Chapter 50: Looking To The Past
The cold wind nipped at their noses as the young couple traversed the deck. They were stretching their legs, both tired of being holed up in their cabin.
Helena leaned on her husband’s arm, both nervous and excited. Every day they drew closer to America, and the day would come when she’d meet her new family.
Randolph spoke so adoringly of his whole family; it felt as if she had already met them, yet they were still just strangers in a tale.
In front of them, a figure was firmly standing in the midst of the gushing wind, her short gray hair blowing in every direction, but her gaze focused on the horizon.
She carried age and experience in the wrinkles drawn on her face. Yet, she had an aura of being younger than she appeared that surrounded her.
Clouds darkened above them, the wind blew stronger, and Helena tugged Randolph’s arm, urging him to turn around with her.
They scurried back, struggling to keep their footing on the swaying deck.
Randolph glanced over his shoulder, relieved to notice the stranger following shortly behind them, her plump figure braving the storm seemingly easier than either he or Helena could.
They reached the entrance, ready to enter, when the ship tilted again, throwing him and his wife indoors. A shriek pierced the air behind them, and as he turned, the woman tumbled forward into his arms.
He gripped on tightly to her, breaking her fall with his own body. Both hiccupped as their bodies met the floor.
“Bloody ships,” she hissed, scrambling to her feet, without his help. “I do apologize, young man.”
She froze, her face paling as she stared at him, her eyes scanning every part of his face.
“Are you alright, Ma’am?”
“I’m…I’m c-c-completely…Excuse me, but who are you? You seem so familiar to me; as if I knew you once upon a time.”
He blinked, stepping backward, racking his mind to recall this woman; yet no memory of her existence surfaced in his mind.
“I don’t think we’ve ever met, Ma’am. My name is Randolph Farragut. What is wrong? Are you all right?” He stepped forward to grab the woman as she stumbled backward, but it was his wife who took the woman by the shoulders and steadied her.
“Randolph Farragut? That is impossible,” she stuttered. “He died many years ago…the year 1854, to be precise.”
“1854?” He blinked. “Wait…Randolph Farragut who died in 1854…Are you talking about my uncle Randolph, Ma’am? How did you know him? Who are you?”
“Randolph Farragut? Your uncle? You resemble him far too much.”
She fished a handkerchief out of her jacket pocket, wiping away the beads on her forehead. “You must be Uncle William’s son, then…” She murmured, her sharp eyes blinking as she thought.
“Uncle William? Are you talking about my father…William Farragut? The son of William and Flower Kincade Farragut?”
“Who are you?”
Her head lifted slowly, her eyes leveling with his, as she said, “My name is Frannie Hudson. Randolph Farragut was my father…well, the man who raised me.”
As New York came closer and yet closer, Randolph and his wife befriended Frannie Hudson. He was eager to learn about the step-cousins he never knew, as well as the uncle that had died many years before his birth.
Frannie recalled her childhood in California, times spent with her sister, May, in their childhood home, and how dearly her mother and father loved each other. She recounted the great pain and sorrow she felt with Randolph’s death; she recounted her rebellion upon being forced to move to England with her mother.
“I did come to love London, though, I must admit. After all, I’ve spent the better part of my life there. Everybody I love is still there…”
He asked her about her mother and sister, and the lives they came ended up living in England.
“Well, my sister had married Henry Price, here in America, as you may have been told, and she brought six children into this world. Two of her sons have died, one leaving his widow and children behind. Both my sister and her husband have also passed along…” She tightened her lips, steeling away tears.
“And your mother? Did she have a happy life?”
“She enjoyed the new chance. Married for a third time, had one son with him, and outlived her third husband as well. My half-brother is an amiable man…”
“Has your mother been dead long?” he inquired.
“Dead?” She burst out laughing. “Mother, two years shy of eighty years, is still alive and strong. I keep on telling her she needs to look for husband number four, and see if she can also outlive him, for currently it looks as if she is as far from dying as I am.”
