array of silences

Reads: 80  | Likes: 1  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


how he died, we wonder, what crime committed was a reason to the hangman's plank? Trapped on an island, Mateo thrives with a girl whom he found companionship.

Submitted: July 21, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 21, 2018

A A A

A A A


Array of Silences

 

They took the humongous man’s word and now, the king’s justice is upon me. The fruit of my actions is at hand, all my deeds laid bare, and the sins I committed, about to be punished. The fate I so despised to own, but very much deserve.

 

  1.  

The streets are filled with lowlifes, blemished with scrapes from ponderous labors. My audience grow in number as minutes pass. The passersby can’t help but notice, all their weary eyes are on me. The multitude of stares renders me immobile, the gravity of their gawking irritates my very soul. I avert my gaze upon the crowd and into the sky, I rest my scrutiny. I will ever be grateful for the sun, it chose not to reveal itself today. If not for its absence, I would be longing to sip my tears along the crevices of my lips. I am a fine gentleman – born of noble blood and pampered to preserve my family’s aristocracy – yet here I am, wrapped in rusting chains, standing on joint planks which are about to give. The noose straining my neck is completely pestering. Not the pain, though, but the untidy edges of its thick fiber. And the pole it clung on is poorly varnished! What I’d give to scrub it all clean and calm myself with the absence of its filth, but my hands are restricted. If I am to hang by the neck, I thought to himself, I wish to at least die retaining my immaculacy, hope to witness the light leave my eyes in a sepulcher fit for an elite. But no, by the legislator’s demand, my hopes are forfeit.

Rollo, the lead inquisitor stands. I notice the commotion and I wonder for the reason, I look at him and I stretch a wide grin across my face as he is drawing nigh my range. The colors of France and the guidon of the inquisition embroidered in Rollo’s crimson-dyed uniform becomes clear. I gave a smirk and Rollo is engulfed with ire, he lifts his hand and rains it down on my cheek and I swear it was painful. The severity of what I have done must have been consistent with the ache I feel as his tightly darned leather glove hit my face with such mighty force.

“What I did was right”, I say, and Rollo is angered. He delivers four consecutive blows as an answer.

For the second time, with blood flowing over my mouth. “I, Mateo Laurant, am the new lord of this land, how dare you!”, I said “I did such a thing according to my own volition, and am I not free to decide?”

“To utilize your freedom in such way is against the regulations of the king and the laws of God!” Rollo replies.

“God?” I chuckle. “Then why am I punished by your hands?”. The clouds have moved, and from white, it fades to gray. Rollo remains silent.

“Tell me, good ser, is it wrong to choose to live?” I ask. “Her death was inevitable!”

“She was a person, and you left her!” he yells. “and your life wasn’t of much worth than hers.”

“You see, Lead Inquisitor, you’re not so different from me” I say. “the both of us are not innately prohibited to kill”. Too devoted to the preservation of the sanctity of life, Rollo is.

Flies are soaring crudely nigh my cheeks. Infuriated, I clench my teeth. Though in a grotesque state, I still am appearing in my usual incandescent visage. Not a mere guilt ever entered my consciousness, I am not fazing over what I know is coming. In fact, I feel nothing.

“Your fate is about to be sealed, ‘Lord’, how’s that for addressing?” Rollo derides. Out from the corner of my eye, the executioner comes, walking in line with the inquisitors. The surly color of the leather mask concealing the executioner’s identity depicted a semblance of the helve of my favored blade.

As he draws near, his anonymity faded. I saw buried deep within his mask the blue eyes of Lorraine, only it was clearer, for it was coated with tears, restrained to flow due to the corruption of anger. I was reminded of how sacred life is, and how I violated it. Yet again, here I am, whose life seem to have identical value, about to be executed by the hands of my fellow. And there again, I indulge another silence, but this time, I was sure will rest eternal.

 

  1.  

“Those missing bodies will be found” she said. “some might survive”

“My father is a lord, there will be search parties” I answered. Though with such tone, I wasn’t even worried. The storm was passing through the next shore, the one I wish I would have drifted. Neither the captain nor any man among the crew of my father’s ship managed to survive. Lorraine, however, was stuck with me. The barrels went forth the grey clouds and the pennon of France is nowhere the span of my awful sight. Along the grey storm were the damaged planks, the ropes that might have been useful, and the keel where the sacks of coal were tied. Had one piece of ration went floating along the flat board which carried me throughout the tempest, I would not have a problem to bear with the coming of twilight. But it was a problem that I could share.

