The mist was rolling in from the night's storm, making the town of Maywood look more depressing than it already was. The townsfolk wake before the sun rises behind the mountain surrounding the town. Mothers pull their children back into their houses and lock the doors as others walk through town towards the nearby forest, following the man who has caused this unfortunate event.
The path in the thicket disappeared where the Rotted River overflowed onto the trail, leaving everyone in knee-deep muck.
The one leading the group is chained from head to toe. Beside him is his brother with a look of unease plainly seen on his face. He keeps his face down, and leans towards his brother. "Why is this happening to you, Roger?"
Roger continues trudging through the sludge, ignoring his brother, and almost loses his grip of a stone slab connected to his shackled feet. His legs give and he falls, soaking his raiment. He lays his head on the rock to rest.
His brother leans in front of him, catching his eyes. "Murder, Roger? How could you be accused of murder?"
Roger holds his gaze, and keeps his voice low. "Charles, you believe i am innocent, yes?"
Charles nods then gestures towards the group of people surrounding them. "But these people do not, Roger! And as hard as i tried, they would not change their hearts."
Roger places a hand on his brothers' shoulder, pulls himself up, and carries on. "My heart is pure. And only God may condemn my sins, and their lies." He stops and stares into Charles' blue eyes. "I do not fear death, brother."
Charles studies his brothers face, for what he knew to be the last time.A hand reaches out and pushes Roger on, forcing him to make again. "Keep walking you traitor!" The man yells. He turns to his side to see Charles, and nods to say hello.
"Greetings, Mayor Arthur." The awkward silence between them made Charles anxious. "Please, sir. You have to let my brother free!"
Mayor Arthur continues to pull himself through the thick fog. "This man is receiving his pay for his wrong doings, Mr. Thatch."
Charles takes in a deep breath, then lets it out. "I am sorry for your loss, sir. I truly am. But you do not actually believe that this accident was caused by Roger?"
"Silence your tongue, boy! Or else i shall do it for you." Mayor Arthur hushes down, "My dear Abigail, may she rest in peace, will finally receive justice."
Charles slows his pace and finds himself beside the Preacher of the town. "I am sorry, my son. I wish this day had never come." The old man sighs and lifts one side of his mouth to show sympathy.
"Father Joseph," Mayor Arthur calls behind him. "We are ready to end this."
Father Joseph nods, and heads towards the front of the group. He pauses beside Roger and places a shaky hand on his shoulder. "May God see the virtue in your soul." He wipes away tear from his cheek as he opens up the Bible he hid in his cloak.
Mayor Arthur glares Roger in the eyes. "Start walking, boy. And no tricks."
Roger smiles and lifts the boulder a little higher to show his inability to escape. "I have nothing to fear from the truth. These people will know your sins soon enough." He spit in the lean mans' face.
Mayor Arthur's face inflames with anger. "Get going!" He pushes him forward, with a scowl on his face.
Father Joseph reads from the Bible, reciting Psalms 23. Roger stumbles as he wades further and further into the water, he joins in with his Father every other verse. The towns women cry and bury their faces into their hands, while the men stay calm but break down inside.
a young but fair girl creeps through the weeping crowd and slips next to Charles, who is staring apathetically at his struggling brother. Sneaking her hand into his, she whispers, "Your brother is very brave."
"Brave?" Charles lets out a silent scoff. "His bravery hides behind his stupidity. There is nothing bold or honorable about being falsely accused, and dying because of it!" He pauses and looks at her gently. "Grace, I do not mean to shout. Your sister was a good woman, and i am sorry she is gone."
Grace shows a sympathetic smile. "She is in a better place than we are." They turn their attention back to Roger, with sludge now past his chin.
Father Joseph reads the last verse louder, to make certain Roger can hear him. "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:"
Then the weary man interrupts, "And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!" Roger slips, and sinks into the water.
Charles could hear gasps and wails from those around him. But nothing hurt more than the rock that fell in his stomach. He watches the water with grief, until the last bubble pops, leaving the foul water motionless.
This is my first chapter to my newest book. I really hope you like it! And please give me any feedback that you have to improve my story. Please and thank you! 3