The latest from my online epic, Lore of the Underlings.
Chapter 3 continues:
“A shout from the slower folk woke us up.
“‘A child is born!’
“‘A baby boy!’
“‘The first in this place of promise.’
“The news was like whiplash and laid us flat. It filled me with odd disappointment. A feeling of being let down somehow.
“‘Three thousand and one?’ I asked, my voice quiet.
“‘Three thousand and one,’ Ayrie sighed, a bit sad.
“You see, we wanted the wonder, the lore. A wizard king to fight for, with charms and curses and spells to break, all to keep his secrets safe. In a world where we could be heroes someday… But a newborn babe now stood in the way of our silly boyish dreams.
“Another voice cried out. ‘Hear me, folk! Listen! There’s sorrow too. For his mother has died in the birth. Young Miss Trooly, yet brave she was, she gave her own life for her son.’
“Silence fell fleetingly over all, as folk hung their heads in respect for the dead.
“‘It can’t be so,’ sobbed a girl. ‘O my Troo!’
“‘To Heaven…’ sang someone. ‘I’ll ever love you.’
“I looked at my brother. ‘A third magic number.’
“‘The Semperor’s Rule of Threes,’ he confirmed.
“As folk gathered up their things at last to take the journey’s final steps, a couple came forward to claim the child.
“‘His life shall bear testament to this day, the day we found haven and hope. We’ll name him Homeboy to honor his birthplace and raise him as our own.
“‘And please,’ they added solemnly, ‘bring the mother’s body. We shall make a sacred place and bury her with dignity.’
“I worried a while that we’d done something dark, that our wishes had summoned some evil magician. This was wonder and lore alright, but not the way we’d ever dreamed. Our child’s play was over it seemed. No more games for Ayrie and me.
More to come. To read this chapter from the start, click here.
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