Mr Carter’s personal war

 In my life I have fought two battles, the reason for my intrepid guilt. The hardest was my war against guilt and love, fault and worship.

On the faithful day I left to fight the wretched forces of Napoleon, part of my heart died. For when I returned from battle, my sweet love had been taken from me. The last time I saw my beautiful fiancée Beth, was the day I set sail for Waterloo.

 For days, I watched the rolling sea, thinking about the promises I had made to her.  When I arrived, I fought hard, brazen with a bloody rifle .We watched as Napoleon surrendered, we watched as his men died. It was a battle over, but a battle starting, the promise was never lost, the promise had just begun.

And so with high dignity and adoration, I returned to England with a humble mind of excitement. The foul stench of London reminded me of home, a comforting feeling to thee. With a tattered smile of delinquent excitement, I waited for Beth. I waited by the docks, waiting for the promise, waiting for the dream.  

Beth never came to greet me that day, and I walked home with worry. I waited in bed that night for her, my eyes stiff and centered on the cold ceiling. As I finally unrolled into my golden slumbers, a diminutive but sharp knock pierced my ears.

“Is that you Beth?” I cried out in excitement, walking down the hallway.

“Its Sister Margo, from the local church” cried a wispy Scottish voice.

I walked down the smooth staircase, opening the door. Sister Margo stood in front of me, her weary stature hunched against the night sky. In the moonlit silhouettes, she appeared old, but her face was that of a child only new to the nunnery.

“Mr Carter, I presume?” asked the short lady. “I have some rather sad news for you; your fiancée fell in to tuberculosis and passed away while you served in Waterloo”.

I crumbled in a flow of acute fear. The promise of love could never been delivered.

“That can’t be true, sister!” I shouted to her.

“Mr Carter I am sorry for delivering this news to you, goodnight” said the sister, looking down sorrowfully to me.  

For the rest of my night, I bathed in guilt; the promise of eternal love had not been delivered. A Personal war had started that night, a war against the eclipse of my heart. Now, for the rest of my life, I would face the fear of never telling Beth how much I loved her. If only I could hear her voice, If only I could hear the piano play with life.

For thirty long years of culpability had bewildered me into a crabby elder. My house had become abandoned, Beth’s vivacious rose garden, reduced to dust. I spent those years in silent solitude, engulfed in remorse, until one changing day.

I woke up as always, crippled by loneliness.  I looked out my dirty window and noted the rotten children outside. As I moved downstairs, I heard a miraculous melody.

Alas! Beth was alive, playing her song on the piano next door. In excitement I put on my old coat and walked outside. But my friend, there was no need for a coat, for the sun shone cerulean blue. I noticed how the world had changed, the green hedges, the white fences.  I chuckled as I saw a fresh generation of children, each won donning a cheeky grin like their forefathers.

I followed the sound of Beth, the sound of promise. As I walked freely into the house next door, I walked upstairs to the piano. Beth was not sitting on the stool, only a little girl, playing that haunting song on her piano.

Suddenly she stopped playing. She turned her head and examined me, swaying her golden locks.

“What do you think you’re doing in my house?” asked the little girl as she turned her head.

“That song, I have heard it before, were did you learn it?” I asked with integrity.

From the mahogany piano she picked up an old manuscript and dropped it on to the ground, freely floating to the ground. As it hit the wooden floor, I stared at the piece of music, intertwining my memories of my sweet Beth.

“I found it in the garden next door, where the grouch-man lives” said the little girl.

“My sweet child, I wish not to scare you, but will you play it for me again?” I asked.

She picked up the manuscript and started playing. Oh, how it felt to feel that trembling crescendo, the saccharine forte once again.

And as the song came to a melodramatic diminuendo, I had found Beth again. With a tear of solemn, I came closer to the child.

“Please young woman, let me know of your name” I pleaded.

“Abigail Spencer, sir” said the girl.

Now it was time to leave Beth, for tomorrow, I would deliver the promise, deliver the dream. That night I slept in humble gratitude, thinking of tomorrow’s fresh harvest of pledge. 

As I slept I had a miraculous dream of solitude. In the dream, Licks of lighting illuminated the deathly battlefield at Waterloo. Donning my war coat, red and blue, I stood by my fellow men. I watched as the French moved towards us. With A rifle in my hand, I ran towards their cavalry. One shot ended it all, and each man disappeared from the battlefield. On the other side, a ghostly figure waved to me.

“Mr Carter! It’s me, Beth!” cried the beautiful blue laced ghost.

My sweet Beth lay as a spirit on the other side of the battle. My personal war had begun, and I was going to win. I faced the ghost of my sweet Beth, but I knew she was the spirit and remnant of my awful guilt. I held my rifle high with pride, and lodged a bullet into her poisoned heart. As her blue body lay on the cold battlefield, an angel clad in white descended from the heavens and lay Beth to rest. The angel faced me, wings held high. It was Abigail, donning a rich smile to her face.

As I woke in fear and revelation, I heard the birds chirp again. The war was almost over; the promise was about to delivered. As I put on my coat and, I pulled a paper out of my pocket pocket.  In amazement, I saw Beth’s sheet of music, once again in my hands. I trembled in revelation, Abigail was my sweet Beth.

In glee I walked over to the Spencer household, noting the magnificent lives that surround the world. I knocked on the door, waiting to be greeted by Abigail. Just as I predicted, I hear small timid footsteps move around the house.  Abigail opened the door, ready to greet me.

“Abigail, I have your sheet music, it belongs rightfully to you” said I.

“Thank you Mr Carter, I have this for you” said Abigail.

She handed me a letter.

“My heartbeat never really died, the promise was never lost, the promise had just begun my sweet child” I said to her beady, naïve eyes. It was time to leave now, the promise had been delivered, my heart had eclipsed.

That night, I read the letter in clandestine credence. The simple letter only bore six solemn words.

Forget me, don’t swallow your pride

Beth

And so on that night I too wrote a letter.

Culpability over sworn love, forgiven

Carter

And as I sat by the open window, I clenched my letter with great sadness. As Looked over the menacing city, I threw the letter out of the window, flying freely with the wind.

The war was over, the war had been won.

The end

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2 thoughts on “Mr Carter’s personal war

  1. This one was really draining to write!
    It was hard to get the ‘mood’ right when writing.
    If anyone is interested, the sequel is being written…
    Matt

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