Story Insert. draft.
I had held back tears the day my father died.
I remember the way he looked at my three brothers and I. His eyes still bright burning with the obvious question.
'What will you do now?'
It was my eighteenth name day when healer came. He clicked his tongue and shook his head. Nothing could be done but make my da as comfortable as possible. Father had been laid on a pallet by the living room window of our small home. It overlooked the family plot, something that made me feel sick. But it was close to the fire and the need for warmth during the night as well as fresh air during the day made his resting place essential. An infection caused by a stabbing from a filthy blade had blackened every part of him. Within days it ate away at his insides, devouring him and almost every shred of dignity he had left.
A smell of urine often filled the air as he lost control of his most basic skills. He looked at my brothers in times like that, and you could see the pain on his face an obvious statement that needed not be spoken.
‘No son should see his father like this. I am a man no longer.’
His skin clung to his bones, it was truly the first time I’d seen a skeleton before. He could no longer talk though If he could I know he would have asked for the quick death of a sword.
I would have killed him myself. I would have ended his slow agonising death, but his sword was a great war-sword that I could not lift. All I could do was sit at his cold, bony, feet.
“Let go father, just let go.” My throat was burning but still tears refused to come I had to be strong, for my brothers.
After some hours, a crackling sound began to accompany his every shallow breath. The healer had told me this was the sign of the passing. Phlegm was being produced to fight the infection and filled his lungs.
His body began to drown itself.
I looked upon my father’s face. His eyes wide open, his mouth, open.
I could see the phlegm rising as his throat collapsed on itself trying over and over to drag in something! anything! to feed his lungs and relieve the pain that burns the chest. That rattling noise almost the worst noise I had ever heard scratched the walls of my head. My inner thoughts began screaming out against life.
‘Soon? When? Why? WHY?!’
Suddenly the noise stopped…
My heart pounded. I frantically searched my father’s face.
And then it happened, the worst thing I have ever heard in my life.
“He’s dead! Ellse. He’s dead!”
My brother Bren cried in my arms, and broke my heart.