Long ago the Earth was full of people. All kinds of people. Some had eyes like the ocean, others furry faces, and still others giant eyebrows. Many of them could fly like birds or live under the sea like seals. Many lived in the burning lands. These people had strange hard to pronounce names like Athak, Can Nuuk, Dane, Germ, Yank, Rush, and others the sacred texts mention like Israelite, Babylonian, Greek, and Roman.
In those days the Earth was much colder so our people's land had been covered in ice. This is why the Old Ones only visit the priests in winter. It reminds them of the old days. The trees had also not been as plentiful. Nor were they full of the colorful birds we have now. The people had been very poor too.
The burning lands had also been much different. It was a land so full of food much of it had been called "Bread Basket" The people there laughed at our ancestors for living in the cold. They also drank constantly and lived sinfully. Then the three monsters came and seduced them to greater wickedness.
One was called the Hitter. He inspired people to hit each other. The people who followed such a life became tied in knots of hate so bad they began to be called Nazi. For in the old tongue this is the word for "full of knots". Later hitting was not enough and they began to knife people or even shoot them. They would be cruelest to the Israelites, a people of the sacred book.
The other had been "the one who leaves marks" or just Marks. When he marked a priest the man became "The Stalling One". The Stalling used his spiritual knowledge now for evil. He used it to stall people so long they froze to death as there land had been cold like our ancestors. He used it to seduce people into turning against their parents and God. Each time he used it he became more powerful. So powerful he killed Marks himself. Then he destroyed churches and made the rivers run red with blood. So Red that they called his people the Reds.
The third monster had been the Stock Man. The Stock Man inspired gambling and greed. He was more sneaky than scary, but our ancestors feared his servant Hudson. Legend says he had been killed when his slaves rebelled and put him on a raft to die. Rather than dying he became an immortal monster bent on enslaving our people.
The Sun saw all of this and became very angry. Her anger made her grow hotter and hotter. The sacred calendar says this began in '34. In honor 34 became the year of change for people. For that is when the great changes came. When the other peoples died and the land burned.
First her anger brought the fires. Land burned and the farms became deserts. Many people starved to death, even some of our people. It also made the people very angry. The Nazis and the Stock Men began fighting. The Reds though laughed and laughed. Like us they lived in a frozen land so had been happy for more heat. They mocked the Sun's wrath.
Then the Floods came. No one then knew why the waters hurt the Reds worst, but we now know. Since they'd filled the waters with blood the waters sought the most revenge on the Reds. This seems obvious now. Soon it led to the Stalling death, but people remained wicked. So wicked the other two only stopped the war so they could take the Reds' land and ours.
Then internal fires began. The other peoples grew hot inside and sick. Many started to die. The main sickness came from mosquitoes, but others came from the air itself. Some even came when man lay with woman. The Stock Men blamed the remaining Nazis and called them Germ people as that was a name for disease. The war resumed, but soon they had no strength left to harm anyone.
Despite the end of the three evils the world kept growing hotter. Our people became surrounded by great forests. Strange creatures came to them. So did remnants of the other peoples. Our people killed most for fear of disease, but found pity on a small band of Israelites because they had been victims of the Hitter. The People adopted them and in their honor took up circumcision.
However things kept getting hotter until the people themselves feared the heat. This may have continued until all burned to death, but finally the moon had enough. He had never liked Sun, and admired much of what she disliked in people. So much so he encouraged dishonesty and lust, and had been sad to see the people who did them die. A man with that kind of mind went to her in hopes of tricking her. Though she was more powerful he felt confident. However when he saw her angrier than he had ever seen her before it affected him in a peculiar way. Likewise when she saw the moon seemed to want to help people for the first time it affected her similarly. Soon they spent their energies laying with each other so forgot about people. In the past they had chased each other in anger, but now they did so out of lust. One eclipse they legitimized their relationship and had God wed them. This ended all wrath from the Sun and mischief from the Moon forever so eclipses became happy times.
On Earth sadness did not go away so fast. The people found they had been the only ones left. They knew the Sun and Moon alone were not to blame too. The evil of peoples had made it worse. Even the survivors had sinned by killing people on groundless fears they spread illness. As a reminder healing the sick became a duty. Also strong taboos against greed, violence, and manipulation began to keep the three monsters from returning. They also became "The Lonely People" and kept up the other peoples sacred texts as a reminder of the loss.
Copyright © 2002 by Thomas R. and Bewildering Stories.