The prompt: Lucky Break.
This is Creative Original Writing, not fanfiction. Therefore no desclaimers apply (except this belongs to me I guess)
There was something about Scotland.
The air here in the Highlands was heavy, pregnant with the rain that had stopped only moments ago.
Perched in a rock atop a small hill, he swept his eyes lazily over the landscape that spread like a vibrant, vivid emerald carpet beneath his gaze. From where he was he could see a small, delicate silver line in the endless sea of green; a creek.
The breeze ran cold and humid, moving slowly as if drowsy through the forests that surrounded him. With it, it carried the scent of forests, a scent he could easily recognize. It lingered in his palate and at the back of his throat, alive and pleasant in his nose. It was the scent of the wilderness, something he associated easily with Scotland.
There was something about this place, he thought vaguely again, but he could not quite pin what exactly. It eluded his grasp like a playful eel, teasing ticklish at the point of his tongue—but never allowing itself to be caught.
The succession of events that had lead him to this place and time were odd and quite random. The tangled net of consequences deriving from actions was difficult to navigate, even in his mind, and he had been there to see it all.
He turned his head just a fraction and his eyes fell upon the desolated remains of what had once been a cabin. A family must have lived there, surely. But it stood now deserted, destroyed, and half eaten away by the vegetation. The constant rains and moods of the Scottish weather were kind to no abandoned construction.
He wondered if it had been deserted for many years, or only just since the year seventeen forty five.
He wondered if the Scot that had built it lay buried beneath the soil at the field of Culloden, keeping company to his clansmen under the grim watch of the great stones marking the burial places.
He was a historian.
He wondered on the fate and past of things. The urge to discover the story behind the ruined cabin almost made him stand and reach it—but he remained sitting in his rock.
He thought back to Culloden and a chill stole down his spine.
Not for the first, and most assuredly not the last, time, he wished he didn’t have a curious mind.
The reports given to the English citizens concerning what had happened at Culloden were incomplete, fragmented—and quite clearly embellished.
He could not tolerate to be lied to. He must know the truth, and he would not trust upon anyone to deliver it without flourish and shrew. He needed to see for himself.
He had thought he had been lucky, quite lucky, when he was given permission by His Majesty the King to look into the reports and investigate the true extent of the Jacobite Rising.
Lucky. Very lucky indeed.
And so, he had traveled, and gone back and forth between all the places the Jacobites had mounted resistances. He had interviewed soldiers that had been at Culloden.
And that had been fine—quite nourishing for his curiosity. He had gotten the answers he sought out.
He had been lucky.
But some kind of uneasy, chilling feeling run sharply below his skin, searing down his veins. Truth was truth, aye—but not all the truth.
He thought he knew, perhaps, where he could find the other side of the truth.
In a dark, damp, ancient old castle turned prison.
He was lucky again; he was granted permission to see the Jacobites within the thick old walls of Chranduir.
He was a thin, long thing of a man, and the Highlanders thought him a book mouse. He was certainly no warrior, but neither did he wish to pass as one. He was honest and forthright—and for this he was rewarded.
The man was quite old, and quite ragged. He’d met more battles in his time than he should count with his fingers, and not all of them had had lucky results. He was missing an eye, and a thick long silver scar crossed his cheek.
He had thought, this was a lucky break; this man will speak to me nothing but the truth. He could see it in his wide, jade green eye.
And the truth, indeed, he told.
When thou shall see the abomination of desolation, said the Bible.
His eyes slid back to the ruined remains of the old cabin.
There was something about Scotland, yes.
Luck, he thought vaguely, breath caught broken in his throat, was not a very fine thing at all.
Come a-searching, and ye shall find, the old man had said. Only just look around.
Like a double-edged knife, knowledge and truth could simultaneously construct and destroy.
He’d come to Scotland a free young boy, and left, now, as a wiser, slightly bitter older man. Ignorance is bliss, old folk say. But then—how should anyone know that, unless they lose that bliss through means of self destruction? One hardly ever learned for someone else’s experience.
The wind picked up, carrying to him the scents of grass and rain, and he thought he heard, in the wind, the faint gentle voice of a long-forgotten bag-pipe song.
He knew, now, and could not forget. Nor could he lie, for it wasn’t in him to do such a thing.
The old man had spoken the truth, and as it had been relied to him he could not more hide it than he could kill himself. For lying, and betraying his and the old man’s souls, was suicide indeed.
An old rhyme came then to mind, and though it did not quite correspond, it did funnily apply.
He said it aloud, a murmur that hung in the wind along with Scotland’s faded voice, and he smiled to himself.
“Remember, remember the Fifth of November, The Gunpowder Treason and Plot, I see no reason, Why the Gunpowder Treason, Should ever be forgot.”
His mind was made. He’d speak the truth. He’d speak it loud and he’s speak it around. It must be known.
Lucky break indeed.
Total words: 1026.