The IgnominiousA Chapter by Carrie Manor
excerpt: ‘Mister’, no one had referred to him as that before. ....... What compelled them? And why all this hospitality amongst this cruel destitution, especially to a drunk nullifidian?
At first, the man turned and hid his face. Following, the family halted in midst of eating and looked at him. It wasn’t until the man finally, after many idle seconds lifted his face towards the family; his eyes shining very brightly towards them.
Thomas-Mathieu upon the man coming to light, greeted John Urban-Faire with a smile, set his own plate down - his sister ravenously taking advantage of the scraps on his plate- and placed his hand upon the shoulder, that of John Urban-Faire, whose gaze pitifully beheld his host.
“ Perhaps,-” John Urban-Faire began unsurely with a half whisper, “- it be in best interest if I were to take leave..”
“ Nonsense!” Exclaimed Thomas-Mathieu, his hand still remained on John Urban-Faire’s shoulder. Even though the pungent smell of liquor waft heavily upon the guest’s breath, and transpired into the nostrils of Thomas-Mathieu.
“ Thomas!” Exclaimed his mother slamming her plate upon the table, “ Who is this man? What business has he here?”
The the very voice the she-devil erupted from his mother’s voice, Thomas-Mathieu remained subduing and calm. Even a small smiled transpired across his face.
“ Mother, this man is John Urban-Faire, and I have invited him to share living quarters with us.” Thomas-Mathieu, miraculously slurred not once, his voice remained calm, dominant and quite assertive. He even had the audacity to look his mother unwaveringly in the eyes, as some grand celestial force had compelled him to do so.
The mother was awe stricken, “ Thomas! H-how c-cou-could you do such a thing!” Her thin face grew red, “ Live with us! How shall I ever feed him?!!” The mother began to tremble uncontrollably. All at once it seemed as if her body had been overcome. The mother picked up her empty dish, the remembrance that she had scarfed down her entire meal like an animal reverberated in a flash of a thought.The shame boiled so violently and vilely she threw the dish, it nearly hit her son. The plate shattered into tens of glittering fragments, which miraculously missed Thomas. He did not flinch nor tremble. Neither did he blink. In sooth, for a short instant the shattered glass fell before Thomas-Mathieu like someone had thrown glitter upon him. “ You ungrateful!” The mother yelled.
Everyone stood entirely motionless. The mother was the first -- she broke into sobs. The poor woman fell upon her knees. “ Oh! Thomas.” She chocked. “ Do not leave us! Thomas, please! I did not mean-- Thomas don’t leave us!” She cried, crawling as would a helpless infant to it’s guardian.
Thomas peered impassively down at his mother, whom now had seized his ankles and commenced to kissing them. Lena watched from the behind at this entire sight, she moved not, nor dare utter a word. Thomas lifted his mother, and drew her weeping face toward his breast. “ Mother, I will never leave you.” He whispered gently, the voice of a saint.
Now he pulled her up by both her arms, and held her gently. The woman would not cease. Thomas-Mathieu held her with one arm now, he brushed hair away from his mothers visage, and dried her tears with his hand. The poor woman subdued, her son placed her into a chair.
John Urban-Faire had watched quietly, marveled by all this. What kindness, compassion, and composure! John Urban-Faire commenced to ruminate, was such a thing possible? Possible for man, that is to say? Human beings! What extant could human empathy possibly extend!? In fact, it had succeeded so. In front of the eyes of John Urban-Faire, so much of it succeeded that he was compelled to turn himself the other way.
“ John!” Thomas-Mathieu called, turning away from his Mother.
John Urban-Faire stopped, he had earlier begun walking away. He, however did not look at Thomas-Mathieu.
“ John, come now, do stay.”
Stay? How could John Urban-Faire possibly stay after what had transpired before him?
Before John Urban-Faire could reply, Thomas’s mother had recovered herself, and wiping away a few tears she brought down an extra plate and from another cupboard and retrieved a good sized loaf of bread. She placed the bread upon the table, and with the knife she had cut the previous loaf, she used to cut this one. The bread was so hard the knife would barely penetrate it. When it did finally slice Thomas’s mother picked it up, and with a large, “ thud” the ‘brick’ was placed. She picked up the plate and outreached it toward John Urban-Faire’s direction. He could only return a pitiful look to the poor woman.
“ Come John.” Thomas said calmly, taking the plate from his mother. Handing to John Urban-Faire.
The mother raised her head. She looked John Urban-Faire in the eyes. Her own eyes glowed with a rather insane mien. “ Sit.” She told John. “ We will have you, but-” she said wagging her finger at him as he received the plate from Thomas-Mathieu. “ You will not eat like my son has until you have proven yourself an amiable provider.”
With that the woman clenched her tattered skirts and hastened to the corner of the kitchen where stood a bucket of dirty water.
John Urban-Faire looked at the brick of a piece of bread that had been bestowed onto him, he hesitantly turned his eyes to Thomas, whom returned with a sincere smile of a kind friendship.
John Urban-Faire sighed under his breath, darting his eyes back and forth before the shanty of a room; what was he doing there?
By this time, Lena having finished devouring her plate, and what little remained on her brothers, walked to the side of John Urban-Faire. He did not notice her approach.
“ Mr. Urban-Faire, why do you not sit in my seat?”
“ Yes,” Thomas agreed smiling feebly, resting his hands gently upon his sister’s shoulders. “ John, please do.”
‘Mister’, no one had referred to him as that before. Ah, yes then for them to do so.. What compelled them? And why all this hospitality amongst this cruel destitution, especially to a drunk nullifidian?
John looked into the large eyes of the frail little girl. Dressed in rags. Fall was approaching and the child scarcely had enough to cover her knees. Why? Why, was this family feeding him?
John Urban-Faire said nothing, he took his plate and set himself before the door, the family watched him. Yet, John made no notice of them. As he went to take a bite from the bread. It was so hard. He thought, it might have been easier to take a bite from the waterlogged wooden door, then this bread. He reached inside his cloak, and retrieved his flask of rum, removing the cork he pour some onto his bread. It sat on top, the bread was so dry and stale it would not absorb it. It almost ran off from the sides. John held it steady. The bread eventually absorbed the rum, and then he was able to eat the bread. After he finished he laughed. Truly, it was a bountiful feast.
© 2011 Carrie Manor
Added on May 3, 2011
Last Updated on May 3, 2011
AboutBonjour! My name is Carrie Manor. Believe it or not but I’m eighteen years old. I’m not to particular fond of computers or the internet, but I enjoy this opportunity to share my writing a.. more..
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