How to Fight a Fairy Part 2.2

This is the last segment! Yay! Do not read until you’ve read:

  1. How to Kill a King
  2. How to Avoid Assassination
  3. How to Bond with Barbarians
  4. How to Fight a Fairy Part 1
  5. How to Fight a Fairy Part 2.1

Alexander woke in a place unlike any he’d ever seen. He sat up, rubbing his horribly sore throat, and drank in the unusual scene.

It was a large cylinder shaped room with a dome for a ceiling. Right in the center of the dome, was the circular entrance to a tunnel of some sort. It was wide enough for Alexander to crawl through, but impossible to reach. It was the only way in or out of the room as far as he could see. The walls, floor, and ceiling were all crafted from a single piece of red glass. The perimeter was littered with objects: pots, books, scrolls, and all manner of baubles.

Alexander stood and pressed his face against the wall, trying to see through the glass. He could only make out shapes and shadows.

“So someone’s been telling you our secrets,” came Acacia’s voice.

Alexander spun around to see the twins standing a few paces behind him.

“Did they tell you there are plenty of ways to make someone miserable without killing them?”

“Like trapping them in a bottle for two thousand years!” Jace explained cheerily.  “Fortunately for you, you won’t live that long. Remind me, how long do these things live, sister?”

“Oh… ninety years, maybe, if you take good care of them,” Acacia shrugged. “Though, he probably wouldn’t live half a century on his own. It’s amazing how many things can kill humans!”

“Not fairies,” Alexander observed.

“Are you sure about that?” Acacia sneered. “Because the Kalathean’s just saw us kill you.”

“And begged us to forgive them for rebelling,” Jace added.

Alexander found this story highly unlikely. He didn’t know what the people actually saw, but someone must have noticed how much effort the twins expended strangling him. Even if the people thought he was dead, they must realize that the twins couldn’t possibly threaten an entire city full of people unless they had the patience to kill each person individually over a long period of time.

He thought about making a cynical reply, but he was too exhausted to think of anything clever and his throat still hurt.

“You know something?” Acacia smiled. “I think this is a more suitable punishment than death. Abandoned in this bottle, tormented by his loneliness, forgotten by his loved ones.”

“What loved ones?” Jace asked. “No one loves him, thanks to us!”

Alexander longed for something to shove into his ears. Being alone sounded like paradise after listening to the twins babble on all day.

Acacia snorted. “Now that I think about it, being with his family is probably worse than being separated from them. What a shame we can’t bring Justin back to keep him company!”

“What about her?” Jace asked, pointing to a huddled figure leaning against the opposite wall. Alexander could have sworn she wasn’t there a minute ago. Her head was bent, and her long dark hair fell around her face, blocking his view. She looked up when Jace motioned to her.  

“Alex,” she gasped.

Alexander felt a rush of anger at the sight of his sister. His cheeks flushed red, he turned his back to her, and stood with his arms crossed glaring at the floor.

“It seems you two have a lot to talk about,” Acacia smiled. “Take your time, you have forever.”

With that, the twins disappeared. After what did indeed seem like eternity, Fausta spoke in a voice so small he could barely hear her.

“I’m glad you’re alive.”

Alexander ignored her.

“I know you don’t want to talk to me,” she continued. “So I’ll say just one more thing and keep quiet. Everything that happened is my fault and I’m sorry.”

She sank to the floor, buried her face in her knees and for a long time the room was still. The only sound was an occasional sniffle from Alexander.

He spent so many long hours since his banishment, thinking up things he would say if he saw her again. In that moment, he forgot them all.

When he turned to face her, and opened his mouth to speak, the only word that escaped was: “Why?”

“Because it wasn’t fair. While Father was sick and Justin was off drinking himself to oblivion, I was keeping this kingdom together. I was—”

“I know why you usurped me,” Alexander interrupted. “Why didn’t you kill me?”

“What do you mean?” Fausta asked. “Of course I wouldn’t kill you, Alex.”

“Why not? You don’t love me.”

“Of course I do.”

“Do you slander everyone you love?” He snapped. “Perhaps it was some sentimental attachment. I was like… some old doll you’d outgrown but couldn’t part with.”

“That’s not true,” she scowled.

“That’s exactly what it was! You were a little girl and I was a baby without a mother. You rocked me and dressed me and carried me everywhere. Then you grew up and there I was, getting in the way.”

She leapt to her feet and stood with her fists clenched, fuming. “You forgot to mention that I defended you, and avenged you, and then ran your kingdom for you. Show a little gratitude.”

