The Hessian, Chapter 5

“You’re asking me what to do in the future, and I’m still trying to comprehend what happened in the past!” Clarissa sunk into the bedside chair previously occupied by the doctor and relived the events from earlier that day. “I just can’t believe he came back! Once he was executed, I assumed that I would never see him again…”

            “Who is he?” Kenneth inquired. He suddenly recalled her prior nervousness upon the subject of his military adversaries, so he added, “Was that… Was he a Hessian?”

            Clarissa had to close her eyes and steel herself up in order to reply to him. After she had braced herself for this juncture, she revealed, “Colfrith had many merchants coming to purchase lumber from C.C. Asher Mill, but none of the regular clients ever became a part of the community except for Alastor Derstreich. He rubbed elbows with the town’s most elite members, and he charmed everyone he talked to. He became the most celebrated person in the village other than Cornelius Cole, the mill owner and governmental representative, or my late husband, Brenner! About a month ago, while Alastor was speaking to Brenner, a piece of paper slipped out of his pocket. It turned out to be an envelope that prominently displayed the Hessian seal! Everyone knew that no patriot would possess such a document, and he never denied the accusation that he was a spy! The hurt from this betrayal brought everyone’s vitriol to his hanging, and he vowed to unleash vengeance on us all from beyond the grave…”

            Kenneth asserted, “Well, that explains the motives behind that specter’s attack! But it doesn’t explain why that physician determined that my disclosure of this event signified that I had lost touch with reality! I couldn’t have been the Hessian’s first victim!”

            “No, you weren’t! After Alastor’s death, a lot of strange things started happening…” Clarissa narrated. “People heard music that wasn’t there. Random individuals would wander down Hallow’s Alley and have no recollection on how they got to that location. So much pain and so many ailments surfaced that no one could trace their origins to! Multiple neighbors got consumed by anger and hatred, and then a lot simply felt nothing whatsoever! Everyone could tell some abnormal force had taken over the area, but nobody believed that Alastor’s spirit was the culprit behind it all!”

            “Why not?” Kenneth puzzled. “He threatened to enact revenge after his demise, and then these inexplicable episodes began to frequently occur, so logically, wouldn’t the blame get cast on him?”

            Clarissa somewhat bitterly responded, “It would be if logic was the principal guiding most of their decisions! For one brief night, everybody was united by the outrage from a beloved figure’s double-crossing, but then some started to question the facts surrounding the incident. They no longer found it natural for somebody so well admired to suddenly turn on his allies like that. They were convinced that a supernatural commodity played a role in swaying his mind to commit such an atrocity! Then they treated that theory as truth when Brenner perished in a mysterious manner…”

            Kenneth cried out in disbelief, “They believe you cursed the region? How could they think you would benefit from damning the district that you rely on to function in your own life?”

            “I don’t know if they actually attached a valid reason other than pure evil and control. At least when it came to terrorizing them! They’re certain that I killed Brenner to gain control of the inn! They didn’t understand that I was always in control of The Leafy Taverne, just not on a legal basis! Once he passed, not a single soul could fathom why I didn’t pass the reins over to a man! We never had any children, so there were no sons to inherit it. And I refused to sell it to Oceanus Montgomery or Cornelius Cole or any other male with a large purse for that matter! Apparently, I’m skilamalink for not wanting to let this place go!” Clarissa looked away and sadly sighed.

            “Did you love him?” Kenneth probed.

            Clarissa’s head instantly whipped back towards him upon hearing that enquiry! “Who? Cornelius?”

            Trying his hardest not to make her feel foolish, Kenneth clarified, “I meant Brenner…”

            “Oh!” Clarissa blushed furiously from the topic he raised. “No one has ever brought that up before! Not even Brenner!”

            “I’m sorry for making you uncomfortable!” Brenner apologized. “I merely guessed that perhaps you held on to this establishment so ardently because you didn’t want to let him go. I know I had some difficulty getting rid of some of my wife’s possessions after she succumbed to her illness, but a year or so later, one of my daughters wondered why I never wore any of my pretty dresses in the closet, so out they went!”

            Clarissa giggled at his quip, which brought a smile to Kenneth’s face. She then grew curious and queried him, “How many kids do you have?”

            Kenneth gladly filled her in, “Five. My youngest is ten now, and the oldest is sixteen. They’re all living with my mother while I fight in this war, although my son is considering joining a militia. I don’t know if I’m ready for him to-.” Suddenly, another gust of wind blew by and shook the entire building once more! The echoes of irate whispers sounded throughout the entire space, and their brief instance of levity vanished! Kenneth recalled their more serious discussion and then articulated, “Alright, so we have the spirit of a Hessian spy haunting this borough. How do we stop him?”

            “Alastor abandoned his assault on you because of this.” She displayed her cross necklace for him to view it more clearly. “Most of the citizens belonging to this township are low-waged sawmill employees, so not everyone can afford this sort of protection. So, I’m not sure…”

            “Your cross saved me? How close were you to my body?” Kenneth petitioned her.

            With her cheeks flushing furiously again, Clarissa divulged, “I was shielding you from his dark magic. I couldn’t help it! I wouldn’t have been able to stand it if I had to witness your murder! You didn’t deserve to die like that!”

            Kenneth riposted, “Neither did you though!”

            “You risk sacrificing yourself each time you do battle for resistance against tyranny! Am I not allowed to do the same for a resistance against the paranormal?” Clarissa challenged.

