The Jealous Sister | By: Andrew Huggan | | Category: Short Story - Other Bookmark and Share

The Jealous Sister

Her graceful fingers plucked at the singing strings of her harp as she sat on a rock by the green grass, purple-scented hills and silver stream of Ossian. The gurgling of the stream and the cheery chirping of the little birds accompanied her, as her voice, beautiful as those very birds, echoed through the heather covered hills. Her gentle melody flowed with the stream as her heart pulsed a beat of a song of her native land.

On a walk through the forest of emerald trees and over a carpet of purple heather, an archer, whose majestic charm tipped the heads of his arrows, heard a song. This ballad of pure beauty made him stopped, as his noble ears rung with the gentle melody of a Harper. He stopped and stared in utter incredulity as a gorgeous site graced his kingly eyes.
Silently, he crept forward, as the sweet harmonies drew him closer to the fair maiden. “That sure is a bonnie sound yer makin’ there, dearie,” he said. Startled, the maiden’s sweet melodies halted, and she stood up and faced the archer.
“Thank you, but I have to tell ye that ye fair gave me sic a fright just then.”
“Forgive me, fair maiden,” apologised the archer. “I dinna mean ony harm tae sic a bonnie lass. I must ask ye though, why ye are sittin playing yerr harp, sae fair and bonnie, all alone in the glen?”
Overhead, a dark cloud darkened the day.
“I just like to be at ane wi’ the birds and the songs o’ nature. There is naething else I can do, as my sister, auld and fierce, hae forbade me tae enter oor house during the light o’ day,” she said, with a tear glistening in her eye.
“My fair young maiden, I canna say how regretful I am tae ye. But why is such a sister putting ye through sic a hell?” he said, as he put his arm around her to comfort her.
“A year ago, my sister, Mary, hae lost her love, a bonnie knight frae the woods back yonder. She went mad and locked me out o’ my very ane house, saying ‘Nae a person is to enter my house during the light o’ the day, for I shall live alone whene’er there is light, you, my very sister, are to be banished tae the glen, along wi’ the wounding strings o’ yer harp. Never shall ye set foot passed the door, but only by the light o’ the moon’ and she threw me out of the house, along with my harp.”
The archer sighed as his mind filled with sorrow.
“My poor wee lassie. Why have ye been put through all this? I’ll tell ye what, I’ll take ye a wee walk round the glen tae take yer mind off things. Come we me lassie, and I’ll protect you,” he offered.
The big black cloud passed, and the sunlight shone down and caressed their faces. “I must thank ye for yer very kind offer, dear sir, and I’ll be happy tae walk wi’ ye on sic a fine May Day. May I ask, noble archer, yer name?”
The archer replied, “My name is David Bruce. I am a guardian of this glen,” replied David.
“Well, my name is Erin and thanks again for your offer.”
“You’re welcome, Erin,” he replied, and they walked away in the sparkling sun.

Meanwhile, two cold, ruthless eyes watched as the two walked away. The darkness enveloped her as she stared with sheer fury and she whispered, “You may walk, but ye’ll never win his heart. He’ll fall for me, not you, and we’ll marry and you’ll be permanently banished to the glen.” Erin’s ruthless sister was furious. She wouldn’t have any of this. She walked outside with a malicious crawl, a sharpened blade in her hand. And one by one, the strings of Erin’s harp screamed as they were seared by the dark, dark blade.

A dark cloud smothered the glorious light of the sun as Erin and David walked, talking and joking all the way. A boiling raindrop splashed Erin’s head, as the clouds darkened, and put the whole glen in gloom. “Oh, it’s raining,” cried Erin.” I must get back to my house. It’s getting dark and my sister will get mad. Thanks very much for your company. Ye’ve surely brightened my life and I want to see ye again someday.” Quickly, she kissed his cheek and ran off into the glen, leaving David stunned and lonesome.

A bolt of lightning shot down as Erin ran through the glen. Her home in sight, she stopped, and her heart seized, her eyes froze and her legs shook. As she stared on, she noticed the strings on her harp, snapped, severed and dead. A cry echoed the thunder as her heart sank. In a rage of utter anger and heartache, she rushed into her house. “You did this, you twisted sister. Ye foul, vicious, cruel beast! My life, my soul, severed by thy shining blade! Why, tell me Mary? Why?” Slowly, a malignant smile slashed into her face, Mary turned round.
“You’re not good enough for him, wretched Erin. No handsome man is ever-good enough for ye. No man shall own your heart, and your heart shall own no man!”
“Cruel, cruel sister! What feeds yer jealousy? Why must you break my heart, my life, my soul?”
“Those stinging strings were the source of my ills. Nae sweet sound does thy harp make. Nothing now, and never has it made a sweeter sound!”
Erin collapsed in the floor, her sobs flowing with the wind. Lying in the floor, lay a broken woman.

The birds whistled as light penetrated her eyes. Quickly, the broken sister awoke, and ran outside. In her tracks, her pace slowed as a rainbow blossomed in the sky. The strings of her harp glistened in the sun, good as new! Tears flowed from her eyes to the burn and she swiftly sat on her rock and a joyous ballad was made. Her eyes, wide as a child’s, darted over the strings in sheer amazement. How could this be? And as she sat there, amazed and overwhelmed, a voice whispered in her ear. “Play me a tune, fair maiden.” And David, charming in the broad sunlight gently kissed her neck. With tender care, her fingers caressed the strings, and her heart poured into the singing strings. But a jarring sound was made as the maiden jerked, and the strings were stained red. The birds silenced, the stream gushed, and the clouds choked the sun. Directly behind the bloodstained maiden, stood her jealous sister, with a stained blade in her hand.
“You will NOT, play that harp!” roared the vicious fiend as Erin’s drained body fell to the ground. David, swift as a bird, drew out an arrow. He gently aimed it over his chest, and with the words “ I love you dear Erin,” he pierced his heart. A laugh like Satan’s echoed in the woods and the crows gathered in the trees. And simply, as if nothing had happened, Mary walked inside her home.

In the glistening frosty night, Mary awoke. A noise, faint as a birds pulse, she heard. She rose out of her bed, and left the room, as the sound grow richer and more powerful. A crazed look in her eye, she looked outside, to see the harp, bold as the day, playing by itself. “The Jealous Sister” was the tune that pierced her ears, as a demented cry burned out of her lungs.

By the green grass, and purple-scented hills of Ossian, three bodies lay. A bonnie Harper soaked in blood, a noble archer with an arrow through his chest, a wretched old woman, her hands clenched upon a blade, which sticks in her chest. And a harp, joyful as the birds, plays the melody, which stained the stream red.

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