It was midnight and the trees quivered. The stone walls of the ruin rose up, sheer and impenetrable, to quixotic towers and a tattered flag drooped on its pole. Now the ivy was gradually choking those walls to death but leaning against the wall was a boy. Silently crying with an overwhelmed feeling of anger. Haunted by memories of an intense past, the boy wished death to conquer him. People did not see him as the beautiful twelve-year-old boy with dark, tousled hair and a face that could have belonged to a young prince. People looked at him only to detect anger or boredom, the dangerous moods that almost always led to pain. Deep within, he was just an ordinary boy, craving for someone who would love him dearly, craving for someone who would nurture him endlessly, craving especially for his parents whom he doesn’t remember.
Suddenly, he heard the swiftness of a horse. In the distance, the trees were silhouetted against the deep velvety sky. He pretended to be invisible but he knew well that the moonlight splashed down its watery white-silver glow onto the ruin, bathing him, illuminating him. As the horse abruptly stopped, he lifted his chin and gazed at the women before him in amazement. Face like a moon, pale and somehow wavering. Staring out a soft, round face in her early thirties. Every feature stuck to his mind beyond an astonishing beauty. Her long dark hair wafted around her. She appeared completely unafraid and there was a look to her stare that was very comforting to the boy.
She descended from the white horse and knelt down in front of the boy. ‘What are you doing here, my dear?’, she asked. When he didn’t reply, she held his damp face and softly whispered, ‘Do not be afraid, I will protect you. Come with me, it’s cold out here ’.
The boy couldn’t resist this invitation. He quietly followed her and they rode. They stopped at a cottage and a golden light glowed from a window at the back of the house, it was serene but for the wind of the trees.
‘My name is Daisy. What’s your name?’ she asked. ‘Peter’ he replied.
Peter told her everything; the endless struggles of being an orphan and working under the authority of the men who called themselves as ‘Child keepers’. This wasn’t the first time Peter had tried to escape. He tried once, at the age of ten but convinced himself not to attempt it ever again after he was perpetually penalized by an infliction of imprisonment for a period of time. Now, he wasn’t the old scared Peter who would do anything for a penny, he had somehow gathered the courage to make this secret escape and it worked this time.
As the days went by, Peter grew so fond of Daisy that he finally felt as if he belonged somewhere, to someone. She was water to him, deep and bold and fathoming. She was moon’s eye to him, pull and grained and mantling. She was sunrise to him, rise and warm and streaming. On the other hand, Daisy was filled with an overpowering desire to keep Peter hidden and protected from the outside world. She knew they would come to take him back to the orphanage.
Daisy was a small village girl, so gentle and yet so virtuous, slander might wound but could not dishonour. She was known by several names. ‘Barren’ was the most common but she never imagined that she would ever be called a ‘mother’. At least not in this lifetime. When she first heard Peter calling her ‘Mama’, Daisy buried her head in her hands, sobbing as she did so, the tears streaming down her face. Peter sat there quiet, his arms wrapped tightly around her in an embrace, hoping to comfort her. Her cheeks stained with the countless stream of tears from her glossy eyes, enduring the emotional pain that continued to engulf her. ‘I know, they call you those words but do you know what? You are a mother, you are my Mama’.
Affection and compassion gleamed in her blue eyes and she stood up, kissed Peter on the forehead.
Both Daisy and Peter thought that this was the end of their misery, unfortunately it wasn’t.
-To be continued.
(A story I created for English Lit)
Disclaimer: I have no right over the image used in this post, all the credit goes to the rightful owner .