The who­le Sce­ne

The night was cold, and the down quilt had slithe­red off onto the floor, as was its sne­aky habit, lea­ving only the thin woo­len blan­ket over me. I rol­led over, half-asleep, reaching for Jamie’s warmth. He was gone.I sat up in bed, loo­king for him, and saw him almost at once, sit­ting on the win­dow seat, head in his hands.“Jamie! What is it? Have you got head­a­che again?” I gro­ped for the cand­le, mea­ning to find my medi­ci­ne box, but some­thing in the way he sat made me aban­don the search and go to him at once.He was bre­at­h­ing hard, as though he had been run­ning, and cold as it was, his body was dren­ched with sweat. I touched his shoul­der and found it hard and cold as a metal statue.He jer­ked back at my touch and sprang to his feet, eyes wide and black in the night-fil­led room.“I didn’t mean to start­le you,” I said. “Are you all right?”I won­de­red brief­ly if he were sleep­wal­king, for his expres­si­on didn’t chan­ge; he loo­ked strai­ght through me, and wha­te­ver he saw, he didn’t like it.“Jamie!” I said shar­ply. “Jamie, wake up!”He blin­ked then, and saw me, though his expres­si­on stay­ed fixed in the despe­ra­te lines of a hun­ted beast.“I’m all right,” he said. “I’m awa­ke.” He spo­ke as though wan­ting to con­vin­ce him­s­elf of the fact.“What is it? Did you have a nightmare?”“A dream. Aye. It was a dream.”I step­ped for­ward and put a hand on his arm.“Tell me. It will go away if you tell me about it.”He gras­ped me hard by the forearms, as much to keep me from tou­ching him as for sup­port. The moon was full, and I could see that every mus­cle of his body was ten­sed, hard and moti­on­less as stone, but pul­sing with furious ener­gy, ready to explo­de into action.“No,” he said, still soun­ding dazed.“Yes,” I said. “Jamie, talk to me. Tell me. Tell me what you see.”“I canna…see any­thing. Not­hing. I can’t see.”I pul­led, tur­ning him from the shadows of the room to face the bright moon­light from the win­dow. The light see­med to help, for his bre­at­h­ing slo­wed, and in halting, pain­ful bits, the wor­ds came out​.It was the stones of Went­worth Pri­son that he drea­med of. And as he spo­ke, the shape of Jona­than Rand­all wal­ked the room.


And lay naked in my bed, atop the woo­len blanket.There had been the sound of hoar­se bre­at­h­ing clo­se behind him, and the feel of sweat-dren­ched skin, sli­ding against his own. He grit­ted his teeth in an ago­ny of frus­tra­ti­on. The man behind him sen­sed the small move­ment and laughed.“Oh, we’ve some time yet befo­re they hang you, my boy,” he whis­pe­red. “Plenty of time to enjoy it.” Rand­all moved sud­den­ly, hard and abrupt, and he made a small invol­un­ta­ry sound.Randall’s hand stro­ked back the hair from his brow and smoot­hed it around his ear. The hot bre­ath was clo­se to his ear and he tur­ned his head to escape, but it fol­lo­wed him, bre­at­h­ing words.“Have you ever seen a man han­ged, Fra­ser?” The wor­ds went on, not wai­ting for him to reply, and a long, slim hand came around his waist, gent­ly stro­king the slo­pe of his bel­ly, teasing its way lower with each word.“Yes, of cour­se you have; you were in Fran­ce, you’ll have seen deserters han­ged now and then. A han­ged man loo­ses his bowels, doesn’t he? As the rope tigh­tens fast round his neck.” The hand was grip­ping him, light­ly, firm­ly, rub­bing and stro­king. He clen­ched his good hand tight around the edge of the bed and tur­ned his face hard into the scratchy blan­ket, but the wor­ds pur­sued him.“That will hap­pen to you, Fra­ser. Just a few more hours, and you’ll feel the noo­se.” The voice laug­hed, plea­sed with its­elf. “You’ll go to your death with your arse bur­ning from my plea­su­re, and when you lose your bowels, it will be my spunk run­ning down your legs and drip­ping on the ground below the gallows.”He made no sound. He could smell him­s­elf, crusted with filth from his impr­i­son­ment, acrid with the sweat of fear and anger. And the man behind him, the rank stench of the ani­mal brea­king through the deli­ca­te scent of the laven­der toi­let water.“The blan­ket,” he said. His eyes were clo­sed, face strai­ned in the moon­light. “It was rough under my face, and all I could see were the stones of the wall befo­re me. The­re was not­hing the­re to fix my mind to…nothing I could see. So I kept my eyes clo­sed and thought of the blan­ket under my cheek. It was all I could feel bes­i­des the pain…and him. I…held to it.”“Jamie. Let me hold you.” I spo­ke quiet­ly, try­ing to calm the fren­zy I could feel run­ning through his blood. His grip on my arms was tight enough to numb them. But he wouldn’t let me move clo­ser; he held me away as surely as he clung to me.Suddenly he freed me, jer­king away and tur­ning toward the moon-fil­led win­dow. He stood ten­se and qui­vering as a bow­string just fired, but his voice was calm.“No. I will­na use ye that way, las­sie. Ye shall­na be part of it.”I took a step toward him, but he stop­ped me with a quick moti­on. He tur­ned his face back to the win­dow, calm now, and blank as the glass he loo­ked through.“Get ye to bed, las­sie. Lea­ve me to mys­elf a bit; I’ll be well enough pre­sent­ly. There’s naught to worry ye now.”He stret­ched his arms out, gras­ping the win­dow frame, blot­ting out the light with his body. His shoul­ders swel­led with effort, and I could tell that he was pushing against the wood with all his might.“It was only a dream. Jack Rand­all is dead.”

All rights for the Pic­ture go to the right­ful owner Starz
Quo­te and Excerpt by Diana Gabaldon from “DiA”
I own not­hing but the editing
Heike Ginger Ba Written by:

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