Private Peaceful Creative Response
I saw Tommo walk out, wishing with all my heart that he wouldn't leave.
I waited patiently, trying not to think about all I would miss out on. Little Tommo growing up, Moll, Mother. Tears desperately tried to reach the surface of my eyes but, with all my strength held them back. Would little Tommo, see pictures of me, would he hear stories of how, back when Tommo got into his first fight I got the cane and not once did I cry out? I wanted to hold him so badly, to kiss Moll, one more time. I knew that they would be safe with Tommo, but that doesn't mean I can't worry in my last few moments to live.
Maybe if I hadn't been such a troublemaker this wouldn't be happening. Maybe I would be able to return home, instead of abandoning my family. But I wasn't cowardly. I stood up for my brother something I had always done, in had saved his life. I hoped that Horrible Henley would die, for killing me, because I saved soldiers lives. I really hoped he would.
"Charlie." I raised my head from my hands. "It's time." I stood up, my body strong, my mind weak. They led me out, carefully so that I could walk with dignity. I did not stumble and I walked with my head held high. It was cold outside, and the dirt was moist. I concentrated on the empty field, not looking down, or at the solders that were about to kill me, they tied me to the post, I felt their hands shaking. I refused to shake to show fear; I wouldn't let Tommo's last memories of me be of a spineless coward. I did not yell or scream I just stood there, waiting for it to be over.
I looked into the eyes of the men, who were ordered to execute me. To them it was murder, to me it was murder, but to damn Horrible Henley it was punishment. I had always stayed strong for Tommo. But I had never before mentioned how father's death wasn't his fault. All his life he blamed himself. Would he blame himself for my death to? The man came to put the hood over my head. I refused it. I wanted to see the bullets flying towards me. I thought of Moll, would she know? Would Tommo tell her that I was killed because I was cowardly? All I wanted to do was think of Mother, Tommo, Big Joe, Father and Me. I wanted to think about every smile, every laugh, every hug and I wanted to hold onto them for my last few moments on earth. I didn't think of anything that could upset me, all I wanted to do was remember, the happiest moments of my life. Me, Tommo and Big Joe singing Oranges and Lemons. I sing the words softly to myself,
"Oranges and lemons, Say the bells of St. Clements's"
I hear the solider and I sing faster,
I hope that Tommo is joining in, for me, for Big Joe for mother, I hope with all my heart that he is.
"You owe me five farthings, Say the bells of St. Martin's "
I let a tear escape that's all I will allow myself.
"When will you pay me? Say the bells of Old Bailey."
I hear the triggers go off, I close my eyes, smile and think of Heaven.
"When I grow rich, Say the bells of Shoreditch.
When will that be? Say the bells of Stepney
I do not know, says the great bell of Bow
Here comes a candle to light you to bed and here comes a chopper to chop off your head!"
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