June 3, 1922 I escaped through the forest tonight. About a week ago I didnÕt think I would have to. I thought I would be able to stay hidden, but I was wrong. I canÕt blame Daniel though. I can only blame myself. For I, as his brother, was foolish enough to tell him of the mobÕs plans. He only told because he thought he was doing the right thing. But, of course, I couldnÕt tell my boss that I had a twin brother, who had secretly told the police of their plans to assassinate King George. I thought I was doing the right thing by not telling them. But my boss, Fred, thought it was me who told, so I planned to run with my brother to London. I was only trying to protect DanielÉand I ended upÉkilling him. Ben carefully wrote these words in a small, leather-bound journal that lay open on his lap. He shut the journal as he laid his head against the tree at which he sat and closed his eyes. Flashes of the night his brother was murdered soared through his mind. He remembered it quite well. He was on his way home from work that night when he passed by the front window of their home. He saw Daniel inside with two men, both of whom Ben was very familiar with. They were both so angry. Benjamin Lovette,Ó one of the men yelled, you have betrayed us for the last time.Ó It is then that Ben watched his brother fall at the mercy of those two men. Ben stared in awe at the menÕs mistake. They thought Daniel was me, Ben remembered thinking. But IÕm the one they wanted, not him! Ben recalled thinking of running, but he didnÕt until after those who killed Daniel had seen him. Ben opened his eyes to cease the memory and began to write in the journal once more. IÕm only seventeen, and IÕve witnessed my own burial, or rather my brotherÕs. I look back now and realize that even though I havenÕt seen any happiness, I wonÕt either if I stay in Bedford. I have to go to London. ItÕs the only way I can avenge my brotherÕs deathÉby revealing all I know to the police. The damp forest grew quite loud as Benjamin Lovette closed the journal for the last time that day. He wondered to himself whether he would really go to the police or not. For why would the police believe a mere boy? He bent his head over his knees and rested it on his arms. A soft wind tore through the trees followed by a light rain that sounded more like drums upon the forest floor. Ben began to drift into a conscious dream, full of memory and feeling. I donÕt think you should take the job,Ó said Daniel. Why?Ó Ben asked. It pays extremely well.Ó Daniel sighed. But you got the job from Ana GraysonÕs father. I know weÕve known the family for years, but didnÕt Mr. Grayson join the mob or something?Ó That was just a rumor,Ó argued Ben. And I wouldnÕt say that to Ana if I were you.Ó I still wouldnÕt trust him.Ó Ben placed his hand on his brotherÕs shoulder. Daniel, you know me better than anyone. I tell you everything. I need to take this job. Why wonÕt you trust my decision on this?Ó Because you donÕt think well on your feet. If you would just sit down and think about itÉÓ I have,Ó said Ben. This is a good thing. Trust me.Ó Ben awoke suddenly sometime later to the sound of something more than mere woodland creatures. The rain, which continued to fall, had muffled the already faint rustle of leaves, but this cry in the dark rose above the rain. In fact, it was not a cry at all. It was more a whisper and a large foot trampling on the ground. Ben raised his head slowly as he tried to focus on the curious noise. He peered into the darkened forest, seeing only shadows caught in the rain. Suddenly a blast of lightning struck the sky and lit the entire forest. The shadows then transformed into two tall men, both wearing black trench coats and tall, black hats. Ben gasped in fright. He pushed against the ground with his feet, and, grabbing his bag, he moved around to the opposite side of the large tree trunk, hoping to not have been seen. To his distress, he had failed. One of the men, whom Ben had remembered as Fred, called out through the rain, Daniel! I know what you saw! But you must understand---we had no other choice, as we have no choice now with you.Ó There was a moment of silence between both parties before Ben leapt forward into the forest. He ran in a dead sprint through the trees until he was far enough away to not be seen. Ben slumped to the ground, almost in tears. He gasped loudly for breath, until he heard a voice once more. Daniel!Ó Fred yelled. You cannot tell anyone what you saw!Ó Ben moved his feet closer to the tree, but it was too late. He had already been seen. Fred and his partner ran towards Ben in anger. Ben ran from tree to tree hiding the best he could. Eventually he gained a small distance, and he stopped running. Ben stood against a large tree in fright. He knew his pursuers might have an idea of where he might be, but he knew they did not know exactly. He waited as their footsteps drew closer. Fred spoke once more in a quiet voice. Ben was a criminal, Daniel,Ó said Fred. Fred suddenly appeared from behind the tree at which Ben stood. Ben tried to run, but he was quickly pulled back. Fred continued, He had to be punished for his crimes.Ó Ben stared into FredÕs eyes. He was not a criminal!Ó He betrayed us didnÕt he? IÕd say thatÕs crime-worthy,Ó replied Fred. How dare you speak of betrayal!Ó Ben yelled. You killed my brother!Ó FredÕs face quickly grew serious with anger. He spoke slowly, And you wonÕt say a word.