Sealand jogged along the edge of his "country," kicking a worn soccer ball as he went. He gasped as he kicked the ball wrong, sending it over the edge and into the water. He leaned over the railing, scanning the waves for the ball, but it was out of sight. He sighed and turned away, glumly looking for something else to occupy his time.
Denmark walked along a quiet, empty beach. The emptiness was understandable, as it was almost three AM on a chilly morning, driving most people away. Normally Denmark too would be at home comfortably sleeping, but recent tensions among the nordics kept him awake. He decided that he would take an outing, and his feet carried him to this beach.
He walked close to the water, watching the foam swirl on the sand next to his boots. A particularly large wave washed in, soaking his boots. Cursing, Denmark jumped sideways away from the water, tripping over something that the water had left behind.
The dane looked at his feet and the object between them. He reached out and grasped a white soccer ball. He turned it around in his hands until he found a name scrawled across one of the patches in green sharpie.
Peter Kirkland (Sealand)
“Sealand? That kid that Sweden adopted once upon a time? Huh,” Denmark murmured, a smile crossing his face. He jumped to his feet and tucked the ball under his arm. He made sure his hat was straight with his free hand, and then the King of the North began the long walk back home.
“Yes, sir!” Sealand stood up with a salute to his boss.
“I got a specially delivered letter for you from one of the other nations. Here.”
Sealand took the letter and looked at the return address. “Matthias Kholer… Denmark? Why did Denmark send me a letter?” he tore open the envelope and unfolded the paper inside
I found your ball on one of my shores. I’d come and give it to you myself, but the King of Northern Europe has things to deal with here at home.
However, I talked to the other nordics and we all agree that it would be a great time if you came to visit (except for Iceland, but he can be a real pussy sometimes). Sweden said, well, looked like he was excited to see you again.
Your ball is waiting. Maybe we can play some soccer when you get here?
The King of Northern Europe, Denmark
“Sir!” Sealand called when he finished reading.
“What is it?”
“I have to go to Nordics’ house!”
The doorbell rang, the tone echoing through the house. The door opened and Finland looked outside.
“Oh, Sealand! It’s good to see you again. Denmark and Mr. Sweden have been looking forward to seeing you. Come on in, Mr. Swe is right inside,” Finland said to the micronation.
Sealand looked around, feeling as though he were in a dream. This place felt familiar, yet foreign. He shrugged off the feeling when he spotted Sweden reading by the crackling fireplace. The Swede looked up when he entered and gave a small smile. “G’od ev’ning, Seal’nd.”
While others thought Sweden was reclusive or creepy, Sealand took comfort from the presence of the man who had been his father for a short time. Sealand talked and Sweden listened. Soon, though Sealand grew restless, his thoughts drifting back to his beloved soccer ball.
“Say, where’s Denmark?” Sealand asked.
“He’s out in the back yard. He’s been practicing with your ball for almost three hours,” Finland said.
“I’ll go and see him then.”
Denmark bounced the ball off of his heels, toes, knees, and head, but not once did it touch the ground. As the minutes ticked on, he started bouncing it higher, challenging himself to do jumps and spins before bouncing the ball again.
“If you have another ball, we could have a contest to see he can keep it off the ground the longest.”
Startled, Denmark looked away from the ball and it fell to the ground with a soft whump. He took a moment to look Sealand over, then smiled competitively. “You think you can beat the King of Scandanavia at keepy-uppy?”
“I don’t think, Mr. Denmark, I know,” Sealand said, returning the dane’s smile.
Denmark retrieved another ball from inside and the game began. They both started slowly, carefully controlling the balls’ heights and directions with their feet and knees. But as time passed, they grew more daring and showy. Neither showed signs of fatigue or boredom. Sweden and Finland watched them from a window for a while, amazed by the skills demonstrated by both nation and micronation. Both were still going strong when the other nordics retired to their bedrooms.
Sealand was gone the next morning. When asked who won in the end, Denmark only smiled and answered with a rare silence.