The rest of their journey passed pleasantly, both Helena and Randolph enjoying Frannie’s company, her stories, and her opinions on matters of life. Soon, they reached New York City, and parted ways.
Frannie was heading toward California, choosing to travel the route that her parents would have taken back in 1841, mere months before she was born.
“I want to know the route that had to be traveled…I want to see how much has changed since then and since the death of my father.”
“Will we see you again?” he asked, as they prepared to leave the ship.
“Yes…I believe so.” A mysterious smile crept around her lips. “When I return, young Randolph, I will leave something in your possession, something I’ve kept with me through the years. But, once I return from California, I will have no need for it anymore.”
My Dearest Brother,
As night draws near at this moment, I have finally found the time to sit and write to you about our latest adventure here in New York.
Today, Helena and I visited what used to be the old apartment and housing of Great-Aunt Diana. It has changed a lot through the years, I can say, if one considers that many other people have since lived there.
The current inhabitant, a Miss Sumpter, certainly thought me a bit crazed when I explained my wish to look around, but she was kind enough to allow us entrance.
You must wonder what drove me to visit there, as well as many other places here in New York, where our family has made some history.
Frank, ever since I met Frannie Hudson, I am continually reminded of our history. Our legacy. What started with our Great-Grandfather Kincade has led us to the Farragut’s, Brimford’s, Kincade’s, and Martins. It has led us, or rather our parents and grandparents, through so much already. Us too, but sometimes, if we think what all of them went through to make the world as it is for us today…
I am reminded of Uncle Randolph’s travel to California, I am reminded of tales of Uncle Chadwick surveying the country and how he lost his eye, I am reminded of our own grandfather and his tales as a commander in the Navy.
We have come far as a family, Brother, and I feel a great pride to be a part of this legacy.
With a shock, I realized that we are soon to finish this century and pass into the next. What would this next century hold, for both our children and us?
You must come and visit us, Brother. I implore you. Helena and I are planning to travel across our lovely country throughout summer, giving me the opportunity to introduce her to family. All I will need then is an opportunity to introduce her to you.
Before I end this off, I also felt like writing you of another matter. Fiona’s daughter, Roselyn, will be coming to New York later this year, after summer. She is considering a future in music, and it will be my pleasure to see her settled here and engaged in further lessons and opportunities.
Your brother, always,
Randolph William Farragut
Late April 1898
Azalea slowly eased back into her chair, nodding slowly, but not daring to interrupt her son, Jeremy, who was setting out all the reasons for his current decision.
“Please say something, Mother…” he ventured half-pleadingly.
“What do you wish for me to say?” She folded her hands, neatly placing them on her lap. “You are a grown man, Jeremy. You’ve been a part of the Pinkertons, you’ve done boxing, and you’ve been to the Olympic Games.”
She smirked, before allowing a soft chuckle to burst over her lips.
“Don’t tell me that after all these years, Jabbin’ Jerry still needs to ask his mother’s permission if he wishes to go on a new adventure?”
“No,” he chuckled in reply. “But it is war…”
“Oh, Jeremy,” she sighed with a smile. “If you wish to answer Congress’s calls for a volunteer cavalry, then do that. It will be war, yes, and quite possibly devastating…but you are a Kincade, my son. All Kincade men seem to be drawn toward war and adventure in one way or another at some point in their life.”
He rose from the sofa, walked toward her, stepped around her chair, and then hugged her from behind.
“I love you, Mother. And I promise that I will be back.”
“You’d better be,” she warned. “It might only be April, but the whole family is talking of reuniting up in New York come November.”
Grinning, he promised to be back by then.
“I wouldn’t miss our reunions for anything else in this world! Not even for the sake of a war.”
My brother and sister make this house seem too full. I barely was—I couldn’t write my letter until now. We were playing too long. I love my brother and sister. They are fun. We like to play together. It feels better to have them.
