Monday, August 15, 2011

Esme's Relief

  "Just give me a chance!"
  "I'm sorry."
  "But why not?"
  "You are too young!"
  "I am only two years younger than you!"
  "I know! I just need to do it alone."
  "But why?"
  "You wouldn't understand."
  "I wouldn't? Just try!"
  Esme looked into her younger sister's eyes. Though she wouldn't admit it to herself, Esme wasn't a little girl anymore. She was old enough to come this year.
  "Elsie, I love you, and I don't want you to see this."
  "But I am old enough!"
  "Do you really want to see it?"
  Esme was going to a Hanging Day to see her cousin hang. "Elsie, I don't want you to have to see this. But if you really want to see something you can't un-see..."
  Esme looked into her sister's excited eyes. "Okay, well, come on, then."
  When they arrived, they found a seat at the Tyburn Gallows. When Jack Ketch put the noose around her cousin's neck, she looked away. Esme couldn't watch. But when she turned back, her cousin was standing behind someone in a tri-corner hat holding a scroll. The King's Pardon! Their cousin was saved at last!
  When the messenger announced the King's Pardon to the gathering, some booed, but many cheered. When her cousin was allowed to leave the Gallows, Elsie ran up to him and hugged him.
  "What did you do, anyway?"
  "I didn't do anything!"
  "Is that why you got the King's Pardon?"
  Their cousin nodded.
  "I'm so glad!" She hugged him again and Esme joined them. They all walked to their carriage not far away and road off.

        "The best part of life is when you almost lose it."
   --Esme Fletcher

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