There were dark, rolling clouds overhead, and in the air the heavy, oppressive sense of thunder. A south westerly wind gusted against the villagers faces bringing with it turbulent waves of withered leaves. Henriques’ men galloped into the forest. The sound of hooves against the rough ground imitated a palpitating heart.
The villagers marched in line with Henriques’ horse as if in a military parade but smaller in numbers. The horses came to an abrupt halt. “Show yourselves! ” Henriques exclaimed threateningly. Nobody responded.The atmosphere was tense. The villagers look to one another, each showing the same apprehensive face. All that was heard was the horses snorting heavily. There they came, from every direction.
They were in great numbers, effortlessly outnumbering Henriques’ men. They did not come slowly; within a second they had ran the distance of 100m or less and the rage in their eyes could be seen evidently as if through a glass of water. “Now! ” Henriques shouted. The villagers sang jubilantly seeing the hostages hesitate and vacillate.
The ground started to stop shaking as their numbers abated, but nevertheless the ground was vibrating slowly as still a whole division of them were charging. The antagonism in their blood increased every second. The singing grew louder and louder and as each hostage fell clumsily onto the ground, smiles became laughter’s of joy on the singer’s faces.
Henriques knew the moment would come, and as he patted his horse he also looked at Jack and could see tears welling up in his eyes. “Open your hand” uttered Henriques. Jack opened his hand and with that Henriques placed the gift onto his hand and told him not to open it. What is it? ” jack asked thoughtfully “It was a gift from my mother, she told me not to open it until she dies but I haven’t done that so you can do it sometime” he told Jack.
“I will do” Jack replied. Henriques cried as he kicked his horse into action. He rode off into what seemed to be a terrain of suffering and pain. With his sword in one hand and the horse reins in the other, the singing continued to get louder, reaching out to protect him as he made his way through the deadly battlefield cutting each hostage’s head and putting them to rest for one last time.The nauseating undead began falling onto the ground like machine-gun victims, dropping as each word of the song was sung. Bodies began piling up near him, bodies looking lifeless and innocent.
He fought bravely, but there were too many and as they grasped and pulled from every direction, he fell from his horse resulting in his sword flying off in the other direction. He fell head first on the snowy ground and……..
darkness! He died on that field with a smile on his face knowing that for the first time he had been a good father to his son, and that his son had forgiven him.As Jack saw what happened to his father, he did not cry, he didn’t need to. His father fought for the right thing and fought with a smile on his face. Jack ran beside his father and held his hand, he then picked up the sword and faced the enemy. He fought hard. He swung the sword violently about him.
The hostages hesitated, amazed by the boys vigour, his energy and as Jack swung the sword for the last time giving rest to the last hostage, he fell on his knees, fatigued. He wondered what the hostages wanted that drove their madness.The next morning Sophie took down the small hut and the villagers buried Henriques on his little island that he himself had dug when they first settled here. Everybody attended the funeral, everybody that Henriques ever knew and loved. He was buried with his loyal sword and Jack knew that in his heart, his father was happy.
Days passed swiftly, Jack had stayed in Sophie’s hut the last few days and now he had to think of what to do next. He had to think of his future. But now he decided he was going to move from the village. He had no family in the village anyway.Sophie urged him a thousand times to stay, but nothing was going to change his mind.
He was going to go to somewhere far away from his past. The next day he got up on his father’s horse and said his last goodbye’s to everyone in the village, especially Sophie and her father. Too bad Lily wasn’t there so he could say goodbye to her. He unwrapped the gift and stared at the radiant glow shining off it.
It drew him in and at last he placed it on his index finger. On the other side of the village a hand reached out of a grave. Engraved on the tombstone was the writing ‘Mary Albinson’.