I like how you have these reunions. Will you tell me more? Will you tell me about the family reunion? After you get home again, of course. Will you tell me more about your family, Artie? I loved the story about your Grandpa Oliver and Grandma Azalea. It was like a fairytale!
I will write again another day. Mother just said dinner will be soon.
Send me a letter real soon!
Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald
(That does look neat, doesn’t it? To put in my whole name; looks grown-up!)
July 1, 1898
His mouth partly open, panting, his breath short, sweat pooled down his face. In front of him, he saw their leader, Theodore Roosevelt, eagerly leading them up the hill.
He paused, gulping down his tiredness, his eyes closed, memories of his loved ones rushing through his mind, but cut off as he opened his eyes again.
This was what he signed up for. This was what he would die for if it came down to it.
“I promise that I will be back…”
“You’d better be!”
His eyes focused on the top of the hill, his body re-energized for the ensuing fight, and his mind set on returning home in time for November. Nothing, not even this one battle, would steal away the chance to see his family gathered together again.
November 26, 1898
The crowd cheered as Jeremy swung his fist forward, knocking out his opponent. He stood back, soaking in the cheers. But his eyes were focused on the hill forming behind where his opponent had fallen. The Rough Riders were marching up it. He sighed and turned away, face to face with his father.
Oliver placed his hands on the man’s shoulders.
“Wake up, Jeremy.”
“I don’t know where to go on from here,” he blurted out, unwilling to lose this moment.
“You will know soon. You will know very soon where life will take you. What has happened to me, one of the best things that ever happened to me, will happen to you. You have been through much…many adventures. But one of the greatest of them all is yet to begin.”
Fiona ran into Jeremy’s room, grabbing his shoulders and shaking him violently.
“Jeremy, wake up! Wake up now!” she screamed hysterically.
“What? What now?” He blinked, pushing her off him. “Fiona? What is wrong?” He glanced at her belly, but she shook her head.
“Jeremy, the kids just came back with Arthur and John from their expedition. A massive snowstorm started hours ago. They only now made it back.”
“What’s wrong, Fiona?” He stumbled out of bed, but she stepped backward, folding her arms around herself, her body shaking.
“James and Hope are missing,” she squeaked.
Both fathers, Arthur and Charles, along with Randolph, John, Sam, and Jeremy, braved the storm, knowing the foolishness of such an endeavor, yet desperate to find the two missing children.
Walking beside Charles, Jeremy could hear the father muttering, “Let my little girl live…let my little girl live…I beg you, let my little girl live.”
Hours passed on, and they finally had to return. Jeremy, still walking next to Charles, didn’t even realize the separation that had taken place among the group.
His face felt frozen solid, yet he walked on. Turning around at one point, he finally realized that he and Charles were alone among the buildings.
“Charles!” he yelled. Receiving no response, he rushed toward his brother and wrestled him out of the street. “We have to go,” he yelled.
They stumbled against the walls of a building. Jeremy pounded at the door, praying and wishing for some response from within.
Two Days Later
Jeremy and Charles trudged through the streets, refusing to believe that this was hopeless. They hadn’t seen or heard of the other family members since the separation between the men took place.
They slogged through a park, and suddenly Charles stopped. Snow was heaped all around them, covering the grounds under a sickening, deathly blanket. Yet a certain hump of snow drew him closer, until he was madly flinging snow away. Jeremy rushed toward him reaching him as Charles brushed snow off a boy’s back.
They dug out the boy, and then discovered that his arms were frozen around a little girl. Dumping him over, Jeremy’s stomach recoiled as he immediately recognized his nephew, James, and Charles’s daughter, Hope.
The frozen boy’s body and arms were wrapped protectively around the girl, as if to shield her from the cold. Grabbing both James and Hope into his arms, Charles leaned over them and wept. His cries tore through the emotionless skies, cursing the weather and the loss of his little darling.