Ó Ben didnÕt speak, for he didnÕt know what he would say. He knew he had to run. He had to get to the police. Ben waited for the right moment, when the man with Fred turned. ItÕs then he made his move. Ben took his bag in his hand and hit FredÕs head as hard as he could. Fred blinked, and Ben ran. He ran quickly into the thickening woods. He kept running and continued for what seemed like hours. He had not ceased running until he burst into a large clearing in the woods. He stopped short in amazement, for he was staring at a large Victorian-style home with a spacious yard around. He was almost reluctant to walk towards it, but something kept drawing him near. He staggered slowly up to the cobblestone walk in front of the house. The rain, which continued to pour from the sea above, had weighed down a lovely bed of various tiger lilies, each rich in color. Ben reached down towards one of the flowers. He ran his finger along one of the far petals and watched as drops of water dripped to the ground. All of a sudden the door of the house opened and a girl appeared dressed in an exquisite blue gown full of lace and trimmings. Her soft blonde hair draped over her right shoulder in tight curls while a stunning velvet-blue necklace adorned her neck. What are you doing here?Ó the girl said, astonished at her visitor. The last time I saw you, you were planning to go to Scotland. You told me that you almost had enough money, and you were to leave the next week.Ó Ben answered, still somewhat in shock, Well, I havenÕt exactly made it to Scotland yet, Ana.Ó But that was four months ago,Ó said Ana. Suddenly a stern, womanÕs voice was heard inside. Anabelle Grayson, will you not invite the boy in already? It is not proper to stand at ones door in such manners.Ó Ana rolled her eyes with a smile. My mother,Ó she whispered to Ben, but continued a bit louder in sort of an artificial politeness. Please, do come in,Ó she said. Ben laughed as he entered the doorway of the large house. I cannot stay long, for IÕm on my way to London. I have an urgent message to deliver to the police,Ó he replied. IÕm in somewhat of a hurry.Ó At least stay for some tea,Ó insisted Ana. ItÕs been so long as it is since I last saw you.Ó Ben agreed and was led into a large parlor at the front of the house. The room was embellished with many paintings and Victorian-style furniture. Ben sat on a large burgundy chair next to a sofa of the same color. Ana soon appeared with a silver tray that held two glass teacups and a small glass teapot. She placed the tray on the fancy wooden table in front of Ben and sat on the sofa. She carefully poured the tea and began to initiate conversation. Is your brother not with you?Ó Ana asked. It seemed like you two never were apart when you were still at school.Ó Ben lowered his head. He wanted to tell her the truth, but he could not even force himself to say that his brother was dead. He went home last week. I decided to stay a bit longer, but I feel I shall be going soon myself.Ó Ana did not understand the true meaning of his statement. She could only see the literal meaning of what it was. Their memorable conversation lasted for an extended period of time, a time where Ana spent most of the time talking, and Ben say happily listening to her speak. It was a bit longer than Ben would have liked to spend in the house, but he soon forgot about his troubles in the warmth of happiness that he felt there. This place was special to him. It reminded him of home, or, rather home as it used to be for him. However, remembering his grievous past reminded him of his present task. I have to leave now,Ó he said to Ana. Now?Ó questioned Ana in suspense. Why?Ó Ben paused a moment before speaking. Ana,Ó he said finally, I just need to deliver my message. ItÕs very important. Can you show me the fastest way to London from here?Ó Ana nodded in curiosity, but she didnÕt ask for an explanation. She led Ben to the back of the house to the door that exited the kitchen. Go through the woods from here, and youÕll soon find a road. Take the south road. It goes straight to London,Ó Ana told Ben. Thank you, Ana,Ó said Ben. YouÕve been a great help.Ó Ana smiled. Good luck on your traveling. I hope we will meet again someday.Ó I hope so too. Goodbye.Ó With a quick wave of farewell, Ben made a dash towards the woods. Ana returned to the parlor to finish what tea she had left. About twenty minutes passed by, and Ana observed someone knocking at the door. She slowly walked towards the door and opened it to find two men standing there. Hello, Anabelle,Ó said one of the men. My name is Fred Howorth. IÕm your fatherÕs employer.Ó My father is in town, sir. Besides, he doesnÕt work today,Ó replied Ana. Well perhaps you can help me then,Ó continued Fred. IÕm looking for a boy whom we think might have passed this way. His name is Daniel Lovette.Ó Ana stared at them in shock. Daniel? No, Ben was here earlier, but I havenÕt seen Daniel. And Ben left over twenty minutes ago.Ó That must have been Daniel,Ó commented Fred. Sir,Ó said Ana politely. I have known both Daniel and Ben since I was a young child. I think I would know Ben if I saw him. Yes, he said he was on his way to LondonÉto deliver a message to police, I think.Ó Fred shuddered. That wasÉBen? And heÕs gone to the police?Ó Yes, is that a problem?Ó Fred looked at his partner, having no distinct expression on his face. He turned back towards Ana. Thank you, miss,Ó said Fred. Have a lovely day.Ó Ana closed the door, and Fred began to walk away in the very direction he came. His partner did not follow. He merely stared at Fred suspiciously. What about Ben?Ó asked his partner suddenly. London is the other way. ArenÕt we going to follow him?Ó Fred stopped and turned around and replied quite nonchalantly, London is only a fifteen minute walk from here. If Ben is going to the police, then heÕs probably there already, or almost there at least. By the time we reach him, the police will be ready to arrest us.Ó So what are we going to do?Ó questioned FredÕs clueless partner. Nothing,Ó Fred replied. We are going to go back to Bedford to warn the others so that we may escape at least with our lives.Ó FredÕs partner nodded and followed him into the woods once again, being in a rather morose mood.
A Cry in the Dark
September 1, 2007