They had killing on their minds.
The Currier twins, Robert and Joseph, were originally from New Hampshire, somewhere up around Concord. They and their older brother, Geoffrey, had joined with ‘A’ Company of the 12th New Hampshire Volunteers during the War of the Rebellion. While Robert and Joseph had survived the war, Geoffrey had not.
At the end of the war, the men had sworn off violence and made their way to Cross, a place where they hoped to forgive that which could not be forgotten.
The madness that was rife in the town in November claimed them on the ninth.
I heard the gunfire from my apple orchard closest to North Road, and by the time I reached the scene of the battle, there was little left to do.
The brothers were stripped down to their waists, each of them bleeding from numerous wounds, any one of which should have killed them.
Their eyes were red-rimmed and wild, bloodied froth clinging to their lips. They had cast aside their pistols and rifles, and they were armed with only their hands and their teeth, and they were doing a fine job of killing one another.
As I watched, Robert sank his teeth into Joseph’s throat, and Joseph drove his fingers into a pair of wounds in Robert’s belly.
For a moment longer, they struggled, then they sprang back.
Joseph brought several ribs and a length of intestine with him while leaving a goodly portion of his throat in Robert’s mouth.
They wavered on their feet, smiled, and then each fell backward, dead by the other’s hand.
I stood there for a long time and looked upon the wrecks in front of me.
I cannot say for certain that it is the madness alone that claimed them, or if the horror of the war played its part as well.
I suspect it was a fine mixture of the two.
#horror #fear #art