THE SECOND TRUMPET:
The Trumpet Sounds in Sweden
Sweden was riddled with apathy.
Indifferent to their fellow man, the Swedes were a people without emotions. Joy, sorrow, love, and hate all meant nothing to them. The mayor of Stuttgart committed suicide, and not a soul flinched. Their New World neighbors in Norway were overthrown, and nobody noticed. Their demographic dwindles due to death by damned hearts, and the only ones that care are the vultures.
The streets of Stockholm were quiet while time was frozen, though Dio hardly noticed. Each time he visited, the "people" in the streets wouldn't so much as glance at him, let alone each other. They merely trotted in line on the sidewalks, never looking anyone else in the eye, never greeting a friend with warm oink, never expressing their thoughts to one another.
Stockholm was a depressingly demure city.
XXX was lying in a pile of straw, staring at the sky in his sty. His face was worn, years of missed opportunities and fleeting dreams have transformed the shimmer in his eyes into a dull glaze. His husband, XYX, was turned away from him, seemingly saddened for whatever reason that night. Dio proceeded to extend his hand and touched the King of the Swedes on the forehead.
His eyes slowly turned to Him, still without the glimmer they once had. XXX slowly stepped out of his bed, then walked past Dio, into the backyard of his sty.
"You've finally arrived, Dio." XXX continued gazing at the night sky, as though he was searching for something.
"The stars are shimmering, even while Sweden is still." He looked around at Stockholm, observing the nighttime traffic. A car accident was frozen mid-crash to the east of his backyard, with glass and shrapnel caught in the air as if it were hanging by threads.
"Are you wondering if you are dead? Or if Sweden is dead?"
"Sweden had died long ago." XXX turned around, his face now distraught. Dio motioned for him to follow, and he obeyed.
As Dio pridefully strode down the sidewalks of Stockholm, XXX drearily dragged his hooves. His tail seemed more like a burden rather than an appendage; like a curse, he was forced to bear for the rest of his life.
As they passed by the frozen crash, they observed that both drivers were asleep at the wheel. The two of them were driving alone, without concern for the road, nor the vehicle, nor others, nor themselves. They probably couldn't care less if their cars collided.
Dio then looked at XXX and asked, "How did your people lose their lives? A soul doesn't leave one's body unless it was forced out by a fierce emotion."
"Who knows?" said XXX, hardly paying the question any mind.
"It seems as though you simply left your soul behind." Dio pensively added.
"Where did Mother Svea* leave her soul, XXX?"
XXX stopped. He wanted to answer Dio's question, but he didn't know what to say. Where did Sweden leave it's soul? Did everyone lose their spirits after conquering so much territory? Did everyone's hopes suddenly die after years of conquest? Or was it the killing that made them listless? After years of being indifferent to his people, he suddenly wanted to know why these changes. Or was it the indifference itself? What had happened to my people?
As the answer finally struck XXX, a trumpet sounded in the streets ahead of them.
"It's simple, really," said the man with the salpinx. "As Sweden gained more territory, the people lost their desires." DKN calmly proceeded towards Dio and XXX. His scruffy face was the only one in Stockholm (Apart from Dio's) without a hint of melancholy. "That awful lust for power was the one thing that kept these people alive."
"Ah..." XXX now understood. Within his bitter shell was a demon, drearily petting his ego like a boy with a broken doll. After getting what it wants, the boy began to lose interest in the doll, especially now that it is worn and cracked. After stealing countless lives, homes, and dreams, XXX demon no longer needed him for anything else.
"You steal men's souls and make them your slaves." DKN said, continuing towards XXX. "The people you've taken, traded, sold, and slaughtered, they've all been raped of their lives; every last one of them had to abandon everything to conform to your society... It was either that, or be killed. After your success, you had nothing to care about, right? Since you already have won, you don't need anything, right?"
XXX didn't speak. After all, there was nothing he could say right now.
"We held onto hope. It was the only thing that you did not take from us, you know. It was our lifeline."
XXX remained silent.
"And do you know what was on the other end of this lifeline, XXX?"
"Hope was the only thing that kept us from falling into the abyss, but a lifeline this taut must have had something strong on its other end. Do you know where our hope stemmed from?"
Dio placed his hand on DKN's shoulder. "It's time."
"Look up, XXX." DKN grinned and pointed to the sky.
XXX looked up, only to see The World looking down on him.
The people of Sweden lamented no longer.
- "Mother Svea" refers to the "spirit" of Sweden.