Memento Mori
Chapter 1

The sun was high in the sky and beamed down onto the cracked Texas earth. There were very few clouds in the sky, which made the deep blue sky all that one could see if he looked up. The small Texan ranch sat on a hill easily within sight of the main village. The land that was used for the cattle was behind the house as well as other small buildings that marked the Davidson ranch.

Miles Davidson was a small man of five foot three. He had short blond hair and a few spots on his face, though mostly it was covered in dirt and dust acquired through a long days toiling on his ranch. Though he did not seem the tough rancher type, he sported an impressive strength and stamina that had been honed over the thirty years of his life thus far. His six-pack was often concealed under a loose fitting shirt that hung down by his jeans which he seemed to wear in all occasions along with his boots.

If there was one flaw that Miles could be said to have, it was his undying aggressiveness and almost non-existent temper which made him pretty much angry at everything all the time. While he did not ever vent this nature against his wife or children, he certainly was a fan of fighting in the village. There were many times in which he had come back with cuts and bruises that dwarfed the injuries inflicted on his opponents. This combined with his inability to hold his drink as well as his love of drinking had made him fast friends with the village jail cell on numerous occasions.

He was for the most part however, a loving father and a kind husband who openly showed his affection for his family and friends, of which he had but a few. His wife Elizabeth was slightly taller than him with long black hair and was just as active as her husband though it appeared she had absorbed Miles' temper and combined it with her own. No matter what the insult or event, she placed a kind face on everything and remained calm. Most of the time, whilst hoping her husband would do the same. (does she like him violent and angry?) His two children were twin boys of seven (need a bit more here)

As the sun lingered overhead, bathing everything in unbearable heat, Miles preformed his duties. He hammered nails into a set of new wooden railings on the porch to replace the old ones which had cracked. Sitting on the step was Jimmy, one of the twins, who watched his father with apparent interest. The radio was nearby and sung out tunes with a crackle of static now and then. Occasionally the song would finish and news update would replace it for a moment

"News from Washington, the President has met with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the President of France to sign a formal agreement augmenting the NATO treaty signed during the cold war. This will hopefully, after the expected joining of Germany as well, provide a block of nations opposing the rising Polish states. The unexpected annexation of land by Poland in both Russia and Germany has startled all nations in Europe and the World ... With Poland enjoying still increasing profits and heightening influence with Italy, Spain and Portugal the question everyone is asking is, where will this lead? The newly elected President of Poland, Kondrat Kiljek is still in talks with both Germany and Russia on the issue. Turning to the National news, the small village of Gutan Waters in northern Texas has suffered a devastating and brutal attack from an unknown faction which has wiped out all known inhabitants. No one has claimed credit for this atrocity yet."

Miles flicked the radio off with his free hand and looked at his son with a frown.

"You'll learn to ignore all this babble. It's all hyped up so much(or just all hype?), and never turns out as bad as what it seems." His son only smiled in response.

Soon the railings were finished and Miles had to walk into town to buy various things as dictated by his wife. He had sprung up to the requests (offered to get the required items? Sprung into action when mentioned?) as it allowed him to go via the bar for a bit and see his favourite friend, alcohol.

About 2 o'clock he bounded hastily (a bit incompatible, try bounded happily, or walked hastily maybe?) into the village towards the bar. The village was small but very friendly and welcoming to anyone, buildings of wood and brick greeted him on both sides while people smiled as they were getting on with their daily routines. These people were hardy men and women who did not mind a harsh day's work and it took a lot to offend them deeply, just his type of people. Miles had been living there for several years after having met his wife here. As he approached the bar where this all took place so long ago he thought to himself about the past; The two had come together during a huge drinking contest which resulted in an even bigger bar brawl.

Inside the building the overwhelming smell of strong alcohol and cigarettes filled the air so densely that it created a deep fog that made most eyes water. However the hardy Texan was now all but immune to this particular experience after enduring it for extended periods of time. Accompanying the smell were the voices of the regulars who had already started drinking slowly, this made Miles smile.

He called out;"Dave, you there?"

