Little

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Cleveland Rocks had forever been the most holy place in the Dawg Pound for Mabel and Little, ever since they were little kids. It harbored the grave of The Host with The Most (alternately: Host Charming), who also heavily haunted the craggy knoll and its receiving bridge. The twins had withheld taking Baker Bloch to the sacred rocks until now because they knew it was all leading up to this finality.

As explained later by Mabel, a ghost of The Host had manifested to Baker as he passed over the bones of Those Who Do Not Rock while walking the bridge, quickly fading. “If he did not approve of your presence here,” Mabel says, “you would be tossed from the bridge by a gale of wind into the ravine below, your skeleton collected and then hung with the others, a *most* unfortunate end.” But the twins had faith in Baker. They knew he would not perish — destiny.

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And yet another manifestation, seeming to say, “Congratulations. You rock!”

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Baker also passed by this fading representation and through the torii gate to join Little on the rocks.

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He did not get up to receive Baker, but simply greeted him by name and motioned to the pillow next to his own in the gazebo.

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Little stared at Baker and then at his own, sneakered feet. “We’ve even named the white butterflies here,” he started. “Big and Old, after our other titles. For you see, my full name is Little Big (as Mabel’s is Old Mabel). I’m about to grow up, Baker Bloch. Oh I didn’t want to. I’ve fought the urge to fight. But it is time. You are here. You must take Mabel as your own. It does not matter whether you are married or not — Mabel would obviously prefer the former — but you must take her. Away from here.”

“I don’t understand,” said Baker Bloch. “What’s happening to you?”

Little held his stare steady now. “I am going to war.”

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As Baker was absorbing this proclamation, a small, silent ship descended from the sky and landed on Cleveland Rocks to their side. Little took a long time to even look in its direction, instead searing thoughts into Baker Bloch’s mind with all the intensity a fledgling soldier could muster. Thoughts of he and Mabel chasing the white butterflies on the rocks and almost falling off not once but several times. Pictures of the compound at different times of the day that he’ll never lose. Visions of happiness for Mabel as she takes on a new life. And then the awful battles to come; obviously he might never make it back here, might never see and hold his beloved twin sister ever again. “Childhood crosses manhood here,” he finally managed, and stood up to enter the ship through a proffered ramp. Mabel called loud from the temple. “NO!! DON’T GO!! LITTLE!!!”

—–

“We had to set childish things aside,” explained Mabel two days later, as they left through the iris door of the Dawg Pound, never to return. “The factions are fighting in several solar systems at once. It’s Whites verses Greens everywhere. Just yesterday, a new battle broke out at Muff-Bermingham. It was only a matter of time before the war caught up with us, found us in our cradled haven. Little had to grow up and become Big, I had to grow up and become Old. Although we are 119 of your years, that is still young for Martians of our species. We had to move onward.” She put her hands to her helmet and cried once again.

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Filed under Mars, Second Life

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