The Truth of the Matter

I thought that he'd never show up, Declan said to himself with a little chuckle.  He scanned William with a particular interest, finding that all he had been told had been...well, it seemed to be true.  Inhaling a deep puff from his pipe, he felt a tight smile form across his thin lips.  Oh, when was the last time they had seen each other?  Must've been at Will's sister's funeral...but that was ages ago.  Why, Will had only been about seven years old!  My, has it really been 40 years?  Catching the nervous look in William's eyes, Declan began to doubt whether the lad would remember him.  He had been taught to be polite, so Declan left it to William to make the first move.  As any good man in Aelburn had been taught to do, William bowed his head slightly as he took up a comfortable, standing position next to Declan.  Smirking around his pipe, Declan wondered what he would say to him, especially after the words that they had exchanged upon their first and last encounter.  At last, William spoke.

"Hey there, name's Bill McVance. How do you do?" he said curtly, a polite smile across his lips.  

Declan looked away to inhale deeply, or maybe to collect his thoughts, after could he break the news to this young man?  He seemed so happy with his what position was Declan to come in and ruin it with just a couple of words?

During his time of pondering, William had begun to repeat his statement, but Declan had heard him the first time.  He took a deep sigh and, sadly, began.

"I know who you are Bill. You are William James McVance.  Son of Johnathan and Vivian McVance. You are 47 years old and a farmer. You farm the same land your father farmed, and his father and his father.

The change of expression on William's face worried Declan slightly, but that was the least of his worries.  "Ok Mister, all that you're saying is true, but how do you know all of this and I don't know you?" William squeaked, his eyes widened.  

 "It's not important. My identity that is. But what is important is my presence here today in this cafe. So please, pull up and chair and let's discuss." Declan's mustache twitched around the form of the pipe, tickling his nose something awful, but he had to keep smiling as if there was nothing wrong.  Just lead him on for as long as you can...after all, none of this is your fault...just don't let him shoot the messenger...

"Discuss what Mister? I don't know who you are, or where you're from, or even how you know me. Frankly, I find all of this a bit off and I have half a mind to call the Sherriff."

"There is no need for that Bill. I mean you no harm."  Declan suppressed an almost condescending, sympathetic smile, as that would only scare William further. "But there are some things we must discuss. Some may be hard for you to hear. Others, more pleasant. But, unfortunately, I do not have much time. I am here but for a few mere moments longer and what I have to tell you is of great importance."  "Theresa, would you mind fetching us two coffees? I'd like mine black and...Bill? Two lumps of sugar, is that right?"

His jaw hinges shook, as if about to drop open, but he just nodded.  Here we go.

The End

0 comments about this story Feed