And there goes the neighborhood…
“They are over-paid, over-sexed, and over here!”
“Day-um! What’n the hell’s wrong with y’all? Here!”
Logres was surprised to feel an object tap on his left shoulder. He was more surprised to hear a new voice: that of a young boy, but with odd diction. Seeing no surprise in the eyes of his sister, he presumed the newcomer was not a threat. However, as Logres turned about…
“There goes the neighborhood. Chirp.”
Some sort of tooled leather boots were over pants made of dark blue material, pants held up by (more!) a leather belt closed with a great, metal buckle. On his chest, a shirt of red and white checks, buttoned down the front. The boy appeared to be chewing something – Logres had never eaten – and looked back at him from under his light brown hair with a look of both mirth and insolence.
“Name’s Dutch!” He said, extending his right hand. Logres only paused a moment before taking it.
“Logres. Welcome to my, er, our island.”
“’Obliged! We-uns’ll be setting up shop here and there; we’ll try to stay outta y’all’s way, so don’t mind us!”
“These are our cousins, from across the great sea to the west.” Georgie sighed a little. “Their manners are… different.”
“You require temporary residence in our home?” Logres hoped he got his message across. “And, you said, ‘we’?”
“Sure! Oh, here, by the way!” Dutch held a small cylindrical object up and out in his left hand.
“Yes?” Logres asked.
“A pen, boy! You-uns was just asking for one!” The newcomer laughed.
Logres was unsure about his internal reaction to this young outlander calling him ‘boy,’ but he took the pen from him.
“Thank you. There is someone I must write to. She – ”
“Chirp!” Georgie also kicked at his heel. What?
“Yer girlfriend?” Dutch laughed again. He did seem happy. “I got dozen of ‘em!”
He threw his arms wide.
“The whole world loves me!”
“Modest as ever. Chirp.” His sister, softly. That was twice now…
“Georgie-sister? You have met… this person, before?”
“Mmm. I told you before: I have been all about this world.”
“Well,” the younger cousin reached up to slap his right hand on Logres’s shoulder, “I’m gonna take a lookie-see around! Be seein’ y’all, later!”
At that, he ambled off to the south, looking all about him.
“What an odd person,” Logres breathed.
“They all are.”
His sister waved about.
“His brother and sister are just as bad. Chirp.”
“Bad?” He did not want anything bad on their island.
“Forgive me, Logres-brother!” She quailed. “I misspoke! Perhaps unusual is the apposite word?”
Logres nodded. Going to where his tunic was hanging on its bush, he pulled that on and secured it with the cord. Regarding the paper and pen, he spied a larger, flat rock nearby and sat down to write.
“Beloved Europa,” he spoke as he wrote just as when he read, “it was obvious from our first meeting that you are more aware than I. Even my little brother and sister seem to know so much more! But that time: on the beaches, hand in hand, never leave my inner sight. I am trying to learn more about the Wall and your odd land beyond it. Perhaps with some new fa – ”
“Mmm. Do not speak of the cousins.”
“Oh.” He worked to alter the squiggle on the paper.
“…new found things here on the island, we can be together again.”
He was near the bottom of the small paper.
“I am sad and lonely without you, too.” He was out of room. “L”
He rolled it back up and passed it to his sister.
“It would appear I’m imposing on you again!”
She took the scroll as she stepped to him and placed her left hand onto his chest, where the odd blue patter lay.
“We are family and love one another, even quiet Joey.”
“I see. Thank – ”
There was a brief roar followed by a short whine of machinery. Another boy had just dropped out of the sky, about ten paces behind his sister. But what furled into his back was not the beautiful gray feathers of Georgie nor even the sleek black leather of Flittermouse (that name had stuck, after all), but planar metal and nacelles. Georgie sighed again as she turned.
“Georgie-cousin.” He held out his right hand. “I can get the message there faster.”
“I’m aware.” Her wings were out as if she was defending Logres. Was this one a threat? “But this is between my brother and me.”
“Of course.” He nodded at Logres. “I am Curtis. I watch the skies. All of them.”
He wore a tunic as they did, but sky-blue, with a white five-pointed star in the middle.
“I am Logres. Welcome. Cousin.”
A very slight nod. Logres caught a glimpse of metal before the other exploded up from the ground, roaring into the sky.
“He appears… fast.” Logres ventured. She nodded.
“He is faster than us all. Flies higher, too.” Her shoulders drooped just a little, bringing her wings down. “He… he has flown to the Moon.”
Knowing better than to touch her wings, he reached out and down to lightly rest his hands on her shoulders.
“You make the sky beautiful, Georgie-sister.”
Her form shook slightly. Had he upset her? No, she turned with laughter in her eyes.
“Being in love that that other makes you very silly, big brother!” Her wingtips pointed up to the sky. “I shall take her your message, now!”
With a huge down-beat, she was gone.
With a glance in the direction of the interior that Dutch had wandered, he moved south. Watching the border. Following his Orders.
He walked south. He did not see anyone else. Georgie did not return with a message; he knew how fast she could get to the Wall. He wondered.
‘You should get out more, brother,’ she had told him. Was it time for another trip to the land across the sea? He had not made his decision but allowed himself to walk to the beach below the great white cliffs. Where he had first met –
Laughter. A girl, laughing! Europa! Having never before, he ran, ran down the path as fast as he could, his face remembering to smile! Europa! Around the last corner…!
He skidded to a halt, drawing the attention of the other one. The girl was as tall as he was, but with long, golden hair. The bumps on her chest were huge, barely covered by… a bikini, it is called. A scarlet bikini. Logres felt several interesting things happening about his body. And, for the first time since meeting her, did not think of Europa.
“Uhh…” Was all he could manage.
“Hell-o, there!” She made a huge grin with her straight white teeth under her flashing blue eyes. She sauntered over to him, her broad hips swaying under her small waist.
M… manners, he faintly recalled.
“Log- er, I am Logres,” he stammered as she came closer, “welcome to our island…”
He thought about how Dutch had put out his hand, but this girl’s arms were already about his neck, the bumps on her chest pressed against him. What an amazing feeling…
“I’m your cousin, Libby! I watch the seas! All of them!”
She leaned straight at him and pressed her lips to his, drawing back with another grin.
“We’re gonna get along just fine!”