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R. S. Grantaire

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The American Revolution - Part One of Unknown [08 Dec 2004|01:51pm]
[ mood | thoughtful ]

Sarah Tappet lived in Boston, in a nice old house near the waterfront, where she managed the household of her new husband, a merchant named Daniel, who shipped textiles overseas. Sarah had lived with my family down in South Carolina for tensome years as a girl to learn how to manage a large estate from my mother. I was twenty-four, bored, unemployed, tradeless, and well off. My young brother had taken over managing the plantation that was by right both of ours, and I, tired of indigo and tobacco, decided to tour the other colonies, and visit my dear cousin Sarah to see how she was faring.

Sarah welcomed me with warm, open arms and a growing stomach, already a few months pregnant with her first, though the weather in Boston was dreary cold and wet. "Go to the docks." She said brightly, fastening my coat about my shoulders and putting my hat on for me, as if I were her nearer, fonder kin. "Captain Daniel Tappet would love to meet you, Johnny."

....continued beneath the cut.Collapse )

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On Greece [01 Dec 2004|03:32pm]
[ mood | distracted ]

I remember Greece.

The Macedonian was coming. We all feared, but Nikolaos - so we called him, the victor of the people - never let fear rule him. He was a young man, with a shock of black hair, so certain in its darkness that the sun caught his hair like a raven's wing, shining in its darkness and blackness, and eyes so blue they made the rest of the sky look dull by comparison. He was my captain, and I was his second.

I had always been his second, it seems, for as boys, I was the shadow that watched and guided. He learned to play the spear and sword at my side, and excelled. I reached out and took his hand when he fell, and pulled him to his feet. "We shall fight together." Nikolaos said, and I smiled. "Yes, we will." He had warm hands, strong hands, even as a boy. "We will die together." Nikolaos continued, and I smiled, and nodded. "...so we will."

Nikolaos stood, a little taller than the rest, and he told us we had nothing to fear. The Macedonian would not kill us, he promised. He would see to it that Alexander would never overtake us. And Nikolaos would be trusted. I was there, when he promised that if we could leave, we would fight for the self-styled tyrant. I saw the cold gleam in The Macedonian's eyes, the little twist of a smile; "and many men follow you, Nikolaos?" And my captain, tall and proud, with his promise, "do the stars shine in the sky? Do the waves reach for the shore?"

We marched. We fought. We conquered. It was this way for a very long time. My captain became a general, and the men followed him like the sands on the shore followed the beach winding around into the sea. The Macedonian was great in all he did.

Then he began to get peculiar ideas. He wished us to marry foriegn women. They begged me, the men did, to convince Nikolaos to go to Alexander, and ask The Macedonian why such things were happening. I promised to go with him. "We may die." Nikolaos said softly, as we stood and waited. "...then we die together."

The Macedonian was drunk. Nikolaos stood before him, and barely began to describe how the men could not, would not, marry women of Persia, when Alexander rose up in a fit, and something spun through the air. I could not stop the spear, only catch Nikolaos as he fell, wrapping my arms around my captain and general.

His blue eyes watched mine, then faded, limp in my arms, as I rose up, and moved to the dais where The Macedonian sat. The last thing I felt was satisfaction, as the empty, startling blue eyes stared up at me as I breathed my last.

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on Germania [20 Aug 2004|06:38pm]
[ mood | sad ]

I remember Germania. I remember watching sitting and watching young boys play at being warriors and soldiers, when there was time, when I was still young myself, maybe fourteen or fifteen. I remember mostly that there was a young boy, twelve at oldest, who had found old Roman armour somewhere, and sat and talked about how he remembered Rome. None of the other boys understood what that meant, but I would sit and listen to him, and he talked about vast armies matching, and shining spears and tragedy. He was young, and he never played with the others, but talked about how one day the Romans would return, and he would lead us against them when they tried to take our forests and our fields, and he would lead because he knew the way the Romans thought.

His eyes were the most piercing blue, and when others told him the Romans would not come here, to a world where there was peace enough that boys still had time to play, he would sit down next to me, and look up, and ask, "you will follow, won't you, when they come back?" I don't know why, but I always smiled, and said, "yes, I will follow you." He would turn dark, for a boy, the way a man with heavy burdens would turn dark in his eyes, so that the blue horizon became like a midnight sky behind a half-moon, and said, "it will not be easy. We may die." It was harder to smile then, but I would nod, remembering his stories, how real they seemed, though none of us had ever seen things like he described. "We may." I would say. "But if we are to die, I shall die with you." He would smile a little, the smile of a man, not a boy, and nod back. "Then it's all right."

