by D R Miller
root beer on the rocks
He clung on for dear life as everything around him broke apart. The ground churned and split, then a chink of bright light blinded him momentarily from somewhere above. His terror rose exponentially as a metal spear thudded down beside him, cruelly impaling his brother. He could only watch in anguish as his sibling disappeared into the blazing brilliance which seeped in from all sides now.
What in earth was happening? Everything had been calm and serene in his kingdom. Without warning, an apocalyptic earthquake had struck. He had heard of such things before, in other kingdoms, but had always dismissed it as lurid fairy tales.
Something grasped his sister and dragged her screaming into the encroaching brightness. Only he and two of the babies remained now. He vowed to do everything he could to protect them.
The aggressor came again, narrowly missing him with its metal spears. He tried to take cover, but it was no use. Wherever he went, he knew they would find him, but still he was not about to give in easily.
Throwing himself across the babies, he gritted his teeth and waited for the inevitable. Despite the tumult, he was suddenly calm. He noticed his skin was still pale and smooth despite his age. It was a strange thing to think about in the circumstances, he knew, but better that than his impending doom.
He gasped as the spear blasted through his back and out of his chest, skewering one of the babies at the same time. As he flew backwards, his final heroic act was to push the last of the little ones away in the hope it would be safe.
The light surrounded him and burned his pale skin with its heat. He was blind against the harsh glare. Only his hearing remained to give a cruel, aural glimpse of his destiny.
‘Damn it, be careful, would you? We don’t want them all with holes in.’
‘Sorry dad,’ came the reply. ‘It’ll still make good chips though, won’t it?’
‘It will, son. It will. Now pick up the fork and let’s go peel them.’
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