Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Summer Of Lightning

The Royal Family took advantage of the warmer weather to visit a Castle By the Lake on many weekends throughout the summer. The proximity to the water was especially delightful, since the boys could have fun in the shallow water (heavily supervised), and it kept them cool enough to withstand the heat.

Besides the risk of the water, they had to protect the boys from the sun's rays, and some biting insects too. The King had a long-standing hatred for biting insects, but he didn't realize how intense that hatred could get until he saw a little bit of his sons' blood trickling down from their latest bite.

While Shark Boy was getting closer and closer to being able to swim independently, the Lightning Kid was causing trouble eating sand. His sand-eating habit seemed to get better, and he could be counted on to play on the beach without sticking a shovel into his mouth, until he did again and the whole thing started up again.

The Lightning Kid's chief healer had asked the King and Queen to work on giving the Lightning Kid obstacle courses to work on movement skills beyond simple walking. They had never put an ounce of effort into that task, because the young prince had been seeking out his own obstacle courses; he'd crawl under chairs, but over the cross-beams that spanned between the chair legs for example.

At the Lake-Castle, he would climb onto rocks as big as he was, and he loved trying to negotiate the stone stairway down to the water. On the dock he was only allowed while holding hands with a grown-up.

With all these leaps of development and adventures, there was bound to be a price to pay. Predictably, any good sleep habits were destroyed, and the King and Queen found themselves sleep-deprived and exhausted again. Worse still, the lands around the Kingdom experienced unprecedented storms.

While driving home from the Lake-Castle in their Carriage one weekend, the Lightning Kid seemed very out-of-sorts - they had hoped for him to fall asleep during the drive. Instead his screams and cries made conducting the carriage extraordinarily difficult. He seemed inconsolable; they even made a detour with the notion of bringing him to a healing house on the way back. They reconsidered when they saw the waiting room from the outside full of sick people - they probably wouldn't get any real help there and he didn't seem to have a fever. Taking side-roads the rest of the way home calmed him down to the point where he fell asleep... and that's when the Lightning started. The King's night vision kept getting ruined by the constant flashes, and the heavy rains made the road hard to make out. After many hours, of slow careful driving, they came out from under the extreme weather and made it home safely, but the King could not recall a more harrowing experience.

Weeks later, they welcomed the King's brother and his family to their lands, but their first night was marked by yet another storm that turned roads to rivers and castle courtyards to lakes. All throughout the city, people had been stranded by the floods caused by the storm, and while the King did not have to actually swim when he got caught outdoors, you couldn't tell that from his clothes.

A week later, there was yet another heavy storm that took down trees and did more damage. To the King and Queen, their baby turning into a little boy was worth a bit of thunder and lightning - they could only hope for forbearance from everyone else...

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