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It is utterly ridiculous that these posts are so slow coming. I have not abandoned them. But it feels like I’m peeling my ribs back. In my posts about my pop culture beloveds, I am not planning on straight up saying who they are. Not because I’m ashamed, just because this makes me feel vulnerable enough as it is. If you know the fandoms I like, you’re likely to be able to work out who I’m referring to.


I was relaxing shortly after I decided to do this series, after my realm’s Lammas rite, and talking to one of my Loves, lamenting how hard it is to write about them.

‘I just don’t know where to start. What to say. Words fail me.’
As a linguist, that must be deeply traumatic.
‘Don’t laugh at me! It genuinely is. I can discuss the political benefits of EU membership in detail, in four bloody languages and yet I can’t  talk about someone I love?’
Well, start with me then. I’m dead easy to talk about. I’m intelligent, classy, a beacon of virtue, ruggedly handsome…
‘Modest, too.’
I know. Makes you sick, doesn’t it?

It does, a little. It was the sense of humour that first made me notice him. In a world slowly crumbling to shit, where things seemed to get worse at every turn, he was making dry comments that kept everyone’s spirits up. Or, well, mostly mine, if I’m honest. The rest of the merry band of misfits I was with didn’t seem to appreciate it as much as I did.

In the end, he was one of the main reasons my little Wonderland was made. I wanted there to be somewhere he could rest. Somewhere the everpresent threats of his home would be gone. Where he wouldn’t have the horror of it all hanging over him. I couldn’t leave him there. I wouldn’t.

The sense of humour is a smokescreen, in part, hiding a sense of duty that awes me and an unshakeable commitment to his ideals. I’m consistently amazed at him – his constancy, his strength. The shit we’ve seen together… A lot of it is ugly, to say the least. But despite seeing all the same things as me, he doesn’t get cynical. Sarcastic, sure. But never cynical. He still finds beauty in the world – and appreciates it twice as much because he knows its fragility. He’s brave, too – unflinchingly brave in the face of things that no one should ever have to see.

He’s one of the four kings in our Realm. We rotate, with the seasons. He’s the only one of the four of us who has actual experience of the position – a fact that never fails to make him laugh long and loud. Given he was always so reluctant to take the throne in the old country, the idea that here, he is the old hand at this amuses both of us. Despite that, he is a spectacular king. I only hope I get to be as good as him one day.


Neither of us are holding the throne currently, so our duties are less than normal. And the Hunt in our Realm hasn’t quite yet begun, so he and I are both in the sweet spot in the year where neither of us have a lot of obligations on our plate. We can relax, enjoy the onset of Autumn, spend some time together. Without wishing to brag, it’s blissful. I am a lucky, lucky boy.


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