"Nah, I'm here not here." The buff barkeep called back in his usual sarcastic manner.

"Get me my usual" Miles said loudly whilst walking over.

"Yes husband, get me the money for it" Dave laughed.

"Hoy Hoy, Miles has graced us with his presence that we have been so long without" Another regular called out sarcastically.

"I've been busy, I'm here now"

The blond Texan hopped (I know he's small but does he have to leap?)up onto a bar stool and paid for a whiskey which he finished pretty quickly.

"Heard the news on the radio?" Dave asked.

"Yup, what about it?" Miles replied into his glass.

"Well it's pretty scary eh? The news about Poland and to top it all off, the massacre on the border."

Miles sighed heavily. "The massacre is a tragedy but shit is always happening somewhere. As for Poland I couldn't care less. It'll fizzle out soon enough when Russia and Germany lose patience and invade them." "maybe" Grunted Dave in response.

"Don't see why America should get involved anyway" One of the regulars piped up.

"Cause China, Poland, Spain, Portugal and Italy all seem to be agreeing with each other. Can we just drink and leave politics out of this please for God's sake!" Miles barked irritated.

The barkeep chuckled at this and handed the annoyed man another drink before changing the topic.

"What about the hamlet being massacred in Utah?" Heads within earshot of this all rose up and looked to the large man "What, you didn't know?"

"You mean the border of Texas mate" Someone said. Dave got out his phone and clicked about on it for a minute before replying.

"Nope. Fifty people all murdered. The border village was two days ago but they were only found recently, this one was discovered about two hours ago"

"It's the Chinese" Someone shouted, Miles' head dropped down onto the bar with a groan.

A few hours and innumerable drinks later Miles headed home with the requested goods just as the sun had just started to move lower down towards the hills casting a beautiful shade of orange out across the horizon. His mind was filled with thoughts on what he was going to do tomorrow and for the rest of the day. However the news he had heard did not occupy a moment of thought since he had dismissed it as irrelevant to him as soon as he had heard it.

The door of his home was open; it was a decently sized house which was decorated in the fashion of most houses with wallpaper and pictures occupying the walls. The hall was littered with shoes which his kids had forgotten to clean but otherwise it was immaculate. Leading from the hall was the lounge area, Miles walked in and he found his children smiling at him in front of the TV which was showing some children's program. He strolled past them and into the kitchen where Elizabeth was making their dinner.

She looked up and shook her head having known exactly where he was, but she knew that he was smart enough not to come in drunk. He deposited the shopping onto the kitchen table before sitting down on a wooden chair near it. The goods spilled out slightly on to the table showing things like: baked beans, milk and such, all bought with care to the precise instructions from the loving wife.

She smiled at the sight of what she asked for, Miles noticed this and spoke.

"It's almost as if you expected me to forget them" Elizabeth rolled her eyes playfully at him.

"I knew you'd get everything I asked for darling" She replied in a humorously sarcastic manner. She then bent over, retrieved a can of beer from the cupboard and threw it to him. Miles caught it easily with one hand knowing it was a not so subtle test of how sober he was. With a triumphant smile at passing this test he looked at what he had just caught.

To his joy it was a can of Premium English larger which he enjoyed so much

"A little reward"

"Thank you, now where's my big reward" She simply winked at him making both of them laugh slightly.

As Liz continued to cook their dinner her husband sat, slowly sipping his lovely lager which made him relax and slide slightly down in the chair. This was not maintained for long however as he was soon pressured into helping cook, a skill which he had with basic meals.

When the meal was cooked the kids joined them and they all sat down and ate at the kitchen table. Conversation flowed between them about various things, such as school and gossip within the village. Eventually though, without significant incident, the day ended, The kids went to bed and quickly fell asleep. The two adults then followed them and lay down in their own bed. As the night set in they embraced each other in loving romance as was fitting for a married couple.

Miles felt safe and happy with his life, settled down and watching the world go by with little fuss. He had a good family, good friends and a good life. These thoughts covered his mind like a warm duvet and sent him into a peaceful sleep.

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Story tagged with:
Fiction / Slow / Violent /