March 6, 1,100 A.D.
When I woke up I was once again on the ground sleeping next to my son. I looked up at the beautiful gravestone I had carved last night. It was so amazing I did not even know how I did it because that was the first time I had ever picked up a knife in my entire life. When the doctor came to work she greeted me with pleasant smile.
“ Were you here all night?” she asked.
“ Yes, I slept here all night. Right here with my son,” I said.
“ Where are you from?” the lady asked, desperate to make conversation.
“ I am from Varrok. What about you?” I asked.
“I grew up right here.”
“ I forgot to ask. . .where is ‘right here’?”
“ Oh, I am so sorry. This is Shambel’s Abbey,” said the doctor.
“ Shambel’s Abby” I repeated . “ I have not heard that name in ten years. This is where my wife grew up,” I said, excited to hear the name again.
“ What is her name? Maybe I know her.” The doctor appeard excited as well.
“ Her name was Juliana Norbury,” I said, as the doctor’s eyes lit up with delight.
“ Juliana was my best friend as a child.” The doctor was obviously very enthused.
“ Wait. Are you Linette Eads?”
“ Yes, I am. Juliana and I were great friends.” Linette was astonished at her findings. “How is Juliana?” Linette asked.
“ I am sorry, Linette. She died ten years ago when Cedric was born.” I felt sad for the both of us, remembering the bittersweet day.
She began to cry at the thought of her best friend gone forever. But she promptly pulled herself together to ask me a question.
“ Blythe, did she ever tell you why she moved away from here?” she said between sniffles.
“No. Was there something she didn’t tell me about herself ?”
She motioned for me to come inside. In almost no time at all I caught on and sat down inside her beautiful house. She told me to sit down while she got something from the other room. Almost as soon as she left, she brought me a stunning box embroidered with beads. Linette laid it gently in my open hands and I slowly closed them a moment after.
“This was Juliana's,” she said and sat down next to me as tears raced down her cheeks.
“ When Juliana was born there was a huge dispute between her parents. Her father Perry wanted to promise her hand in marriage to Atol, Juliana’s fourth cousin. But her mother Tayte, who had a very pure heart, wanted Juliana to find love on her own, so that she could live a happy life. When she was five, despite her mother’s wishes, her father had Atol sign a marriage contract. When Juliana was seven her mother found out about the contract. She threatened to leave her father. He said that he terminated the contract when Juliana was twelve. He rreallydidn’t, and her mother went insane and sent out another threat to her husband that if he didn’t immediately terminate the contract she would kill Juliana and then herself. Her father finally terminated the contract.
“There was a problem. Atol still wanted Juliana. So one night while she was sleeping he tried to kidnap her. When his operation failed, Juliana was frightened. She came by my house, gave me this box and said that she was running away. Juliana explained what happened and decided she would run away to live in Varrok. She made me promise that I would never tell anyone where she went unless it was someone who rreallymattered. Like you, I suppose. When she left, her mother, being the fragile women she was, killed herself. Juliana never got in contact with her parents again so she never knew her mother committed suicide out of grief.
“Juliana said she would write me, but I only got three letters from her. Those are in the box. I thought you would like to have them. The box was extremely important to Juliana, so be certain you never lose it. I hope I can trust you with her prized possession.” Linette gave me information my wife never did, as if it was her duty to do so.
I thanked Linette for the story and hurried out as if I had somewhere to go. I actually went back to the graveyard. I saw what I did not realize before, in the round about fashioned way I curved in and out through the scattered gravestones, roughly one hundred yards away from each other, were Juliana, to the far left of the graveyard, Tayte, a couple rows in front of Juliana, Perry, right next to Tayte, and finally my dear son Cedric, in the row across from Juliana. As I passed pointing out all of my family I thought: my whole family, gone like the wind.
“How could I let this happen?” I whispered under my breath. As lonely as ever I sat between the gravestones of my family.
On top of the box was the notes Juliana wrote to Linette. The first one read:
I am having a wonderful time so far! The first person I met was the official herald. I think he likes me very much. We had supper together and he is very friendly. I think you would like him very much. If you ever get a chance to meet him please tell him for me. I do not believe I have the strength to tell that story again.