“Lorraine!”, I yelled. The wind was still, and the sky was faint. There was silence everywhere, and I started to miss the noise of the freewheeling milieus of dear young France.

“Yes, master”, she replied. She was dry of sea, but she was reeking of sweat. A strong feeling of tranquility was emanating from her, her presence seemed to have soothed the terrible waters. I ordered her to start a fire, one that could withstand the arriving rainfall. She started heading towards the heart of the jungle, it was not so chivalrous of me to ask too much of a maidservant, a woman. The sun was setting, and I was sitting across the small tree just rooted near the shore. In a few minutes, I heard the shrieks of a girl and the noise was hurrying towards my location. I suspected a wild boar was chasing her, but no creature arrived after her, no wild boar, nothing, no food. She was in agony however, blood was dripping from her leg, her brown apparel was devastated, and it was horrible to observe.

Too early and vague for a portent, I opted to ignore it. I ripped a piece of my garb and tied it on her open wound.

“Thank you, master” she said. I smiled to preserve the silence. The tragedy meant no fire.

“What happened?” I asked.

“I stumbled upon a sharped-edged rock” she said, and I nodded. Her blood blemished my hands, so I reached for the ocean. The cold waters of the night pampered my feet, I was shivering but I chose to stay longer. I never let my hands in the water. I just stared at the void up above with only my knees submerged. The night was clear, no stars designed the heavens and no clouds stained the beauty of darkness. I forgot the purpose of my evening dip, and I felt the foreign blood hardening on my palms.

I slipped my fingers over the leather pouch sewn at the right corner of my garb. I felt the satin wrappings of my blade’s helve, I pulled it out and I was delighted to see something sharp.

“Master!”, there was a shout behind, and as I turned, it was bright. Lorraine’s shadow apparated from the great illumination, and the darkness absconded. I head towards the shore and I felt the warmth of the flames as I came near.

She started singing softly – lullaby, my easy guess, and we laid together beside the blazing fire. We did not talk, she was just singing, and I let her be. The light seemed to fade, and into the pool of my dreams, I surged towards its depth.

The sun’s rays disturbed my eyes. I figured it was noon, and the waters seemed to hate us, it was very far away.

“Let’s head deep into the woods, master” Lorraine said. “We need to find water”. I followed her lead and we went climbing up green hills and crawling through thick branches with verdant surfaces. And unto the open fields we explored, wishing for light. In the plain terrains of sharp grasses, we sat as we were drenched in sweat. But we didn’t stop, for the thirst longing to be quenched is driving us hard in seeking. We descended perilous cliffs, and we clung on pointy rocks in fear of falling. Alas! The oasis.

We found a lagoon beneath the heart of the jungle, and it was as blue as Lorraine’s eyes. We drank to our stomach’s content. I peered at my reflection and I disliked it, I pursued a proper bath, and I took off my clothing as she took off hers. The remnants of the blood on my hands washed away within the diamond haze of the lagoon, and we didn’t mind the cold. I took a glance at her, and we caught each other peeking. She smiled, and my wearied soul drowned along my filth.

“I never knew where you came from” I felt the urgency to talk, her beauty was mesmerizing, I never noticed until I saw her bare.

“I grew from the rural hills east of the big city” she said. “I came to le France for fortune”

“I see” It must be awkward for her because of my standing. “call me Mateo”

“Yes, sire” she smirked. “Mateo, I mean.”

We spent the afternoon talking about delightful adventures. She had many, and I, too few. I fell for her voice, it was sweet and as subtle as her lips. We spoke of home and what we would like to do when we return. Then hunger came, and it was calling for satisfaction. We searched the nearby verdures, but we found no fruit, no plant for eating. It was peculiar for a jungle, the colossal trees were barren, and the intricacies anyone would expect from a forest were absent in its greenery.

“It must be due to the storm” I said.

“Indeed” she answered. “we must look for meat”

I showed her my blade and we gathered lengthy woods of durable strength. Lorraine was very handy, she wrapped firm root-like vines strictly on the helve of my never-whet blade at the end of stick, it was convenient for the hunt. We rummaged the area, and it wasn’t long until we found a fat boar.

“Let’s go!” I insisted. And just as I was about to reveal myself out of the bush, she grabbed my belt and my charge stopped.

“We can’t! … yet” she said. “We can’t chase it”

“Then how?”

“We wait ‘till it’s most opportune” and so, we lied in wait.

