Mama's Dead, Marcel.

By , Shelton, WA
A small group of men walked across the open field, worked and sweaty from the job that they had just completed. Leading the group was a 17 year old boy, the leader of the small village. Abel. Abel’s father, Warren, served in the ARMY during the boy’s childhood so he had no real recollection of him, other than the fact that he died while Abel was still in school, but those were the good days. Now it was the depression, and everyone was depressed indeed.
To the eyes of everyday men Abel was an honorable man, took care of his ailing mother, his younger sister and brother, and the town that his father left behind. But to the person on the inside of the mirror he was a filthy, dying maggot, feeding on festering wounds and the death of his surroundings.
Abel tried hard to be what his father was not; he tried to be the man that Marcel would look up to, the man that Camilla would want her future husband to be like. But really, he just wanted to be a man. Abel, however, was not a man. He was a picture of a man, not the real thing. He looked like one, broad shoulders, tall, big hands and feet, well proportioned and muscled, but what was on the inside was what Abel could not let anybody see, the scared little boy that he was never allowed to be.
The group of men entered the town, greeted by women with water and outstretched arms. The men had been gone for a week now, driving off a group of thieves that had attempted to steal the most sacred item in the town. The church’s gold plated cross.
Abel recalled gazing upon this cross as a child, his eyes wide and his mother’s arm around him. The old building smelled of freshly cut wood and paint, the smell painted pictures in his mind, Pictures of him when he was older, a father himself, kids everywhere, a beautiful wife, a sturdy house. Abel was a dreamer. He was also lonely. In his day dreams the house burned down, the wife and children left and he was alone again. The preacher told Abel that god was with him wherever he went, and that the church was his family. And yet, this place was the one in which he felt the most alone.
Now, the Preacher walked to him, gazing upon him with contempt, though the rest of the audience was staring with amazement. “You are so like your father” the preacher said when he had reached the group of men entering the village. “I take that as an insult” Abel thought to himself. He nodded in the preacher’s direction, a look of disdain plastered across his face. He watched the other members of the groups, their families rushing to greet them. Nobody came for him.
Abel departed from the group, a smile on his face, and his heart heavy with despair. Oh how he wanted somebody to greet him. When he arrived at his home he stopped at the front porch. It was a shack, the roof was caving in, the walls were covered in holes, the front door was falling off of its hinges, but mother refused to let anybody change it. Despite Marcel and Camilla getting sick every winter, despite Abel’s ability to rebuild it, despite mother wanting to move, she would not let anybody touch the walls that her husband built. And Abel secretly hated her for it.

