She’ll always be royalty to me.

As if millions of voices suddenly cried out.

“No matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”  — Carrie Fisher

I suppose you want to hear the mall story. You don’t drop a line into a comic like that without some backstory. It’s actually two tales; first I took a wrong turn in the Galleria and totally misplaced my family. Clutching Leia, I walked all over that damn mall until I found them. But who hasn’t done that?

I was the kind of kid who was convinced I’d be taken away if anyone knew what I was really like. At the time, I had no idea what Carrie Fisher herself was going through. But pretending Imperials were storming places and we had to get away helped. Strange how that works. I carried Leia around for strength. We had epic talks. Mostly about where the hell Han was.

We were sitting on the edge of a bedding display at Sears one day when a bored kid came over and hit me in the back, perhaps prophetically, with a Disney record. He took Leia and stripped off her clothes while I stood there and twitched a lot.

I was not the type of kid who would fight someone, I was the type of kid who would go home and cry. But that day I stood there and, shaking, asked, “Can I have her back?”

He threw the doll at my face. She bounced off my chin, but I got her back, dammit. And the civilian clothes I dressed her in, too. She preferred the clothes I’d put on her. I even almost tamed the hair. But the hair cannot be tamed, as we’ve all learned.

We had a lot of adventures.  My first dog tipped a couch over on me to get to my Princess Leia doll. It is heartbreaking that Carrie Fisher left her dog Gary here on Earth with us, her family, her friends, and her fans, but I hope if she needs a dog to hug, she finds the shaggy blonde one tipping couches to get to her. He loves hugs. I also hope Gary gets that bacon-covered bone he wanted.

I drew this yesterday, listening to The Princess Diarist as read by the author. Carrie Fisher got me through so much in life, and the glitter she left behind will get us through this.

Love you forever, Carrie Fisher.

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