Revolutionary: The note under the pillow

This is a continuation of my short series, Revolutionary. Click here to read “The Boston Massacre”

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Rebekah slipped the note under George’s pillow. She felt a straining guilt in doing so, but she had no choice. It was what was best for her family and their country– For their freedom. She made certain the note was slightly peeking out from underneath the pillow. She heard a creak of the door and quickly grabbed the broom and ran into the kitchen, pretending to be occupied in sweeping the floor. John, George, and little Tommy walked through the door laughing.

“I can’t believe you missed it!” John chuckled.

“I could of shot it if I wanted, but then it looked at me with those big doe eyes and…” George paused, shrugging his shoulders.

“An English soldier couldn’t hunt because he felt sympathy for the beast? That’s a good jest!” John bellowed hysterically. George could not help but laugh along– it did sound rather silly. Rebekah remorsefully looked at George as he and her husband howled with laughter, but then she looked at his uniform. That cursed red coat. Her thoughts were suddenly halted when Tomas walked over to her and held out a small, furry creature.

“Look, Mama! I caught a squirrel!” He said, holding it out towards his mother. The deceased animal was mostly intact but rather bloody, which Rebekah couldn’t help but cringe towards, but they were hunting after all.

“…Very good, dear…” She replied lethargically. She looked to the two men,

“I suppose this is all you brought back for dinner?” George and John looked at each other in complete and utter silence for all but a moment until the two began to burst into laughter once more.

Later on in the evening, John and George were seated at the fireplace long after Rebekah and the children had gone to bed. Both of their coats were slung over their chairs and each man had a grin on his face as the other spoke. George gave a great yawn and stretched his arms out.

“Seems we should be heading off to bed, then.” John chuckled with a small yawn of his own. George smiled and nodded.

“Some rest sounds wonderful.”

“Right,” John said, standing up from his seat, “Well, goodnight then.”

“Goodnight.” George replied. He made his way over to the ratty old cot that John had set up for him in the same room while John began to walk to his bedroom. Before John could reach the doorpost, he heard George mutter

“What’s this now?” Curiously, John turned around and noticed the note in George’s hand. George was already skimming through the note when John approached him, hovering over his shoulder.

“George? What’s that you’ve got there?” He asked. Slowly, George’s face became more pale as he continued to read it, and soon enough, John’s did as well. It read;

Cadet Collins,
You have done well to warn us of the colonials plans. We were able to anticipate their next rebellion and put an end to it thanks to your efforts. Your endeavor has been greatly appreciated and will certainly be rewarded.
General Harrison

“All this time… You were a spy?” John whispered in a trembling voice.

“What? Of course not!” George said, turning around to his companion. John shook his head and tattered backwards.

“John, please, you can’t honestly believe this piece of rubbish, can you?”

“I don’t want to… We said we wouldn’t let this get between us.”

“And we haven’t!”

“Then why is that note there? And why did you try to hide it?”

“I don’t know, John! You must believe me! Why would I keep such a note? I wouldn’t be foolish enough to place it unwittingly under a mere pillow! I would have burnt it!”

“Perhaps you planned to tonight?”

“No! That’s- That’s not what I meant!”

“George, I want to believe that you wouldn’t do this, but why would there be a note here in this exact spot if it wasn’t you?”

“I told you, I don’t know! Would you really think of me as a traitor?” George hollered. John averted his eyes and took a deep breath.

“…No, I wouldn’t… But now…” He shook his head, “…I should have known…”

“Why won’t you believe me? I made a promise and–”

“It has your bloody name on it, George!”

“It says Collins! Collins isn’t that uncommon a surname! Perhaps it was wrongfully delivered?”

“Your men knew you were staying here! It was probably that James fellow who delivered it!”

“Even James wouldn’t–”

“I can’t believe you because… Because I know what you’ve done!” John interrupted. George stopped his shouting and looked at him with glossy eyes, knowing what would come next.

“You’ve killed my people!” George’s eyes dilated like a frightened animals as he stammered backwards.

“Don’t think I don’t remember what happened in Boston!” John screamed, holding back tears.

“John… You know… You know I didn’t want to! You know that!” George’s breathing intensified as he the traumatic event flashed before his eyes. He remembered the unarmed civilian that he had wrongfully shot at the order of his impulsive commander. He remembered the screams of pain and agony, but he never thought that his dearest friend since childhood would be the one to throw it back in his face and make him relieve it.

“You’re one of them no matter what!” John lamented, “Your loyalty is to the king, not your friends…” This was true, which made it hurt all the more. All George ever dreamed about was being a soldier, but he never thought he would have to lose his closest friend to do so. He never wanted it to be this way, but he had a duty to fulfill. He knew the incident in Boston was wrong, but he still believed in his cause. This had to end, one way or another.

“George… Leave.” John said sorrowfully. Silence filled the air as the two stared at each other.

“NOW!” John shouted aggressively. George’s sorrow had festered into anger.

“Don’t forget I’ve helped you– I should have jailed you– several times! I could have put a ransom for your head! You’re a disgrace to our homeland!”

“Good! To hell with Britain and your good for nothing king!”

“Why don’t you just listen, dammit?”

“You know why…” John glared intensely as he spoke, “There’s a revolution coming, George, and I don’t intend to lose.” George took a deep breath and picked up his military coat from the hinge of the chair. He put it on and walked towards the front door. He opened the door and stood in the door frame facing away from John.

“I thought we might be able to be friends even though we’re of two different worlds… Apparently, I was wrong.” With that being said, George left. John waited a while, then sat back down in his chair and covered his face with his hands. Only a single tear dropped from his eye, but thousands poured from Rebekah’s as she listened to the mens conversation from the bedroom.

“John… George… I’m so sorry…”


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