I look down at the mound of dirt, knowing that deep down is my love. M love that has left this earth way too soon. My love pushed out of this world by one I never thought could be so depraved. Or did I and remained ignorant?
“I shall see you once again,” I say to my love. “We shall dance once again, Dorothy.”
I stand here a little longer before I decide it is time to go on my mission. A mission I do not know yet how I will manage.
“Will I take my brother’s life?” I ponder as I climb onto my horse. “Will I show pity?”
It will be a two-day journey to seek my brother. I know where he is at, for he has been there many a time. A place to go to drown in his misery. Miseries he has brought upon himself throughout the years. Misery he has tried to inflict upon me. Has he succeeded this time around? The battle wages within my soul. Who will win?
I keep a steady pace as I travel the dirt roads. A time to let my emotions seep from my pores until a level head once again enters my life. Is that a possibility? Will it shatter once I face him? Right now, this is not a time to rush. Patience is a word I have learned over the years to adhere to, or mistakes enter my life. I believe a lack of patience has cost me dearly in this situation.
“Do not blame yourself for the wrongs of others,” I could hear my mother’s voice echo. “Especially for your brother.”
I have tried to cling to her advice, but I have failed. One of my faults in life as I have tried to better others but ignored my own. Did I also ignore Dorothy’s?
“Quit thinking such thoughts,” I say aloud. “Foolish thoughts.”
It is not long that I see the sun is dropping out of sight, realizing I started so late, not wanting to leave my love. The good news is there is an inn up ahead. I can stop for the day.
“Inn of the Lister,” I read on the wooden sign above the door.
By the looks of the place, I have been in better, but it will do. Not sure how much sleep I will get, so hopefully the entertainment will distract my thoughts.
“I just pray it doesn’t make it worse,” I thought.
There is a stable in the back where a couple of coins keep my horse content until the morning.
I walk to the front door and press down on the latch, opening the door, to hear many conversing, and the sound of what I needed. The sound of music by one good with the instrument. The one singing is not as skilled, but I am to one to judge. If it helped me through my current struggles, that is all that matters.
I see a table to my right that is vacant, so I head to it, glad there is no one close by. Many, upon seeing my face, have the compulsion to strike up a conversation with me. Not tonight. There is a possibility it will go down the wrong path as my emotions erupt.
It is not long after I sit that a young barmaid comes to my table. By looking over at the bar, it looked like a mother/daughter duel to satisfying guests.
“We have stew and the best ale around,” she said in a sweet voice.
Working here for years will take the sweetness away.
“I will take both, and a room.”
“You are in luck. We just gave a ruffian the boot after heckling our minstrel.”
look “Very unkind of them.”
I dropped some more coins that I figured will be enough.
“Keep the extra,” I told her, bringing a beautiful smile as she walked away.
I pray she finds a better profession or finds a loving husband who will take care of her soon.
I leaned back and listened to the music, letting my thoughts wander to better times.
There are times I do not listen to the words of a song since currently they are ones of sadness and yearning or better times. Words I did not need to hear currently. Words I never want to hear. Music is a gift from above that we should not squander but help the soul.
It was not long that the barmaid had my food and drink. By the smell of the stew, I did not realize how hungry I was.
“Not eating all day,” I thought.
I scarfed down the food, but before I finished, the music stopped.
“That will not do,” I mutter as I get up.
I went over to the two, had a look as if I was going to cause them harm.
“Here are a couple of gold coins to continue on,” I told them, giving each one.
Both of their eyes went wide, seeing coin. It takes a week for them to make.
“Any song?” one of them asked.
“Sing them all to keep me occupied,” I responded, and head back to my table.
“You should watch the display of your coin,” I heard the sweet voice behind me.
I turned to the barmaid. “I can manage myself.” I looked around, seeing the others were eating, chatting, drinking, or passed out. Not worried about this bunch.
“I hope so,” she said. “You never know what comes through the door. We don’t need to worry about you, do we?”
“No. My concerns lay elsewhere. I just need to hear some music right now.”
“May you be protected,” she says and walks away.
I sat down and once again listened to the music as I finished my food. I ordered another ale and leaned back.
Time went by as one by one the tables emptied until only a couple of tables occupied.
My mind wandered to the good times. My love would appear which I would grasp at the good times and think of it as ones still happening. I tried to keep the sadness away.
Finally, I called it a night, which by the looks of the minstrels they were relieved.
I went to my room, and with the help of a few ales, fell asleep quicker than I thought.
The next morning, I had a meal before I got back onto the path to seek my brother.
Throughout the day I stopped every so often to rest, and to feed and rest my horse.
Thankfully, there were few people on the path, and the ones I encountered kept their heads down.
The entire time I hummed the music from the night before. It amazed me how much it kept my emotions in check as I thought little of what I would do to my brother.
Another day was ending. If I would have rushed it, I would be at my destination, but it is not time yet. The wound is still too fresh.
I found another inn. This one did not have any minstrels, so I sat by the fire and looked at the flames licking at the logs. A few more ales helped me go to sleep.
The next day I knew today will be the day.
“Maybe he won’t be there,” the thought of doubt popped up.
He will be there. I know it.
It will be mid-day when I reach the place my brother will be. I still did not know what I will do.
I made a couple of stops along the way until I came around a bend in the woods and came to an open field. On the other side of the field is a large house that is slowly falling apart. Abandoned for years, but now has a soul in it, soon to be two.
“Back home, mother,” I say.
I rode up to the house, many scenarios running through my head. Which one will he follow through with?
Once I was a few feet from the door, I climbed off the horse. I then make sure my sword is in place before I walk up the steps and push the door open. The memories of my younger days flooded my head. As a happy family before the loss of my father, then my brother heading down the wrong path.
I went over the stairs and prayed I did not fall through as I took step by step. Soon I was on the second floor, taking a left and taking a few steps until I stood at the entrance to my brother’s room.
“You finally arrived, James,” my brother spoke from the other end of the room by the window.
I rushed into the room, and with a mighty swing, took off my brother’s head.
I opened my eyes and looked at my brother.
“I’m here, Ned,” I said as I stared at my twin.
“Here to take your revenge?” he asked.
“Why? That is the first thing.”
“Why?! You know why. She was supposed to be mine. You took her from me.”
“You have yourself fooled,” I say to him.
“Figures you won’t admit it. Now we both will not have her. Now, you can use your inferior fighting skills to take me out.”
I took a deep breath as I tried to control my emotions.
“I can see you want to run your sword through me,” he sneered.
I look at him and shake my head.
“You want me to end your miserable life,” I say. “You have gone down the wrong road since father died. I bailed you out time after time. Not this time. I am going to let you rot in this house like everything around us. You will change. I can hope.”
“Instead of hoping you can take your revenge.”
“Take my revenge so I can be like you. No thanks.”
I turned around to leave.
“Kill me!” my brother cried out.
I glanced back at him. “I forgive you.”
“You can’t forgive me!”
I went down the stairs, out the door, and soon riding away. I could hear my brother’s screams for what seemed like miles.