The Harrowing of Howtown
Once upon a time, the people of pretty Howtown witnessed War in Heaven. The sky blazed black with darkness visible, crimson clouds rained magic fire, and Howtown turned into Inferno.
Howtown burned with eldritch flame, with all the people chained to pain, all hope abandoned, all gains in vain. Yet despite their fall, the women and men, both little and small, changed their tiny ways not at all.
Like ever before, they sang their didn’t and danced their did; they sowed their isn’t and reaped their same; they said their nevers and slept their dream; they reaped their sowing and went their came.
For they told each other, “Fear not, though all is lost. Our tiny ways are chained to pain, but so is any way, here in Hell. So keep calm and carry on. If we be damned, then let us be damned for who we are.”
They suffered forever, then again forever. Then all the gods and demons slew each other, and the War in Heaven ended. Only Howtown survived. The fires expired; the sky blazed blue; and the people of pretty Howtown felt only the normal turmoil of Earthly existence.
Compared to the War that they suffered before, this was Heavenly bliss; yet despite their delight, the women and men, both little and small, changed their tiny ways not at all.
Life went on, as if nothing had happened.
Moral: Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.
Comment: I quote Milton, Dante and others; mostly “anyone lived in a pretty how town” by e.e. cummings.
To pragmatic Howtown, Armageddon is just bad weather. “As if nothing had happened” is more than survival; it’s a diss.