This not the short I originally saw. After last night’s tragic news, I wanted to a little more about the West’s current attempt at suicide. But, there’s still hope. Hope, much like Evil, can often be found in the most unlikely places.
Thanks, everyone, for reading this story. I think I’ll try to make ‘Defiant’ into a proper novel, but I’m taking the rest of this weekend off.
My Beloved Europa, Logres wrote onto the scroll, I hope this finds you safe and well. We, here, are fine.
He let his eyes first look out across the Channel to the land across the sea. He could just make out where Joey worked with a great hacksaw, slowly cutting away at the chain that had bound them to the continent. An impatient ‘chirp!’ from high overhead let him know that Georgie was waiting on him to finish. He returned to the scroll.
So much has changed for us and the world since the Wall came down. It was my pleasure to walk with you in your land and meet the others in your family; Felix has the oddest sense of humor! It was good to be reconciled with Flittermouse. None of them seemed particularly surprised when you told them you were leaving to stay with me. I supposed you’d made that clear to them, beforehand!
It was a perfect time, was it not, beloved? My brash cousins from across the western sea would just not leave; will you never forgive Libby for kissing me? And, I was pleased to see that quiet Joey took such a liking to you!
For all that, I shall never understand why the Slow Ones told us all to stand down and no longer watch the borders, the seas, the skies. That Order seemed unwise when we heard it, and, you know as well as I, when all those cycles later, the Invasion began.
Logres sighed while shaking his head.
You suspected, as I did, that it was the special relationship between you and I that sparked the reaction: your summoning to bring back your special skills to some of the lands that were once beyond the Wall, while we, here – he glanced at Joey again, still sawing – try to reassert our borders.
There was a woosh of air with a rustle of wings as Georgie buzzed him.
“How many letters does it take to say ‘I love you,’ stupid, fat, brother!” She shouted over her shoulder as she climbed back into the sky.
He was, in fact, getting close to the bottom of the scroll. Yes, Georgie was correct.
From the moment we met, through our separation, and the happiness of our most recent times – Logres thought with a smile about the very fun things they’d learned about one another when they took their tunics off – through all these time, ‘through thick and thin,’ as Dutch-cousin once said, you shall always be, my beloved Europa. Come back to me, soon!
Or, I shall be coming for you! He thought while rolling up the scroll. He took his knife, which Europa had taught him to make, from the cord about his waist and cut some of the taller grass around him. He weaved that into a simple tie about the scroll and stood.
“Brooootheerrr!” He heard from high up. He waved, watching her descent. When she was low enough, he tossed the scroll high.
Georgie caught it, her mouth tracing a smile.
“Where you told me?” She called.
“Yes!” Logres shouted back. “She might not still be there, but start in Viszegrad!”
“Chirp!” She was just a dot, moving southeast at tremendous speed.
Logres sighed, but smiled.
“Milo!” He called.
From some distance further inland, a young boy returned the call.
Logres turned away from the sea to look at the rolling, green hills. A little boy came running. He’d a thin face and shoulders that would likely be huge once grown up. His eyes looked everywhere. Above them, his hair was dark, from one parent, but with frosted tips, from his other.
The boy stopped his run one length away from Logres.