“Fir Heather’s Ridge”

It took me ten years to find you, and I searched for you good. I’m sure it weren’t surprisin’ if you had heard it, ’cause I was tryin’ to bring back the jacket you lent me that night as a blanket, and you, knowin’ my character and all, it can’t have surprised you that I was wanderin’ all around tryin’ to find where you went after you left so sneaky like that mornin’.

Look here, though, I finally found you, but look at what you brought on yourself. Now I can’t give back your jacket. I’ll tell you though, how I found you all lonesome up here in Fir Heather’s Ridge.

Remember that town right below here? It took me a while, but I found a trace of you and followed it there. Hey, tell me what you thought when you came to that little town way before I did, back then with it’s broken watermill, and the windmill burnt down from the previous raid and all, the people sittin’ all depressed like on their porches, if they still had them.

I heard from Hans Miller when I got there that you had immediately set about tryin’ to fix everythin’ like you always did when you saw the place. Called you a nice young man.

You were always that type, goin’ outta your way for helpin’ people. I heard you were there workin’ your skin off for a long time, long enough to be there for the next raid.

Was it really as scary as everyone down there says? I guess I woulda been terrified. Joshua Fletcher, you know him, he always says I woulda been if I had seen it. It scares me jus’ hearin’ about it, that big three-headed demon that would swoop down on the town at night tearin’ everythin’ up with its fire-breath and killin’ people and stealin’ cows and sheep and all.

I never heard anythin’ quite like it before, and it shook me up real bad when I did hear it from Elder Longman, who always calls me Young Lass insteada my name. Haha, I remember wrappin’ your jacket all tight like around myself as if you’d come and protect me again, but I guess that won’t be happenin’ no more, will it?

I heard what you did after you saw the raid for yourself. It sounded just like you, don’t ya think? I can imagine you doin’ what ya did, goin’ around yellin’ at the air at ‘the injustice of it all,’ like you always told me every time you heard somethin’ bad about the world. I laughed back then, but I guess you really meant it, enough to get yourself how you are now.

Victoria Cooper says you were so indignat, whatever that means, and so angry – Bishop Laius says it was righteous anger, which to me sounds jus’ like you – that you went and says to everyone who could hear you that that dragon needs to be kilt for the ‘safety and well-being of this town,’ and well, you were always smarter than me, so I think you musta been right, but I wish you hadn’ of done that.

Of course you probly woulda tol’ me, “people’s lives would be in danger if I don’t go,” like you did back in Lake Capstone, only this time it didn’ work out so well, did it? The town people did try and stop you from headin’ up the ridge, sayin’ it’d kill you, but you and your stubborness, you didn’t listen, did you? Really, stupid? Did you really think you coulda kilt a dragon, a three-headed one at that? Stupid.

But look at this, you did it. You took your stupid sword and climbed up Fir Heather’s Ridge, and you actually kilt this stupid three-headed monster, and I can’t even picture whata fight it musta been. This place here is all burned up and there are scratches all over the place and see those trees over there leanin’ at that strange angle.

I wish you coulda at least told me what happ’n here and what you did like you always used to, you likin’ to brag to everyone and all. I think I liked that about you most, the way you used to shine talkin’ about your adventures and getting’ so excited your jacket would flap up and down like wings of a bird, you looked handsome to me, like a knight. And seein’ you sittin’ up there now all hero like and proud, you must feel like king of the world, don’t you?

What a fittin’ throne, though, all those bones piled up one on another…

Curse you!!! Why’d you have to go and make it your grave? You! You! I can’t give it back now ’cause of you! I came all this way and you’re sitting here like the hero I always said you were, ‘cept now you’re dead! And I can’t give it back! I traveled all over to find you so I could give it back, but you’re dead and I can’t give it back.

I wanted to give it to you at least.

No, I guess I’m lyin’, aren’ I. That was only an excuse, givin’ you your jacket back, so I could see you again at least once more, and here you are. I guess I’ve seen you, haven’t I?

Bishop Laius says I should be glad I at least found you after searchin’ for so long, and that I at least now know what happened to you after all these years, and that you at least got pe-petrofiyed. He says that means turned to stone, which I guess you are, and I’m glad you aren’ gonna rot and go all bones.

You liked showin’ off too much and you can’ do that if your all bones, so I guess it’s a good ending for a stupid person like you. A fittin’ grave for a hero, you’d tell me. The town calls you that now, you know? A hero.

They’re doin’ pretty good now that there’s no monster any longer, one that makes them scared goin’ out. They have a party for you now, every year. They light candles and dance around, and I guess it’s a thanks for you gettin’ rid of the dragon and all. So, everyone’s livin’ all happy like and safe now ‘causa you, though, now you’re gone and I can’t look for you no longer.

I guess I don’t really know what to do with myself no longer, though, I think I might try livin’ here for a while. It seems like a good town and nice people and all, and they treat me special and all ’cause I know you. I gotta go, but I’ll come again sometime soon.

I miss talkin’ to you, and I don’ want you to be too lonely up here without me. But, hey, before I go, tell me at least what am I supposed to do with your jacket now.

Really, why’d you have to come here? I wish you hadn’.

I wanted to give it back to you, your jacket, ’cause you never even gave me the chance to say goodbye.

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