It was hot. Brutally hot. Like, seep in through the skin scorched sinew and marrow hot, or watch happiness evaporate in smoky tendrils hot. Like, melt your very core down to meaninglessness hot. The citygoers in Altique were weary of the relentless sun beating down on them. They were tired of terrible long days bleeding into miserable nights, of feeling their life force diffuse slowly into the atmosphere, tired of this endless, hellish summer. And they were jaded by the unnamed illness that had crept in with the season. It slinked in through the filthy, labyrinthine streets, striking mercilessly at the defenseless population.
So they sought relief.
They sought relief under precariously old ceiling fans, which swayed mesmerizingly, or else gathered around mildewing swamp coolers. They sought relief in ragged conversation about the coming autumn, the coming change.
There was no relief.
There is no balm for a crisp, sundried soul. There is no life in a suffocating city. There is no cure for this disease.