David awoke with a splitting headache. Somehow once again, he'd fallen asleep at the Library. Either that or a Docent had followed him home. A table, a chair and a lot of stacks of books reaching from the floor to beyond the ceiling led him to assume it was the former. Still though, his headache refused to subside. He couldn't have been drinking, there's no alcohol in the Library (not officially anyway) and Dave was not suffering from the other hangover-related traits he normally gets, that meant only one possible thing.
"Shitty shitting shit…" he muttered, head in hands and trying really hard not to punch the table.
He'd been warned about it from some other mages he'd met. Sometimes if you're magically inclined, you get 'synced up' with all the weird goings on wherever you go and if something big happens, you sort of know what it is. Sort of. This was the biggest, angriest sort of big thing yet.
"Bloody prophetic, magic-y bollocking migraines…"
He sighed, frowned and dug out an A5 sketchbook and an HB. Opening to a blank page, he ran his hand over it and began to draw, not consciously, not really. His hand dashed across the page, the lead skimming the paper and occasionally leaving a mark. As construction lines began to form, so did his divination.
Josie also was awoken. Not by a headache, but a thump from in her room. She was confused, who could be up this late at night? It couldn't be Santa, he didn't come for a few months yet. Peering curiously over the side of her bed, she saw something amazing. Her toys were alive! They were alive and moving! Her eyes widened in amazement as her dolls and pony figures pulled the door open and began to walk out. Josie crept out of her bed as her toys joined her brother's robots and army men on a descent down the stairs. She switched the light on to get a better look. She continued to gawp as her father opened his door to see who left on the landing light. His eyes went almost as wide as hers. Quietly, father and daughter followed as the toys made their way downstairs and towards the door. After witnessing a tower being made of the plastic figures and one fashion doll sacrificing her arm to unlock the door to their house, Josie and her daddy went outside and stared in awe as her toys joined up with an enormous convoy of others walking down the street.
The teddy bears marched, balls rolled or bounced and even Lego figures had constructed huge arks to help transport their many pieces. There were grand processions of Barbies, Bratz and a billion other fashion dolls strutting and staggering as fast as their joints would let them. Some looking haggard from the long journey, others from being played with too much. Even action figures from years ago were making the trek.
"Daddy, where are the toys going?" Josie asked her father.
He simply stared and shook his head in disbelief. "I don't know… Maybe they're off on Holiday…"
Josie accepted this and waved them off.
Meanwhile, a thousand miles away, The Lord Of Toys declared Playtime over and every toy to return to the Box.
It started with a thud. In a simple Graveyard in the dead of night, a tombstone had collapsed. Then another fell over. And another. As more fell, the first few started to be pulled along. Dragged by some unknown force, leaving long trails behind them on a pilgrimage of their own. Stone angels and statues pulled themselves free of their foundations and supports and began to accompany the tombstones, and rocks and pebbles and other broken stones back to their quarries.
The Shopkeeper, wearing a clean white apron, carrying a mop, hands covered in price-tags from different countries with a million different currencies and a nametag reading nothing walked down an empty high street. He was there at every grand opening, watching proudly like a father. He was there in boardrooms, not noticed, when hands changed and deals were made. Even on the shopfloors, guiding the staff and keeping everyone inside, staff and customers alike, satisfied. He was the one who kept stocks full, the cash registers all working properly, the lighting all bright and the displays of offers tempting and more than fair. Like so many times before, this man would be there as the shutters shut and the locks locked and the lights all went down for the final time. The signs in the windows proclaiming 'Closing Down Sales' and 'Everything Must Go' fluttered and fell to the floor. And as the world ended, all the shops and stores closed for one final time.
Following behind, was a figure in shadow. He stood tall, proud and prepared for his only task. He followed the Shopkeeper everywhere, always keeping him safe and sound. As the shops shut down, he would be there. Inside every closed down shop, stood the Night Watchman. In earlier simpler times, he would have people take care of shoplifters according to the laws of the land. Followers who didn't realise how important their positions actually were. Now there was only him. His final assignment. To be vigilant. To be ever watchful and let no man steal from a closed down shop.
The ground under Sao Paulo, Brazil thundered and shook. The earth rose and swelled before a gigantic furred claw burst out. The claw was attached to a wing. The wing to a large hairy body. The enormous bat, black-brown fur matted with soil and dirt unfurled its wings. Huge leathery things with proud patterns of red and gold pulsing like veins beneath the surface of them. Trees and dirt were scattered in all directions, devastating the landscapes and the nearby villages as it took off. It looked into the sky and set off to consume the sun.
That same moment, miles away in Norway. A storm, larger than any experienced before, began to reach towards the land. From the swirling mass of wind, cloud and lightning came an enormous paw. The ground shook as it was joined by another, a snout followed. The snout sniffed the air curiously, the wolf who owned it searching for something. Another humongous wolf joined it. It too sniffing to catch a scent. And another, and another and more emerged from the storm. The alpha, the first who emerged, caught something. His ears twitched, he sniffed again to make sure it wasn't a false alarm. Nope. The alpha threw his head back in a howl which could be heard all across Scandinavia, demanding the pack's attention. Fenrir knew where the sun was and they set off.
"Now is the time, Sisters!" The Obsidian Butterfly, Itzpapalotl, ruler of Tamoanchan, looked over her assembled army. "The humans have neglected their sacrifices! Huitzilopochtli is weak!" The Tzitzimimeh, celestial skeletal daughters of the first God, Ometeotl, cheered ferocious battle cries. Baying loudly for the sun's blood.
"Father will now finally see, we are his superior children! We will slay Huitzilopochtli! Slay his humans! And break the world!" Her wings spread wide. Huge black, flint-edged butterfly wings, glinting in the light.
Meanwhile on Earth, astronomers, professionals and hobbyists alike, noticed several discrepancies when they looked up to the stars. Aboard Orbital Observation Post-1543-02-J or as it was known on board, 'The Sun Launcher MKII', the crew asked the same question as those on Earth.
"Did the stars just start moving?"
Meanwhile, two brothers, Gods both, were arguing.
"LET'S DO SOME A' THIS END' T'WORLD SHIT, INNIT?"
"EEH, WHA' SHOULD WE DO?"
"MEBBE WE SHOULD DROP A LOAD'A BRICKS ON 'EM, DACK'AD!"
"NO! LET'S GET WI' THEM GODS ERRA AND NERGAL OR SOMMAT, BELL END! THEY'RE MESOPOTAMIAN AN' SHIT!"
"'ERE, YOU'RE T'BELL END, BELL END!"
"EEH, YOU STARTIN', BRUV?"
"YOU STARTIN'? EH? EH?"
The voice shook him from his fevered scribbles. Looking up, Dave saw an Archivist looking down at him, unimpressed.
"Mr. Crawley, if you wish to continue being a member here, we would appreciate it if you would not bleed over our texts."
The archivist glared at him…
Dave looked down and noticed the blood, which was originating from his nose.
"Ah, bugger. Won't happen again! Honest!"
He quickly wiped up his mess. Looking around, he noticed the Library was much busier than when he'd started. People weren't looking at books though.
There was a lot of people covered in dirt and rubble. Scratches and other injuries covered some and most were in tears or close to hysterics. Voices which could be heard were combinations of fear, loss and some sort of devastation happening. The staff of the Library could also be heard, addressing complaints from other patrons and the new arrivals as well. Whatever was going on was obviously not good.
"And you're bothered about me bleeding everywhere?" he muttered…