“Thank you for sentencing me to death then changing your mind,” Alexander replied dryly.

“I was supposed to kill you!” She cried. “How could I leave the kingdom in your hands when you were so, so, incompetent and soft.” She wiped a tear off her cheek. “…and kind and gentle and nothing like what a king should be.”

“Good night, Fausta,” Alexander stated.

He curled up on the floor with his back to her. He doubted he would be able to sleep on the cold glass, but he was tired of talking to her. He was tired in every way.


Alexander made a routine for himself. He started each morning with Dawn Prayer. (He didn’t know the actual time or the day so he had to guess which psalms to use.) Then he would explore his surroundings, looking through all the books and scrolls the fairies discarded. He almost fainted in awe when he found what he believed to be one of Rouvin’s original scrolls. Ilona would be so jealous, if he was ever able to tell her about it.

He found a large storage jar and placed the scroll inside. From then on, anytime he found something he thought Ilona would like, he dropped it in the jar. In the days that followed, he added several more scrolls, coins and jewelry from empires long passed, and a long spiral horn he thought belonged to a unicorn. (It actually came from a narwal.) He would probably never be able to show her the things he collected, but doing it made him feel close to her, so he persisted.

He noticed charcoal drawings scattered on the walls, and started looking for the charcoal. He found a few chard sticks in one of the pots and began to cover the walls and the floor with drawings of his own.

He prayed again at nine o’clock (or what he guessed was nine), and every three hours afterward until he went to sleep. Since the Divine Office was usually prayed in a group, he tried to convince Fausta to join him. She agreed, but was out of practice and kept forgetting bits and stumbled over words.

Twice a day, food would materialize in the middle of the room. It consisted of dry bread, and raw vegetables. Sometimes there was an egg or two.

Alexander made a mark on the wall every morning, counting the days of his captivity. The more scratches he made, the more he longed for human companionship. Sometimes he would forget his anger and talk to Fausta for hours. He told her his story, leaving out only a few minor details, like the existence of Ilona. He didn’t know if the twins were listening but didn’t want to chance it. When he told her about the service he rendered Filbert and Florian, she laughed.

“Father would be furious. He really hated Kalts.”

“Did he?” Alexander asked. “I mean, more than any other barbarian people?”

“Oh yes,” Fausta replied. “Strange how he could forgive Justin for one drunken outburst after another but couldn’t forgive the Kalts for something that happened hundreds of years ago.”

“Father loved Justin as much as either of us,” Alexander rationalized.

“Really?” Fausta questioned. “Then why’d he look the other way when Justin was abusing you?”

Alexander had no answer and he didn’t like to think about it.

“I, for one, will always be grateful to the Kalts,” Fausta commented. “For putting Justin in his place.” She grinned, then added. “They are the reason he drinks, you know.”

Alexander snorted. Justin had, at one time or another, blamed every living thing in the palace for his addiction. “I wouldn’t be this way if Father raised me right!” He would say. To Fausta he would assert: “I wouldn’t be like this if you weren’t Father’s favorite.” He was particularly cruel to Alexander, telling him he wouldn’t be a drunk if Alexander hadn’t killed their mother. It took Fausta ages to convince Alexander he wasn’t responsible.

“In all fairness,” Alexander smiled. “If Justin told me the Kaltish kings were the reason for his drinking, I might actually believe him.”

One evening, as Alexander was lying on the floor trying to sleep, he looked up at the wall and counted twenty-nine marks. With the thought of the thirtieth day, the reality of his imprisonment pierced him. He was never going to see Ilona again.

He rolled over to face the wall so Fausta wouldn’t notice the tears on his cheeks. What if the twin’s story was true and the people were worshiping them again? That would mean he lost her for nothing. He supposed he would never know what happened to his people, at least not in this life.

Fortunately, he was wrong. He was going to find out much sooner than he realized.


Alexander woke to the blinding light of the Kalathean sun. He was lying on the ground among the brambles, looking up at the walls of Lysandria. As he stood, he realized he was dressed in the purple silk tunica of a Kalathean king.

“Good morning, Your Majesty!” Acacia greeted cheerily. She seemed incomplete somehow without her brother beside her. Alexander wondered where he was.

“What is the meaning of this?” He demanded.

“Oh, my brother and I couldn’t help but notice you were missing your wife. We thought a little visit would cheer you up.”

Alexander felt a knot in his stomach. They knew about Ilona.

