This is one of a series of unpublished flash fictions that examine the character of Jaysynn’s siblings. This story concerns itself with an incident in his brother Bulon’s life. If you haven’t read The Fall of the House of Kyzer, check it out!
Wyn spotted the men from afar. A rabbit couldn’t approach his square of wilderness without his noticing from a mile off, never mind the column of dust trailing behind the strangers’ vehicle. He leaned, bent and wizened, on his hoe and waited. It took more than half an hour before the strange, boxy contraption rumbled to a stop near his warped fence and three men emerged.
“Guvment,” Wyn croaked. “You come to say my son’s dead?”
The lead of the three stepped through the broken gate, casting a disgusted look over the enclosed area. A dim shack cowered at one corner, with a rain barrel on one side and a splinter of an outhouse on the other. A few goats and chickens pecked around the scrub. A small well, no bigger than a dog curled up to sleep, shimmered in the sun, surrounded by neatly tilled rows of vegetables.
“Are you the owner of this property?” the head soldier asked.
“Yes, sir,” Wyn said proudly, showing his yellowed teeth. A gold crown sparked in the sun. “And my father before me and his before that.” He nodded to a few markers at the far end of the enclosure. “This here’s our land. It’ll be my son’s, if you ain’t come to say he’s dead.”
“This land is now property of the Thyrian government. You have until nightfall to move out.”
Wyn swayed and clutched the weathered handle of his hoe. “This here’s my land,” he said weakly. “I lived here all my life.”
“I’d suggest contacting your son. I’m sure he’ll help you find somewhere new to settle.” The soldiers stared at him expectantly. The two at his shoulders gazed around, bored.
“My wife–she died last year. She’s over there,” he pointed a trembling hand at the small cemetery, “waiting for me. I laid her there myself, promised her I’d come soon. I can’t leave. I can’t.”
Wyn’s knees gave out and he slid to the ground, where he sat in the dirt. (more…)