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 And This Time He's Here to Stay View next topic
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Joined: 01 Dec 2007
Posts: 331

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 4:28 am Reply with quoteBack to top

This is from Pelliden. He broke the forums though, so I'm posting it!

Pelliden "Pell" Rieves pulled his jacket's hood up over his black hair, shading his eyes, which looked tired and worn-out, though they normally glittered like twin pieces of amber. He leaned his head against the plane's window, feeling it vibrate in defiance of God and gravity. Men weren't meant to fly... Men weren't meant to stalk the night. Men weren't meant to feed on blood. Men weren't� He dozed a little, his thoughts wandering until his flight touched down at Dublin International.

As the hatch opened, Pell grabbed his bag from the storage compartment, giving a sigh. In another time, he'd be elated to be home. Now, it made his lifeless heart sink even further, if that were possible.

He stepped down the stairs, and had only been on the ground for around half a second before a girl gave a squeak of elation and embraced him, in what was more a pounce than a hug. She'd looked tired from the plane's window, but upon seeing Pell she brightened up considerably. She had flowing red hair tied behind her in a ponytail, and the greenest of eyes. She was everything you think of when you think of an Irish girl, and more. Two years younger than Pelliden, she was the very avatar of youthful innocence, and had looked up to Pell all her life, until the years went by and that admiration turned into something else, the sort of thing that makes young girls giggle and young boys punch each other 'midst outraged denial.

"Ceilidh," Pell replied fondly, giving her a squeeze. "You've no idea how much I've missed you."

She took his hand and skipped excitedly as they left the airport. "How was Mexico?"

Pell gave a chuckle, digging in his pocket for a rosary he'd got while in Central America, and handed it to her. She collected the things. "It was int'restin' enough, but I'm glad to be back home." It had been interesting indeed, what with the gun-running and tense negotiations and dodging Los Federales, but there was no way in the world he was going to tell her that.

She grinned happily and pointed. "Come on, I'm parked over there," she said, tugging him to her car. He smiled softly and slid in the passenger side. However, his expression darkened as Ceilidh updated him on what had happened in his absence.

" Jack and Ryan both got caught," she began. "Attempted murder, they say." She narrowed her eyes as she started and began to drive the car down the street. 'Got caught' was short and simple enough, but it entailed a lot of things, such as violent reprisal, police brutality, and a long stint at Portlaoise.

" They're good lads," Pelliden replied, trying his best to be comforting when the fact was, they were stuck and everyone knew it. "They'll get out and be none the worse f'r wear, full 'a fire an' fight like before. You'll see."

But as the car came to a stop at a redlight, Ceilidh turned to look at him, her emerald eyes tearing up. "Pell� there's more�Colin," she said, her voice cracking. "Colin was killed by a carbomb."

Pell gave a gasp of surprise. His little brother Colin was 10 years old, or at least he had been. Ceilidh looked out the window, giving a sob as she spoke. " The funeral was yest'rd'y," she said. "I'm so sorry� We didn't know how t'reach you�" Giving a sniff, she wiped her eyes with her sleeve and started driving again once the light had turned. "Speaking of the funeral, Da would like t'see you."

He nodded, giving a mental sigh. 'Da' meant Father O'Lyrus, the preacher at the church they both attended. That promised to be�interesting, on top of saying goodbye to Colin. He reached over to clasp Ceilidh's hand over the gearshift. She sort of half-smiled and continued to drive.

Pelliden stood awhile later in the graveyard at the church, looking down in his hand at a St. Christopher's medal that used to belong to his brother. The patron saint of lost causes and travelers, Pelliden and Colin had always identified with Him. Just before Pell had gotten on the plane to leave for the Americas, Colin had looped it around his neck saying, "Y'better bring it back to me, an' don't you stay gone too long or Ceilidh'll start cryin'". He remembered how red the girl had turned back then and how she swatted furiously at Colin, who wasn't far from a smaller version of himself. That seemed like a lifetime ago, as close to "happier times" as Belfast seemed to get back then. Now, he felt like if he could have, he'd be crying, but for now there was just this sullen emptiness. He heard the distinct click of a Webley revolver being cocked behind him. Pell didn't bother to turn, instead waiting for the voice.

"Pell Rieves," Father O'Lyrus said, his voice firm, " I know what y'are. Could tell by lookin' at you. But that don't change my message none- I've known you since you were a young'un, I ain't got the heart t'kill ye."