It took moments until it decided to approach the bush where we were hiding, and as it arrived nigh our range, Lorraine pounced and thrusted the blade unto the boar’s neck. She was so marvelous to watch. The boar squealed and squealed until I smashed a huge boulder directly to its head. Blood splattered, and I could taste some from my lips. We were grateful for our luck as we exchanged glances and laughed.

 

  1.  

Hunting was our only option during our stay on the island. We didn’t complain about our predicament for we kept ourselves company and we spent our hours conversing. It has been a week of incarceration, and there still wasn’t a sign of a single ship passing by the island. At night, we made big flames in hopes to notify vessels that may wonder.

The next morning, the winds were turning unusual, and hordes of buzzards were passing on the sky. The southern breeze was chilling my skin. We heard thunder from a close distance, the noise was coming from the south part of the island. We scoured through where creatures were fleeing from and we saw a huge raging storm.

“Find a cave!” I shouted. And we hurried back to the lagoon where we saw a small cave beside the pile of rocks. We lumped together massive chunks of rock to form a barricade and spare us from debris. We sat at the deepest part of the cave where we waited for the storm to hit.

Minutes passed, and we grew terrified as we linger in waiting. At last, we heard the oceans smashing the earth, the thunder roaring, and the winds dominating the whole island. The open space above the chunks of rocks, where we left to see the outside occurrences, turned grey and pieces of broken large trunks were flying all over the place.

“I’m scared”, she said, and I wrapped my hands around her as I gently kissed her forehead. She smiled, and the violence of the storm somehow weakened.

The howls of that small hole echoed within the corners of the dark cave. The little fire we built was easily put off by the wild wind. Fear made us embrace, fear made us lay, the weight of her body was pressed unto mine, but the warmth I felt once was no more.

“I have to take a glance”, she whispered. She stood and went towards the small hole which was wide enough for us to crawl out when the weather calms.

 

 

“Look! Tis almost passing”, she said. Hope seemed to dye her pale cheeks. Out from the calamity outside, where twigs and broken logs, and sharp objects and weird debris violently circle in space, a group of which came wandering in – it was sudden and swift, and amidst all the noises, I heard a similar shriek.

“Get down!”, I yelled. But It was too late, I hastened onto her falling body hoping to catch her, but the wind was strong in force, and she fell hard on the ground.

A stray wood pierced her on the same leg that bled on the first night we were stranded. She was unconscious, I joined her slumber as morning came. The silence that once was there, filled the island yet again.

 

  1.  

“Are you awake?” I whispered. “I am here”

Her eyes bulged, as if frightened from a nightmare before her wake.

“Thank heavens”, she said in delight as she wrapped her arms around me. She groaned in pain as she tried to stand. I figured she wasn’t aware of what happened.

“I have to go, but I will be back shortly”, I said. “I have to find us food”

“Be careful, the spear’s over there”

I took the spear with me and I crawled out the hole. The whole island was devastated, and I could see the sea devouring the island. The lagoon that was once blue turned to brown, its clear waters were spoiled with floating debris. The erstwhile earth that stood in strength was mowed to marsh. I head on to hunt, but I found no living animal roaming from every corner of the island.

I came back frustrated.

“I’m sorry”, I said. “I found nothing”

“It’s okay”, she answered. I saw delight in her eyes despite my failure.

“As long as we’re together”

I sat beside her, and she placed her face on my lap. She chuckled as she heard my stomach groaning, I smiled at her. I couldn’t help but stare at her deteriorating leg. It wasn’t as fine as it was when I admired it during our first bath. What was once fair and white, was now dull and purple.

 

She noticed me worrying about her condition “Everything’s fine” she said. “The ships will come”

“They will” I affirmed. “They will”

I untied the vines suspending the helve from the stick, and I kissed her forehead. Her lips bent crescent, and I was pleased. The hunger calls ever more furious, and hope seemed dull to satisfy it.

“Everything’s fine” I said. I stared at my blade.

 And I slit her throat.

My mind was perfectly sound, I wasn’t in turmoil in any way. The excruciating pain was actuating her body to shake. She was making horrible noises as blood gurgled on her filthy mouth.

“I can’t” she stopped. “I can’t bre –”

I understood her situation, and so I looked at her with pity. I raised my blade as high as I could – and swiftly, I struck her with it until she was as still as the present sea. I was still exhausted, and I couldn’t afford to stand. We just laid there, both empty of soul. Her eyes were still at me, her blue eyes were curious. I never detected a flicker of angst in her blank expression. Just a wonder why. I never had the decency to swipe my palm to cease her stare, and let her passing be.

