The Heart of a King: At Sea

13, May, 2020

Tim moaned into his bucket while Lase patted her brother’s back.

“Har har.” Kovu’s shadow darkened them. “See, the boy hasn’t got his sea legs yet.”

Lase glared. “Move along. We’re paying you for passage not conversation.”

“Yes, payment of a King’s Heart fully above board” Kovu gave a crooked smile. “Thought you should know we’ll reach yer island after a nice dinner of pickled fish.” He grinned as Tim retched into his bucket. “Oh, and yer boyfriend is looking for ye.”

“Are you going to be ok, Tim?” Lase rubbed his shoulder.

“Just find land soon,” he whispered.

She discovered Brande wandering around the bow of the boat. “We’re almost there.”

Brande glanced around to make sure no one was close. “I heard. I’m worried that Kovu will try something now.”

“When you get a message from another world warning of impending doom, what are you supposed to do?” Lase shrugged. She stared ahead into the unknown as the rigging snapped around her.

“Land ahoy!”

Lase jerked and peered at a smudge on the horizon. “Brande, you see that?”

“Maybe. It’s pretty far away. Lase, where are you going?”

“To see when Kovu can get us on shore,” she said as she marched aft.

“Ha!” Kovu’s laugh echoed inside his cabin. “Little lady, we’re not goin’ on that island til mornin’.”

Brande arrived just as Lase was ignominiously ushered out the door by Kovu, “Now get some supper and don’t bother me til mornin’.”

“That went well.” Brande smirked.

“Quiet. Let’s check on Tim before we eat.”

Tim didn’t want to eat but he drank some water. Despite herself Lase felt exhausted after the salty supper. She barely made it to her cabin before she was asleep.

She awoke with a start. The ship was bobbing in place. They had anchored! Patting her hair down with one hand, she opened the door.

Brande slumped forward into her room. “Brande!”

He jumped up. “What?”

“Brande why are you sleeping outside my door?”

“I wasn’t. I was…” He stammered.

Lase noticed the light just beginning to creep over the horizon. “It’s morning. Where is that pirate captain?”

“Earliest ye’ve been up little lady.” Kovu jumped down from a ladder. “Piratin’ is much too violent for my tastes. I prefer provider of rare goods.”

“He means smuggler.” Brande muttered. “And occasional kidnapper.” He said a bit louder.

Kovu ignored him. “A dinghy is ready for ye to head ashore. We’ll see what supplies and fresh water we can find while ye do whatever ye came here to do.”

Tim appeared heading straight for the dinghy.

Brande and Lase followed him. Soon they were rowing for the beach.

All three of them weren’t prepared for the white sands to roll up and meet them as they stumbled on shore. The sailors laughed before heading off in search of fresh water.

Brande looked around, “I suppose the best place to look is in the center of the island.”

Lase checked on Tim who was looking remarkably less green. He gave her a crooked smile before jogging towards the tree line.

The three of them wandered into the shadowed tropical paradise.

Lase stopped suddenly. “Did you hear that?”

“No.” Brande looked at her. “You alright?”

Tim’s stomach growled, “Is that what you heard?” Tim asked.

“No, something else…” She turned around as a massive form materialized in front of her. She yelped.

“Fear not, young maid. I do not wish to frighten you.” The stranger knelt. “I am Vixwyn Ditunis Elflord, protector of the harp string.”

“Harp string? That’s a funny thing to protect. And what’s with the funny name.” Tim cocked his head.

Lase grabbed her brother. “Sorry, Sir Elflord, we came here because we were told that the fate of the world depended on it.”

Brande stepped forward, “You wouldn’t happen to know something about that would you?” his head tilted back as Vixwyn stood.

“I would.” Vixwyn said somberly. “I have heard the summoning bell, and I must return to Dorthain forest. It is time for magic to return.”

“Huh?” Tim turned “Lase, he’s not making any sense.”

Vixwyn chuckled “I suppose I am not. What year is it?”

Brande scratched his head. “I don’t really know.”

Vixwyn sighed “How long has it been since magic left the world?”

Lase answered, “According to most people there never was magic, and most wouldn’t believe in elves either.”

Vixwyn stared off into the distance, “I’ve slumbered far too long.” Looking back at them he asked. “I assume you came by ship. I must make haste to return. How might I obtain passage?”

Lase never had a chance to answer. With a cry Korvu and some sailors ran toward them brandishing cutlasses and cudgels. “Give us the children.” Kovu demanded.

Vixwyn seemed to get even taller. Unslinging a bow from his back in one fluid motion he nocked an arrow half as long as Kovu was tall.

“Wait” Lase yelled. “He’s why we’re here. He needs passage back.”

“I’m also an excellent sailor.” Vixwyn stated.

Tim piped up, “You hear that? He’s a good sailor. You could use some of those to keep the boat steady.”

Kovu swallowed hard. Both eyes locked on the massive arrowhead pointed straight at him. “Sure, he can come.”

After retrieving his belongings, Vixwyn boarded the ship, and before the sun set they were headed back out to sea.

Lase found Brande watching the sun slowly dip into the ocean. The island was already becoming hard to see. “Did we save the world? It doesn’t feel any different?” She asked.

Brande looked thoughtful. “No, I don’t suppose it would. The sun is setting just like it always does.” He paused. “But what we started - what is going to happen - no one is ready for.”

Lase stared at the water. “Are you sure? You make it sound like something bad.”

Brande replied, “The end of the world doesn’t always start with monsters and dragons…Have you ever heard, ‘it only takes a pebble’?”


“It means sometimes a pebble can start a landslide.”


“I think” Brande turned “we’re the pebble.”

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    Wednesday, September 29, 2021 - 08:56:31