jolt of its head. Amid the ruins of a once-thriving kingdom, a bard tilts his head and strokes his beard, gazing into the days of yore.

The traveler speaks up suddenly, his voice unsteady but eager in the silent land. “Oh! How I yearn to see what you see! What secrets do you hold?”

The bard smiles wryly. “Alas, the past is gone, irretrievable as a single grain of sand from a beach. But what is precious about a grain of sand? There are countless others, all of which serve their purpose in the world of man. Perhaps man himself, and all of his silly principalities, is no different from a single grain of sand. Put many together to serve a higher power, may it be nature or God, or divide them to form their own—kingdoms, armies, families. Dree fell as any other kingdom does. Human intolerance, brutality, and negligence—in addition to that of the Sidhe. Its history is really nothing special.”

            The traveler snorts in unison with his horse. “You’re rather blasé and cheeky for a bard. If you’ve nothing to say worth listening to, then I’d best be on my way.”

             As he draws the reins of his horse, the bard piques his curiosity. “The last unicorn ever to be seen by man dwelt in the Kingdom of Dree.”

            The traveler turns to face him, eyebrows raised. “Is that so?”

The bard nods. “My friend, a story not worth telling can be well worth listening to.”

And thus he begins.

The End

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