When the Romans came, bringing their machines of war and fire and a thousand glittering spears, he stood up and rallied the others to fight. I knew, if they did not, he had lived his whole life for this moment, though he was so young, though he had no wife, no family, no real life. He did not feel young, nor incomplete. I was there, and I followed him, and when he was uncertain, he would stand next to me, staring at the bright helms and the shadows, before looking up at me and asking, "do you remember the Romans?" I always nodded, I always placed my hand on his shoulder, and said, "yes, I remember," for they had started to invade my dreams with the things he had said. "I am going to die here." With his solemn, sad voice, so resolute, so unhappy, he had absolute conviction. "I'll be there." I promised. "I'll die with you." Then something, between sorrow and a smile, would light across the impossible blue eyes, and he would nod his head. "...I know."

His role in the battle finished when a spear pinned him to a tree. I ripped the spear away and caught him as he fell, and turned my back to the world as the rain of archers' fire fell down, trying to shield him from further pain. We fell together beneath the trees, and bled together, as the battle spun around us, before we ever had the chance to even lift a sword. "Ceril." He whispered, for that was my name. "Are you here?" I was there, with four arrows in my back and a dying boy in my arms. "Yes." I whispered. "I am here." He held tight to me, head resting against my chest, and said, very softly, "I forgot dying is so cold." I held him as tight as I could for the pain in my back, and wished I myself were not so cold, to give him warmth. "Don't be afraid." I told him. "We are here together, as I promised." He looked up, blue eyes hazy with pain, and said quietly, "...then it's all right."

I held him as he bled, inable to stand, knowing he would never survive, and I bled too, so it was very cold. "Ceril," he said quietly, when I had almost forgotten he still lived, "I don't want to be alone." It got harder and harder to move my arms, but I found a way to brush the bright gold hair from his forehead and hold him closer still, and bend my head to whisper in his ear, "I'm not going anywhere but where you go." He smiled, suddenly a boy, and whispered, "was it worth it?" His pale hand reached up to cover mine, and as he did so, I whispered back, "yes. I would die again, to be here with you." He was fading, near death, as his slender fingers tightened around my hand, and he whispered, "I was so afraid you'd say that." I smiled, somehow, in spite of how cold everything was, and promised him, "I'll say it again, however many times it takes."

He died when his head rested on my breast and no more breath stirred against my shirt, and I died when I lay down on my side in the cold and closed my eyes so I didn't have to see how still and cold the boy in my hold had become. Endless sleep was mercy compared to the strange sense that I had lost much more than the boy who gave me dreams of Romans.

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words, as they exist to be written [20 Aug 2004|04:24pm]
[ mood | blank ]

If you give a man a book and quill and tell him, "write!" he will blink solemnly and ask you what you want of him truly, unless it is Prouvaire, who will gladly scribble whatever is on his mind. I am not Prouvaire, nor am I exactly fond of scribblings; raving is more my style, waving a glass of wine and thinking out over a game of cards, chess, dice, poker, something to filter out the thoughts I do not want to think and allow me the luxery of thinking the ones I do wish to think.

Yet I have been given a book and quill, of sorts, and commanded, "write, man!" and so my thoughts turn to what is suitable to be said. My last name was Remy Sergius Grantaire, but people who know me call me R, because of how I sign my name. I had many names before that name, but if I know anything of those days, it certainly is not my name. Strange things slip away, when time is not constant.

I died for the first time in a stone fortress in the desert of the land now called Israel, barricaded in a room with one arm around the man I had followed into Masada, the man who had killed me, and who I had killed. I would die with him again, I promised, as we bled, if I only had the chance, the choice, as the cold of the wall behind us gradually became the cold all around us, the cold that was us, and his young head gradually slumped on my shoulder as we escaped slavery the only way left to us.

To enter a slavery of new kind, an ever-repeating cycle of life, too briefly lived, causes, too quickly and too deeply loved, and deaths, so slow in coming. There was no constancy, no sureity, we could be anywhere, anyone, doing anything, and then in my heart, there would spark a fire, to leave everything behind to join a boy, never more than a boy, who had blue eyes like the skies of a fairer country. To laugh together, to swear oaths together, to fight, and bleed, and die together, fate sealed in a wooden box, to promise us never more than twenty-five years to find and make what we found count, to ourselves, eachother, the world.

I could list the battles and the years, but there have been so many I forget the names, I could list leaders but I forget their faces, and in the end, it does not really matter, save for the one who shared tragedy and pain with me, the one for whom I have, and will always die beside.

To speak of Paris, to speak of France, of a barricade and a revolution and a quickly ended cause, it is no good or glorious thing. To speak of a life lived in the farthest seperation from familiar that ever was, to speak of a life where doubt and skepticism are the only religion, and where you must watch what you follow, what you believe in, what you love, fall, is simply said, just one more theme in the story. Rise to fall. Fall to be caught. Caught, to die. Die to live. Live to rise, and fall, and be caught, and die, over, and over, and over, and over again.

This then, is the book of Enjolras' many lives as Grantaire saw them. This is all I know to tell when given a book and quill, and commanded, "write!"

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