“Kings of Summer! Kings of Summer!” We chant and sing, running rampant along the sandy streets, biking up, down, and around our kingdom, preaching of this holy holiday. A time when the air flip flops from the soft song of spring, to a more balmy breath, and everything is different. We transition out of the usual mundane loop, the dark ages, and golden light makes itself evident.
Waltzing through the woods, with nothing but the bond of kinship to fill in blank spaces, we hunt. With each pluck and pull, the sweetest of juices can already be tasted as I grip an orange. The feast begins at dusk and continues till dawn. Gorging on the ripe and succulent treasures that scatter the world, but only make themselves most delectable in these Godly months. Biting into my first plum, sugar pecks my tongue and the sour bits dissolve into cracks that line my lips. In this moment we bask in the glory of earth’s finest candy! Long live the King of Summer!
And how lovely is the sea when she knows Julias Caesar’s glorious month is upon us. The sun and his rays lay a warm hand over the cold waters, and thus a beautiful marriage is born. Her waves rock with glee, gently enveloping surfers and swimmers. She twists and turns them in her salty dance, whisking them around as if preparing frosting for a cake. They hug her back, stroke by stroke, drifting closer to her heart, but never too close for they wouldn’t return. When we, the kings of Summer, enter her heavy embrace, she tickles our ears and kisses the hairs atop our heads.
“Long live the kings of Summer, and may we continue to prosper under their reign” she tells us. We internalize her blessings, and vow to make her proud once delivered back to shore.
Before night blankets itself over the beach, a medley of pink, purple, and orange hues collide in the sky, and it’s like watching Da Vinci mix paint.
“I used to beg God to prove his existence, resulting in countless nights without sleep, pleading with Him to give me a sign, any sign,” One king announced. Though we were all kings, he was a leader among leaders.
“But You’re real! A summer’s sunset like this, and only a fool would denounce God!” He continued to howl, and the rest of us followed with roars and yelps. A fire is started, so we gather around, sitting criss cross in a circle, each of our knees touching the other’s. Now were days of sleepovers with the moon, and awaiting the arrival of our honoured guest, Sun. Sand soldiers created beds for us, and listened to our wise words.
“We will soon be called back for another war,” The king of kings began “This will be the bloodiest; we will not be fighting for the same nation as we once did. We will separate and scatter, possibly never hearing from one another for months on end.” He paused, focusing his attention on the sky, freckled with stars and illuminated by the moon.
Don’t cry, he thought, a man, a King rather, cannot afford to cry. And yet, one blink allowed for a colony of tears to overtake his face, and his men wept with him.
“Ah my young Kings, forgive me for interjecting, but I couldn’t help myself,” The moon whispered, careful not to wake anyone.
“Though this year is not like the rest, this will never leave your hearts. Fall will spread his wings and blow summer away, winter will bear his cold teeth, and spring will flutter past quickly. What comes next, my kings?” He questioned, smiling humbly.
“Well, summer of course!” The smallest king answered, his voice hoarse from wailing.
“That’s right, and you will return back to the forest to gather fruit, to the beach to hug the ocean, and back to me” He smiled. The kings, who were really just boys, looked at the small fire burning in front of them, and allowed a comfortable silence to join alongside them.
“I don’t want to forget this,” One king said finally.
“We won’t forget, Abey,” Another answered.
“Yeah guys, Marco’s right. Highschool isn’t gonna make us forget anything. And even if we don’t talk for all ten months of school, it’s like the moon said; summer’s not going anywhere” The smallest king explained sofly.
King Abe reached for King Marco’s hand, him to King Tim, and lastly he reached for King Sam’s hand. With furrowed brows, King Sam, an inspiration to his men, hesitated. Fear had overcome him, and he wanted nothing more but to stay frozen in this moment, never being forced to pack it up in a box and seal it away in his mind. But when his eyes caught a glimpse of the moon who wore a concrete smile, he felt comforted. King Sam grinned to himself, and tightly gripped King Tim’s warm hand.
“Long live the kings of summer” they hummed.