The Seer

Robert, had almost forgotten where he was heading when he realized he had to pass by Eliza’s home at the other side of town. He became upset at the thought of seeing her old home, a house that was showing signs of disregard. Eliza had been his childhood friend growing up. They had a lot of things in common one, but soon that widen as the years went by. They spent many days by the lake, they were always seen together, knew each other’s secrets and even finished each other sentences, many thought they would grow up to marry each other, but that didn’t happen. Something happened to Eliza, he couldn’t understand.

Her father, Zachariah was his name, had been an widower who lost his wife during Eliza’s childbirth. When Eliza had turned sixteen, her father sent her away. A year later when Eliza returned, she had changed, she wasn’t the jovial, funny girl Robert knew, she was different as a stranger he couldn’t recognize. Robert hated to think about that, because, Eliza had grown distant and cold. He tried various to resume his friendship, but it was gone.

Her father, Zacharia, died a few years later, leaving Eliza alone in the big house her father had built before she was born. Zacharia, was known around town, he was both revered and feared in the town of Cadogan. Some would say he was a strange fellow who entertained the town with his stories about the imminent. Those that feared him assumed he was delirious or inebriated, and those that revered him believed him, though, they all agreed he was determined.

Robert recalled the time when the elder Zachariah greeted him at the door when he came to see Eliza. Zahcaria was a tall man with broad shoulders and strong hands. His stoic visage was covered by a long bear and mustache. Anyone rarely saw him smile, as he felt he always delivered bad news.

“Hallo, son,” the elder Zachariah with his usual somber expression, “it’s best you went home, your family needs you. I know you came to see Eliza, but not today.”

Robert could not understand what Zachariah meant, but did as he was told, as Robert didn’t ever question the father. When he did, he found his father had just gotten home for a quick lunch before returning to work. His mother had lunch read for them, and cheerfully greeted them when they entered. She normally helped Robert’s father attend their shop, but his brother had been sick with a fever. She had gone to check on him and his father had began eating his lunch when minutes later his mother came running in, telling the father to go get the doctor.

That day, his world had been turned upside down. Robert and his father waited outside his brother’s room, while his mother was inside the room with the doctor. They heard his mother scream from within the closed room. The door opened and a younger Dr. Verwoerd walked out, shaking his head solemnly towards Robert’s father who had rushed inside to weep along side his wife. Robert exchanged glances with Dr. Verwoerd and without words, Robert realized his sickly younger brother had passed away. It wasn’t until then when he realized what Zacharia meant. Robert wept where he stood.

Days later, his parent’s held his brother’s funeral, everyone in town showed up, even Zacharia as he stood in back. His brother’s death had been unexpected. This was why people feared him. He, alone knew, the hour and the day of someone’s death.

Robert warily passed by Eliza’s house in sadness as if he mourned his dead brother. She was very much alive, but she wasn’t the Eliza he known once. It had been four years since he had seen his friend, but it felt like ten thousand years.

 

The Seer

“I fear that the young man I gave a job to last week is dishonest.”

“Oh, you shouldn’t judge by appearances!”

“I’m not; I’m judging by disappearances in this case.”

 

There was once a young lad who lived in a town by the harbor. Every morning when he awoke, he looked out his window to hear the bells of the Cathedral chime from a distance, as they did every morning. He found comfort from their familiar sound, always waiting to hear their call at day break. He yawned and stretched and was ready to began his day. He hurriedly dressed, had a quick breakfast and ran out the door.

He whistled down through a group of people, greeting the familiar faces as he passed by. He saw Mrs. Nisbit, the old woman who lost her husband and two sons during the First war. She lived alone with no other family. Every morning she had the habit of sweeping her front porch, greeting him as he passed by.

Then there was Mr. Vorster, who never fought in the First war and always cried during the commemorations of it. Mr. Voster like to sit outside his home watching the harbor come alive. The young lad, gave a quick nod to him and in his hurry, the young lad almost collided with Dr. Verwoerd.

“Doctor!” the young lad caught the doctor’s attention.

The doctor, had barely noticed the young lad.

“Robert, didn’t see you there, my boy,” Dr. Verwoerd was obviously distracted by his thoughts.

“Doctor, I’ve been meaning to talk to you,” Robert interjected.

“I can’t talk now, maybe another time, son,” Dr. Verwoerd was in a haste.

Before Robert could say anything more the Doctor vamoosed.

The Robert scratched his head in puzzlement. The Doctor has been quite preoccupied lately, he barely made himself visible, and when he was he was always in a hurry. Every time Robert needed to talk to him, the good Doctor was rushing out the door.

Maybe another time, Doc, Robert thought to himself.

That time never came. Five years later, Dr. Verwoerd would be murdered during one of the greatest speeches he ever gave to this town, shot dead by an outlander. Everyone stood stunned as they watch it happen, unable to react fast enough to the doctor’s assistance. When they had gathered their wit’s about them, the outlander had escaped, never to be apprehended. The blood that flowed from Dr. Verwoed had deeply stained the ground he had died on, and there it would remain for years to come.