Friday, 6 June 2014
It ain't over...
“This ain't over yet.”
Those were the words spoken by Rory McHat when his eldest was brought to him, the blood still drying on his clothes, the life gone from him. It had been a fair fight Rory heard, but he never saw that, he only saw the husk of his son.
That was the start of it. Twenty three years later and the feud had claimed almost seventy lives. Coyfields and McHats had perished in equal numbers. The hatred for each other bred into them from infancy, and nurtured throughout their lives, sometimes their very short lives.
The pointless, senseless slaughter had reached out into their homes, sometimes met them on freeways or in bars, occasionally even into the classrooms.
And now it was down to this.
Jason McHat glared over the table at Raymond Coyfield, his eyes burned with hatred.
“Well, I'm here, like you asked. Is there anything you want to say before I tear your throat out?”
A tear trickled from the corner of Raymond's eye. Jason watched unbelievingly as it wove a meandering path down Raymond's cheek, hung from his chin a moment then dripped to the floor. He had never seen a Coyfield cry before.
When Raymond finally spoke his voice was gentle, compassionate. “After all the years, all the waste, there is only you and me now Jason, the last of our lines. There was a time I had a wife and four children, and like your kin the feud has claimed them all, one by one they've all been taken. This ends here, now, today.”
“It ain't over yet.” Snarled Jason. “Not while one of us still lives.”
“I'd like to introduce you to a friend of mine.” Said Raymond quietly. “Someone I met not so long ago, she showed me another way to be, a way I never thought I could be. You treat this lady nice now, you hear me? Listen to what she has to say.”
“Bring her on in then.”
“I can't, you'll understand why when you see her. She's waiting for you in the parking lot.”
“What, and ten more waiting in the shadows?”
“No, just her, you have my word. We need an end to this thing. Too many lives have been lost, too many graveside gatherings. Too many brothers, sisters, children. All gone to a cause that never was, that never should have been. It ends here, today.”
Jason rose and followed Raymond outside. In the centre of the parking lot stood the fattest woman Jason had ever seen. Jason was built like a quarterback, but she must have outweighed him by at least a hundred and fifty pounds. For a fleeting moment he wondered if she were a threat to him, but quickly dismissed the idea, the aura of serenity about her made the very idea seem ridiculous. She smiled at Jason, and the whole world seemed to light up.
“Okay, say your piece lady, but this still ain't over yet.” Said Jason, and he fired a flinty glance in Raymond's direction.
The lady opened her mouth, but instead of talking she began to sing. Her voice beautiful, angelic, echoed around the parking lot. The nearby buildings began to shimmy as they thrummed to the sweet vibrations.
As the dulcet tones reached Jason's ears and drizzled into his brain, something changed inside him. He felt his whole body relaxing, softening as the hate inside him shrivelled and died. His shoulders slumped and he tried in vain to wipe the tears from his eyes, but failed to keep up with the flow as a lifetime of venom, heartache and suffering poured down his cheeks.
Jason walked over to Raymond and they grasped each other tightly. There was real love in that embrace, a forgiveness for the past, a hope for the future, for all the futures to come.
“Yeah.” Whispered Jason. “I guess it's finally over.”
©2014 Stephen. J. Green.