“I found it!” Jace called, as he appeared beside his sister. He was holding Alexander’s crown. He placed it on the king’s head and stepped back to examine his work.

“How does he look?” Jace asked.

“Perfect!” Acacia replied.

Jace forced Alexander’s hands behind his back and bound them. Then he looped a rope around his neck and started leading him to the city gate like a dog on a leash.

“What are you doing?” Alexander asked, knowing full well he wasn’t going to get an answer. A watchman posted above the gate spotted them approaching. He disappeared and, a moment later, re-appeared running down the main road ahead of them.

Some of the other sentries posted around the gate waited for them to pass, then followed at a distance. When the city people spotted the twins approaching, they sprinted into their houses and slammed their doors behind them.

As Alexander witnessed the Lysandrian’s uncanny behavior, he smiled. “So they surrendered, did they?”

The twins were uncharacteristically quiet as they led Alexander through the palace gate. The guards did not open it for them, but made no attempt to stop them either. The twins opened it.  At least Alexander assumed it was them; it opened by itself.

He hated how fairies could do magic just by willing it. If they waved a wand or chanted a spell or something, it would give him a warning. But they made no outward sign at all, and the way magic just happened around them was unsettling.

They entered the throne room to see the breathless watchman speaking to Senator Clement. A few of the other senators were present as were, to Alexander’s surprise, several Kaltish knights.

“Where is that barbarian queen of yours?” Acacia demanded.

The senators blushed.

“She’s not the Queen,” Clement corrected. “She’s—”

“The King’s wife? Next of kin? The legal ruler whether your like it or not?” Acacia asked.

Alexander found himself attempting to conceal a smile when the senator grumbled: “She’s the acting regent until we find the King’s nearest blood relative. Or you are good enough to return him to us.”

“What do you want?” Ilona demanded as she stormed into the room. When she saw Alexander the rage left her. Her mouth fell open and she looked as if she was holding back tears.

Alexander would have cried himself, except he didn’t think it would be kingly. The sight of her filled him with a strange and overwhelming combination of joy and horror. He was sure that her leadership was what kept the Kalatheans from submitting to the twins, but now that they knew who she was, what was to stop them from taking her prisoner also?

She tried to approach him, but found herself unable to move more than a few steps forward.

“We thought you might want to know about the torments your beloved King has suffered at our hands,” Jace began.

“I haven’t suffered any torments,” Alexander corrected.

“And he will continue to suffer until you surrender to us,” Jace finished shooting Alexander a glare.

Alexander burst out laughing. “Is that what this is all about? Getting Kalathea back? Beings as powerful as yourselves could go anywhere! Do anything! Tormenting us doesn’t even amuse you anymore, does it? You just can’t accept that you’ve lost.”

Acacia glanced sideways at him. A rage burned in that glimpse, though she spoke with an even matter-of-fact tone when she addressed Ilona.

“Don’t you love him?” She asked. “Doesn’t the idea of your beloved rotting for eternity in some filthy prison, bother you?”

“Not as much as being subject to you,” Ilona returned.

“As prisons go, it’s actually quite clean,” Alexander shrugged.

Ilona smiled warmly.

Jace looked at his sister. “What bothers her more than anything, is that she has the resources of two kingdoms at her disposal, yet she can’t do anything to help him.”

Fury flashed in Ilona’s eyes. Jace had struck a nerve. Her fists were clenched, her face was scarlet, she was using every drop of willpower to avoid lunging at his throat.

She locked eyes with Alexander and said: “My brothers are searching every corner of the Earth for some being powerful enough to free you. Don’t lose hope and don’t you dare submit to them.”

“Don’t worry,” Alexander replied. “I fear you far more than these two.”

They exchanged a smile. Then looking to the twins, Ilona declared: “This conversation is over.” She stormed out.


Alexander was humming when they returned him to his prison. The twins had murderous expressions.

Fausta greeted her brother with a bewildered look. “What are you smiling about?”

“He’s snapped,” Jace answered.

“Maybe,” Alexander added. “But I’ve also won. We’ve won. Our people are free—”

Alexander gagged when Jace gave the rope around his neck a tug.

“Careful!” Alexander smirked. “Don’t hurt yourself!”

“A little reminder that you are still a prisoner,” Jace mocked.

“Oh, I am not the prisoner here,” Alexander returned. “You hate me, yet you give me so much of your time. I think that you are my prisoner. Only I’ve left the prison open, even asked you to go, but you are still here complaining about my cruelty.”

