The Legend of Hy-Breasail: Chapter 10
Published May 5, 2015

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It had been a long, tiresome walk to say the very least. Dark had fallen, along with fresh snow by the time Davis and Kim finally reached their desination. They were miles away from Little Crestfea now, they had made a nuisance of themselves there and they were no longer welcome.

But now they had reached Bracken town, and none of that seemed to matter for the moment. At least here they could blend in for a while until they could decide what to do next. Food, warmth and a good sleep were their priority for the night. They could worry about their forgotten lives tomorrow, nobody would notice they were gone after all.

“That’s it, that’s it. That’s definitely my brother’s place” Davis said, they stopped to catch their breath and looked to the house ahead of them.
Spurred on by a little hope they mustered up a fresh bout of energy they didn’t know they had and trekked the final few yards towards it, a step at a time. Its front garden, covered in Hawthorn bushes assured them this was indeed the place they sought.

“You said the keys are kept under the Hawthorn bush?” Kim asked, “which one?”

“Uh” Davis answered, “I don’t know, we’ll just have to search them all”. He could barely feel his fingers but they had no choice but to search. He noticed Kim didn’t look pleased, understandably.
He wondered as he searched if Kim could sense it too- a friction that had developed between them.

Surely she could. His heart ached. He had lost his family, his home, his identity, and now he was saddled with the awful thought that he could lose Kim too. Perhaps he was just being paranoid, he couldn’t be sure. But he did know that he had no idea how to put things right.
“I found it” Davis finally called out, they had been searching for the best part of an hour, their frustration had been steadily building, they were so near yet so far.

“I’ve got it, I found the key” he said louder and for the first time in many hours there was a hint of a smile on his face.
They pushed open the front door and stepped inside.

The house was cold and dark, but it was a safe place, a shelter from the angry elements. They could light a fire. With any luck there may even be food left in the kitchen.

Back on Hy-Breasail the inhabitants did what they always did on long winter’s evenings; they sat and looked at one another, paced about, with their eyes heavy they yawned and blinked wishing for a warmer season to come.

“How long until they come back? Looking for solutions? Begging us to do the impossible? To find a way to reverse the curse?” Bronagh eventually spoke, “the poor souls. We have utterly failed in preventing them coming here, and I for one don’t think I can ever forgive myself”

“Davis, I’ve got the fire lit”, Kim’s voice travelled towards the kitchen.

The electric in the house had been switched off but they would find a way to function without it, they had no other option.
Davis carefully prepared a small meal with some stale bread and a jar of raspberry jam he found in one of the cupboards. His head nodded with exhaustion all the while.

The light of a single candle flickered beside him.
“The bread is stale, I’m afraid” he said as he came into the sitting room, “but if we toast it on the fire it might be a little more eatable. It’ll do for now”

"It doesn't taste so bad" Kim said as she gobbled down the bread. "Slight cardboard taste though"

"Kim?" Davis said as he cooked his own bread on the flames, "don't you think we should go back to Hy-Breasail? Not now of course, I mean in a few days or a week when I've got our energy back. We can't hide out here forever"
"Why would we want to go there?" Kim said with a distinct tone of bitterness. "They knew we would be subject to the curse if we set foot on their island, they should have stopped us. Now look. Now look at us"

"But they're the only other people in the world who understand this..this..affliction" Davis said.

"Well" Kim answered, "I for one don't want to live inside a tree with a bunch of strangers in the middle of nowhere"

"I know you're angry at them now" Davis said as he continued to prepare his food, "but how can we exist here? In this world? We have no money, no identity. In the long run, like it or not, I think we're going to need the people on Hy-Breasail"

He took a deep breath. "The fact is that this thing has happened. Our lives have been altered completely, and there may never be a way to reverse it. It kills me to say it, but it's the truth. Our lives as we knew them really are over.."

Davis turned around. Kim was asleep.

Their day had been long and tough, maybe tomorrow would be better, but somehow he didn't think so.

Davis ate his food and lay down on the other sofa. Sleep didn't come to him as quickly as he had thought it would. His body was on the verge of exhaustion but his mind was wide awake.

He thought about his family. The fear in his mother's eyes when she didn't recognise him, his many brothers, his father's scowl and his frequent criticism, and he missed even that.

The next thing he was aware of was waking up. It was a new day. Light from outside filled the room, still Kim slept.

He looked at the fresh snow fall outside, a bleak and depressing scene.
Sluggishly he made his way upstairs and into his brother's room. He opened the chest of drawers to find himself something more suitable to wear.

He shook his head as it occured to him that he owned nothing in the world anymore, he had nothing to call his own. It was going to be a life of begging, stealing or borrowing from now on.
"I can't live like this" he said out loud as he washed in the bathroom, his brother's mismatched clothes did little to warm him up and the water was stone cold.

He made for the stairs again, his mission to convince Kim to go back to Hy-Breasail, a place where they would at least belong.
He found Kim downstairs, awake, she had just lit the fire again.

"We can't stay here, Kim" Davis said sharply, "we need to go somewhere where we'll belong, to Hy-Breasail. This isn't going to work. We cannot make a life for ourselves here, it's just not possible"

"Davis, you just don't get it, do you?" Kim said.
"Get what?" Davis said, "what don't I get?"

"I'll never belong anywhere" Kim said. "Not in Hy-Breasail. Not in Little Crestfea. I can never return to my home country, I have no passport, no identity. I'm a stranger in a strange land, I'll live out all my days here"

"But I'm a stranger here too-" Davis answered

"But you haven't lost everything, Davis. Not like I have. This country is still your home, it's part of you. And in it, you still have a little part of yourself. You can return to Little Crestfea in the future, pass by the places you grew up, the sites you're used to, catch sight of your family and friends- from afar- but me, I don't have that option, and I think I'm going to be driven mad"

Davis didn't answer. There was nothing he could say. Nothing he could do. Nothing anyone could do.

To be continued...

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