Post details: Chapter 43 - Epilogue on the MoonFlip the order!
Chapter 43 - Epilogue on the Moon
The city on the Moon began to quake and break apart. It did this because it was made almost entirely from shards of Ric’s sadness. Since Ric and the King had teamed up, the sadness was being dealt with. The King was dealing with it. He dealt with sadness every day. He felt it whenever a European was unhappy or hungry or cold or dying. If the King couldn’t deal with that, Europe itself would just fall apart. Ric’s sadness had been pretty major – it had built and powered a whole city, after all – but it was nothing compared to what the King was used to.
Even so, when the King saw that city begin to fall down, he wanted to stop it. He didn’t want a bunch of homeless people hanging out on the Moon. He couldn’t bare the thought of so many innocent people being cold and poor and dirty for the rest of their lives. He knew that he had to save them. He would do everything he could. He was the King.
The King searched around for Gappy. Gappy was no where to be found. He was miles away, with Colonel Glowfist and Roxy Tripfoot. Gappy was licking Colonel Glowfist’s face, because Gappy was relieved that the Colonel was okay after his heart attack. Roxy took some supplies off of Gappy’s back and fed Colonel Glowfist some soup. It was good soup – thick and creamy. It even tasted nice while cold, which it was. Just while she was doing this, Gappy looked up. He had heard the King whistling. The King had the mightiest whistle in all of Europe which makes sense because he was the King. Gappy looked over at Colonel Glowfist and Roxy. There was pleading in his eyes. His eyes said, “Come on guys. Roxy, you need to find a way to get Colonel Glowfist on my back. I’ve got his demon Awesome Horses riding on me, you’ll need to get them off so that they can lift him. Colonel Glowfist is so fat now.” Roxy nodded. She had heard what Gappy’s eyes had said. Gappy lay down there in the moondust and she carefully pulled one of the Awesome Horses off of Gappy’s back. The Awesome Horse didn’t really want to get off of Gappy’s back, so Roxy had to feed it rabbits whenever it moved towards her. Gradually, step by step, the Awesome Horse came off of Gappy’s back. Roxy took some rope off of Gappy and began the tricky business of pulling Colonel Glowfist up on to Gappy. Gappy snicked and falloped, egging Roxy on.
By the time the Awesome Horse, fat and burping on a feast of rabbits, had pulled the Colonel’s massive, massive bulk up on to Gappy’s back, the city on the Moon had almost completely collapsed. The King was in a real state when Roxy rode Gappy back to the city. He was running all around the city, carrying people out of collapsing buildings and hugging people profusely. He was sweating heavily. The Adventure Friends who had healed up after the battle were helping, too. David was handing out mugs of warm milk. Leonard Cohen was singing a soothing song about a girl. Michael was holding a building up on his shoulders while everyone who worked in the building ran out to safety and the King’s hugging arms.
When the King saw Gappy arrive, it was the reindeer’s turn for a hug. The King wept. He wept for the city on the Moon, he wept for all of the people who were now homeless, he wept for Colonel Glowfist’s fat, he wept for Carolyn and he wept for Oranje. He was deeply troubled that Oranje had not only turned her back on him and David, but by becoming a mercenary for Carolyn on the Moon, had turned her back on Europe itself. When Oranje left, the King had sometimes paused from his tears for her to reflect that she would make Europe happier in some way, just by treading on its soil and hanging out with its citizens. But she had not given anything to Europe. She had taken, she had left and she had forsaken. That made the King cry most of all. Oranje herself had made a fast getaway after the fight. She had stolen Carolyn’s spaceship and blasted off to parts unknown. She would fight the King many times more. She would be a reoccurring villain.
The King ordered everyone who had lived on the Moon to mount Gappy. People were confused at this. They pointed out that Roxy was already on Gappy and that there didn’t seem to be much space. They didn’t know that Gappy was magical. Gappy snockered with good humour at the people who didn’t know about magical reindeers. But the King showed them how Gappy could carry just about everyone and, one by one, the people of the Moon climbed on top of Gappy. There were several thousand of them. Gappy didn’t care. He was magical.
