© Dave Kirby
A Death in Three Parts
She misses everything.
She misses her home, her mother and her sisters. She misses the green Derbyshire countryside, the blue of the lake and the grey of a cloudy sky. She misses the deer that run from her carriage and the wrens that light on her window sill.
And she misses the rain. What she would give too walk in the chill September rain.
She misses the food. Bombay Duck (it’s a fish in the name of God, not a duck) is no substitute for Cook’s Herrings in Pastry.
But then she thinks of the Peacock Dress and maybe, just maybe, it all seems worth it. Stitched of gold and embroidered with feathers of peacocks, the beetle wing eyes could be emeralds. There is no equal.
And it is hers.
She cocks her head and smiles for the camera.
This a man’s country.
A man could die here.
The stark landscape, the deadly beasts, the heat. It is a place where a man can pit himself against nature.
On the voyage over here it could not see this place as home, now he can see nowhere else.
His home is a palace. A genuine palace with gold and tapestries and servants. It is nothing less than he deserves.
And the servants here show him respect, not the fake tugging on a cap while laughing behind his back.
This place is his destiny.
He looks down at the corpse of the noble beast. It is his trophy, his kill, his pride.
Hands on pockets he strikes a pose and smiles for the camera.
He sees the small dark shape approach.
Although he is not hungry, he has eaten of this meat before and it is an easy kill, so he lumbers forward.
He does not the others and their nets, nor their leader with his club.
When he awakes, he finds himself tied. His head hurts and he has a thirst like no other. His awakening strikes the small prey into action. One pokes him with a stick and he tries to raise a paw. Sadly the pain, the rope and the thirst have deprived him of his will.
A paler prey with different plumage approaches with what looks like a large heavy stick. Instinctively, he knows there is danger and he does what it is his nature to do. He tries to leap but they have been careful with their bonds and he falls to the floor.
The pale man lifts his stick and points it towards him.