Shadow & Light #Fiction
‘…the jury hereby declares Jonathan Brown guilty and sentences him to the gallows!’
A shocked gasp rippled through the crowd. That angelic-looking man was surely not capable of the crime he was being sentenced for, were the murmurs in the courtroom.
The young man stood in the dock with his head bowed and body limp. Only an observant onlooker would have noticed his knuckles turning white as rage made him grip the railing. Behind her veiled pillbox hat, Violet’s eyes looked at Jonathan, willing him to look up and look her way.
‘I am sure you are a time traveler!’ Violet squealed in glee as Fabian encircled her waist in his arms and whirled her around.
‘…and why would you say that milady?’ asked Fabian as he put her down and turned her to face him.
‘Why, it was only yesterday that Uncle Bill mentioned meeting you at Oxford between classes.’
‘I guess I have a flying carpet which carries me to you whenever I wish’, Fabian crooked an eyebrow as he tickled Violet.
‘Then I have seen magic happen!’, she giggled.
Living in a Golden Cage had kept Violet sequestered from the harsh realities of life. Meeting Fabian was a unique attraction. Though he came from a working-class family, his father owned a garage and his mother worked in a factory, he was intelligent, charming, and good-looking. What impressed her more was even though they were immigrants the family had managed to find ways to make a living and get a life in the few years they had been in this town.
Though her family was not happy with their courtship when they got to know of it, Fabian managed to win everyone over. He soon had the strongest supporter in Uncle Bill, Violet’s mother’s brother, who not only helped Fabian get the scholarship but paid for the rest of his college expenses.
Fabian and Violet did not meet often as not only did Fabian study hard for the scholarship he had managed to bag but when he was home he helped his father in the garage. Apart from that, the commute from his side of town to Violets’ side was long. Violet had begun to miss him and waited for when he would complete his studies and ask for her hand in marriage. She was impatient to spend the rest of her life with him.
Two years went by and Fabian finally graduated with Honors making Violet joyful. Her parents threw a party to celebrate, and also introduce Fabian to their circle of people. Violets heart burst with pride as a nattily dressed Fabian managed to impress everyone present.
As food, drink, and conversation satiated the guests the young couple sneaked up to the balcony.
‘What a beautiful house you have!’ exclaimed Fabian as he drew Violet close to him.
‘You talk like this is the first time you have seen it , she blushed as she melted into his embrace.
‘You are so beautiful, Violet’ he cupped her chin as he looked down at her.
Violet tried to lower her eyes but there was something so beautiful about the balmy evening, and finally being together that she couldn’t look away. Fabian’s eyes had never looked as mesmerizing before she thought, as their lips met. Before they realized it passion had entwined them together.
‘We have done nothing wrong’, said Fabian as he buttoned up his shirt and smoothed down his hair.
Tears rolled down Violet’s face. She has envisioned this moment for a long time, but as Fabian’s wife. What would her parents think, if they ever found out?
‘This was an act of love, Violet.’ Fabian emphasized.
‘You have to ask my parents for my hand in marriage. Soon.’ she blurted out.
When she didn’t hear from or see Fabian for the next two weeks Violet began to get worried. Had he left her because she was a hussy? Was he never going to meet her? When he still hadn’t shown up even a week later, she made her way to his father’s garage. There was Fabian, in overalls and greasy hands, tinkering under a car. Spotting her his eyebrows rose up in surprise as he walked towards her, looking decidedly weak and frail.
‘I owe you and your parents an apology, my love. For missing the party your parents were to host for me. Typhoid got to me before I could send across the word to you.’
The words shocked Violet. He had missed the party? No, he hadn’t! He had been introduced to all. Why they had even…shame colored her face.
‘But you were there.’ she whispered, wide-eyed.
An expression flitted across Fabian’s wan face before he composed himself immediately, as he stood there, wringing an oil-soaked rag in his hands.
‘It wasn’t me.’ he finally exhaled.
‘What do you mean it wasn’t you?’ Violets’ voice was incredulous. ‘Who was it?’
Fabian opened his mouth as if to say something before he decided not to. He shrugged, then sat down heavily on tires piled up, ‘You shouldn’t have come here, Violet. This is not the place for you.’
‘Fabian, if it wasn’t you, who was it?’
‘It was Jonathan…’
The world spun around for Violet, Fabian had a brother, a twin. And he has not thought it important enough to mention it to her?
‘But we…but I…I thought it was you!’ she held her knuckles to her mouth to stop herself from screaming out aloud.
‘It wasn’t me, Violet. I just told you that.’ Fabian replied evenly, looking at her steadily.
‘Oh, why wasn’t it you, Fabian! Why wasn’t it you?’ she crumbled to the ground.
When she came to, Violet found herself lying down on a rough and sagging cot. As her eyes adjusted to the dim light in the room she saw Fabian sitting next to her. Then she saw him standing on the other side of her. Was her mind playing tricks, she wondered till her earlier conversation with Fabian came to mind.
They looked exactly alike, not a hair was different she realized as she looked from one to the other. The only thing separating them was the overalls Fabian wore and the spiffy suit fabian, Jonathan had worn to the party.
So it was Jonathan.
‘Yes it was me, and what a wonderful time we had didn’t we, Violet’, he winked.
‘From the time when we were children, sibling rivalry was something Jonathan took very seriously. He wanted whatever I had, from toys to my friends to the affection I received from people. So much so that we had to turn him out as he literally took over my life. My parents stopped telling people that they had two sons, I never shared that I had a twin. We moved houses, cities, and then countries to be away from him. He always managed to find us.’ Fabian sighed.
Violet looked from one to the other, splitting images of each other. She didn’t know what to say or do. She tried getting up from the bed. She wanted to be home, with her parents. This dank room and these revelations were choking her.
‘What about us, Fabian?’ she whispered.
‘Us? There is no us anymore, Violet. You have been with Jonathan. I can’t marry you.’, declared Fabian, casually shrugging his shoulders.
Violet was heartbroken. She felt something rise within her, a rage that threatened to consume her very being. She looked from one face to another, one brother smug and leering at her, while the other, the love of her life, staring at her stone-faced. She stood up. The indifference on Fabian’s face shocked her. She hadn’t even known he had a twin. Hadn’t even known it was Jonathan, and not Fabian, with her.
As she staggered towards the door, she heard a voice call out, ‘He’s discarded you like thrash, but my arms are still open.’
She turned back to see Jonathan leering at her, while Fabian sat impassively. She looked around wildly till she laid her eyes on a wrench lying on the ground. She lifted it up to hurl it at Jonathan, but before she knew it Fabian was up and held her hand, stopping her. She refused to let go, and there was a scuffle between them. Yes, he was stronger than her, but she wouldn’t let Jonathan getaway. She tried to hold on to the wrench even as Fabian tried to wrestle it away from her. Before she knew it, he had pulled it out of her hands and took a step back, before he slipped and fell, hitting his head on the bed.
She didn’t know that blood could seep out of a cracked skull so speedily and watched fascinated as it spread before she fled the scene.
Violet kept looking at Jonathan’s bowed head. His father had been a key witness. There were very few things money couldn’t buy. This was just the beginning.
The prompts for this Blog Hop were;
1.Tears rolled down
2.And that’s just the beginning.
3.Sibling rivalry, how far can it go?
4.Living in a Golden cage.
5.Magic, I have seen it happen.
6.I am sure he was a time traveler.
I used all 6 prompts to write this story