The Duel

A lush, colorful garden covered the rooftops that belonged to the tall towers of the Kensington palace-estate which could only be reached by navigating a series of spiraling stairs and walkways.

The garden housed deep-rooted trees bearing fruits, bushes carrying ripe berries, and exotic flowers from afar in bloom. Lit only by moonlight, in the crisp air of the winter night, high above the sounds and smells of the city below, the garden slept in tranquil silence. This was the venue that Arthur and Charles Kensington had chosen to conduct their duel.

Arthur, Charles, and their sister Elizabeth arrived at a lovely little clearing in the garden where a pond was. Though, she did worry that they would get blood in the pond, Elizabeth shed a tear when she realized that this was where one of her brothers was to meet his end.

Elizabeth and her twin Arthur were not yet thirteen when their father died without explanation. They were the babies of the Kensington clan, so young that their siblings never bothered trying to kill them for their piece of the land. But babies they were no more, Arthur grew to be a charming yet pride young man.

“I must ask,” Elizabeth said as the two men readied themselves. “Not as the executor to you both but as your sister, do you both see no other way to resolve this without violence?”

“None,” replied Arthur.

“On that we agree,” Charles said as he unbuttoned his top button.

“Do either of you even know what disagreement has led you both to this?” Elizabeth asked as if pleading for them to forget this foolishness.

“No,” conceded Charles. “But I trust my own judgement, even if I was a tad bit drunk.”

“A man never backs away from his word,” Arthur said while rolling his sleeves up. “Now do you want to be our executor or don’t you?”

“I do,” Elizabeth said as she opened the pistol case holding flintlock pistols, each loaded and ready to fire.

“Do either of you remember who issued whom the challenge so that we know who is to choose first?” asked Elizabeth.

“I’ll choose first,” said Arthur, grabbing the nearest gun.

“Fine,” said Charles, taking the other. “It doesn’t matter, a pistol is only as good as it’s wielder.”

“Your backs to each other,” said Elizabeth. “I’ll count ten paces. Fire on ten.”

Elizabeth let out one last sighed and then started to count, “One…”

The two men took their positions, holding their guns up to their chest, and walked a pace as their sister counted.

“…Ten!”

The brothers fired their pistols one after the other and watched the shadowy figure in front of them fall. But under the cover of night, they were not sure if their aim was true.

“Are you whole?” shouted Arthur.

“I am.” Charles squinted his eyes to see better in the moonlight. “Elizabeth?”

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