[LMB] KC: Epilogue

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 11 15:47:35 BST 2019

So.... it ends.

It ends with new beginnings.

Lily is a newly-minted patroller. Barr thinks she's still a baby,
he can't believe she's old enough - he has a whole new perspective
of himself at that age.

(Lily should be good as a patroller; for one thing, she's one of the
very few in the camp who've actually seen a malice. She's even
killed a mudman.)

His father is going with the two of them for Lily to get her bonded
knife. Lakewalkers? They should be called Deathwalkers. Our culture
tends to mostly shy away from the realities of death; they carry it with
them, they face up to it, they live for dying properly. The worse thing
is to waste your death. EEEEKKK!!!

Lily is sixteen. Two years on from her arrival.

She's getting a bonded knife, and starting as a patroller. She's
definitely part of the family, the clan, the settlement, the whole
thing. But she kept her farmer last name. Interesting.

Identity is everything. And Lily seems to be at peace with all of hers.

(I wonder if she'll ever patrol near her old home. Maybe after a few
more years she'll have distance enough to be able to see them
again. Fid would love to know she's doing fine.)

Barr is struggling to cope with being the father of a young patroller.
Lily is taller, and shapely, with a long blonde plait down her back. And
Barr is about to realise why so many people weren't pleased with his
libidinous behaviour when young - now he's on the other side. But
Lily has made it clear that she can deal with that herself.

There's a lovely chat between Barr and his father, about growing
up and being a parent, and time. He also tells Barr that the family
considered Barr the Most Likely to come home in a knife. And the
heartbreak they'd have, using it.

Oh, and Barr is stringbound. Interesting... just as soon as the Lily
question was settled, and no more secrets, he suddenly found the
right girl and settled down. No more secrets is definitely liberating.
So he's with Yina, and since she has plenty of older sisters they've
started their own Tent Mink near the Foxbrush camp. And Yina had
bridegifts from her family: including the thighbone that Lily is being
bonded to. Another difference between farmers and Lakewalkers.

Barr is so happy with Yina. And they want to have children. And he's
realising that every life means a death. And every child brings
terrifying worry. The greater the joy..... And there's no escape; if
Lily had stayed a farmer she'd still die, one day. At least Lakewalkers
find a meaning for their deaths.

It's funny, Barr was always told (and thought of himself) as a lout,
a roistering screwup at times, a constant worry, the family
embarrassment. But to them he was a worry because they saw
that he was also the most sensitive, the most likely to be hurt.

Oh, and as we find at the end, Barr is also a Patrol Leader.

And he'll be a very good one, too - he's had wonderful teachers.

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