So, once everyone had been loaded up onto Gappy and the King had checked out the collapsing city three times to make sure that no one had been left behind, the King was touched on the shoulder by Leonard Cohen.
“How’re you planning to get everyone home, Your Majesty?” asked Leonard Cohen in a friendly but knowledgeable way.
“I’m going to hurl Gappy out in to space. Then I’m going to search the ruins for some way to get home myself.” Said the King, without a pause. He meant it. He really was that nice.
“Sorry to be saying this, Your Highness, but I can tell by the look in your eye that you didn’t find hide nor hair of any kind of space craft or rocket pack in the city when you ran around it all those times.” Said Leonard Cohen. “Is that true?”
For the first time in his life, the King didn’t know what to say or do. Let’s just say that this was a special case because Leonard Cohen was involved. Leonard Cohen now put a hand on the King’s shoulder. They were equals, dude.
“The Moon is falling apart, Your Majesty. It aint just the city. I can feel it.” The King knew that that must be true. “I’m going to stay behind to sing to it, see if I can’t calm the good lady down some.” Leonard Cohen said nothing for two seconds, then: “Europe needs the Moon, Your Majesty. We all do. It’s not just where the lonely end up –“ Leonard Cohen then tilted his head, meaning that he was talking about Ric, Carolyn, Oranje and everyone who lived in the city on the Moon, “but it’s where Love comes from. That’s why they all came here. They couldn’t get it from people, so they came directly to its source. Only Love don’t work like that. We knew that, they didn’t. Getting these folk back to Europe, where they belong, is the least we can do for these poor souls.” Then his voice became heavy. “Leave me. Put Gappy on Axe’s returning axe. I’ll throw the axe. Let me talk to Burzum.”
The King walked slowly away from Leonard Cohen. He wanted to talk to Burzum alone, and the King respected that. It was just that he couldn’t get over the enormity of what Leonard Cohen had just said to him. He was going to stay behind. There was no way back. The King was so afraid for him.
“Don’t worry about me,” called Leonard Cohen from over the way, “I’ll be fine.”
It took a long while for Leonard Cohen to finish his conversation with Burzum. When they had finished, Burzum was no longer a sludgy orange. His clothes and his guitar were all white. Everybody said their goodbyes to Leonard Cohen. Leonard Cohen was acting like nothing was wrong and that they’d see him soon. But even he, for all his wisdom, could not stop the tears rolling down his face and in to his smile. He was even acting cheerful when he threw Axe’s axe. He waved as he grew smaller and smaller. When he was gone from sight, and all that the Adventure Friends could see was the city on the Moon falling into the dust, the King bellowed as he had never done before. He bellowed so hard in his sadness and his fury that he knocked Gappy off course a little bit. Leonard Cohen had thrown them directly at Winter’s lair so that they could complete the quest they had set out to do so many months ago. But the King’s bellow steered them somewhere else.
The first thing they did when they landed was to demolish the first forest they saw and build a new city for all the people who had lived on the Moon. They called the city Ric. The citizens of Ric were as happy as could be to be part of Europe and its newest city. The very presence of the King lifted their hearts and set their souls. They were no longer so lonely that they did weird things and acted strangely. Now they were European, and Europeans were good people.
When the city was built and the King had cut the ribbon and there first feasts were held, Burzum came up to the King while the King was sitting away from the party, looking at the Moon. To the King, Burzum looked different than he had before: older and wiser. He had more lines in his face, but they didn’t make him look old and stupid. They made him look hardcore. He also looked bigger.
“You look like Leonard Cohen now.” Said the King. He meant it.
“There must always be a Leonard Cohen.” Said Burzum. “He told me that himself.” The King looked him in the face, hard but warm.
“He chose well.” Then they hugged. “He chose well.”
Leonard Cohen left that very night. He traveled far up into the mountains on Europe, where he found a little wooden hut. The door was open. The hut had been waiting for him. He went inside, but the kettle on to boil, sat in his favourite chair and started writing his next song.
End Of Chapter 43