An hour, I guess, an hour of laying still. Her body was turning as cold as my first evening dip in the darkness, she was like – like, a mere object, void of feeling. I only felt my calm heartbeat, and the silence covered us again.

An adequate cuisine for a desperate stomach, I thought to myself, for a dying lad.

I survived the following days with the nourishment Lorraine provided. Then the ships came. It really did, just like she said. Our waiting lasted for two weeks, but the time was due, God must have willed for my return. A long sturdy vessel touched the north shore, the rising of the sun was present at the pinnacle of the longest railing where the white sheets adhered. A sailor climbed down, his leather boots were drowned on the low tide.

 

  1.  

“What’s that foul smell?” asked the sailor.

“I started a fire for wandering ships” I said.

“Fire? Wood never burn this smell” he wondered. I pat his back.

“It’s good to see you, sailor” I said.

“It’s good to see you too, my lord” He answered with his thoughts gone.

Finally, I can go home.

The sailor helped me climb up to the vessel, and I saw a humongous man, I presumed in his forties, sitting in front of an open cabin below the wheel.

As the ship drifted away from the island, I saw a healthy boar wandering beside the lifeless shore. I didn’t know how to feel.

 “What a mess it must’ve been” said the sailor. “It’s a miracle you survived”. He seemed not to expect an answer, so I just nodded. The humongous man, however, intrigued me very much. He was in a grotesque state, and his face looked tedious. He was holding a wide chart where maps were drawn. He looked at me with woeful blue eyes.

“Were you alone in your thriving?” He asked me.

“I was. I was lucky to have survived by myself” I answered.

“Wait! Sailor man” he yelled at the man on the wheel. “Lend me a boat”

“Sir, we searched all the surrounding isles” said the sailor.

“Please” he begged. “I need to look for my daughter”

“But, sir – “

“Lend him a boat” I cut. “There’s pain in his eyes”

“Thank you, my lord” he said. I knew then it was Lorraine’s father. His weary eyes were as blue as that of Lorraine. And so, a boat was set afloat. The sailor bid him good luck, and both of us parted ways. He went on to the island I just left, and we to the waiting comforts of France.

It was nighttime when I arrived at the central dock of France. People were staring at me, they were disgusting. I head to the mansion and I saw it dull, as if a plague occurred over the place. The maidservants welcomed me with sullen salutation.

I survived! Yes, I did. I overcame death, I came back. I threw myself to my room, to the very corner where my bunk was placed. Nothing changed, and the whole place was tidy.

The head maidservant barged in. “I’m very sorry to bother you at this hour, young master” she said. “your parents, sire.” It took her long to proceed.

“We took the initiative to wait for you to bid your farewell” and I knew then what they were trying to say.

Two biers laid firm as the caskets’ support, and from each stood an effigy of the departed. One was of my father, the other was the shining image of my mother. I was along the mourning crowd perched behind, I never went too close where I should have been – together with my parents. The drapes of fine white linen adhering the sepulchral poles glided along the breeze like the pennon of the royal house of my family. The passing of my parents conjured a dismal atmosphere, but I did not seem to be gloomy at all.

The ceremony was done. I suspended myself on the corner of the graveyard and kept a pensive facade to preclude the condolences offered by people I never knew existed. It was supposed to be a woeful occasion, but I was abnormally pleased, blissful deep within., for the title of Lord be passed unto me.

A man of silver armor patted my back. “It’s good to see you, sire” he said, “terribly sorry for your loss, I did my best to look for them after the storm”. It was Rollo, the lead inquisitor of the seventh division.

“You survived, captain” I answered. “it’s good to see you too”

“The last I saw of you –” he got me curious. “There was a woman, I see you had good company”

“There was no woman, good ser” I said. “You must have been overwhelmed”

We shared the night with posthumous drinking. He wasn’t a drunkard as I expected, he slept by my side after a few horns of ale.

The days weren’t as fun as the moments I shared with Lorraine. My sin has begotten an effect. However, I comforted myself with the thought that I couldn’t have acquired such days without my choice. I wasn’t able to indulge my nights with a good night sleep for I wonder of the scenes that might occur when Lorraine’s father decides to thrive again within the lands.

“He’s a commoner” I thought to myself. “Nothing more than a commoner”


© Copyright 2019 Karl Quilal-lan. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments: