The Plague of the Dark Love
The wind cackled and spat as the doors of the dull church swung open and echoed with a moan. I was settled into my seat with Rowland , the crowd muttered as the Reverend Mompesson demanded the villagers to his attention. Finally when the crowd was a peace , he spoke with a serious tone over the pool of innocent people ; his words soft but deep.
“Souls of Eyam ! I thank you all dearly for your accompany , I have summoned you here to warn you of the appearance of the Black Death. I have a few suggestions to help us within this crisis”. He continued.
“ Recommendation 1 : all dead shall be put to rest on their own land. Secondly , no more events in the church for even contact could put a life at risk and lastly this has been decided and you may hold your rights to doubt and be hesitant. Eyam will be put under self-quarantine.” A shocked silence drifted as the people start to leave the grey church with only the nights breeze broke the silence.
Rowland tugged me towards the side of the church with a gracious force ; a flock of villagers walked out with a sluggish pace. He looked troubled and numb for all I could see was his eyes trembled with utter sadness, I had no words to comfort him for I was scared the same as him.
“Rowland you must leave-i do hope you understand..”
“I refuse to leave you! You’re the only one i ever loved and i do not wish to lose you ! ” , his voice was shaken ; I felt him shiver in my embrace as the echoes of creatures cried into the night.
The Reverend had heard the sad commotion , he stumbled over and he patted Rowland with a deep smile.
“I do believe it is for the best young fellow the village can’t risk to stay open to the world. Do you wish for Emmott to shudder at your grave this month ? ” Rowland stared into darkness ; he gave a final embrace as his tears melted into the stone path.
It was only the first day of the plague , the first day of darkness , the first day without Rowland. Everything was stable until I saw a man - who was rather short - selling many items from a small battered crate.
“Flowers , whips and fire wood , i’ve got it all ! Brush away the evil scent of death ; frighten the evil souls that wish to corrupt your life - prove you’re sorry for your sins to the great lord ! ” He bellowed . As my father had caught the infectious illness he needed as much help possible , so I bought some flowers and blessed the man to stay well.
One dead morning , I marched towards our tree to await for Rowland , after many minutes , a small figure trotted to a rock at the bottom of the hill , my heart skipped a beat - it was Rowland.
“Rowland ! Up here !”. I chanted until he saw me , he gave a wave as I saw him place some flowers on the rock. And with that he said ,
“I'm glad you are well my love ! I wish to see you soon once again !”. And with that , he was gone.
As I marched back with some flowers and many supplies from our neighbouring village Stoney Middleton , I noticed that more people were outside , it seemed calm. Maybe it was because the deaths had slowed down ( only 73 deaths so far ); either way I was just pleased to see my love well.
My Father , he was worse by the second , he could barely move without terrible pain. Therefore I had to spend most of my days caring for him , I couldn’t even walk into his room without a tear on my face ; I loved him too much to see him like that.
But one evening I gave him a regular kiss on his ginger head and left to grab him some flowers and food. I returned to his room, my face dropped, my heart sank ; there he lay emotionless and solemn with his eyes open and dull, his body looking pale. I stepped over to him, closed his eyes and held him tightly as I begged.
“Wake up. Father please...please. I don’t want to say goodbye…”
The pain only grew more aggressive, the clouds of blood leaked as the day came, even the cemetery couldn’t take me in ; a last flicker of day drowned into darkness - a letter of bold lay in the hand of a weary soul within a coffin of sacrifice.
The shield lifted, the birds song brushed the autumn air, people of Eyam still sunk in sorrow , but one determined soul ventured for his love.
“Emmott?”, Rowland muttered. He ran to her home, but as he arrived and caught his breath he saw two thin stones with awkwardly carved words on them. Mr Sydall and Rowland’s beloved Emmott Sydall. His tears were sharp and overflowed as if he had just seen his worst nightmare, he stared at the note left on the soft grass.
I’m sorry that I had passed but do stay strong and give a smile. My love for you will never pass for I will send down the brightest dove with all my love from heaven above.
When he had finished he smiled sadly.