Part Four: Titan
07/28 Welcome to the Titan chapters! They’ve so far been an absolute nightmare to write. As of right now they are super raw as I’m just trying to lay it all down so please forgive me! I’m slowly cleaning them up so they’ll get better over time. Thank you for reading! Ya’ll are the best
“Man serves the interests of no creature except himself.”
—George Orwell, Animal Farm
“Mom, I want to come with you.”
I laugh, then grab him and pull him on my lap, lean his tiny body onto mine and gently run my fingers through his hair. The stars explode above us and illuminate a magnificent red canyon where a clear blue stream runs in between lines of trees at the bottom. I’ve waited for months to show him the gorge, a grand finale to wrap up our three-year journey across the world together.
“Listen baby,” I say as his eyes flutter and his breath deepens. This kid never sleeps, but when he does he crashes hard. “I love you, but I can’t take you with me this time.”
“Why?” He says as he looks up at me with great doe eyes. “I’m strong now! I can fight too, you know!”
“I hear you,” I say. “I don’t doubt that you can take ’em. You’ll surpass me soon enough. But I can’t risk it. I can’t let you get hurt.”
“You were fighting when you were my age!” he whines. “Why do I have to go back home? Why do I have to be treated like a little kid?”
“You are a little kid!” I exclaim. “And if I had a mom to fight for me when I was nine, I would have stayed home too. Trust me.”
“Must’ve been nice, not having parents to boss you around...” he mumbles.
“Excuse me?” I ask and he shoots me the sassiest shit-eating grin I’ve ever seen. “Do you want to try that again?” I take my hand off his head and glare.
“I was just kidding,” he grabs my arm and pulls it over his head again, silently demanding that I continue. I oblige and plant a kiss in the middle of his hair, shaking off his little cheeky attitude.
“I’m sorry man,” I tell him. “Maybe next time. Sometimes there are badguys I have to deal with on my own.”
“What do they want?” he asks. He’s always full of so many questions.
“They want to steal our stuff,” I reply. “I can’t let them take it. Which means you have a very important job to do while I hold them off,” I tell him.
“What’s that?” he asks, and I can feel his pulse jump a little.
“You get to go home with Aunt Thief and Aunt Drift, and you get to help them rule the kingdom in my place. Just for a little bit, just until I get back.”
“Really?!” he says excitedly. “Can I sit on the throne?”
“Absolutely. And hey, they haven’t seen you since you started your training with me, not since we left when you were like, what...six? So I mean, you could...”
“Oh-ho,” he gasps. “I’m going to kick their butts.”
“Exactly,” I smile.
“Will Spider be there?” he asks.
“That kid who kicked your ass? He should be,” I say, then concernedly: “Don’t repeat that, that’s a bad word.”
He giggles, then curls up and puts his head underneath my neck. I hold him close as he falls asleep, mumbling something about how “Spider’s going down” and how he “won’t even know what hit him.”
“You sure know how to hold a grudge, bud,” I tell him as he drifts away.“Guess you got that from me...”