The Life And Death Of Harold Brownshoe

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story a wrote for a school assignment.

Submitted: November 28, 2008

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Submitted: November 28, 2008

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The life and death of Harold Brownshoe


The strong reek of various animals feces brought no ill manner to Harold. He sat up contently from his patchwork hammock, and placed his feet onto the cold dirt floor, softly smoothing his toes into a fresh pile of cow manure. “Blessed am I to feel nature's touch upon my toes this morning of the lord.” He quipped, stretching his arms and yawning. Beside him stood Bell, his dairy cow. “Morning bell.”


The cow seemed to stare at him, then let out a grunting moo, staring down towards Harold's toes. Seemingly admiring it's handiwork. “Good job Bella! praised are we that you should produce such fertile manure for the crops, Reap what you sow, as the bishop has taught me. He stumbled drowsily into his makeshift kitchen, from which admitted his family of pigs, wallowing in the fresh mud, underneath his almost bare pantry. He reached in and plucked a firm piece of hard bread, and bit into it. Amidst the damp bitter taste was a fresh onset of protein, maggots. They crawled up his arm and buried themselves under his naked armpit.


He licked his lips, sighing. He placed the remaining bread down onto the bench, “Best leave some for lunch, he thought to himself contently. Beside the kitchen was a small crate, filled with his tunics and rags, he slipped his hand in and drew out a potato sack fashioned into a tunic, and his pair of everyday leggings. He slid his feet through the dry crackling cotton, and draped the sack over his body, as he did, the sack ripped and fell to the floor. Harold reach down to grab it, alas before he did, Bella scooped it up in one large chomp.


Harold smiled, patting Bella on the head. “Truly you are an animal of the lord, for this is a sign, I need not this shirt, there are many of those lesser than I, such as the poor naked street beggar down baker's road, with no hands or feet, the poor leper. Surely this is a lesson learned to me by the lord, praise you lord! Praise your wisdom, then surely I shall be accepted into the kingdom of heaven, it is as your messenger, the bishop has told me.”


“Now I best be collecting the day's water.” He reached to the side of his small oak door and took a bucket. Harold subsequently, managed his small farm on his own, unfortunately, his entire family had fallen ill and died of leprosy, surely this was because of their sin, for unlike Harold, they did not follow the wisdom of the lord so fully. Eventually he would produce children who would expand his farm, and he could live happily as a serf until finally it came his time to rise to the Kingdom of the lord.


Harold reached out to grip the handle of his bleak oak door, he was promptly halted by a continuous thumping on his front door. “Praise the lord, who might that be”, he said to himself. Scurrying over to the still pounding door. He eased it open to reveal the prone, sharp figure of the local magistrate. He looked at Harold, one eyebrow slightly raised, seemingly examining him. He sighed, gazing down at an out-held piece of parchment. He then looked back up at Harold, “You must be Harold Brownshoe?” It was more a statement than a question, but Harold nodded happily nonetheless.


“The majestic and merciful lord Maverick II, has issued a new tax, as the great messenger of the lord, the Holy Pope, has commanded all the lords of every manor to send their troops to aid in the Holy Wars, crusading against the dirty heathens of Israel, the vicious, baby killing Satan worshipers must be stopped, in the name of the lord the Pope himself commands it. Thus the lord has issued tax to pay the provisions and rights of his troops. I shall now commandeer your pigs and goats, under the name of our mighty lord, and his eternal holiness The Pope.”


Harold felt a sense of righteousness within himself, he would have the honour of contributing to the will of the lord, to rid their blessed world of the heathens. He nodded excitedly, “I would be honoured to offer my produce to the will of the lord, he fell to his knees and held his hands in the air, “Praise You lord! You have shone your mighty light upon me, now I shall offer up all my produce to you, leaving me with nothing but the knowledge that I have done your will, and thus I shall be saved, Hallelujah!!”


He rounded up the goats from the pen beside his till, and tied the pigs on a noose. He returned shortly to the Magistrate, who led him to a cart. Harold sighed as he loaded them into the cart pen. The Magistrate stepped up on to his seat, and turned to Harold. The lord thanks you peasant, and may the lord bless you no less.” he promptly tugged on the reigns and the horses trotted off, pulling the heavy cart down the dirt road.


He returned to his house and began his daily chores, tending to the animals, fixing minor breaks and leakages, tilling the fields and watering the crops. The various tasks of they day began to exhaust Harold, and shortly after midday he found himself sitting happily on a bench, drinking from a cask of muddy water. In a few hours he would take his horse phillip, down to the local market to trade his wheat and barley, of course, one problem remained. Phillip was on the roof.


How his horse phillip had ended up on the roof, Harold had no idea, but if he was to reach the market sqyare by three he would need his horse. Harold trudged through the muddy fields to the edge of his farm, where his toolshed lay, he stepped him and removed the largest plank of wood he could find.


