It was a sunny afternoon. The sea doesn’t help the weather in anyway. It gets equally humid and hot. The afternoons always wore a deserted look, this was the only thing he found common from 2 decades ago. This scorching heat wasn’t going to burn his spirits, his family meant more than burnt skin and a sunstroke. He walked closer to the houses to stay in the shade but the heat still licked at his sunburned face and coiled around his limbs like a great hot-blooded serpent. The ground smouldered and sent up a disorienting haze. Even the birds were silent and the leaves stood still as if it was too hot to move. After hours of feckless searching he reached the end of town. He hadn’t eaten all day but he was too nervous to ask for help and speak to the people. He thought that they would disapprove of him and his family if they knew he had gone to prison. He slowly descended the steps at the town end to reach the seaside. His drained and fatigued body needed a boost, he jumped into the water cooling himself down and prepping up for another long search but this time he decided to man himself up to speak to the town people and also get deep into the town giving him a better chance to find Elia and Daisy.
He half dried his clothes and walked into the village. He was nervous to talk to anyone. He finally found an old man sitting on his small porch smoking pipe, the pipe looked too expensive for the house he was living in. He walked upto him and said “Hello sir! My name is Ingram, I came to the city after 20 years can you please help me find the town church”. “My dear boy a lot has changed in the past years, but you probably are looking for the old church which is in the old part of town” said the old man gently putting his hand on Ingram’s shoulder. “Sir, can you please help me get to the church please?” he asked in a humble tone. “Take a left there” he pointed at a building just ahead of his house “cross the canal and you’ll see the white church gleaming back at you”. “Thank you so much” Ingram bowed. He set off to the church.
He reached the church, the church they went every week. The church that was 4 buildings away from his house. The church made with beautiful stones and stained windows, the church with dark brown wooden doors and a beautiful cupola was nothing like he knew it was. It was a stony building with patches of new paint and stones and the rest of the stone was half charred. Like only the burned parts were mended. He did not give it much thought and ran to his house. He did see a few people on the street but he knew none of them. He reached the door of his house, it was scratched and dented with chipped brown varnish, it had a brass coloured lock and door knob dulled with age and greasy fingermarks. His face lit up and the excitement couldn’t be contained this time. He knocked hard and fast several times. There was no response, he would wait for how many ever days or even break down the door depending on his emotions in the next few minutes. He knocked once more and turned away as though not looking at the door would magically open it up. He stomped the wooden floor, kicked the door and turned away in frustration.
Soon Ingram heard the door creaking open bringing a chill to his spine, he did not turn immediately. He took a deep breath and turned. He expected Elia but this was a man, a man almost his height but a little heftier built. What stood out most in this man was the striking scar on the his forehead. He knew the scar well because it was he who gave it to Bennet. “Brother” whispered Bennet tearing up. Ingram just stood there not knowing what to do, he hesitantly moved in for a hug. Bennet hugged his little brother tight, crushing his rusty body. “Brother!” He shouted in furor. Not letting him go for a long time because he feared to lose his Ingram again. Bennet spoke over Ingram’s shoulder “where are Elia & Daisy? How are they?”. Ingram pushed Bennet away and looked into Bennet’s eyes in utter bewilderment.
Ingram broke down.
For the next chapter: Chapter 5: Sanguinity.
For Chapter 1: Chapter 1 : Emancipation