Allies and Anthems
(Picks up where Little Christmas left off)
Three days’ absence was a black mark against
him and that mark might cost him his son. Some
lashes he could ignore, ruling against
him in the custody battle to come–
that he couldn’t handle; he couldn’t lose Ran, how
could a Christmas journey cost him the one
thing he wanted most? A present he’d bow
and scrape to receive–custody of one
child who meant the world to him, all legal,
stamped, signed and sealed; bow, wrapping not required.
Jerlo’s door loomed before him, dark, final,
now opening to reveal a frizzy
head–the man who compels speech–now busy.
Compulsions laid down by promises pulled
tight as chains, forced speech on command, gaze locked–
“Tell me where you’ve been for three days.” Words pulled,
tore free, hurled at the barrier of lips locked
by disbelief–why talk?–they won’t believe.
“I don’t want to whip you or report you.
You’ve got to give me something ‘fore you leave
this room. I’ve cleared my schedule for you.”
Jerlo settled in his bureaucrat throne.
“You won’t believe it,” Sarn said fists clenching.
“Kid weird shit happens around you alone.”
Thus compelled, Sarn spoke; his words weren’t quenching
his masters’ curiosity; they didn’t believe
a word he said, though, to the truth he cleaved.
“He’s so adorable,” Rani sipped tea.
Across from her friend, Inari nodded.
Ran held court in the living room, emcee
he did, his latest adventure to fed
up Miren and a rapt Nerule, who hung
on every word the bear-hugging boy spoke.
“So would you’ve taken that sleigh ride? No jokes.”
Inari bit a cookie; silence hung
for a moment as she considered and
to her surprise, she nodded, “Yes I’d go.”
“Good me too,” she clinked her teacup and
took a swig as they both laughed; it was so
good to have her friend back from holiday
madness at her sisters’, where Rani’d stayed.
Sarn returned dejected from interview
after interview which had ate the day.
He hit the terrace for air and the view.
The sun’s red coin lingered keeping the day.
Miren followed, jealous, angry and hurt.
“Why didn’t you take me?” he rightfully asked.
“You weren’t here and you wouldn’t have come,” callous
but true, Sarn knew, “they’re taking Ran,” that hurt
more, “This might cost me custody of him.”
Take that brother, it’s not all about you.
“Who’s taking me?” Ran asked and that cut through
Sarn as he wrapped his cloak around his slim
shiv’ring son and hugged him, fearing battles
to come, that dreaded custody battle.
That was all Sarn had wanted for Christmas:
legal custody of his only son.
The adventure this season of Christmas
had brought might just cost his beloved son.
“You think we’re going to let that happen?”
Rani put in and Inari agreed.
She’s a ranger; her word had weight when
she used it; Inari’s did too, which freed
him of one worry, he had an ally.
Could allies turn the tide in his favor?
He dared to hope that it would as his gaze
strayed to the frozen river where wavered
a child, in whose eyes, eternity blazed.
His smile offered a welcome alliance
and his wink said Sarn would win by compliance.
Angels appeared on the ice and they took
the child’s hand, led him into the sunset.
He glanced back once more to give Sarn a look
that reassured him of custody’s sure bet.
Sarn hugged his son, certain that he’d not lose
the boy, somehow it would all turn out right.
“I see three angels,” Ran whispered the news.
By the stares, all had seen the Angels’ light.
“I see them. They also brought glad tidings.”
“You tell me later,” Ran said, still watching
the angels’ ascent through white clouds winding
ever skyward, towards heaven where they sing.
Their sweet anthem was a present most dear,
giving voice, and words, to Sarn’s heartfelt prayer.
~ ~ ~
“Be near my son, Lord, I ask Thee to stay
close by him fore’er, and love him, I pray.
Bless all the children in thy tender care,
And take them to heav’n, to live with Thee there.”
~ ~ ~
This ends the Advent/ Christmas/ Epiphany Sequence but Sarn and his son’s adventures continue in the Curse Breaker Saga.
Missed parts of the Holiday Sequence? Pick up the kindle book today: