Summary: Response to the 2013 Pernell Roberts writing challenge. Why does Adam dress in black almost all of the time? Here’s a possible reason for that…..
Rated: K (880 words)
The Man in Black
I was carefully shaving my chin when my youngest brother unexpectedly poked his head into my room.
“Hey, Adam!” My hand jerked and I swore loudly as the razor bit into my skin.
“Aargh! Joe!” I yelled, grabbing a hand towel off of my dresser and pressing the off-white fabric against the cut. My sibling raised his hands up in a gesture of surrender.
“Sorry!” He said, slipping through the doorway and plunking down onto my bed with a sigh. I rolled my eyes and pressed a little harder in an attempt to stop the bleeding.
“Pass me my shirt will you?” I asked, pointing to the spot on the end of the mattress where the neatly folded material rested. He picked it up and tossed it to me. Catching it mid air, I grunted a quick thank you before putting it on one handed.
“Why do you wear black all the time?” Little Joe blurted. The question took me by surprise and I turned to stare blankly at him.
“Come again?” His face turned a dull crimson and he stood up, scuffing his boot toe on the roughly hewed floor.
“I was just wondering why you wear black all the time, that’s all.” He mumbled.
“Do I ask you why you wear that hideous green jacket all the time?” I commented dryly. I caught a flash of annoyance in his eyes, but then it was gone.
“I’m sorry I asked. It’s just that black seems like such a depressing color to wear day in and day out.”
““Seems”? Nay, it is. I know not “seems”.
‘Tis not alone my inky cloak,
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected ‘havior of the visage,
Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief,
That can denote me truly. These indeed “seem”,
For they are actions that a man might play.
But I have that within which passeth show,
These are but the trappings and the suits of woe.”
“Thanks for that, Mr. Milton.” He replied, his words brimming with sarcasm and I snapped my towel at him, catching him on his backside. He yelped in surprise.
“You’re welcome. And by the way, it’s Shakespeare, you dolt!” He rubbed at his rear as he headed towards the door, muttering to himself.
“Hey, Joe?” I said and he turned to look at me. All playfulness evaporated from me.
“I wear it because….” I trailed off, feeling a heavy weight pressing down on my shoulders. I took a deep breath before trying again.
“Look, we’ve both been around long enough to see grief—maybe even more than most men see in a lifetime. All I know is one day I looked into the mirror, I had my red shirt in my hands and I just couldn’t put it on, you know?” An uncomfortable silence fell between us and I scratched my neck, wishing that he would say something.
“After a while I just got used to it and you must admit it does suit me.” I said; that got a smile out of him.
“Oh, yes, it does, Mr. Hamlet.” He dead panned.
“Hey! You did know where that was from!” I shook my finger at him in mock anger.
“Well, of course I did! You aren’t the only one in this house who cracks open a book every once in a while.”
“Every once in a blue moon, you mean.” I replied. He stuck his tongue out at me and then ran from the room and down the stairs. I shook my head as a grin slipped over my face.
“Brothers.” I mumbled. I was just about to leave the room when my reflection caught my eye. I ignored the small trail of blood that still oozed from my chin and focused on the dark clothing I was wearing. It was comfortable enough, with little sign of wear and was well tailored to fit my form. After another minute, I nodded to myself. Yes, it really did suit me.
There was a loud twang and a crash from downstairs which made me cut short my perusal. I stormed out of the room like a bat from hell.
“Joseph Francis Cartwright, that had better not have been my new guitar!”
Considering that it is now *glances at the clock before covering up a yawn* 12:40 ish am, if you find any typos, I’m blaming them on the ridiculous amount of time it took me to get my muse to relinquish this tale. I’ll come back and try to fix them all tomorrow. 😉
For those of you interested in reading what Adam quoted for yourselves–which I highly reccomend–it can be found in Act 1 Scene 2 of Shakeaspeare’s Hamlet. I did modify it a bit to fit the story better, just so you all know.
Other Stories by this Author
- Curiosity (by Annie K Cowgirl)
- The Pickle (by Annie K Cowgirl)
- What Do You Want in A Man (by Annie K Cowgirl)
- Saying Goodbye (by Annie K Cowgirl)
- Hard Headed Woman (by Annie K Cowgirl)