After several painful falls, he finally made his way to his small living quarters with the plank and a few neccesary tools. He spent an our building a large ramp onto the top of his roof, where Phillip stood, quite thin and malnourished. He gripped Phillip's reigns and lead him to the plank, but he wouldn't budge. He yanked a few times but Phillip remained persistant. Harold was struck with inpiration. He strode to the other side of the roof, and swung his open palm, smacking softly onto phillips hide, encouraging him to run forward. Unfortunately Phillip had no intention of movement, and bucked his rear legs into Harold's chest, sending him flying off the roof and landing in a heap of feces. He stared up, his head dazed.


Harold attempted to get his horse down various times, with no progress, until finally, he came to the resort to cut the roof underneath him, which then the horse would drop intot he soft mud of his kitchen. Inside, he sawed at the thatch roof slowly, until finally it broke loose, the horse plummeted to the ground with a degree of shock, and to the extent that it promptly dropped dead. On top of harold.


“Praise thy lord, for this is a lesson I must learn! What do you teach me this day lord? I beg of you! Give me a sign!” Nothing happened that Harold seemed to notice. He lay there, under the heavy weight of his dead horse, for about an hour, then the rain began.


Soft at first, but then hard, and unfortunately, with the rain came the rats, sheltering from the cold. Eventually Phillip's carcass was covered in them, they began nipping at Harold too. “I see now! This must be a message, that I should respet my animals for they are not only mine, but thr eproduce of the lord. Harold reached his arm into his pantry sand cast out the food, his animals gathered around him, greedily munching on his only provisions. And as they did they began to trample on phillip, until finally Harold was free. “Bless thee lord, for you have rewarded me!


Hours later, Harold trudged through the muddy trade way, hours late for the thrive of trade, alas he's be lucky to buy or sell anything this month. But he was sure his Mericfull lord would see him on his way. As he reached the outskirts of toen, instead of taking the safer trade route, he took to the back alleys as way of shortening his trip, to save any valuable time he had left before all the market stalls closed down. He strode glumly through the dark set of alleys, street urchins and beggars lay in the dirt, blessed are we, who live under the lord, He thought to himself. Upon turning into a less populated street, he noticed two figures, standing in the shadow, hastily staring eachother down, as Harold walked on he was surprised to find that it was the lord himself, and the bishop.


“Thank you lord, for I may gaze upon my master, the noble and rightchous lord of our manor, your chosen leader. He was shocked as he realised they were engaged in an argument. Their words were muffled but he heard some colourful language. “Why lord? Why do they not love thy neighbour as you have taught? I do not understand.” Then in a flurry of movement, the Lord of the Manor slapped the bishop across the face with a vicious backhand. And then, most shocking of all, he promptly unsheathed a dagger and plunged it into the bishops chest. Harold gasped. “Why lord? Why has he killed your messenger? Our great and merciful lord, the bringer of prosperity to our community, I do not understand this! And why lord? Why is he looking at me like that?


Harold decided he best be off, and thought it best to forget what he had seen. At the market square, there was a larger bustle of excitement than he would have expected, but then, he realised. The town centre was alight with a large Cross. Someone was being burned at the stake. He bustled his way through the crowd of onlookers, and was shocked out of his wits to see his beloved martha, the woman he so dearly wished to marry, tied to the Cross under a large pile of hay and lumber. His mind was wrenched with thoughts of confusion and disbelief. His religion, his beliefs told him so strongly she was not to be his, but his heart told him otherwise. His heart won.


Slowly, a local priest strode up onto a podium, set before the onlookers. He held up his hands and the crowd was silenced. “This woman, Martha Brown, has been identified as a witch, by acts of worship of satan, and a large mole on her left breast! The bishop declares this vile heaten to be burned at the stake, in the name of the mighty lord. There was an uproar of praise from the crowd, as they fed of eachothers enthusiasm. “Burn the witch!” they cried in chorus, and as the priest lit the fire, with a decorated torch, Harold let out an involountary cry, “No! no you musn't! Lord no, my beloved Martha!” unthinkinly, he leapt up onto the lumber and siezed her in his arms, she burried her face in his chest. The priest was inraged. “Sacrilige! How dare you defy the name of the lord? Guards! Guards! Sieze the witch, he worships satan with her!” two royal guards from the market square, tore him from his beloved and bound him in chains.


It was at that moment, that Harold Brownshoe ceased to follow the will of god, and it was upon that hour, that he was bound to the same stake as his beloved. There they were bound back to back under the purifying flames.

“Blessed am I to live in this time, under the will of our lord, to be a serf under our mighty lord, and to die at this stake, for I have sinned.


He held Martha's hand and cursed the lord, for through all his misfortune he realised he had only learned one thing, his lord was't going to do anything for him, and the fact that love, didn't overcome all things,not in this century anyway.


Oh such fun it woluld be, to live in the Medieval times.

Written by Tom Rogers.


© Copyright 2020 Elzeranova. All rights reserved.

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