After Charles’s tears finally dried, Jeremy bent over and picked the children up, carrying them toward Randolph’s home, where the family had been staying for the reunion.
As he carried them into the living room, the short-lived relief, at seeing everybody else safe, dissipated as two mothers rushed toward their children, and mourning befell the entire family, pulling Charles into the crying all over again.
January 31, 1899
My baby brother was born yesterday. Mommy has been strange. She cries, but also laughs when she holds little Arthur. I think she misses my brother…
Rosie, it’s hard. I miss James. I miss playing with him…
Did I tell you about my Uncle James? My grandpa had a brother, James. Uncle James was a lot like Grandpa Chadwick. That’s what everybody says.
He had an Indian friend! Blue Snake. Indian names are funny. Uncle James and Blue Snake traveled with each other. They were best friends. Like we are best friends!
Uncle James travelled across America. He fought battles. He killed men. He saved family once. At our reunion—I will tell you some other time. It hurts too bad when I talk of the reunion…
March 17, 1899
Jeremy reveled in the ambience, thrilled at the parade passing by. His eyes glanced over to the other side of the road, swept up, and smiled at all the people leaning out of their hotel room windows to have a better view.
The events and loss of November still stung, yet he had stayed behind in New York, looking for that next experience and adventure that he knew was sure to befall him soon. It was all a matter of time and patience.
Fortunately for him, he had more than enough to occupy his thoughts and keep him from being reminded of what he had done and what he had witnessed, both in war and in the loss of family.
Shaking his head violently, he refocused his attention on the spectacle passing them. Presently, he found himself focusing instead on a young woman and boy leaning out of one of the hotel windows. His gaze was broken as yells broke out from the hotel, and the young woman disappeared from view.
“Fire! Fire! Fire!” came the yells, smoke pouring from a few windows. Desperate screams filled the air; where they came from, he could not say.
Frozen, he stared as the flames quickly took control of the building. After he spent numerous seconds staring, blood started pumping through his limbs again. He pushed through the crowds, rushing across the street.
His eyes automatically searched for the young woman and boy, and then he noticed their window. A rope had appeared out of that specific window, and the boy was being lowered down.
Jeremy ran and stood by the dangling rope, prepared for when the boy would reach the ground. A fireman, noticing his approach, immediately focused his attention elsewhere, relieved to know an extra hand was helping.
Jeremy reached out and wrapped his arms around a young boy, about seven years old. He undid the knot around the boy’s body, released him, and looked up at the woman.
She laughed, cried from the sixth floor, while hastily pulling up the rope again, racing against the clock that was ticking for her. Jeremy stepped backward, the boy in his arms.
The child cried, burying his head in Jeremy’s shoulder, but continually kept calling for his mother.
Jeremy’s eyes stayed glued on the woman as she started sliding down the rope. Her face contorted, quite possibly due to her hands stinging from the burns received due to the rope tearing away at the delicate skin.
She passed the fifth floor, and her feet barely over the windows of the fourth. The young boy pulled his head away and looked to his mother, exactly at the moment that the rope snapped and she plummeted to the ground with a terrifying scream.
Jeremy reared back, trying to push the boy’s head back into his shoulder, struggling to hold onto the wriggling, anguished, screaming child.
He pushed backward through the crowd, knowing that he couldn’t go to that woman. She was dead. He couldn’t let this boy see his mother like that.
He struggled through the crowds, images playing through his mind. He saw the woman plummet to the ground again, and in an instant, he was a young boy again.
Their house was burning, his mother was still inside, he was able to break free and rush back in…but it was too late. She was dead…if it weren’t for Oliver Kincade, my father, I wouldn’t be here.
With the boy still bawling in his arms, he finally broke free from the people mingling about and bustled toward a more peaceful block, Randolph and Helena’s address flitting through his mind.
What a way to call on family.
Thirty minutes later, upon arriving at Randolph and Helena's home, Jeremy explained everything that happened, and told them he was in no position to care for a young boy.
