Image by Slpis Z Zhang
“What are you doing, little Tommy?”
“Little Tommy? Pah! I am Lord Thomas the Third, ruler of the seven seas and master of the lands!”
“Oh, sorry Lord Thomas the Third. What are you up to?”
“I’m hunting, can’t you see? I’ve already caught one fish, too! I’m catching my supper and then I’ll cook it over the fire and sleep outside tonight. For I am conqueror!”
“But Lord Thomas, sir… there aren’t any edible fish in our pond.”
Tommy sighed. “Muuuum, you’re supposed to play along. Even Mavis played along and she’s a fish.”
Tommy’s mum edged closer. Well I’m sorry, honey… you’ve just got such an imagination. Let’s try again.”
“Ma’am, I’m just passing through. I’ll be off to the ocean by sunrise tomorrow and then I’ll be out of your hair.”
“But cats are afraid of the ocean, sweet-cheeks. And your armour will get all rus-”
“Dad, not you too?” Tommy said, tears forming in his eyes from frustration.
“I’ll be out of your hair in a second, son. Just after I… take a photo!” Quick as a flash, Tommy’s father pulled out his camera, pointed it at Tommy and took a picture. “And before you complain,” his dad continued, “Daddy’s leaving now anyway. You be good while I’m gone. And remember: don’t venture outside the walls again.”
Tommy stood, his angry visage disappearing in an instant. “Will you send me a picture when you get to the ocean? Pleeease Daddy, pleeease.” His eyes were large and round – irresistible.
“Of course, son.” Tommy’s dad turned to his mum. “My love…” He trailed off. They did not seem to need words.
She nodded. “Stay safe, my warrior…” She said, her voice wavering slightly. All three hugged and Tommy felt his parent’s love flow through him, warming him to his very core.
“Captain Biscuit? We’re all ready to leave, sir.” Biscuit’s lieutenant called from the house. Tommy turned to see lieutenant Cloud, who waved at him. Tommy stood tall and saluted the lieutenant. He nudged his helmet slightly in his eagerness and the metal gave a low clang. The lieutenant saluted him back as his father began to walk to the house.
He turned, walking backwards as he stared at his family. “Look after your mother, Lord Thomas the Third!” He called before blowing them kisses and disappearing after the lieutenant.