Acacia glanced at Jace. “Can we kill him? I’d really like to kill him.”

“There must be a way,” Jace thought.

“Will that make you feel like you’ve won?” Alexander taunted.

“Shut up, Alex!” Fausta scolded. “You have lost it, haven’t you?”

Jace was ignoring them, lost in his thinking. Then he broke into a smile. “Oh, I’ve got it!”

“What? What?” Acacia pleaded.

“A way to kill him! Slowly and painfully with all his people watching.”

“Tell me!” Acacia begged.

“I will, but first, let’s go back to the palace and invite that lovely wife of his to come and witness his destruction.”

“What wife?” Fausta exclaimed. “Alex are you married?”

“Oh, I didn’t mention that?” He replied innocently, as he struggled against his bonds. “Are you going to release me before you go?” He asked the twins.

“No, I don’t think I will,” Acacia sneered. “Maybe your sister will help you. I’ve left a knife around here somewhere.” She smiled at Fausta. “Try not to stab him with it, dear.”

The twins vanished.

Fausta started working at the ropes on Alexander’s wrists.

“They are just taunting you, aren’t they?” She asked. “They don’t actually mean to kill you, do they?”

“I don’t know,” Alexander mumbled. With the twins gone, he allowed his fear to reveal itself. “I think they do.”

“But you said they couldn’t,” Fausta protested. He could feel her hands trembling as she struggled with the knots on his wrists, or perhaps it was his hands that were shaking.

They can’t,” he affirmed.


Alexander woke the next morning to a kick in the ribs.

“Good morning, Your Majesty!” Jace declared cheerily. “Are you ready to die?”

“I hope so,” Alexander replied. “Us mortals should always be ready to die.”

He stretched and started looking around for his sandals. He was still dressed in the garments of a King. He assumed this was what the twins wanted. The Kalatheans were no longer their prisoner, the next best thing was the Kalathean king.

When he’d fastened his sandals, he found his crown.

“I assume you want me to wear this?” He asked as he placed it on his head. Then glancing around, he noticed that Fausta was missing.

“She’s with the other spectators,” Jace explained. “We’ll return her to her people when we’re finished killing you. Maybe they’ll make her queen again, or maybe your wife will execute her for high treason! The people and the Senate can figure all that out later.”

Alexander wondered if the Senate knew about Fausta’s crimes. Even if they did, they might not punish her. After all, the alternative heir was a Kalt. If by some miracle, Ilona stayed in power, she would certainly execute Fausta for treason. The idea of his wife having his sister killed made Alexander sick to his stomach.

Suddenly, Alexander found himself blinking in the morning sunlight. He was standing in a little valley. It must not have been far from the city, for people were crowding the surrounding hillsides. He recognized many of them from the palace. He guessed some magic was preventing them from entering the valley itself.

He noticed his sister standing a few paces away. Acacia was gripping her arm, preventing her from approaching. She must have known there was no way to break free from that grasp, but she kept struggling, unable to stifle the anxiety she felt for him.

“Your Majesty?” Jace said, drawing Alexander’s attention back to him. “You’ll need this.”

He was offering Alexander a sword.

Alexander took it and held it up, inspecting it. “I’m guessing this removes your culpability?” He questioned, then slowly swung it over Jace’s shoulder stopping it just as the blade came to rest against his neck. “Or are you hoping I’ll attempt to cut your head off so you can kill me without consequence.”

Jace was completely unphased. He didn’t even flinch at the weapon’s touch.

“If you choose not to defend yourself, that’s nothing to me,” he shrugged.

Alexander lowered his weapon, wondering who or what they were going to pit against him.

Jace glanced backward over his shoulder. In the hillside directly behind him, Alexander noticed a cave. It was partially hidden behind a patch of bushes. It wasn’t a vast opening, but certainly large enough to house a bear or a lion or some other flesh eating creature.

Alexander’s heart started pounding as the reality of his situation hit him. The twins were about to leave him at the mercy of someone or something they were confident was going to kill him.

“Where is the Queen?” Jace called scanning the crowd.

The spectators pointed to Fausta.

“No the other one,” Jace corrected. “The blonde one.”

“The acting regent?” Senator Clement corrected.

“Here!” Ilona called appearing atop the hill behind the senator.

Jace opened his mouth to address her, but Ilona cut him off.

No.”

“You don’t even know what I’m going to say!” Jace protested.

