A/N: This is just a little short story, will be about 3 or 4 chapters, based on a crazy dream I had. Enjoy!
The war was over. At long last, there would be no more fighting, no more dying. A nation divided, but back together again. When I had heard the news, that General Lee had surrendered, I was only relieved. My father and brother had fought to defend South Carolina, not the whole South, but all these years of fighting and dying, I could see we were wrong.
My father's life had been claimed some two months earlier, leaving me alone. My mother had died when I was young. I'd lived in Charlestown my whole life, and had been alone since the war started. I had not heard from my brother for a month until a few days before. Christian had finally written. He said he had been in Appomattox before the surrender, but they had sent his unit close to Washington. He wrote he hadn't been able to come home, so had been staying with Mamma's cousins in Maryland these last two weeks. He asked me to come up to them, and we could go home after a visit. So I had scraped together some money and bought a train ticket. Now drawing closer to Maryland, I was excited to see Christian. The last time he had come home was for Christmas in 1863. I hadn't seen our family in Maryland since before Mamma had died. I heard the brakes of the train hissing. I was here.
Holding my bag in one hand and my skirt in the other, I climbed down the steps onto the platform. A few people milled around, but not Christian. I glanced around and started towards the ticket counter, meaning to inquire if he had been here. He knew I was coming, since I had wired him. Before I could get there, I heard someone calling my name. I whirled around, recognizing my cousin Gabrielle hurrying towards me. On further notice, I could see she had been crying.
"Oh, Elizabeth, it's so terrible. They took Christian last night and—"She said, beginning to cry again. I froze.
"Gabrielle, you must tell me what happened!" I knew her and her family was strict abolitionists, and our two families had some strained relations when it came to slavery, but they had taken my brother in. She sniffed and wiped her eyes.
"Let's go somewhere else. I don't want anyone to hear." She took my arm. "You are well, yes?"
She asked. I nodded. "We were all so excited to see Christian when he arrived. We had not seen hide or hair of either of you for years." She started. "He was so happy you were coming, when he got your wire, as were we all. You know many folks around here don't take too kindly to Southerners, and Mamma always got words about for having Southern relations. Not one of them realized you didn't own a single slave, but just the idea was enough." Tears were pooling in her eyes.
"Enough for what?" I asked.
"Last night. They heard about Christian and came to get him. Boys I knew my whole life, just back from the battlefields rounded up some kind of a posse and came get him and any other Rebels around." She whimpered, beginning to sob. "Th-they said he had committed rebellion against the state and were arresting him. They were so angry about what the South had done…" She trailed off. "This war will never be over, Elizabeth. There will always be people like them who will resent the other side." She buried her face in her hands and cried.
"Gabrielle, where did they take him?"
'The jail. I tried to see him this morning, but they wouldn't let me."
"Do you think they would let me?" I asked. She shrugged. "Could you take me there? It's worth a try."
We started off, Gabrielle needed little convincing. I was fighting my own tears. I couldn't imagine my brother in prison. When we approached, it got worse. Gabrielle stopped me before we went inside.
"Elizabeth, before we go inside, I need to tell you this. I love Christian, plain and simple."
"Does he know?" I asked, squeezing her hand. She smiled a bit and nodded. "No wonder you want to see him as badly as I do."