It didn't take but a second for Helena to say, "We will look after the boy. We shall adopt him."
She turned to the boy and asked, "What is your name?"
Stuttering, he said, "Chad, Chad, Chadwick."
It is not July yet, I know. But I am excited! We will be turning nine! (See that I spelled ‘excited’ right? I’ve been working very hard on my spelling.)
Soon it will be summer! And Thomas, Mary and me can’t wait. We will have so much fun!
Can you tell me more of your family? I enjoyed the stories of Uncle James and Blue Snake. Tell me how Grandpa Chadwick lost his eye! Tell me of his cougar attack.
And tell me how Uncle James found him!
I love the stories you tell of your family! I don’t know what to tell you about my family…my father has lived in Boston his whole life! Me, too. He was in the Massachusetts Senate for so long! Mother says I was a baby when he got in there.
His job as Mayor now keeps him very busy. It’s important. I understand that. What do you want to know about his job and my family?
Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald
August 13, 1899
John and I invite you to come visit us this fall. Harry and John miss their grandmother; as I miss you…I know you have also been waiting for this letter some time now.
Early yesterday morning, my little daughter was born. We have chosen to call her Mary Mae. Both Harry and John do dote on their little sister.
Unfortunately, I have to end the letter here now, for John and I have been invited to dinner. I implore you to consider visiting us this November.
With all my love,
Cora Mae Truman
This summer, we went to New York again. We won’t visit in winter anymore. We saw the motorcycle race at Manhattan Beach! Oh, what fun! I could watch them all day! But…it came to an end.
I told Mommy and Daddy that I want to race one day. They didn’t seem very happy…but I’m going to do it! I’m going to be a…motorcycle racer!
Mommy says girls can’t race. If they can’t…then I’ll be the first woman to race a motorcycle! One day, the world will know the name of Artemis Brimford, and how she became famous through races!
Oh! I see the mailman on our street, so forgive the shortness of this, but I want to get this to you quick as I can. I promise to write much more next time.
Your Bestest Friend Forever,
On January 25th, Randolph and Helena were blessed with their first biological child, a son: William Timothy.
A new century had been welcomed in only a few days prior, yet the idea had worn off in the face of raising their new son, along with their adopted boy Chadwick.
They would talk of all their opportunities in raising him, Randolph, excited thinking of raising another little musician, until his wife laughingly pointed out that his name might end up shoving him into the Navy, like his great-grandfather, William Sr. Farragut.
Three days after this momentous occasion, Frannie Hudson showed up on their doorstep, as hale and healthy as she was two years prior.
She entertained them with her travels to California, her stay there, and her travels back. She surprised Randolph when she told him that her return had been delayed, due to her visit to Alaska.
“Why, of course. I felt as if I had to meet your brother before I left for England.”
She gushed over little William and eight-year-old Chadwick, shared some more family histories with Randolph, and finally prepared to leave. As he saw her out the door, she suddenly turned, fished a large and tattered notebook out of her purse, and handed it to him.
“This was your Uncle Randolph’s journal. He had it for many years, always writing tiny notes and anecdotes in it when he found it noteworthy. He recorded his thoughts on Oliver’s first book. He wrote bits about the journey to California, about raising May and me, about my mother and his love for her. I took it with me to London, all those years ago, and it was my silent comforter when I missed him. But I now hand it to you, for it is rightfully Farragut property; rightfully yours.”
“Thank you, Frannie…”
She smiled, nodded swiftly, then smiled at his wife appearing behind him.
“I will not regret this visit; I can now return in peace, with many tales and adventures to entertain my mother. She misses America as much as I did. Now, don’t be a stranger, Randolph. After all, we are cousins. And when you visit London, you can be sure that I will entertain you and your family with great pleasure!”
You have such an interesting family…Randolph Farragut is such a great musician, and he is part of your family! Your sister is studying music. Your own Uncle James and Grandpa Chadwick explored our country. Your grandmother has been to Australia! I always love to hear these stories.
