Early Poldark Short Drabble
Ross had been sent to war in the colonies have brawling and gambling back home. He had left behind a supposed betrothed, that his father had approved of, but the connection was loss to Nempara when he took a musket ball to his leg and the butt of a gun to the face. He was laid up for months, stitched back together, but not could feel the pain raging in his head and burning in his lower limb. He wanted to be over it. At times, he wanted to just die on the cot where he was set up as nurses looked after him. His new friend, Doctor Enys, tried to keep his patient's spirits up by speaking of reunions that were soon to come. Ross was going to be sent back to Cornwall as a Captain and in the view of the people there, a form of hero. The idea of being celebrating for fighting a war on the side of supporting tyranny didn't sit well with Poldark. He had argued with many of his fellow officers as they bragged about soon putting down the rebellious Americans. Shortly they would be proved wrong and no one would be more pleased than Ross, but the agony of his wounds would distract him from the results of the fruitless endeavor of his King and country. It would be a misery that would follow him all his life and he knew it. He hoped, desperately, that his Elizabeth would accept him as a broken man and would marry him anyways, taking up residency in Nempara, along side his father.
When the Captain finally arrived back in Cornwall, he was informed by mistake of his father's death six months before he came into port. The shock was taken with an expression of anger. He felt life was punishing him for more than any amount of sins he could have ever committed. He was cursed. He didn't even get to say good-bye and life was just walloping him with endless torture and emotional as well as physical torture. He immediately left the carriage that had been taken him home. He wanted nothing to do with the death of his father, Jeremy, and wanted to find a warm welcome after his battle torn self had come back to find some drop of joy and sympathy. He limped his way to Trentwith. The searing pain was made easier with a make shift cane that he had made from a stick. He inched forward slowly as he began to recognize his surroundings more and more. Three years away had changed him and his memories were shaken. He had to gradually allow his old life to slip back. The chasing Elizabeth through the fields and waltzing with her at balls, though he never enjoyed dancing. She made the act seem heavenly. He remembered the smell of Cornwall in spring, when his father would take him to the mine and let him have a go at breaking rocks away to find copper. He learned so much about the industry he was now due to take over. The tenants had spent six months without support and needed the mines reopened to feed their families. He remembered laughing with them as they shared meals after their long labors. The path was uneven and shocked him back into reality. His face pulsed with the retched soreness of the split in his face. He wanted to reach his Uncle's home soon. He wanted to see his cousins, Verity and Francis, and his great aunt, Agatha. He wanted to be invited in and enjoy family after so long being away and feeling incredibly alone.
The sight of the old manor house brought the first touch of happiness he had had since he had returned. When he knocked on the door, he was immediately let in. He turned the corner and surprised the lot. Verity ran for him and hugged him tightly. Gritting his teeth, he fought the agony of his injuries to return the affection. He needed it. He needed to be loved. His thoughts of wanting to die were idiotic with such a gentle creature missing him so intensely. When the two parted, his cousin offered him food. He accepted, but he saw an unexpected face. Elizabeth sat and dined with his family. His beloved was there! Ross began to thank the heavens. He might not be cursed after all. He walked over towards her, shaking the hands of his cousin Francis before grabbing the chair the brunette sat in to keep standing and smiled brightly.
"Elizabeth! What a welcomed surprise!"
Across the table was her notoriously ill tempered mother, but Ross chose to ignore her. Elizabeth seemed uncomfortable by her former lover's touch. The Captain considered that his scar might have frightened her. "Staying for dinner?", Francis asked, eagerly. The two cousins shared a hug and Ross accepted the offer, watching Verity set him a place. He limped to the side where he was to sit and stood for a moment.
"Forgive me! I believe I have interrupted some kind of celebration! What's the occasion?"
Elizabeth's irritating mother sent her off for her shawl as Ross spoke and as she disappeared, his Uncle spoke. "Celebrating an engagement!", he boasted.
Ross was happy to know his family was getting on well. He sat down to ease his poor leg as the flaring misery shot like lightning up into the rest of his body. "Francis", his Uncle continued. Francis beamed. Verity poured Ross a glass of wine.
"Really? Congrats to you! To whom?"
"Elizabeth", the mother spoke with a touch of snark in her voice. Just then, Elizabeth returned. Ross' heart sank low. He was cursed. His emotions tore him a part. He fought the sudden desire to weep. The pain seemed to overpower the physical anguish he was in.
It can't be, he thought. Then he stood slowly, grabbing his wine glass. Verity stood puzzled. "Will you not stay and eat?", she asked, concerned.
"No. I don't want to interrupt such a wonderful occasion. A toast to the both of you. May you have all the happiness in the world."
Elizabeth faked a smile. Francis raised his glass and all drank. Then Ross put his glass down slowly. He could feel the shaking of his body, being overwhelmed. He asked to borrow a horse to ride home and his Uncle granted it to him. Elizabeth stared with obvious sadness in her eyes as the Captain limped away. He took the make shift cane from where it leaned next to the front door and stepped out, hearing himself being shut out of Trentwith. As the horse was brought around, he felt his eyes burn with fury and sorrow.
"I am cursed. Penniless, alone, and broken inside and out. I shall never recover. This must be what it is to have the soul die, but the body survive."