“You’re about to tell me you’ll spare my husband’s life if I fall at your feet and beg your forgiveness, and kiss your perfect little toes.”

“How is it you know me so well?” Jace exclaimed.

“Your boring and predictable. Stop talking and get on with it.”

Alexander tore his eyes from the cave and looked up at her. Her expression was cold.

“Ilona!” Alexander called. “Thank you!”

When she met his gaze, her eyes went glassy. She opened her mouth to reply but then closed it and responded with a nod.

Jace gave Alexander’s shoulder a squeeze. “I leave you at the mercy of your kingdom’s deadliest creature. Good luck!”

He sprinted away and flopped down at the base of one of the hills. His sister followed suit pulling Fausta along with her. Alexander gripped his blade, locking his eyes on the cave. Why hadn’t the creature appeared? Were they holding it back by magic until now? Unconsciously, he took a step back.

What was Kalathea’s deadliest creature? He thought of every wild beast that could possibly come charging at him from the darkness. The crowd was completely still, all holding their breath.

Alexander kept moving backward, wanting to put as much distance between himself and the cave as possible. The valley was full of shrubs and brambles that scratched his feet and snagged his clothing.

Then something struck his ankle. He jumped, glancing down to see a rock viper with its fangs buried in his flesh. He swept it into the air with his blade sending it soaring away in two pieces. He slowly lifted his hem and stared in shock at the two tiny drops of blood running down his leg.

“Watch your step!” Jace called.  

Alexander laughed bitterly at his own foolishness. Kalathea’s deadliest creature… Of course, this was prime territory for vipers. A valley like this was probably home to several. He wasn’t watching his feet. He was looking at a cave that was probably empty.

“Do you feel like you’ve won?” He called to the twins.

“We absolutely have,” Jace sneered.

“I’m sure it’s a wonderful feeling,” he quipped. He felt a throbbing pain building beneath the wound. He looked around for Ilona. She had made her way down the hill and was standing as close to him as she could.

“Do you have any idea how easy it would be for us to heal you?” Acacia mentioned.

Alexander ignored her and, swallowing his pain, charged toward Ilona.

“Ah good, run around,” Jace commented. “It will spread the venom faster.”

Alexander was a few paces from Ilona when he found himself stopped by some invisible force. It was like the air tightened around him and wouldn’t release him until he ceased struggling against it. The moment he stopped running, the pain overcame him and he collapsed.

It was a horrible, burning pain, that shot up from his ankle and touched every part of his body. He couldn’t catch his breath, and was trembling violently. He was aware of people talking, calling, shouting all around him. But the pain kept increasing until he couldn’t comprehend anything else.

Someone touched his shoulder. “Alex,” it was Ilona’s voice. She knelt down beside him and gently turned him onto his back.

“The—They let you?” Alexander managed.

“They’re hoping you will convince me to surrender,” she whispered. “They’re pathetic.”

She sat down on the ground, and pulled him up into her arms, so that she was cradling him across her lap. He took a fistfull of her cloak and gripped it so hard, he almost ripped it from her shoulders.

After a long while, the pain in his ankle started to fade, replaced by a tingling numbness. He calmed and looked up into Ilona’s tear-stained face. There was something he wanted to tell her, something critically important. He was confused, each breath took a conscious effort. It was like he had to struggle against something weighing down his chest.

What was it he wanted to tell her? It had something to do with what Jace said before he brought him here.  

“Spare Fausta,” Alexander pleaded.

Ilona looked surprised to hear him speaking. Or maybe she was surprised by what he asked.

“Alex?” She whispered.

“Assuming you stay in power,” Alexander continued, his head clearing as the feeling left his leg entirely. “Don’t punish her as a traitor.”

“You would ask that,” Ilona sniffed. “You’re so damn soft.”

“Don’t misunderstand me,” he insisted. “Put her in prison, just don’t execute her. I don’t trust her and I couldn’t stop resenting her if I lived another hundred years. But…” He paused for a moment trying to catch his breath. “But for reasons that are beyond me, I still love her.”

Ilona leaned in and kissed his forehead. “Alright,” she agreed. “But only because you’re dying.”

Alexander smiled weakly. He felt tears on his own cheeks. He wasn’t afraid to die, but leaving her was agony. Fausta’s betrayal, his banishment, and everything he suffered in between, was worth it because it gave him the chance to know her. He wished he could say something to express the joy he felt being close to her again.

