You are red lipstick and tartan pants,
And sandals in the snow.
Our glamour puss, our dancing queen,
Our chatterbox on the go.
You are Basil’s little girl,
From the hotel by the bay.
Our enthusiastic life coach,
Who always finds a way.
The lioness with her twin cubs,
Their valiant defender.
Our broken hearted warrior queen,
Our fiercest friend forever.
She was the smallest of the angels, too small for the top of the tree. Every year the old man held her as she sang of a forgotten memory. This year he was too tired, his fingers too frail to wind her key. He sat alone cradling her and closed his eyes. Her heart swelled and she shone brightly. He rose and saw the face he had loved singing a Silent Night.
The strike squad stood together on the edge of the sands and studied the battleground. Flat dry sand, clear blue sky, blazing hot sun. They moved into an arrow formation to prepare their attack. Arto stood on the left flank and began a slow rhythmic beat of his tenor drum. The sand beneath their feet vibrated and began to shift as if alive, as if something stirred beneath the surface. Usko on the right flank drew his bow and played a long sweeping note across his side braced battle harp. The sand began to rise forming a defensive wall around the squad. Together the flanks played, increasing in rhythm and intensity until the wall was almost solid. At the head of the arrow, Satu lifted her gleaming rondel flute to her pursed lips and waited. Across the sands a low hum made the air shimmer. A small mound rose in front of them. The sand wall flexed as the strike squad changed their tempo. Satu let fly a flurry of sharp piercing notes. The narrow shockwaves burst through the wall and pelted the mound with deadly precision. A deep ethereal lament shuddered through their feet as their target was defeated.
“Cease fire. Weapons down. About face.” The Song Guard examiner scowled at their ridiculous grins as they turned to face him. He pointed at each of them in turn. “Fail. Fail. Fail. You just murdered seven fleeing refugees.” Satu spun back to see the carnage. Seven corpses lay splattered with blood half buried in the sand. “MEDIC!” She screamed. She was already singing as she sprinted across the yard. Her squad mates gaped after her. “I have truly seen it all now.” The examiner muttered. Satu dropped to her knees gasping as she tried to remember the rest of the healing song. The corpse before her rolled over “MEDIC!” It wailed and spluttered in to a fit of giggles. The other corpses joined in, writhing in mock agony and flicking fake blood at her “Meeeedic!”