Mother and Father are talking about sending me to a school. Over the sea. Not for a few more years, but they are talking. Don’t worry. It won’t stop us from writing letters. Remember: we’ll be friends forever.
Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald
May 28, 1900
With her little boy in her arms, Fiona stepped out onto the porch. Her mother sat comfortably in a rocking chair, staring up at the night sky with a twitch of a smile.
“Mother? Why don’t you come inside now? All the children have finally gone to bed. Who knew that such an experience would keep them up this late? Solar eclipse, not something we see every day, I agree, but if only I’d known that it would stir up everybody, from my Artie to my Owen.”
Azalea smiled at her daughter’s soft laugh but kept rocking.
“Mother, are you all right?” She shuffled forward, her smile fading.
“I’m perfectly well, my dear. I’m just enjoying the cool air.” She finally turned her head, smiling warmly.
“And thinking about something, I must presume?”
“That is correct.”
“You’re not…” She hesitated, leaning back in the rocking chair that she had taken place on. “…Thinking of something like…leaving us?”
Azalea chuckled, continuing her rocking, her eyes glued to the stars.
“I am not that old, yet. I’ll be here long enough to hold Rosie’s babies; you mark my words, dear. I’m going to see little Arthur grow into a fine young man.”
“And you’re not leaving the country?”
“No, I don’t have any wish to see the outside world on my own, like your Aunt Etta did. I’m perfectly happy here. I’m just thinking about this…new endeavor I’m undertaking.”
“This is the first time I’ve heard about it.”
“True…Owen and Diana are joining Rosie in New York this summer, and I’m accompanying them.”
“Well, yes, Mother, I know about that…”
“Upon your father’s death, he had many unpublished works lying around. One of them is his Memoirs of Oliver Kincade…not just that, but I also discovered a large bundle of poetry, supposedly written by Flower Farragut, when she was still a young woman. She possibly passed it on to your father during one of his visits as a boy. I’m going to publish it. All of it, and anything else your father left as finished, though unpublished, manuscripts.”
Little Arthur stirred in Fiona’s arms. She readjusted her hold on him, before replying.
“By yourself? Mother…”
“Oh, no,” Azalea chuckled. “Diana has spoken of helping me with this, and not only that. She wishes to collect all the letters shared between family members and compile them into one collection. She is young and has many plans to capture our history, I presume.” She nodded approvingly, glancing at her daughter.
“I married into a family rich with talent, bravery, and yes, also stubbornness. It’s a trait passed on from your great-grandfather, Randolph Kincade, I’ve heard. I think many more generations of Kincade’s, and those related to that name,” she glanced at the little boy, “will continue to inherit and proudly display that trait. And they will all end up making our name proud. Kincade’s, Brimford’s, Martins, and Farragut’s…all of them are through and through Kincade’s, and so they will remain.”
Much will still be accomplished through this family, she thought, but forgot to utter it as her mind drifted off again.
Azalea squelched a chuckle as Helena rushed out the room with a little screaming William in her arms.
Roselyn shook her head, thankful that her visit was to Uncle Randolph, instead of to his wife.
“What are you thinking, my dear?”
“Children might be bundles of joy, but it certainly isn’t a joy to raise them at all times,” she replied, casting a glance at her grandmother.
Helena swept through the hallway and into her husband’s study.
“Randolph,” her heavily accented voice died when she saw his silent and practically lifeless posture. “Randolph?” she whispered, approaching his desk.
In a short instance, she noticed that his shoulders were slightly shaking. A letter to the side drew her attention. Her left-hand shaking, she reached out and grabbed it.
To: Mr. Randolph Farragut
On October 09, 1900, a strong earthquake hit Cape Yakataga, Alaska. Your brother, Frank Farragut, had recently moved himself to this part of Alaska, and was building himself a new house.