Fausta looked on from a distance wondering what they were saying to each other. They spoke for a long time, completely lost in each other, smiling and weeping all at once. Ilona continued speaking to him, even when he could no longer reply. Finally, she stopped and held him silently for a moment as fresh tears flooded her cheeks. Then she laid him on the ground and stood looking at the twins with rage burning in her eyes.

“Are you happy?” She hissed.

“Are you?” Acacia mocked.

Ilona clenched one hand in the other as if trying to restrain herself from ripping them apart.

Fausta buried her face in her hands. Alexander was dead and it was her fault. Not only had she killed her little brother, she killed a great king. He was strong, relentless, and yet, somehow, just as gentle as he’d ever been.

Acacia turned to Fausta and smiled gleefully: “You’re brothers are both dead. You are Queen again! I mean, assuming the Senate doesn’t execute you for high treason. Did we ever tell them about that, Jace?”

Jace shrugged. “I’m sure the barbarian queen will tell them all about it. Then again, they aren’t likely to believe her. I wouldn’t worry about it too much.”

Fausta tore away from the twins and ran toward a group of senators that were sitting together on the hillside. She was able to reach them unhampered. Before them and all the people she confessed her crimes and begged to be treated as a traitor.

The people murmured among themselves while the senators argued about what should be done. Then, a single voice rang out from the valley. It was a soft and pleasant voice that somehow overcame the confusion and brought every soul to silence.

“I’m sorry he killed you,” it said.

Fausta turned from the senators and looked toward the speaker. A bent old monk stood in the valley below. A viper slithered around his arms and over his hands, he looked at the creature with a broad, warm, smile. The snake looked up at him, it’s red tongue flickering curiously.

The old man stroked the viper on the head. “He was frightened, you know. Just like you were.”

Jace and Acacia were both regarding the man, petrified.  

He stooped down and let the reptile slither into the brush. “Go finish napping, I’ll make sure no one else steps on you.”

He stood and smiled at the twins. “I wish every fairy could do their job as well as you two.”

“What are you talking about?” Acacia hissed.

“You united two very different peoples. In resisting you, they became stronger than they’ve ever been before. Because of you, the heartless repented, and the good became heroic.”

“You’re wrong!” Jace protested.

“You know I’m not,” the old man smiled. “If making people better bothers you so much, why don’t you sulk off and be on your own for a while.”

“Don’t you have a war to fight?” Acacia accused.

“Of course not,” the old monk replied. “I never fight.”

The twins both went scarlet with rage. Never had Fausta seen their hatred so plainly, nor their fear. They vanished without a word.

The old monk turned and began walking toward Alexander. Fausta raced down the hill after him, her heart pounding. As the old man passed Ilona, he gave her shoulder a little squeeze. Then kneeling down beside Alexander, he said:

“Don’t think you can get out of ruling so easily, My King.”

The color returned to Alexander’s cheeks, his chest rose and fell, and he started mumbling in his sleep.

“Neglecting my duty? What are you talking about?” Alexander mumbled something else incoherent than added: “Fine, Father, I’ll go back but just for a little while.”

He opened his eyes and Ilona burst into tears all over again.

Alexander looked around confused. When he saw the old monk, his cheeks flushed red.

“Where the hell have you been!” He demanded.

“I’m sorry, Alexander,” Brother Joseph replied. “I was protecting war orphans from—”

“No, stop.” Alexander ordered. “Just once, I want to be angry at you without feeling guilty about it.”

“Alright, go ahead.” Joseph smiled. “Tell me when you’re feeling better.”

Alexander scowled silently for a moment. Then sighed. “I can’t do it.”

Ilona helped him to his feet and the moment he was standing, he threw his arms around her and pressed his lips to hers.


If you are ever in Para Sympan, you can go and visit Kalathea. They have a lovely beach resort there and lots of museums. If you have two Euros and a couple hours to wait in line, you can even go down into the crypt where the Kalathean kings are buried. There are quite a few Basils, Constantines,and Justins, but there is only one Alexander.  You’ll find him right between Basil the 14th and Constantine the Barbarian.

When you’re finished in Lysandria, take a bus to the Monastery on Cedar Hill. It’s hardly changed at all since Alexander’s time, except that they’ve added a gift shop. There is an old monk there, who likes to slip free candies to the tourist children. Many responsible adults have tried to dissuade him to no avail. After all, he was doing that sort of thing long before Alexander was born and will continue doing it long after you’re dead.

Published by Katy Campbell

Katy is a little broken in the head.

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