And then there were three

Dear Littlest Prince,

I believe you may be a surprise, certainly not to yourself – that will come later – but to some of my readers, to some of even the most faithful of the kingdomites. We didn’t plan on keeping you a secret and we didn’t mean for it to come to this, where you are here and there are still several people near and dear to us that likely didn’t even know you were coming, and yet here you are, here we all are. This year has been a strange one. Your arrival is most definitely one of the bright spots.

Your brothers, the Little Prince and the Littler Prince, already adore you and, of course, already want to know when you will be able to play. They stayed up late to see you, to say hello to you, literal seconds after you were born. The Little Prince helped cut the umbilical cord. They both made toys for you, each hoping you might grab on to the one they made first. They have helped pick out some of the outfits for your first days. They have watched and asked questions and been present in those days. Yes, they already adore you.

Oh, the magical years you have ahead of you. Three brothers, with worlds to conquer for and against each other. Three brothers with mischief to make and wrongs to right. Three brothers in a family that embraces adventure.

The Queen and I, the humble Jester, promised adventure in our vows to each other, and we have promised it to each of our sons in turn. The adventures won’t always be fun. The adventures won’t always be the ones you want to have. That isn’t the point. That isn’t what the promise is about.

You will see amazing things. You will travel. You will discover. You will learn and love and lose and live. Music will be a part of it. The mountains will be a part of it. The ocean will be a part of it. And you will help us find new paths to walk. We will walk them together, the five of us. For no matter what the adventures bring, we will see them through as a family. That is part of the promise as well.

So, my dear Littlest Prince, welcome to the family. You are loved more than this writer could attempt to capture with mere words. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings, and the day after that, and the day after that…

Love,

Daddy – Matticus – The Jester

Echo, Part 25

Within five minutes of being home, the doorbell rang.  Henry and Ana went to answer it together and smiled at the two men, the same two from the restaurant days earlier, standing there.  Henry opened the door wide and ushered the men in with a friendly wave.  They seemed surprised by the reception but stepped inside and moved aside so Henry could shut the door.

“Hello, again.”

The men smiled tentatively at Ana and the one who’d taken his sunglasses off at the restaurant said, “Thank you for letting us in.”

“How can we help you?” Charles asked while leading the group into the living so they could sit down.

“Well, this is a bit awkward, but we are trying to find two people who have fallen off the grid.  They look very much like the two of you.”

Henry laughed, “Well, you know what they say.  We’ve all got a doppelganger out there somewhere.”

They all sat and this time the two men both took their glasses off.

“if we can cut all the pretense,” the man who spoke at the restaurant started, “we know who you are and we don’t care.  If you are happy with your lives now than we are happy for you.”

Ana asked, “You aren’t feds?”

The men laughed and they both said, “No.”

“You’re with the system,” Henry stated.

They nodded yes and the man who’d spoken before said, “We represent their interests on occasion and they’ve asked us to check in with you.”

Henry immediately wanted to ask why but the man continued before he could get the question out.

“Things are beginning to happen on the legal side of things and there may be an opportunity for you to come forward and reclaim your real names.”

“Ana and Henry are our real names,” Ana said firmly.

The man held up an apologetic hand.  “I’m not saying they aren’t.  We’re just here to see if you are happy with your new lives or if you want to come clean, for lack of a better word.”

Henry glanced to Ana.  Her jaw was set and her eyes burned.  He felt much the same.  To discredit their current names was to threaten their life together.  Neither of them would stand for that.

The men seemed to sense their agitation and the speaker quickly added, “We aren’t here to demand you come forward.  We’ve been given assurances that enough of those who were helped into hiding will come forward that the legal process can happen without everyone participating.  In other words, if you want your old life wiped away, forgotten, we can make that happen.”

Henry had no idea how they would accomplish that but he said, “We are Henry and Ana.”

His wife added, “Exactly.”

The men considered that for a moment, their eyes looking back and forth between Henry and Ana, and then they nodded almost in unison.

Standing up, the put their sunglasses back on and the speaker said, “It was a pleasure to meet you, Henry and Ana.  Congratulations on your growing family.  We wish you the best in your future together.”

Henry walked the men to the door and turned the dead bolt once they were gone.  He leaned his head against the cool, smooth wood and breathed deeply.  Could it be that easy?  Was that truly the end of it?

Returning to his wife, who had remained in the other room, he didn’t need to ask what she was thinking.  Fear and doubt were etched in her features.

He reached for her and she curled into his arms without a word.

They stayed that way for several minutes before she asked, “Do you believe them?”

“Not entirely.”

“Me neither.”

After another moment of quiet comfort in each other’s arms, Henry said, “At least we know they aren’t in our heads anymore.  If they could read our thoughts still they wouldn’t had to ask.”

Ana looked up at him with a half-smile.  “Silver lining,” she murmured.

“So we know they are out there and maybe they are planning something that will put us out of our hidden life here.  And, maybe they will leave us alone.  And, maybe they can erase who we used to be.  And maybe the feds are still hunting us and they will knock on our door next.  What can we do?  I’m Henry.  You are Ana.  That is our child,” he put one hand on her belly.  “And that is our truth regardless of what came before or what happens next.”

“Exactly,” she said in an echo of what she’d said to the men.  Then she pushed herself on her toes and kissed her husband.

November is upon us again

Hello there my most wonderful faithful kingdomites!

Yes, november is upon us again and that means a month of daily posts here in the kingdom and many other places across the blogosphere.  I’ve got some scheduled themes for you to enjoy… continuation of the Echo series on Mondays, some picture blogs on Wednesdays, a bit of shameless self promotion, a bit more shameless promotion, some poems, and some other goodies planned out that I hope you enjoy.

And, yes, this is totally a filler post!

Okay, not totally.  It has just been so long since I’ve said hello to all of you that I thought it would be fun to kick off this month with something other than the long form fiction I’ve been posting here since the start of the year, basically.

So…  Hello!

Tell me, are you going to be posting every day this month too?  Drop me a comment and a link if you are.  I may not always be able to comment but I will do my best.  We are, after all, a bogging family.  We’ve got to support each other.

it is what it is

The holidays are coming. The holidays are coming.
Family and gifts and events and food and stress.
Don’t forget to bet who leaves dinner first fuming.
Don’t forget to wear your best suit or fancy dress.
That’s not festive music, that’s your blood drumming.
You’ve too many commitments, too many to impress.
The holidays are coming. The holidays are coming.
Aren’t you ever so very much excited?
I am. Can’t you tell? I’m positively beaming.
Or maybe that’s just a looming dread…

A(nother) first year in the life

Oh you rambunctious Littler Prince,

You are one. One! I can’t believe it. And yet, when people ask how long you’ve been walking I answer “forever” because that’s what it feels like. Then I’ll stop and think about it and realize it’s only been about two months. So… not forever. Time is funny like that. You’ll learn that one day. You have so much to learn. 

And you’ve already learned so much. 

You aren’t just walking. You. Are. Running. And climbing. And exploring. And, you’ll find this is important in the kingdom, adventuring.

And teething. Those one year molars are a pain for sure. They’ll be in soon, though, and you’ll be on to the next. Next teeth. Next struggle. Next triumph.

You are good at triumphs, with your squeals of glee when you get what you want and your happy grins and silly little dances. We’ve tried to capture as much of those moments as we can but when you outgrow them some will be lost. And that’s sad, but they will quickly be replaced by new shenanigans. And that is as it should be. 

I’m excited for you and the year ahead. The Queen, Little Prince,  and I will do all we can to make it a good one. 

Love you, 

Daddy 

Matticus 

The Jester