The Memory of Sindal

I remember the end of school (Burnie)

Felt like the start of something bigger

1085: After exams ended, but before the results have been published, Rao Mubaraka invited all of our year from Poston House up to a hunting lodge owned by a friend of her father. The hunting lodge is situated in the mountains with a large area of private forests and lake.

There were about 50 of us there for the week, so there was enough space to be yourself and be with someone else. I loved it – I was so happy. We talked about everything, but mostly about what we were going to do now that school was over. University, military academy, travel… We wanted it all.

We had a great time, right up until the end. The only ripple was when Jodrum (one of the Princesses) slapped a local Aslan servant. The boy looked ready to tear him apart until Kysil stepped in and saved the prince. He said something like “I acknowledge your dominance over this human”.

Everything comes to an end. Most people had left at the end of the week. A group had gone hiking into the mountains: Mucca, Spud, MJ, the twins and someone else. There were a few of us who were getting picked up the next day. Rao came in and said, “Look what I’ve found”. Behind a bookcase was a hidden gun rack, well stocked by the looks of it. There was no-one else for miles – what harm could it do? We all picked a weapon and went out the back, picked out a target and let rip. That was when the screaming started.

Behind our target, through some shrubs was a tent, one of those high-tech light-weight hiking tents with active camouflage built in. Inside was Jodrum, dead, being cradled by his twin, Lisya. She saw our weapons and our stricken faces and screamed at us. “My Mother will kill you! They will hunt down your families and kill them, too. They will find everyone you have ever loved and wipe them out, as though they had never existed.”

Rao stepped forward and shot her! There was nothing else she could do, but it was still a shocking act. Lisya and Jodrum were the heirs of the Golden Queen of Yggdrasil (Yggdrasil 0815). As Rao pointed out, “Do you really think you could stand against a Queen with the resources of a whole planet behind her?”

We burnt the bodies in the lodge incinerator. At midnight we rowed out and sank any remaining traces in the lake. It was. perversely, a beautiful moment: the calm lake, the endless sky. We swore never to talk of this again. As the song says, “Bigger than the sky at night in your big backyard”.

The next morning, a ships boat arrived accompanied by four angelic bodyguards. Something had happened to Rao’s brother and she was summoned home. She turned to Jase and threw him her car keys. “Happy birthday”, she said.

It was a week before they were missed. It was 29 parsecs from Yggdrasil to Hradus (Tobia 2714). We were long gone by the time the Golden Queen arrived.