Tag Archive: Edward

Edward settled back in the chair he was bound to. To say that he was tired would be an understatement. He was exhausted, plain and simple. The men who’d taken him had kept him awake since he’d arrived at the deserted building they were keeping him in. He’d had a short nap between his home and this place but that had been hours ago.

“How old are you?” one of his captors asked firmly.

His respite was over, it seemed. “I’m twenty-seven,” Ed replied. “I was born February the tenth, nineteen eighty-two.” He gave the false year without any pause. He’d practiced the statement innumerable times with his friends and descendants. “I was born at my parent’s home in Germany.”

“You’ve said that before,” the man said softly.

“I’m gonna keep on saying it until you believe me,” he snapped. He closed his eyes again and asked, “What do you want with me?”

“You were not born in nineteen eighty-two. You were born circa the year nineteen hundred, perhaps in Germany – but perhaps not,” the man disagreed. He thrust a picture in front of Edward’s nose.

He recognized the men in the photo. He’d studied rocketry with them for almost two years. Alfonse Heidrich stood closeby him. Ernst was on his other side. It had been taken almost four months before Alfonse had been killed by a Nazi bullet. He studiously tried to keep his expression neutral as he said, “That’s a pretty old picture, huh?”

“You are in that picture,” the man said in a firm, calm voice. “You didn’t even bother to change your hair style since then. Almost eighty years and you haven’t grown an inch.” The phrase was meant to needle him. There was a time it would have done just that. He apparently kept his face calm enough because the man continued, “More importantly, you haven’t aged a year.”

“I’m twenty-seven,” Edward repeated. “I’m nowhere near a hundred; as I would have to be if that was me in that photo. That’s not me. It’s some kind of… ancestor or something.”

“Of course,” the man said softly. He turned away to let Edward rest for a moment or two at least before the whole thing began again.

Edward lay for a long time watching the little insects as they made their way back to their nest.  They were so small that a grain of sand was like a boulder would be to him.  They were so small they had difficulty negotiating the path when, as it was now, dew dotted each leave and blade of grass.  The tiny bubbles of water were like pools to the insects.

 Somehow the insects continued on their way however.  Even when they seemed alone on the path, they continued.  Even when something blocked their way, they continued.  When they encountered a larger fiercer insect, they found a way to continue.

 This was perseverance, Ed knew.  That… something, that made the insects continue, even when things seemed bleak.  He glanced over at his brother.  It wasn’t so long ago that Alphonse was nothing more than a soul attached to armor.  It wasn’t that long ago that they had been literally worlds away from each other.  Still they had persevered.  They were together.  They were both in proper bodies – not perfect, Ed reflected as he flexed his prosthetic hand – but human enough.

 Now, they were living in a borrowed world.  Strangers pursued them even as they searched for a weapon that never should have left their own world.  He smiled as the first insect in the line made it to the safety of the burrow.  The others would join it soon.  Then they would leave the safe haven to gather more grain.  The struggle was continuous but they didn’t stop.  They didn’t complain or worry.  He sat up and smiled over at his brother.  They would continue in their own struggle, he knew.  They might never rest completely from their struggle but that didn’t mean it wasn’t worth continuing.

Mustang was at a loss for words for once.  The idea of consoling someone like the Fullmetal Alchemist struck him as strange.  The boy always seemed strong, impervious.  “It gets better,” he murmured.  “It won’t always hurt so much.”

 “Have you ever lost a child?” Ed snapped.  His voice crackled with unshed tears.  The question was fierce.

 “No… only friends.  He lived a good long life,” Roy tried again.

 “Most of it without me,” Ed returned angrily.

 “But not alone.  Ed, he had a family.  He was happy and his mother told him enough about you that you didn’t repeat your father’s mistake.  You didn’t abandon him.”

 “Not on purpose,” Ed managed softly.

 “He always knew you cared for him and his mother,” Roy pointed out.  “You were with him in the end.”

 “I was with my parents in the end too.  It doesn’t make it easier,” Ed murmured.  The anger was leaving him.  He’d grieve now.

 “Let the rain fall when it must, Ed,” Roy murmured.  “The fields are always better for it.”  He stepped back, pretending not to notice when it did fall.

“Pumas writing with fine-point ballpoint pens,” Edward read.  “Chloe, what is this?”

 “What I would be happy to take home with me from the book we read in school.  I drew it, see all my pumas with pens?” she stood on tiptoes to show him the picture she’d drawn.

 “Why pumas?” Ed asked.

 “Pumas are a kind of cat, Daddy,” she said as if that should explain everything.

 “I’d like a dancing cat,” Al piped up.  Both Edward and his daughter gave him a funny look.  “It would be fun to dance with my cat,” he explained.

 “Cats don’t dance,” Chloe said.

 “They don’t write with fine-point ballpoint pens, either,” Ed pointed out.

 “They did in the book though,” Chloe said.  “I want that book Daddy.  Can we find it?”  Ed smiled as he allowed his daughter to lead him into the den to read a story.

Monica Ferris

an author with many hats

A Land of Curiosity

From the files of Shynian Intelligence

Heather's Fancies

tales from the enchanted gardens and shadow hollow


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