Due to the building not yet finished, the structure gave in on him during the earthquake. We have yet to retrieve his body from the rubble and mess, but he is presumed dead.
We offer our condolences and will be in contact with you regarding his remaining wealth and belongings.
The letter fluttered from her fingers, drifting down to the floor as she shifted her son to the other arm, and then placed her free hand on her husband’s back.
Loss upon loss…how much pain hits different families every year. Helena blinked away the tears, before turning away and leaving her husband. Without a word, she placed William into Azalea’s hands, before returning to her husband’s side.
December 31, 1900 – A few minutes before midnight
What a year…what sorrow…how many more dreams will I have to endure, each family death marked in my fitful sleep?
Twirling the wooden horse in her hands, Chadlynn lay in bed, a sad smile around her lips, as she inspected the toy.
“So much history,” she murmured, before placing it on the small table next to her bed. She sank under the covers, a slight grimace on her face.
Her head had been aching for days; she still didn’t know what was ailing her. Along with the headache, though, she had been suffering terrible nightmares. She sighed.
They make no sense to me…
Sam was still outside, tending to a small matter, which he didn’t inform her of. He only said that it was a surprise for the morning.
She smiled a little more joyfully, turning onto her left side, and staring at the wooden horse proudly standing on the table. Her eyes slowly closed, and she was once again transported into a dream.
The toddler laughed, moving the toy across the floor, occasionally allowing an “orse” to slip out of his mouth, along with a heartening giggle.
A woman dropped down to her knees, before lifting up the boy into the air. They laughed together.
Her vision blurred, changing the features of the woman and boy.
Chadlynn gasped, finding herself against the wall, looking down at the little boy and girl playing with the toy. Their father sat next to them as he told them stories, and to the side, their mother and grandmother smiled from the sofa.
Another blur of vision took place, and she suddenly found herself in a different room, the mother from before now older, and busy packing for a journey. She took the wooden horse from a shelf, smiled at it, and then packed it in her bag as well.
A whirlwind swept up Chadlynn, and suddenly she stood in her own living room, except, it looked like the living room she was first introduced to when she moved to Uncle Samuel’s farm.
She turned and saw her uncle, sitting in a chair by the window, turning the horse over and over in his hands, his eyes thoughtful and the memories playing in them.
He faded away, the setting updated, and then she was surrounded by her twin girls, playing with the wooden horse on the living room floor.
A dreadful fear crept through her bones as her eyes landed on them. A rattle of guns spat out around her, startling her.
When she finally garnered enough courage to open her eyes, she found that she was standing in a makeshift hospital. She gasped when she noticed two young women, so very much like her Vivian and Violet.
They were dressed in nurse’s garb, and before her eyes the images flitted by of them serving their nation and their patients before both were shot in the midst of a battle and stray shots.
Vivian dropped down to her knees, blood spilling from her abdomen, but she kept holding on to her sister, praying that those lifeless eyes would laugh again.
Chadlynn rolled over in bed, still caught in the dream, her daughters fading away and images of other family members playing in front of her eyes, as she saw their fates, their sorrows, and their losses throughout the war.
She moaned, her head turning from side to side, mumbles pouring out into the empty room.
Her lips were chapped as she ran, hands clasped around her ears and her eyes shut tightly. She didn’t want to see any more destruction. She stumbled and fell. Her chest heaving, she took a deep breath, before opening her eyes and looking upward.
She could only stare at the young man who resembled her departed father so much, as well as the young woman whom she now recalled to be her Great-Aunt Diana.
In front of them stood an aged man, a hand on each of their shoulders. He had a bit of a sorrowful smile around his lips. Behind him, two identical girls stood, silently listening to their father’s words.
Chadlynn went still, her breathing stopped, and that peaceful night she passed along, listening to the man in her dream telling his children:
“Chadwick…Diana…” He paused. “Wherever you go, whatever you do, do the right thing and make the Kincade name something to remember.”
Written By: GLD