Archive for May, 2011

love can change any pessimist

“Has he always been like this?” Jared asked, nodding over at one of the earth nations. He looked over at one of the man’s brothers.

For a moment, he blinked and then he looked over at his brother. He shook his head. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him this happy,” he admitted. His brows furrowed and a sad sort of smile touched his lips. “Well… that’s not true. He was happy when Alfie was a colony, but…” he trailed off and then shrugged at Jared. “It’s been a long time since then.”

Jared nodded. “It’s hard when a colony grows up,” he said, his voice soft. “They want independence and, while that’s how it’s meant to be… even humans have trouble letting their children grow up and they only raise them for eighteen years. We can raise ours for hundreds.”

The other nodded. “Anyway, it’s nice to see him smile again,” he said, his voice soft. “He cares a great deal for Vree.”

“Love can make all the difference in the world,” Logan said, nodding. “It can make even the worst pessimist in the world view the world through rose-colored glasses.”

“I suppose that’s very true,” he said, nodding. His gaze drifted to one of the other earth nations. His voice was faint as he added, “I know it changed my outlook.”

a liberation broadcast

Jeffrey looked over at the radio as the broadcaster said they would be interrupting the normal programming for an announcement from his boss. Feeling a thrill of excitement, he hurried over and turned up the volume.

He couldn’t help but allow himself a faint smile. He knew what the announcement was about. They were free. His boss had signed an agreement with the Cygman government. Equisetia was no longer a colony. They would be allowed to govern themselves from now on, at least within their borders. Some things would still be left up to their parent nation, but it was a step in the right direction.

He listened to the broadcast and then glanced outside, just in time to see his people breaking out into spontaneous celebration. They were as happy about the news as he was.

lookin’ kinda cool

Ian looked outside and scowled slightly. He looked over at Allen. “What should we wear, do you think?” he asked, blinking.

“It’s going to be very warm,” Allen said. “Dress appropriately.”

Blinking, Ian cast another glance outside. The sky was gray and overcast. The wind was swirling. It looked as if it were going to pour down rain. Yet, Allen was saying it would be warm?

“The storm won’t make it cold out?” he asked, blinking.

Allen shook his head. “If anything, it’ll feel hotter and stickier after the storm blows through,” he said. He saw the confused expression on Ian’s face and a faint smile came to his lips. “It’s how things are in the south, Ian. Trust me.”

“If you say so,” Ian said, nodding.

Positively hypnotizing

Jeffrey watched Madeline’s hands as she worked the yarn. The steady click of the needles was mesmerizing. He felt like he couldn’t tear his eyes away from what she was doing. He watched in amazement as the fabric seemed to appear, as if by magic, in her hands.

“How do you sew like that?” he asked, blinking and forcing his gaze to her face.

Madeline grinned and shook her head. “Not sewing,” she said. “Knitting.” She shrugged and shook her head. “It’s not so hard. I could probably teach you, if you wanted.”

Nodding, Jeffrey moved to sit beside her. “I’ll just watch you for now, though,” he added, when she started to set her work aside.

His Little Bird

The corners of Allen’s mouth turned downward slightly as he watched Jeffrey sleep. Things were so much simpler when he’d been a young colony. He’d depended on Allen for nearly everything. Now, he wanted to do everything for himself.

Almost without meaning to, Allen began singing softly. It was a song he’d sung for Jeffrey for as long as he could remember. He didn’t even remember where he’d first heard it. He finished the song and slipped out of the room.

Ian looked up from whatever book he was reading and gave Allen a weak smile. “It’s not that he doesn’t care about you, you know?” he said, his voice soft. He shrugged. “This is how it’s supposed to be, Allen. We take care of a colony until the people can take care of themselves. Then, they get their independence and we have an ally we can rely on.”

“It’s so simple for you,” Allen said, his voice coming out as a soft hiss. He shook his head. “He… grew up so quickly! What if he’s not ready?”

“How are you – or Jeffrey – ever going to know if he’s ready or not, unless you take the chance?” Ian said. He shook his head. “We both had colonies in the Point. Most of them are already independent. What makes Jeffrey so different?”

“He’s… closer,” Allen said, shrugging.

Ian chuckled. “They aren’t meant to be a constant drain on your resources, Allen,” he said. “If you really care for him, let him go and stretch his wings. Just… make it clear that you’ll be there, if he needs you.”

Allen sighed and nodded. “I suppose you’re right,” he admitted. He shook his head and slumped down in a chair beside his brother. “I’ll talk to our boss in the morning.” As he set his head down on his arms, he felt Ian rub his shoulder.

desperate situation

Ophelia tried very hard not to roll her eyes at Carlo. The man truly infuriated her. He acted like he knew everything about everyone’s circumstances. However, he really knew very little about her people or those of her siblings. Finally, she’d had enough.