When I finished reading the note it rreallytouched my heart. But something I could not quite put my finger on was why Juliana would spell her own name wrong and say I was a herald if she never knew. She died before I could tell her. I walked over to her gravestone and asked, as if someone would answer. I sat down and heard the crumpling of paper. It was three sheets of paper covered in dust. I brushed the dirt off the papers and unfolded them to see the real letters Juliana wrote. I decided to open the box before I went to ask Linette about the letter.
I opened the box and a puff of black dust floated out of it. I saw Linette peer out of her window and laugh at me as if I had fallen into a trap. I tried to waft the dust away, but by the time I got around to it I started coughing and I felt like I couldn't breathe. I fell into a deep unconsciousness and I could feel myself slip into a sleep from which I feared I might not wake up. The last thing that I thought was Linette was a murderer and my entire family was dead because of her. A doctor-- who would think? Someone walking by saw me and called Linette over to treat me. He meant well, but nothing was going to help me now.
That evening, I regained a portion of my consciousnesses and felt the black dust settle further in my lungs. I was laying on the ground. I tried to lift my head but my body could not bear the weight of it. The only thing my weak corpse could handle was a small movement of my hand, but not even enough to fully make a fist. In the time I had become almost paralyzed on the ground I thought about Linette and my dead family. I started to cry but I knew that if I upset myself any more than I already had, my lungs would burst. It would do me no good and I would die just like the rest of my family.
I was now desperate to save whatever life I had left. So I took the deepest breath I could handle then let it out with a whimper. This calmed me somewhat, but it only made me feel worse inside. To my surprise someone came to my aid. Sadly, what I thought was an aid was rreallyLinette.
“What do you want?” I asked, wasting more of my energy than I should have.
Before the sinister woman could respond an innocent boy came over to see what was going on.
“ What happened to him?” asked the little boy, his huge eyes starring at me .
“ It’s nothing for you to worry about, Honey,” the murderer told who I believed was her son.
“ What is your name?” I asked the little boy, almost in a whisper.
The boy hesitated to answer. “ My name is Yrre.”
Named by a murderer after a murderer, I thought. But I couldn't scare the boy nor kill my only chance of Linette trying to help me.
“Yrre. What a nice name you have.” I tried hard not to upset either of them.
I closed my eyes and pretended to die. The little boy couldn’t see me breathe and my plan worked perfectly.
“ Save him mommy, save him!” the boy yelled.
He ran closer to me, folding his hands, kneeling beside me. He then pleaded, “Please don’t die! Please don’t die!” over and over again.
In the midst of pretending to die, I actually was dying deep inside. I was doing such a good job Linette and her son left me to what they thought was my death. What I learned after a few hours was that I had weakened tremendously, but then I had miraculously gained nearly all my strength.
I was so exited I could lift my head and wiggle my fingers. In the act of my excitement I overexerted myself and fell asleep. My dream was about me floating next to my family in the clouds. It lasted so long I began to believe it was actually real. The clouds and the sky were beginning to become more and more vivid by the second. It was as if my death was approaching before my very eyes. In my extremely vivid dream I fell to my back, still floating in mid-air. I felt myself being carried up, then put down less gently than I expected. I heard a loud thump then a sound similar to rain. At this point the dream was so peculiar I woke myself up. I was in a dark room lying down just like in the dream. When I tried to get up I hit my head on something.
I was trapped! I thought for a little while but it didn’t take me long to put my only clues together.
Fell to back, carried, put down, thump, and rain.
I was in a casket. Trapped alive in a coffin. I could barely see anything though on my chest was a small piece of paper. It said Blythe on the front, but once I looked on the back I realized it was from Linette. The dark coffin did not allow me to see much, so it took a little while to finally make out the note. My eyes fully adjusted to the minimal lighting that came from the unevenly-spaced boards of my casket. The note read:
It was me. I never knew Juliana. Cedric never had a bacteria. I’m not a doctor. My name is not Linette Eads. Juliana’s mother did not kill herself. Juliana did not die in child birth. And lastly, I hate your family. That’s why I killed you all. You should be running out of air soon.
I wish you a horrible death.
You will never know my name.
At this I started screaming and kicking at the coffin, scratching relentlessly but there was nothing to grab onto. I kept this up as long as I could and then someone heard me. I could hear the scrape of the shovel on the coffin. I was choking over the next breath to take. There was little air to breathe. As I felt the person lift the casket above the ground my heart thumped faster and faster until I couldn’t bear the pain of it. I had had enough.
So I just let go.
I let go of every aspect of my miserable life and left it behind me.