A Gift of Thistle: A Braveheart Fanfic

     Mirron, come back…come back to me, before the lights behind my eyes are put out. You stood at the graveside with me before, in the years of my youth, and have kept your post there, always at the edge, always there to catch me when I fell, there to remind me what I was living for, with your gift of thistle, the harsh beauty ripped from the heart of our land. Stand with me now as this heart is ripped from me. I must be brave now, must be brave to the end of my heart’s beating, for everything that made us free.

       Mirron, I remember the day I returned home from my many journeys, and there was great play among the men, rowdy and rough, and you were there, your eyes merry, and your laugh light as the fae. Never had I seen my land so very alive as on that day, and I knew how good it was to be home. You were real and I wanted to feel real again, after living the life of a fatherless wanderer. I knew you could make me feel real.  You could bring back the smile that had forsaken me so many years before, and that no amount of travel had been able to restore.

     Mirron, I remember riding over the moors with you, your arms around my waist, and the thumping of the horse’s hooves against the earth, and the thumping of our hearts as one…even as my own heart is about to be stilled, I will always remember the sound. It was our drum, beating for the war that was bound to come. Our journey was bound up in the land’s agony, and we could not long resist the pull of her sorrows. She, like the whirlpool off the northern isles, was pulling us toward her heart. And yet I hoped the twine of a faithful maiden’s hair may yet save me from such a fate.

      Mirron, I remember the marriage in the glen, our hands bound, the priest murmuring the words in our own tongue, and we vowed to love one another, and no other, for as long as the both of us should live. But you knew even then it would be longer; our love would know no death, but be timeless as the mist, weaving through the night, as our bodies and souls were interwoven in that night, as man and wife. And I promised I’d never let you go, that we would be lovers for all eternity. Little did I know how close eternity would be…

      Mirron, I remember the knife…my God, my God, I remember the man who would have defiled you, but thought to murder you for fighting for your purity. They told me of the sneer on his face when he tore open your throat, and your life’s blood gushed forth upon your undefiled body…that body, made from this soil, this land…all that was home to me. Sacred bleeding lady, I saw you, and saw her for the first time, and knew as I kissed your cold, netted lips that I was destined to avenge you both, one and the same.

     Mirron, I have fought so hard, until the blood boiled and overflowed, and the rivers courses red, and the cries of battle have worn raw my throat. I have heard the drums beating on our side, on their side, and I remembered our hearts once entwined, but I would not show the pain, though it was alive in my voice every time I screamed the cry to arms. You were here, there, everywhere. I knew you saw me, your eyes still searching for me as they told me your eyes sought me before they closed forever. You looked for rescue, when there was none to be had, and my soul has been shredded from my own failure.

      Mirron, I failed to save you, but I will not fail to save this, your Body in full, the Lady of the Land. They may tear me open, but they will not subjugate her, not rob from her the sovereign right to wield her will. She is you, and you are her, and I cannot stop dreaming of you, yet rarely enough have I glimpsed your face. Oh, lover of sun and shade, come to me in my darkest night and let me rest a while with you. And yet always, you tell me to be vigilant; you tell me to wake. Oh, how hard are the horns of war…

     Mirron, when all my dreams have crumbled like dying stars and fallen from heaven in streaks of exploding light over the sea, will you not come to me, even when whole self is emptied of me? Will you not come to me in betrayal, defeat, martyrdom? Though I will take no numbing drought, as Our Lord and Savior would let no wine kiss his lips, will not your own lips be my remedy and cure? I yearn to drink the nectar of your sweetness, as the bee upon the flower, for I feel more dead than alive…

      Mirron, remember me now, take me to the Kingdom where you have surely been made a princess. Let me see your form moving through the throng, easing the pain that sears through me, tearing me open with the hope of rending my soul. I will not beg for tyranny’s mercy, but cry out for the freedom that lives in the very pulse of every Scottish heart. I will cling to the cloth you gave to me, until my last drop of strength is wrung from me. I will be conscious of my end, and I will be conscious of your coming. I will be conscious of all we have been, and of all that we are, and of all we shall be…

       A country of our own. Yes, that’s what we shall have, my bonnie lass, my sweetest Mirron, sprig of thistle, warrior’s stay, hope of the man who’s heart you hold…and I see the future of it, living in your smile, as you come to fetch me home.

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