It was sunset already. Ingram sat in the small backyard watched with an unwavering gaze as a fiery red orb of light slowly sank beneath the horizon and threads of light lingered in the sky mingling with the clouds, dyeing the heavens first orange. He watched until all that was left of the sunset was a chalky mauve, and then that melted away in turn as obsidian darkness took over the sky. Stars glowing like the embers of a dying fire, like the dying fire inside him. Suddenly the clouds parted, and he found himself looking at a lustrous, argent disc casting brilliant rays of moonlight onto his tears that sparkled.
Through all this while Bennet was inside the house not knowing what to say, do or ask. He made dinner quietly and lit the fire for the bleak night that was about to arrive. Bennet slowly walked up behind Ingram put his hand on Ingram’s shoulder and went back in, signalling his brother to come in. Dejected, Ingram walked in, his eyes cast in a mournful gaze. He entered the house, the air tasted delicious from Bennet’s cooking. It smelt like family which did not help in anyway. They ate in silence and no eye contact was made. Bennet was frustrated at this point of time but he kept his calm. Taking a deep breath, he asked “what are you thinking brother, what happened?”
Ingram knew this was going to be a scary conversation, but it had to be done. “I don’t remember anything, I don’t remember anything! I don’t remember the first five years of my sentence. I was tortured physically & mentally the only thing that helped me survive was the will to see Elia and Daisy. I did! I survived! I came back. When I stepped into the city everything was new, the buildings, the roads and even the people. I hunted the whole of the new city and found nobody I knew. I was scared…” Ingram couldn’t continue anymore. He buried his head into his hands.
“So you don’t know what happened after you were taken” Bennet said in a low sad voice. “I got a letter from you asking me to come to Hauyne as soon as possible, you did not mention why or anything else. I am sorry brother. I really am” Bennet broke down. “I’m sorry I did not take that seriously, I neglected that letter for five years. While I was shifting houses Clarice showed me the letter. I got onto a ship the very night and sailed for Hauyne”
“Where’s Clarice!?” Ingram interrupted half expecting something bad to happen. “She went to Ambyglon to visit her parents” said Bennet. Ingram smiled, it was the first good news he’d heard in a while.
“I give up” Ingram said in a whisper. Bennet’s face glowed with anger. His face as red as the fire beside him. He took deep breaths and controlled himself, ignored Ingram and continued on.
“Yes! I reached Hauyne and found out that almost the entire city had fled after half of Axinite was burned to ashes when Tybalt VII had raided the kingdom. I moved into your house, it was half burned. Clarice has been the pillar behind all this, nothing would’ve been possible without her. I could’ve never stayed here alone for so long. I would’ve never seen you again if not for her. She helped me day in and day out searching for any tiny information about You, Daisy and Elia. Everyone who knew you had fled, we did not know where you were. Nobody helped us! Everybody was building stupid buildings when families got destroyed! Everybody fled like a bunch of cowards fearing another attack!! ”
Bennet was furious, he snapped.
“AND YOU,YOU WANT TO GIVE UP? CLARICE GAVE UP HER LIFE FOR THIS SEARCH AND YOU WANT TO GIVE UP? WE DID NOT HAVE CHILDREN BECAUSE WE WANTED TO GIVE OUR CHILD AN AUNT AND UNCLE! AND YOU WANT TO GIVE UP!” he threw a vase down shattering it to pieces. He couldn’t sleep. His feelings had no escape there was still a lot more to say. Tonight wasn’t the night. He went and lied down without uttering another word.
Ingram cleared up the shattered pieces of the vase and threw them out. He ran into the room and looked around for anything belonging to Elia or Daisy. He found a small painting of Daisy’s it was more of scribbling than painting, but to a father everything his child does is a masterpiece. He hugged it tight and started weeping. “These feelings I have for you both can’t end until my body ceases to function and my soul is released for whatever comes after. I hope that somehow they are embedded into my soul. Even on my darkest days my love for you rides underneath it all, keeping my mind from sinking into the mire that claimed me in the past. I know that however deep I fear I’ve fallen, you will be there like solid ground steadying me, inspiring me time to climb back into positivity, inspiring me to fight and not give up. For all the times you stood by me and supported me, not giving up is the least I can do. I’ll fight! I’ll find you Daisy” Half weeping, half whispering he dozed off to sleep hugging the picture.
A new hope lingered in the house of the Meverels. Ingram Meverel found his old self again, the person that fought years of torture and survived. A new fight awaited him.
For the nex chapter: Chapter 6: The Two Women.
For Chapter 1: Chapter 1 : Emancipation