Abel walked into the house, careful just in case his mother was asleep. “Camilla? Marcel?” he said quietly as he walked into the living room. Nobody replied. “Camilla?” he said again, walking back out of the house and around to the back yard. “Marcel?” he said a little louder. A rustling sound came from the garden. Abel looked out, blocking the sun from his eyes.
Abel imagined when he was younger. Coming home from school and seeing his mother in the garden, picking vegetables for dinner. Abel would run out and hug her and she would ask about his day. She was so happy then. He remembered a specific day; Marcel was still a baby, their mother had laid him on a blanket in the shade. Camilla was running around in the sunshine, a 2 year old. And then his mother and father dancing in the sun. Abel always remembered that day. Even though he didn’t like his father he remembered that day because he wanted Camilla and Marcel to remember it too. He wanted them to see a real man. Despite Abel’s hate towards his father he couldn’t help the truth that he was a real man. Those were the happiest days of his life, though. Abel ran free, played with the other kids, took Camilla to grandma’s house, and played with Marcel. Now he was so distant, now he didn’t care.
When Abel got to the garden he saw Camilla, humming a hymn she had learned in church, pulling weeds from the soil with care. Camilla looked up at him, a smile on her face, her arms outstretching and coming toward him. “Abel! You’re back!” she said with a relieved tone. “Yeah, I am…” He said, hugging her. “Where are mom and Marcel?” He said skeptically. Camilla looked away, “… They… Marcel is…” Camilla took a deep breath “Marcel… ran away…” Camilla said, not making eye contact with her older brother. “And mom?” Abel’s body was shaking violently, his face was turning red. “Where is she, Camilla!” he shouted. “Mom’s dead!” Camilla said and ran into the house, sobbing loudly.
Abel stood perfectly still. “M…Mom’s…” he couldn’t believe what he was saying. “Mom’s dead?” He said to himself quietly. He didn’t allow any tears out, but he was crying. Abel sat down on the ground and hugged his knees. He couldn’t move anymore, he felt like he had failed her by going away. He had failed Camilla and Marcel. Marcel. Abel shook violently again. ‘Where could he be?’ Abel thought to himself. Abel shook as he stood up and went into the house. He found Camilla laying on their mothers bed weeping. “Camilla… Don’t cry…” he said, walking over to her. “You know… Mother was real sick, Camilla, it’s not like she did this because she hates you or something” Abel tried desperately to make her feel better but everything he said made her more upset. Abel decided that he would just leave the feeling better up to Camilla. “Camilla, do you have any idea where Marcel might have gone?” he asked her through her veil of tears. She nodded and said weakly “I know exactly where he is, and I’m not telling.” Abel stared at Camilla; he forgot that she was only 14. He watched Camilla for a moment and searched his brain for where Marcel might have gone. He decided he would check by the river, as that was his favorite place to go. “I’ll be back in a bit, Camilla…” he said as he walked out of the small room.
When he arrived at the river he searched for Marcel. He checked his favorite fishing spot, his secret hideout and finally his father’s fishing spot. Abel had shown Marcel this spot when he was old enough to fish, because their father had died, so Abel felt responsible for teaching Marcel how to do these sorts of things.
Abel decided to look all around at this spot for his little brother. What he found was something that would forever change him. Marcel’s dead body lay on the ground next to his fishing pole. He had been murdered. Abel stepped backwards so quickly that he forgot about the ledge into the river and he fell in. He floated downriver about 3 miles until he finally got out. The ground was muddy where he had gotten out so he was covered in it. He slowly began to walk home, his mind hazy and his legs barely working. After about two miles Abel began talking to himself. “Come on Marcel, don’t be like that. Quit fooling around…” Abel looked around; he forgot where he was going. “Marcel, mom’s dead” he said. He began screaming to and at himself for no reason other than that he was having a breakdown. “MARCEL!?” he screamed angrily. It began to get dark, and his body didn’t want to move anymore but he carried on until he collapsed. “Marcel…” he said quietly, his voice had gotten rough from yelling. “Mar… Cel…” he said. He heard voices shouting to him but he couldn’t reply. He just lay there.
Camilla began to get worried that Abel hadn’t returned to supper. She felt awful lonely with nobody else in the house. She wasn’t used to being alone, and she didn’t like it. She decided that she would go look at the river for the boys, Abel must have found Marcel by now, she thought. She knew what had happened to Marcel, she knew that her mother was murdered as well. She went to the river and saw Marcel’s body; it made her throw up, even though she had seen it before. She looked at the ledge and saw a chunk missing from it and she knew that her brother had fallen in. Camilla ran back to the town and went to the preacher’s house and asked him what she should do, he sent out the men of the town to look for him.
When the men from the town found Abel he had completely gone crazy, he was rolling around on the ground and speaking to somebody who was not there, and what’s more he was covered in his own filth. The men got him into the back of their wagon and took him home. They left him with Camilla after he had settled down.
Abel began to come back to reality, afraid of what Camilla thought of him after that episode. “C… Camilla” he croaked. “Camilla, what happened” he said. Camilla knew exactly what he was talking about. “The thieves… there were two groups Abel. They stole mother’s jewelry and when she said no they killed her. And then they killed Marcel because he witnessed it. They propped him up out at the river” Camilla had begun to sob wildly. “I wasn’t home.” Were her final words before she collapsed onto the floor and began crying as loudly as she could. Abel reached over and comforted his little sister, looking around at the small house that he had called home for so long. “Camilla. We’re leaving. After I bury Marcel we are leaving.” He said quietly. She nodded into him and got up and went to bed after a little while of pure tears. Abel too had begun to cry during that time.
The next day Abel buried his brother and then he packed their things up and he and his sister got out of the town that they had been in their whole lives. They moved miles and miles away where nobody could possibly know them. After a few years Abel got married and so did Camilla. They never told their spouses about the family that had died. They just told them that they were all that was left. Abel still cried every night, silent tears that his lover never heard. Silent tears for his mother and baby brother. Silent tears that never halted.





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