Fiction: Truth and Lies

“I killed my father—how’s that for starters. It was premeditated—planned over years—and I left him to be eaten by whatever animal wanted him, and he wasn’t quite dead when I left him.”

“What?” William was stunned  as the others gathered round.

“It was the third year of the war, and I took a bounty and got kicked out for drunkenness and sexual deviancy,” Kenyon said, looking into the fire and then at the group of young men. “And then my mother confessed in town what I had done to the bastard, my father, and off I went to prison and nearly died of sickness and fighting.

“A corrupt guard made a deal, and me and another sick man escaped. For three years I stole and ran an immoral business and lured others in too. My sister found me in a poorhouse after I was too sick and melancholy to care for myself, and she took me home though I begged her not to.

“Her husband died on the ship that sank at war’s end, and she lived with my nephew in an old slave quarters no one cared about. My sister told me she forgave me. I wanted that peace she had and she told me how to get it—through Christ. So I know things a little better than all you piss-ants with all your bravado and false camaraderie. I can say I’ve been to hell, and you boys are on the road to it.”

Fahy looked around at his comrades, their shocked faces lit by the fire, and laughed. “So you expect us to respect you because you’re under a delusion that you’re a new man just because you say so? Sounds like you have no right to say a damned thing to those Indians who beat their wives and worship false gods. I don’t think my superiors would want you here if they knew what we know now!”

“Your superiors wouldn’t be happy with what you’re up to either,” Kenyon said.

“Hey, you give me a great idea,” Fahy said. “Let’s be Christian and not judge each other and ask for forgiveness and all and call it a night.”

“When you experience God’s glory you want to turn away from sin,” Kenyon said.

“So now you’ve seen visions and seen glory?” Fahy said. “You remind me of the little old ladies back in Dublin wasting their time on rosaries and seeing a miracle in every healthy bowel movement. You can take all this talk and shove it up your arse. I always thought there was something weird about you. Now please leave us lost sheep to ourselves.”

“William, will you come away from these children?” Kenyon asked his voice shaking. “William?”

William got his feet under him again, replying, “No, I’m not ready to go.”

The missionary grabbed his cheap hat and old lantern and stalked off to his tent.

“Damn, Bill, I’ve saved you from a real bum. I never liked the fellow, but crikey, if he doesn’t take the cake for problems,” Fahy said.

William had been duped again—Kenyon should have confessed earlier. He wondered if the other missionaries were murderers and thieves. He was glad to be on his own again and took another drink.

Buck unbuttoned his coat at the neck. “Say, lieutenant, you’re not cheating the Indians, are you?”

Fahy and the others heard him this time. Fahy said, “Come now, little brother, now’s not the time—you don’t know the ways of the real army.”

“So you are stealing, then,” Buck said.

“Hey, are you going to believe Bill and his perverted friend or me, cadet?”

Buck glanced at William, wild-eyed with drink now. “I don’t know.”

“You should mind your own damned business, Buck. The Indians waste half they get and so we all skim—from the government, really—those scoundrels in Washington. You think I’m the only one doing it?”

“So Thankful’s ring—that’s how you came to afford it?”

“So are you a god-damned  jeweler?” Fahy asked taking a gulp of whiskey. “That ring is all the way from Ireland, you shit, and how would it be now for your sister if you went off and ratted on me—over such a trifling thing?”

“I don’t rat, and I don’t want my sister in any more trouble than she already is.”

“Good. For Christ’s sake, this was supposed to be a jolly night.” Fahy turned and saw William opening another expensive bottle. “Hey there, Bill, that’s enough. Save some for the rest of us.”

“Go to hell,” William said, waving his free arm.

“I’ll see you there.” Fahy walked over and grabbed the bottle away.

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. That is such an excellent paragraph that it should be the start. Read it and you’re drawn in immediately.

    Like

    1. So glad you liked this! I’m a slow build up writer but when things go bad they go REALLY bad. LOL

      Hope you’re feeling well.
      xxoo
      A

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The complexities of this tale escalate with each entry, but this one is exceptional. I didn’t see Kenyon’s story coming at all, figuring his faith was born in his childhood. And that Fahy acquired Thankful’s ring by stealing makes me like him even less. I always found him a pompous donkey; his ears keep getting longer. No one behaves well here, and I’m looking forward to finding out who redeems himself and how. The story is getting better and better, Adrienne.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a slow burn but builds into an inferno. Just how I like it. LOL.

      And you’ve stuck with it from the start. So appreciate that. More fireworks to come…

      Liked by 2 people

  3. PJR says:

    It is extraordinary, on a moral and historical scale astonishing to read on a blog. Thank you – for your writing and your grace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! I really appreciate your words — especially since I’ve been an admirer of your writing for a long time. Thank you!

      xx
      A

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So hooked from the first line!

    Like

    1. Always good words to hear! Thanks O-librarian. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. New to your blog. I love your posts. 💛

    Like

    1. Thank you, Doodle! So glad you stopped by.

      Like

      1. A pleasure of mine. 💜

        Like

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