            “That’s your choice to make; I just hope I never put you in a position to make that sort of decision again!” Kenneth had expressed that very seriously, but he gave Clarissa a meaningful smile. For a second, Clarissa pondered if he was going to kiss her… The howling draft returned and instantly shifted their mood straight away from anything remotely pleasurable like that! It hovered around their abode, and then it abruptly veered south! “We have to warn everyone!”

            Kenneth attempted to hop out of bed, but Clarissa kept him pinned down. “The doctor recommended that you rest! He may not know the true cause of our recent unrest, but he does know a lot about the human anatomy! Whatever Alastor put you through must have been tremendously taxing to your health!”

            Reflecting back on his arduous experience, Kenneth recalled, “He kept sending flashes of agony that would course throughout my veins as he condemned my troop’s purpose on the battlefield! He acted as if I deserved the torment that I got after committing this horrendous sin! When I went unconscious, I was so sure that he would bring about the end of me…” He shuddered as he relived this nightmare, but after the memory had elapsed, he made another bid for springing out bed. “We can’t allow anyone else to go through that! We must advise his intended targets of this impending calamity!”

            “They won’t listen to us!” Clarissa morosely disagreed with his suggestion. “No one trusts me, they’ll credit my claims to a pursuit of some sort of malicious spell that I want to spread! And as for you, well… Many people’s allegiance to the liberation front changed when Alastor was done away with. They started to believe his outrageous arguments that the fight for freedom was, in reality, a dangerous campaign to sow seeds of anarchy throughout the world! Some individuals had the audacity to blame the Continental soldiers for creating the circumstances that brought Alastor to his doom as if the message against tyranny gave birth to the madness that got him killed! I would dearly love to assist in the protection of Colfrith, but what good would it do to talk to those who won’t listen?”

            “Someone will listen to us!” Kenneth insisted. “Even if we only convince one person, it would be worth our efforts to save that one life!” Clarissa appeared doubtful still, so he further iterated his objective, “Hear me out! My military unit has received some of our finest officers from primarily loyalist towns! We may not be able to persuade them all, but if we can win over a few, we may find the allies we need to defeat this menace! We don’t have the ability or resources to take down this fiend, but somebody out there does! And it’s up to us to discover them! So, what do you say? Are you with me on this?”

            Once Clarissa’s mind had fully drunk in his words, she slightly grinned as she told him, “I can see why you were promoted to lieutenant! You could embolden anyone to charge into combat!” Kenneth beamed at her, and she concluded, “Let’s go!”

            Clarissa led Bailey by his reins as Kenneth rode on his steed and observed the bystanders around them. He spotted one man nearby and called out to him, “Excuse me, sir!” The man looked frightened to get addressed by him and scurried away as fast as possible. He took another shot with a woman walking with her youngsters, “Pardon me, madam! I-!” The woman scooped up her lot and glared at Kenneth prior to steering her little ones away from that area. Kenneth seemed rather put off by this behavior, but when he espied Clarissa’s skepticism resurfacing, he assured her, “The actions of a few do not dictate the rationale of the rest!”

            He could see her striving to dissuade her doubts, but before he could broach the issue any further, the wealthy coffeehouse owner emerged from his business and shouted, “You there!” Kenneth turned to him with a glimmer of hope in his eyes, but Clarissa grimaced. She sincerely mistrusted that Oceanus would have flagged them down on any amicable grounds! Oceanus scolded Kenneth, “You owe my daughter an apology for your blatant rudeness!”

            “Sir, I apologize if she construed any ill manners from my actions!” Kenneth graciously regarded him. “I truly didn’t mean to-.”

            “That hang in chains is yelling at Mister Montgomery!” one passerby infuriatedly noted.

            Clarissa defended him, “He didn’t even raise his voice! Just because they are having a disagreement doesn’t-.”

            Another onlooker decried, “Don’t give us this cockamamie story of civility on your part! You came here to cause trouble!”

            “No! We came to save you from it!” Kenneth retorted. “You see, an evil entity has besieged your village…”

            “Yes, we know! It’s standing right before us” a lady countered, which made the spectators around her titter.

            Clarissa exclaimed, “Abigail, you don’t have to like us, but if you don’t take heed of our information, something truly terrible will take place!”

            Abigail accosted her, “You dare to threaten us!”

            “We have no desire to harm you!” Clarissa contended. “But someone else does!”

            “You’re lying!” Abigail vehemently hollered. “You want to deceive us so we fall prey to your scheme!”

            Clarissa rebutted, “What motive would I have to do such a thing? The only maligner in these quarters is Alastor!”

            Abigail stepped within inches of Clarissa and growled, “Alastor was an honorable paragon to our society! How dare you besmirch his righteous name!”

            “He made plans to doom us all!” Clarissa feverishly disputed. “And he didn’t stop with spilling our secrets to the British!”

            “You’re a liar!” Abigail hysterically screeched.

            Clarissa went on, “His wickedness has overcome death! His wrath resumed in Colfrith by means of-!”

            With the speech of deeply timbred male, Abigail bellowed, “Silence, you snake!” She gutturally growled and then lunged her hands at Clarissa’s throat…!

6 thoughts on “The Hessian, Chapter 5

  1. Priti says:

    Beautiful story of Clarissa! Love is everything thanks for sharing 👌😊💕

  2. Adelaide Dupont says:

    I love the Tonya Harding look of the cover image, Dana.

    [just that this is the sort of face that she would “pull” on the rink.

    Keeping and catching up with THE HESSIAN up to the 21st March 2022.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s