“Hey,” she said, her tone sharp. When Carlo stopped speaking and all eyes turned to her, she stood. “You don’t seem to realize the gravity of the situation. The resources of the homes our children have chosen – out of necessity – are insufficient for their needs.”

“They can’t move and there’s not enough food for them to sustain themselves,” Madeline said, her voice soft. “Without help from you, our children will starve.”

Allen’s brows furrowed. “The state of affairs is so dire?” he asked.

“That’s what we’ve been trying to tell you,” Cecil said, rolling his eyes.

Ian nodded slowly. “Then,” he said, glancing at the other, “how can we do anything else, except to help them?”

“You understand what it means, though, becoming protectorates of ours?” Franklin said, his voice soft.

“We don’t seem to have any other choice,” Hana said. She shrugged and said, “At least, a protectorates, we’ll retain some level of autonomy.”

“If we let Berklia conquer us, we won’t have any,” Noellie said, grinning brightly. “We don’t like it, but we have to do what’s best for our children.”

“Fair enough,” Allen said, nodding.

There’s so many…

Michelle frowned slightly. She knew the nations that were around currently hadn’t always been. She knew there were some that once existed who were gone now. “With all we go through,” she said, glancing over at Cecil, “why are we… still here?”

“Because our children need us?” he said. He looked thoughtful and shook his head. “Whatever happens, we have to keep going, for their sake.”

For a moment, Michelle simply stared at him. Then, she smiled and nodded. “You’re so right,” she said.

I am within you

“What are you doing here?” Allen said, sounding just a bit cross.

Jeffrey flinched and then his cheeks warmed. He gave a nervous chuckle and rubbed at the back of his neck. “Hey, Allen,” he said, forcing a smile to his lips. “How’s it going?”

“Don’t chuckle and ask me how I am,” Allen said. He shook his head and crossed his arms over his chest. “What are you doing in my garden, Jeffrey?”

“How’d you know I was here?” he asked, shaking his head. He wasn’t quite ready to answer Allen’s question.

Allen sighed, recognizing the stalling for exactly what it was. “You’re in my lands, Jeffrey – in my garden. How could I fail to realize that you were here?”

“I’m like… inside you?” Jeffrey said, blinking. Put that way, of course Allen knew he was there. He gave another nervous chuckle. He couldn’t figure out a way to stall any further. That left him with no choice but to answer the question. “Well,” he said, “you see, it’s like this…”

four heavenly kings

“Shynia in the east, Kenzea in the west, Daltea in the north and Kawaii in the south,” Michelle said, nodding at each of them in turn. She gave them a faint smile. “The four of us represent the most powerful of the Kenzyan Isles.”

Ophelia leaned on one hand. “Each of us guard a cardinal direction?” she said. She grinned impishly at Hana and Cecil. “Pretty cool, eh?”

Cecil rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Oh, yes,” he said, “it’s incredible.” He leaned on one hand and gave Hana a sidelong look. “It doesn’t take into account that even the four of us are weaker than the nations of Cygma, Loyalia, Norabardal and Killea.”

“So,” Hana said, shaking her head slightly. “What do we do?”

Michelle shrugged. “Ask them to protect us from forces that might want to conquer us?” she suggested.

Cecil grimaced. “Not sure I’m too keen on the idea,” he said, shaking his head. “I’m certain my people won’t like it, but… what choice do we have?”

“So, focus on the three eastern lands and avoid the Killean nations,” Ophelia said. She grinned. “I’ll talk to Franklin. It’ll be fun having some brothers for a change.”

“That would make them the guardians of the cardinal directions, you know,” she murmured.

Ophelia beamed at her. “Awesome,” she said.

my most precious person

“Need a hand?” a voice said. Suddenly, a slight form dropped to the ground just behind them. With a single sweeping motion, he formed a shield at the end of the alley, blocking their pursuers.

Ian frowned and looked at Ophelia. From the way she was grinning, he could tell she knew the man. “Ophelia, who is this?”

“Keenan,” she sang. Then, she bounced forward and hugged him affectionately. “How are you? Are you well?”

The man smiled. “Yeah, I can’t complain,” he said. He looked over at Ian and gave him a sweeping bow. “I’m Keenan Meadows,” he said, straightening. Jerking a finger at Ophelia, he said, “She’s my nation.”

“He’s my sovereign,” Ophelia said. She danced back to Ian’s side and caught him by the arm. “This is my darling, Ian of Northern Cygma!”

Keenan’s eyes widened and then he beamed at Ian. “It’s so nice to finally meet you, Ian,” he said. “Ophelia always tells me how dear you are to her.”

Ian flushed faintly and set an arm around Ophelia’s shoulder. “She’s dear to me, too,” he said, his voice soft. He didn’t have the words to express just how dear she truly was.