Short Story – The Protector

September 9, 2011

It hardly seemed less than a week since I was last in our comfortable, if tiny, flat in London, unaware of the existence of Amalisia, nor that my husband was its rightful king.  Yet here I was, staring across the field at my brother-in-law’s army and his dragons.  Let me just repeat that. DRAGONS!  I mean big, scary, fire-breathing lizards – three of them, and not too happy, to judge from the snarls and clouds of smoke drifting over.  What the heck was I doing here?  What could a website designer from Hammersmith hope to achieve against the might of a dragon-backed army?
Then I looked over at my husband, and remembered why I had come to this place.  His brother’s prisoner, chained, dressed in rags and beaten to within an inch of his life, he still retained that quiet, calm dignity and inner strength that had won my heart the first time we met.  I may not be able to do much, but I had to try.
Taking a deep breath to steel myself, I stepped out to confront the new king, ignoring the frantic mutterings from the ragtag little group at my side.  It had to be said, my brother-in-law cut an imposing, charismatic figure.  Over six foot, with short blond hair and a beautiful smile, I suppose I can understand how this charismatic man turned a people against my husband.
“So.  You’re the foreign chit my brother married,” he said, in a voice like pure velvet.
“Yes,” I replied.  “And I believe it would be a very good idea for you to release my husband and restore what is rightfully his.”
His answering snort of derision hit me like a slap across the face.   What if I’d miscalculated?
“And why should I do that?  Are you going to force me with that little army of yours?” 
A ripple of laughter ran through his army.  My own group, bless them, fought back its weariness as every man, woman and child we had gathered in support of my husband stood straighter, grasped his or her homemade weapon and stared back with a determined look. 
I turned back to my brother-in-law.  “I have a powerful protector who will see justice done.”
At that last remark he couldn’t contain his amusement.  “Really?  He must be powerful indeed to face a dragonlord.”
“My protector is a lord of time and space.  He fears no dragons.  I have a message from him.”
At that, I stepped forward, and handed the king my iPhone, pressing play on the video I had selected.  Everything hung on his reaction.  The world seemed to slow to a halt as the video played.  My eyes were fixed on the king’s face.  What would he think?  What would he do?  Would he see through my trick?  It seemed an eternity before the amusement in the king’s eyes turned to puzzlement.  Finally, joy of joys, all the colour in that beautiful face drained away as fear took over. 
Pointing to my husband, the king ordered his release before commanding his army and the dragons to move out.  It was over.
Later that night in our tent, my husband asked me what video I had shown his brother that had turned the course of the war.  Smiling, I handed him my iPhone – thank goodness I’d had it with me the day I travelled to Amalisia – and rewound the video.  My husband’s peal of laughter as he watched Matt Smith as The Doctor telling the Atraxi to “basically… run” was the most heartwarming sound I had heard in weeks. 
“A lord of time and space indeed!”

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