This is for my dear friend aliensouldream
Thanks for everything, sweetie!
Title: The Vineyard - Chapter 6
They sat down at the kitchen table, lunch and time were forgotten. After she smoothed her apron neatly Sofie folded her hands in her lap, then she started talking.
‘About 15 years ago Benjamin Connor, the Master of Lake Mills that time chose Casey Connor, the son of his youngest sister, as his heir. It was time for it because he felt he had to go soon. He was right because 10 days after he informed Casey Connor he passed away.
Casey arrived here to the funeral and stayed. We felt that it wasn’t what he wanted to do but he didn’t want to disappoint his uncle, even he was dead. He owned nothing but the clothes on his body. He didn’t have any idea of what was going on here let alone of wine growing. But he learned quickly and in less than two years he was the best winegrower around. His wines were famous far beyond our country. People liked him, respected him because he was friendly and he was fair to them. He rewarded them when the harvest was rich, encouraged them when the year wasn’t that good. He held close to traditions. _
He moved the vineyards to the hillsides facing the South and since then for this reasons his wines were the best. Grapes here were always harvested by hand – he wanted it this way. There was always a great fest where we all crushed the harvested grapes by trampling them barefoot. Oh yes, he held firm to traditions, our Casey.’
She smiled a little smile now, looking and nodding at Thomas.
So Thomas went on.
‘One day one of his cousins, Carl, showed up. He seemed to be as friendly as Casey but this was a deception. He treated people like slaves, in a kind of way that Casey didn’t learn anything about it. He kept him busy, asked him for this and that so Casey didn’t leave his rooms that much, if he left them it was always late at night. For example he told him that he employed more than 100 people for the harvest but in truth he only took 30 of them. People got angry about Casey, about Carl anyway. They had much more work to do and earned less wage. Casey checked the bills, of course Carl faked them – so he didn’t know anything about what was going on for about 5 months. One day an old farmer talked to him, he learned the first time what was happening. He got furious, I’ve never seen him like that. He grabbed him by the collar and threw Carl out of the house.
The coming harvest festival was cheerful as it was in former days, all seemed in order.
Then out of the blue Casey got very sick. What we didn’t notice at first was that Carl was back, secretly sneaking around, getting into the house at a secret gate – trying to poison Casey, little by little. But Casey was strong and caught him one night when Carl came into his bedroom thinking him sleeping. They started a fight, suddenly Carl had a knife in his hands and while they struggled and wrestled Casey stabbed him. Carl died the same night in Casey’s arms.
When I came in, of course we heard the noise in the tower, he was covered in blood. I was shocked, Casey was shocked. He murmured over and over again ‘I’m a murderer. I murdered my own flesh and blood. Why can’t it be me?’
We didn’t know what happened the next nights but Casey changed. He was only a shadow of himself.
10 years ago, it was April 13th, there was a massive thunderstorm with thunder, lightning and a frightening wind storm. It seemed God wanted to curse the house and everything around. The house shook, the earth quaked, the wine cellars got destroyed.
Casey went up to the tower and after a few minutes it was struck. ‘We lost Casey in God’s rage’ people said but they worshiped him like a saint, they liked him, mourned for him. They still do. We still do.
A couple of years ago one of the guests, a young carpenter, maintained he had seen Casey. It was April 13th. But this was impossible. Casey was buried beneath the ruins of his tower.’
Thomas and Sofie had tears in their eyes, they surely loved him a lot. Ezekiel couldn’t believe it. He was sure it was the real Casey he had seen. No doubt about it.
“Did you find his corpse?” he asked. They both shook their head.
Sofie talked again. “People say that every year on April 13th – it was his birthday and his day of death – he’s coming back looking after his people, grieving about the misery. A legend is caused that when Casey finds his true love, then and only then he will rest in peace. The young guy Tom mentioned before stayed here for about 3 years but he never saw Casey again. By the way he was the one doing the renovation of your rooms, Zeke.”
While they where talking it was as if there was a hand resting on Zeke’s shoulder, someone breathing cold against his neck. This made him shiver. More than once he turned around but of course there was no one there.
“But it COULD be that Casey is still alive, couldn’t it?” he asked them hopefully.
“No, Zeke. The tower got lost in the ground. Not a single stone is left. There was no chance for Casey to survive. I’m sorry, lad.”
He wanted to find him. He HAD to find him. He wanted to know the truth and … he missed him. That was weird. But he knew for sure Casey was his destiny. He was also sure he was alive, he knew what he had seen, he knew that he had talked to him.
He left the kitchen a few minutes later and went back to his rooms, flopped on the couch and buried his face in the cushions … when he felt a cold hand touching his head and a whisper “Zeke…”
Hello my friends,
I’ll be in Nuremberg today at a huge harvest market. I’ll try to get some dried lavener blossoms.
I'm so much behind here but next week I'll only read and comment. Can't stand it the other way :-)
Have a fantastic day!
Love and hugs,