Oct 29, 2012

The Outsider

By Muqadus Tabraze

Write a complete a short story called "the outsider". In your piece you should try to convey how a community reacts to the arrival of an eccentric or unusual character. 

"Aye, it's a hot day, Stephen. Toss me a bottle of some o' that whiskey over there." Randy thumped the glass on the polished wooden table.

"On it," the bartender replied carelessly. Randy heaved a sigh, and turned around on his stool. The smelly, overcrowded tavern known as "The Silver Spoon" was full of commotion today. More than usual. Then again, the eager customers could not be blamed. Times were rough, and 1768 was not a pleasant time to begin with. The harsh, cold winds had started blowing. The blaze in the fireplace, alongside the tightly locked shuttered were testimony. To top things off, the Civil War was reaching a climax. "America" as the loyalists called it, was falling rapidly into the hands of the imposing Redcoats. As everyone expected it would: it was hard facing defeat when your arms consisted of state-of-the-art weaponry. Trained soldiers,  warring against patriotic farmers. That could hardly be considered fair.

"Listen up, Randy. You seem lost in your thoughts. Here be the whiskey you wanted. Have some, and chat up a couple of the people here. There's Madame Isabelle. Why not mingle with her? They say she's.......pleasant company." Stephen had slid back towards Randy's edge of the counter, a devilish grin on his wizened, toothless face.

"No, not today Stephen. Much as I appreciate the concern, I don't think any lot has their minds set on her."

And rightly so. Today was to bring a historic moment, and the tension hung in the air. The Founding Fathers, they were titled; Benjamin, Washington, Jefferson. In the face of unimaginable adversity, the Parliament of the People intended to draft the Declaration of Independence. May God watch down on them, Randy thought. He dreamed of a sovereign land, where people could come and go as they pleased; no red would be worn, and the boisterous chants of a unified America would echo everywhere.


"The Silver Spoon......this is the place, alright. He said to wait here." The youth shyly clambered inside. It was a congested place: people in leather jerkins and simple boots, quite not flashy huddled next to a roaring fire. Compared to them, he, with the beads on his pure white jerkin and the feathers in his flowing hair, was nothing short of eccentric. In a corner, a group of men sat playing a board game, while far towards the right, against a plain wooden wall, wine was being downed at an alarming rate.

"These people do not appear to be uncivilised. It's their culture, I suppose. If only the others could understand. And then again, they have a cause for celebration, right?" Before Akinawa could get a response, a man near the counter flew up.

"You!" He bellowed.

"M-me?" Akinawa stuttered.

"Yes, you! What in blazes do you think you're doing here?!" The man's chest heaved with a fiery rage, his vest sliding down his thrashing arms. The tavern had suddenly silenced, staring at the incident.

"I was told the Fathers were chipping away at the Britain's power. Guaranteeing us our rights an-"

"OUR rights? You have no right to be a part of this land. You think we give a damn about you treacherous natives?" The man was obviously drunk, stomping his feet like a crazed elephant.

"Randy, calm down. He may be one of the good ones." The bartender called out from behind.

"THESE BRUTES MURDERED MY FAMILY, STEPHEN. How could you take their side?"  The crowd gave a sharp gasp, and Akinawa felt his heart sink. What had his brothers done?

"Look at you, dressed up like a pansy. Feather's in your feminine hair? You're hardly of age, and wearing bloody warpaint! HA! Have you ever been to war, boy? Your lot may have, but definitely not you." Randy stood on a stool and turned to the captivated audience. "This outsider and his kind, they sided with them Brits! They massacred the sons of America, chanted against us, turned their backs on their homeland, their people, and fell to the King's feet like loyal DOGS! Now, he has the audacity to ask for his rights? KILL HIM, I SAY!"

"NO!" Akinawa burst in, but it was too little, too late. The once confused people gave him dagger-like glares, with more than half roaring for his head. "You don't understand, I'm not to blame! My village, we fought for you! We remained loyal to this country, and will to the very end! Please, you have to understand!" Akinawa pleaded, but to no avail.

He spun as fast as lightning and raced for the entrance. He never got there. The bang ricocheted throughout the bar as the bloodstain crept across Akinawa's chest. He staggered, and fell like a log towards the floor. His life fading, the cries of the heartless community ringed in his ears.

The last thing he heard was Randy, above all: "And good riddance!"


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