The General took a valiant role in sweeping through the land and seizing the vital areas that the Sultan had lusted for. He did all of this with a stain on his heart. His beloved wife had fallen ill and was hospitalized in a northern medical hospital. The General took his earnings back to pay off the loan that he had undertaken to pay the doctors who he thought had been watching over her.
He arrived at the hospital one cold night and walked the shining yet eerie halls of the desperate building. The General climbed the stairs and was happy to see his wife, Sylvia, but was nervous at the same time. He marched the halls and reached for the door when he was met by the echoes of doctors talking over the bed of his wife.
“It’s a pathetic sight,” mumbled one of the men in a white coat. “Sylvia Glenn, petty southern lover.” The General was now lowered with anger as he kept himself contained to find out the intentions of the man who spoke with such bitterness. Another doctor faced his superior and asked, “What are we to do to with her, sir? She’s fallen quite ill.”
“Mrs. Glenn has already left us, young man; I will keep her here, but we won’t be wasting medications on someone like her.”
“Sir! Are you aware that her husband is a General amongst the highest command? He guided our troops and helped us take over part of the peninsula.”
The elder doctor turned to interrupt him. “Enough; I didn’t ask you for a rebuttal! You can take the waste out of the south, but the south will never leave the waste! She loved him! This means she is no good for us anymore. Go down and concern yourself with the new arrivals in the front rooms.”
The General dropped back until the sting of the wall behind him brought his body to a stop. He searched for answers…was this all just a terrible dream? Is she already gone? Life could not continue without his beloved Sylvia.
The General kicked open the room to find the doctor and his sleeping wife on the bed. He reached down and pulled his side blade out of his belt and shifted behind a bordering shelf. His heart was pounding as he stopped to find his next move. The coils in his wrist and knees slowly built up energy, energy to pounce and destroy anyone who tried to harm Sylvia. The only thing keeping this fury at bay was the self-control that he had learned from his considerable years of leading his troops.
When he found a gap in the noise leaking from the hall, he threw his forearm around the head of the doctor, just as an eagle would pierce the skies around a mountain peak. He flexed his prey toward his chest and compressed every valve the doctor had leading to his lungs.
“You will medicate her with anything you possibly can to keep her alive, or I will make a necklace out of your throat!” The General forced this through clenched teeth and heavy breaths.
“She, she…it’s too late, fool! Go ahead and kill me! As if they won’t find it easy to pin it on you!”
The General released him and fired his elbow back at the temple of the doctor, forcing him into a pile on the mirrored tiles that made up the floor.
Tears surged down the General’s cheekbones as he dropped to his knee to hold his suffering wife.
“Don’t leave me like this, what will I tell our son? How could we possibly go on without you?” he caught his lips in his palm to silence a painful outburst.
“I love you, Sylv…no, don’t leave me! It is alright, I have got the coin to own our own island like you wanted. Please come back to me, plea…” The drum that played in her lungs echoed a beat that slowed into a piercing hiss.
“No, you can’t go! They killed you, they let you die! I’m going to kill every one of them, I love you!” An entire breakdown exploded through the veins of the General’s body. The quakes in his bones pulsed from his ribs to the very ends of his fingers.
He sprung to his feet to finish the kill on the doctor that was responsible for killing his wife. Just before his strike, he stopped as his brain kept him from making a mistake.
He saw his mind walk up to him with narrow eyes and speak some sense into him.
“Now James…you can’t kill him now and get your revenge. You know where he sleeps. I know that you know where his family sleeps, how could they blame that on you?”
The General escaped into the night in a violent rage. He ran through the woods that choked the hospital building. He picked up thick branches and spent his adrenaline on trying to break down massive trees, only to lay down and give up on the impossible task. When his senses came back to him, he found himself crawling beside the doctor’s motorcar stalls.
Finally, he noticed the doctor walk out while holding his head to start up one of the cars. The General would dart from tree to tree, alley to alley, following the evil doctor to his home. The beast slithered from his fancy car and slipped into the front door in his home. The General snuck into the car stall and found a small tool that he carried in his jaw to free up his hands. He prowled around the garage while making sure that there were no suspicious eyes that had discovered his plot.
The General looked through the windows to see the lights that powered down in each room to show that the doctor’s family had all gone to bed. He crawled to a nearby adhesive can in the carport and pried it open with the tool. He glided from window to window, applying a fresh stripe of paint at the gaps in each one. A grin met his face for the first time this day as he realized that there would be no easy escape from this beautiful home.
The General slipped back into the woods and found the branch that he had treated as an ax before. He broke the branch into sections and moved them into each of the handles that hung from the doors of the doctor’s house. Finally, he ran back to the motor car and carefully removed the fuel tank from the undercarriage of the vehicle. He used the same tool and struck a few holes in the tank with perfect precision. The front lawn guided him through the night one last time as he ran to the front door of the den.
“Full, ha,” he said as he noticed the contents of the tank. His feet beat down the perfect grass as he circled the house, spilling the fuel on the wooden frame that was decoratively exposed. He pulled out his flintstone and cracked it hard a few times as the vapors ignited and roared up the walls of the house. The General sprinted his way through the woods as he howled into the night. He had nowhere to go; his reason to live was gone.
It was inevitable that he would have to go to his son in the south and inform the poor boy of their precious loss. He was one of the richest men in the territory. He could not be seen in his stained clothes or in that state of mind. The future was wherever his feet would take him, a new future that would be the canvas that he would have to paint alone.
The next morning, he awoke with a throbbing head and dust buried in the lines of his fingers. The sun crossed over his soiled body and reflected off into space. He knew that he was close to the place that he had once called home. The thought of his reunion was swallowed by the burden that he had brought with him the night before. How was he to tell his son what had happened when he could not even bear it himself?
Surely, he could not expect him to get on with his life without her as an inspiration. The minutes turned into hours as the sun stared him down. The General’s mind twisted and left him again. This time, it was up in the sky.
“Don’t you think you could slow down a bit? Good heavens, how are we supposed to recover when all you do is rush things?” The sun looked irritated by this and turned back with a rebuttal. “I’m not the one moving, you are! So, don’t blame this time on me!”
The General’s wrist bones ached as they endured the pressure of lifting his tired body from the ground. He could not even remember how he had traveled all the way home in one night. It is a good thing that his senses were alive enough to remember the times of the stock train, but still, the nearest pass was miles from these woods.
The General circled around to take in the homes that peered back at him from the break in the woods. His eyes locked on to the most familiar structure, and he slowly paced towards the house. He reached the front of it and lifted his feet on each step.
He tapped on the door but gave up and simply let himself in through the front door. “Mother!” he called through the walls of his cherished childhood monument. It is incredible how the human body can switch to autopilot when your thoughts have switched to insanity.