On being five

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Little Prince,

 Now you are five…

 I think some of the earliest memories I have are from when I was five.  At least, that’s the way it seems.  And that shapes how I interact with you to some regard.  You are no longer a baby.  At times that means I am harder on you than you like and we have more disagreements than we used to.  I’m sorry about that.  I am.  I won’t change, though, and I can only hope that one day you will look back and be thankful for the hard stance I took on some of these things in my attempts to help guide you into becoming the good person I know you are capable of… just as I did eventually with my own parents.

 Not that it’s all rough.  Your dimpled smile flashes often and your wild laugh fills even the largest rooms.  You are boisterous and imaginative.  You are insightful and charming.  You can be tender and you dote on your brother, the Littler Prince, far more than I had hoped you would before his arrival.  You’ve stepped into that role happily, lovingly.  The Queen and I are grateful for that, even as you do occasionally encourage him to do things that will get you both in trouble.  I call shenanigans.  You both grin mischievously and laugh and laugh.

 Your understanding of the world beyond our home, beyond the Kingdom, is growing daily.  That makes me proud and sad at the same time.  You continue to be wicked smart, picking up new concepts and skills with ease, and questioning everything.  That means, however, that you are becoming exposed more frequently to the harder truths of being alive.  The world is beautiful but it is dangerous, too.  We find what we seek but sometimes there are unintended consequences even when our intentions are pure.  You are learning.  I have no doubt you’ll get there.

 So, I continue to be proud and excited that I get to help you grow and learn and achieve.  You have a busy year ahead.  Kindergarten and everything that comes with your first official year of “school.”  Your very own season pass for skiing or snowboarding, whichever it is you end up deciding on.  Or both, perhaps.  I can’t wait to have you on the mountain with us.  And other sports too, perhaps?  And another backpacking trip or two?  And more trips across the country?  And…

 We’ll have to see where our adventures take us.

 I’m honored to share them all with you.

 Love you,

 Dad / Matticus / The Jester


“You could be righ’,” his voice snatched at the air with vicious intent, “an’ mayhap I’ll be forced to pay for ma sins one day down tha road, but I’ll take ma chances.”  His sun battered face tilted back to soak in the glory of the blue sky, and his right hand scratched the salt and pepper beard hanging low from his chin.  “I’ll not miss out on tha spoils o’ tha sea.  I’ll not miss out on the glitterin’ and sparklin’ treasure I can get ma hands on.  An’… I’ll not have the likes o’ you judgin’ me.  Not today.  So, will you be havin’ tha plank or tha sword?”

Charles Cordan III, a man of some renown and wealth on the British Isles, looked up at his captor with equal parts fear and disbelief.  When he found the voice to reply, he stumbled over his words, “I had hoped you would seek some sort of ransom for my safe return…  You know who I am, don’t you?”

“Aye,” the pirate responded briskly, dropping his gaze from the heavens back to access the irritating voice sprawled at his feet and taking up room on his deck.  “You’re tha man I’m about to kill.”  A glint of mischief sparked from his eyes and carried down the gleaming steel of his saber as he pulled it from of its sheath.

“My family would pay handsomely for my release!”

“And tha beasts o’ tha sea will eat handsomely when we toss your corpse o’erboard.  You should have kept your tongue from wagging on about sins an’ redemption, a mistake you won’ be makin’ again.  Now I’m givin’ you tha honor of choosin’ how you leave this world, decide ‘fore I lose ma patience: tha plank or tha sword?  There are far worse fates you could suffer.”

Charles’ face contorted from fear to rage.  “You are no gentleman.  You are no man of honor, no matter how you try to pretty up your words. How dare you threaten me.”

“How dare you bring up ma sins an’ need for redemption on ma ship, ma home.”  He pressed the sword against his captive’s throat until the man winced.  “We all mus’ make our way in this world, and none of us have tha righ’ to force our moral values an’ choices on anyone else.  You may think I’m a sinner, and I may be a sinner, but in ma house, you should have kept your thoughts on tha matta to yourself.  Again, I ask, tha plank or tha sword?”

“It’s not too late,” Charles whimpered, dropping his gaze to the salt stained boards.  “You could change your ways.  You could ask for forgiveness and we could both live on.  Do you hear that?  Both of us.  There is no need for anyone to die.”

“You could be righ’ and mayhap there is no need in the next action I take, but our lives aren’t built to run on needs alone.  There is greed an’ and pleasure an’ vengeance to consider.  An’ honor too.  You say I am no man of honor, and yet that is just your opinion, based on your understanding on tha word.”  He deftly removed the saber from the man’s throat, and leaned in so their faces were mere inches apart.  “Life needs death, and getting to pick how you face that is a great honor.”

With a swift kick, the pirate launched Charles Cordan III over the railing of his ship to disappear below the dark waves lapping at the sides.  There was no scream.  There was only the shock and silence of surprise.  There was no wild thrashing.  There was only a single splash and then, after a sporadic outburst, the bubbles rising to the surface ceased altogether.

“An’ that is another mistake you won’ be makin’ again.”

love, lust

The whole world in a cup,
Wrapped in gold, glory.
A month long quest,
Of cheers, jeers,
Love, lust,

The battles call to me,
From the true green pitch,
Nations fighting,
Flags waiving,

Samba dance with a ball,
Ninety minute songs.
I hold my breath.
The whistle,


“If we don’t unite, we will certainly die.”

Thomas let the statement hang in the air for a second, let the truth behind the words sink in with the gathered few.  The flickering glow of torches surrounding the house and the shouts of the mob drawing nearer, louder, and more agitated helped expedite the decision to band together.  Nearly as one, the mages nodded in agreement.

Reclusive, secretive, untrusting, it had taken their numbers being isolated and persecuted to the point of extinction for them to even agree to meet.  They had sat in silence, staring at each other, unwilling to be the first to admit they needed help, they needed to do something.  They were all waiting for Quentin, the eldest and indisputably the greatest of them, to speak first, to advise them one way or the other.

He sat there, face hidden in the darkness under the hood of his black robes, refusing to speak, refusing to acknowledge anything from the other magicians to the approaching horde intent upon wiping them from existence.

After all but Quentin agreed to stand as one, a few more moments of silence, other than the noise outside, elapsed and then Quentin rose from his seat and threw back his hood.  His eyes burned with the orange of a molten lava fire, and electricity crackled from his finger tips.

He seemed immense in the small room, as though he were growing larger and the room was growing smaller at the same time, his shadow rose along the wall and ceiling.  “I’ll band with you, my brothers,” he hissed and they could feel the venom dripping off his words.

One by one they smiled and then turned their minds toward the spells they were about to unleash.  Perhaps they were headed towards their deaths, but they would go down fighting, they would take many with them, and if magic were to disappear from the world that night they would give it a legacy that would never die.


Word Count: 333

It’s Monday again, and I’m writing about magic (I wonder what it is about these challenges that make me write about sorcery?), so that must mean it is time for another Trifecta Writing Challenge:

BAND (verb)

1: to affix a band to or tie up with a band
2: to finish or decorate with a band
3: to gather together : unite <banded themselves together for protection>

  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join us.


Fireworks in the sky glaring, the music blaring, the dogs grilling, cigars for smoking, and the beers freely flowing are nice.  But it’s the flag waving that truly means we are still free.


This 33 word patriotic piece was written in response to today’s Trifextra “free-write.”

You see what I did there?  A free-write about being free.  Nice.