Day 27. That night in Tenn

Guys . . . 😦 . . . I’m sorry for being MIA these past two weeks. I wish I could tell you I have a valuable reason for my absence other than I just fell flat off my horse, of which I will divulge with you at another time. But part of the reason I fell is because I didn’t finish my Writing Challenge; I got a bit distracted. And I feel that because I lost sight of that goal of mine, I felt I couldn’t write anything else. Maybe I am over psycho-analysing myself here a bit, but I say all this to say . . . I was gone for a while but I’m back now . . .

 

There it was, the Town Tenn on Mount Tenn. It was a small village town on the main road up the Mount, only the road was more a dirt path. No horse nor wagon made it’s way up these parts. Yet it was here Alison would find her peace. After years and years of searching, she found her adoptive son living in the Town Tenn.

Medieval-TavernThe bar in which her son worked was well-lit and alive that night. She could hear talking and laughing as she approached the door to the Tenn Bar; she paused to adjust her unruly and curly black hair and checked her reflection in the bars’ windows. When she entered the room she was surprised and grateful for the lack of attention she drew to herself. There were about twenty-something patrons in the bar tonight; all gathered close to the fire, some with a hearty meal before them, others with their beer mugs, asking for constant refills. But none glanced in her general direction.

Alison made her way quietly and quite nervously through the diner area, past unoccupied tables with lanterns lit, over to the far end of the bar and sat on a stool. She was much too nervous to hold a conversation with anybody else tonight; she only had enough courage for one.

She fidgeted with her mess of a hair as she patiently waited for the barkeep, a smart-looking 17-year-old young man, to finish tending to his other customers, a trio of rowdy militia by day, drunks by night.

“What can I get you milady?” he asked drying his hands on the towel tied to his waist with his apron. He stood square before her with an impassive look on his face. Alison smiled up at the barkeep; he had his father’s vivid green eyes.

“Can I get a Bellamees on the rocks?” she whispered.

He showed no sign of hesitation. He grabbed a half glass, chipped two pieces of ice into it and poured some Bellamees for her. He slid the glass across the counter and waited while she had her first sip.

That first sip was always the harshest. Alison sputtered and coughed and beat her chest to clear her throat.

“Are you good now?” He smiled wryly as the lamplight danced across his face. He seemed more relaxed with her after her show of bravado.

“Actually, now that I’ve grown some balls, I wondered if I might have a word with you?” She asked, taking a full gulp of the Bellamees this time.

The boy furrowed his eyebrows. “What kinda word would that be now milady?”

“The kind I’d like to have in private.” She eyed him over the rim of her glass.

“Ah . . . I don’t -” He folded his arms across his chest and stood back shaking his shaggy black head of hair.  And she smiled involuntary at the mess of hair he got from her.

“Oh heavens no!” She exclaimed realizing his possible train of thoughts. “Nothing like that.” She shook her head. “Might we talk outside for a bit?” She asked again setting down her glass on the counter, and straightening her white linen blouse.

The boy eyed her suspiciously but then called over his shoulder for a Lucia to replace him at the bar, as he removed his apron and towel from his waist. Lucia stumbled through the kitchen doors and begrudgingly took her place at the bar, donning the boy’s apron.

He gestured for Alison to follow him through the diner and out onto the street outside after grabbing his coat. It was dusk, the sky darkening and the roads grew more ominous with the little light provided by the bar and the Tenn Inn across the road.

“What is it you want to talk about milady?” The boy asked without much preamble leaning against the diner’s wall hidden from the light.

“Well, ah . . .” Alison started but grew uncertain as to how to actually start. She watched the boy, her boy, now a man almost grown, and began to feel certain reservations about the possible outcome of this particular conversation.

“Do you know me?” She decided to ask instead as she leaned against one of the posts.

“Ah, no. Where would I know you from?” He asked puzzled.

“Where did you grow up?”

“By the Holmes’ farm out by Pettridge. Why you ask?”

She knew a family out of Pettridge had adopted her son when she was living in Princeridge, about a mile and a quart south. Once she delivered and the baby adopted, she was whisked away to the other side of the country to Eastonville, so as to prevent her from tracking down her son.

But after 17 years of searching and courage building, here she finally stood, face to face with her long-lost son.

Tears welled in her eyes but were not seen in the dimly lit streets. She wiped her eyes with a handkerchief she pulled from her calf-skin jacket.

“Did the Holmes’ ever tell you anything . . . anything about your birth?” She asked.

“I never really asked about my birth. All births are the same, once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. Nothing special.” He shrugged, cross armed against the wall.

“Oh you have no idea. When I had y-” she almost said ‘you’ but caught herself in time, “when I was pregnant, I was in labour for 23 hours straight before the doctors reached inside me and yanked my baby out by the foot. I was sure the baby would have died but he lived. All that happened was a mark left around the baby’s right ankle where the doctor grabbed hold of him.” Alison watched the boy as his eyes widened with recognition and confusion.

“What?” She asked. “Have I said something wrong?” She stepped across the diner landing and stood beside him almost making to wrap her arms about him, but she refrained.

“It’s just . . . I have a mark around my right ankle.” He finally said with measurable trepidation.

“You do?” She asked with more excitement than she planned. “Did you ever ask the Holmes’ where you got it?”

“No, it’s just a birth mark.” He replied stubbornly.

“No . . . no it’s not, dear boy.” She shook her head. “You know it’s not just a birth mark.”

“I don’t know what to believe.” He mumbled.

“Didn’t you ever wonder where you got your green eyes from?” Alison tried another angle.

“We have lots of different coloured eyed people in my family milady. There’s nothing strange about my green eyes.” He replied with more force than he expected to.

She shook her head. “You got your green eyes from your father, not Cargril Holmes. And you got that unruly head of hair from your mother . . . Me!”

Day 27: Alison decides to find the son she gave up for adoption years ago. The son is now a teenager. She tracks him down at the fast food restaurant where he works in the evenings. Write about the encounter from either Alison’s or her son’s perspective.

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4 comments

  1. Missed you! But pleased to see you got back on the horse! [Metaphorically speaking – because I’m uncertain if it was a real horse or a metaphor ……… I’m hoping it wasn’t real – that can really really hurt ……. ] I like the vision you are holding with your story, and that little allusion to Greek tragedy too – wonderful!! Keep at it!

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