Pelliden turned to see the old man putting the gun under his trenchcoat. His face bore a bullet-crease, proof that there was, or used to be, more than met the eye with this tired-looking man of the cloth. He stretched languidly, taking a few steps toward Pell.

"We know who did it- we know who bombed your brother. An' I'm gonna tell ye, an' you're gonna get the vengeance you deserve, and then you're gonna get the hell o't of Ireland, and stay o't, at least for now, to keep my brothers from killin' ye." The old priest's face softened. "I think we both know that's best for Ceilidh."

Pell nodded wordlessly and headed inside the church with the Father O'Lyrus.

The night after the next day, Pelliden walked down the vacant Belfast streets alone, heavy with the weight of war. Everything had been planned out. He knocked upon the door of the UVF barracks, and it creaked open to be answered.

"What do you want?"

"I'm 'ere for Colin Rieves."

" Well he ain't here."

"I know."

Pell pounced upon the poor soul who answered the door, the dagger in his hand spelling an instant, fatal arc of blood from the man's throat. It sprayed full-on into his face, but he merely licked his lips and continued with his work. A silenced pistol meant that the last thing through sleeping soldiers' minds' was not Queen Mab, but 9mm hollowpoint, and no one was any the wiser. However, as the distinctive wail of police sirens came into earshot, Pell swore vehemently as the cars neared and the sleeping occupants woke up, grabbing guns and clubs and the like. The resulting bloodbath was a blend of flailing blades and bats, mixed with the hushed tones of Pell's pistol against the loud barks of rifle and submachine gun. Had anyone survived, they would tell stories to people who'd shake their heards with disbelief of how this man moved so fast, a blur of violence, or how he took shot after shot after shot without even faltering. They would shiver in their nightmares of Pelliden sinking his fangs into their necks, draining them of their lifeblood as he had in that terrible storm of vengeance. But none survived. Man after man fell to a soul-less eidolon of terrible anger, their screams of horror and pleas for mercy melding with his far more beastlike war cries.

The next day, Ceilidh watched the news like she did every day, expecting the usual, but she inhaled sharply as the anchorwoman came to a particularly different segment in her droning.

" A bomb was detonated in the Protestant district of town late last night, destroying a reputed Ulster Volunteer base. The act resulted in heavy casualties in terms of both police and paramilitary life. The bomber, identified as Irish Republican activist Pelliden Rieves, did not escape, perishing from the explosion."

And Ceilidh cried. She wept and wailed, raging against everything from herself, to Pelliden, to God above. Her father opened the door and walked in to see his daughter so distraught, and after hanging his coat upon the rack, he held the poor girl tightly. Her face buried in the old man's shoulder, she didn't see how much surprise, or indeed sorrow, that the Father's face lacked. If anything, it held regret. He reached up behind her and turned off the television, leaving a jarring silence to counter Ceilidh's sobs.

Two days later, a funeral was held for the elder Rieves brother, closed casket draped in white, orange and green. The polished pine box was marched down the street to the cemetery, born by ashen-faced young men and followed by tear-stained young women. Passers-by and onlookers shook their heads sadly and crossed themselves as they watched the procession.

As the box was lowered into the moist earth under gunmetal-grey skies, Father O'Lyrus led the mourners in prayer and verse, sending one of their own to his eternal reward, right next to the still-fresh grave of his brother. There were hymns and songs sung and played, but throughout it all, Ceilidh remained quiet and grim as stone, her hair and face covered by a black veil. In her hand was the rosary Pelliden had given her only days before.

After the service, everyone paid their final respects and gave comforting remarks to each other. "It'll be easier as time goes on." Ceilidh, however, lingered by the graveside. Her hand on the cold stone, she began to sing.

"My Pelliden came home today.

His friends marched with him all the way-

The pipes and drums laid out the time

While in his box of polished pine,

Just like meat on a butcher's tray,

My Pelliden came home today.

My Pelliden was a fine young man,

A smiling face and guiding hand.

A man, he would've lived and died,

Till by a bullet, sanctified�

Now he's a saint or so they say.

They brought our young saint home�today.

An Irish sky looks down and weeps

Upon these narrow Belfast streets

While youthful blood in gutters spill

And dreams of freedom unfulfilled-

And part of freedom's price to pay,

My Pelliden came home today."

Even though it had stayed clear and strong throughout the whole song, if mournful, Ceilidh's voice faltered at last on the final line of the dirge.

"And this time, he's here to stay."
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