The nights drew in. A thick hoar frost became a regular morning caller, tracing icy fingers across paths and grasses, turning bared trees into glistening monoliths. Birdsong was muted and discordant; the more tuneful avian visitors had fled to warmer climes for the winter. The air was grey and biting, and all traces of colour were erased from the cold, hard earth.
It was just the right time of year for a celebration.
But watch out for Mr Black, and Mr White. Remember - the automata do not act as we do. They do not feel the bite of the cold.
And they walk amongst us...