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A Glimpse of His Sons by Seminole

Word count 945

They came staggering down the deserted boardwalk, Johnny desperately trying to hold up his brother.

“Scott, please could I get a little help here?  Come on!”

Scott was obviously inebriated, falling against Johnny they tumbled to the ground.

Murdoch started after them, then stopped.  He’d never seen either one of them drunk, it was interesting, ‘let them handle this themselves, ole man.’  He smiled to himself and stepped back into the shadows.  What had possessed Scott to get himself into this condition?  He wasn’t exactly a drinker, of this calibre anyway.  

“Geez Scott, get off me will ya?  Murdochs gonna kill us both if he sees you like this.”

“Like what…I’m fine….why did you push me?”

“I didn’t, you fell.”

“It is not likely that I fell from a level boardwalk.”

“Not likely huh.”

In the shadows, their father stifled a laugh.  He watched in fascination as Johnny wrestled his brother to this feet. 

“Whew,”  Johnny hiked up his brothers arm and wedged himself under it.

“You’re no lightweight, are ya?”

“Excuse me?”

With one arm around Scott waist, and his free hand grasping alternately between the arm over his shoulder and his hat, Johnny once again headed them toward the hotel down the street.

“Ya know what ticks me off the most?”

“No idea.”

“Really?  This is going to end up being my fault!  You’ll be sleeping through that meeting tomorrow, and me,”  He hefted Scott up a little more, “I’m gonna be getting my head tore off!”

“That is a shame.”

Johnny glared up at him, “That’s it?  That’s all you got to say?”

Scott head tilted back, he was thinking hard.  “Hum, sorry?”  He gave his brother a hardy slap on the back.  “Feel better now?  Did that do for you?”  He wouldn’t shut up, just kept on talking.  “Does it for me!  Very appropriate apology, from the heart, honest.  You do believe me don’t you?”

There was no reply, the two of them careened on down the street toward their destination.

Murdoch remained in the shadows.  He waited to make sure they made it to the hotel without further incident.  As they stumbled through the front door, he stepped forward and took a seat on a large wooden barrel sitting near the edge of the raised boardwalk.  He decided to give them enough time to get to their room and settled before he went up.  It also gave him time to think about what he had seen and heard tonight.

Did he do that?  Had he made Johnny responsible for things that maybe he hadn’t done?  Would he have blamed Johnny, for Scotts condition in the morning?  He didn’t have the answers, he didn’t know what he’d have done, had he not seen this for himself.  He rose and stretched his back, one thing was certain, he would not blame Johnny for this.  No, Scott was going to get up and present himself at that meeting no matter what.  It might not be pleasant or pretty, but he’d gotten himself drunk, he’d just have to face the consequences on his own.  He shook his head, tomorrow was going to be an interesting day alright.  

As he headed toward the hotel, his thoughts turned to what he had learned about his sons tonight.  Both boys surprised him.  How close they had become to each other.  When, had that happened?  He also didn’t think Scott ever allowed himself to be out of control.  He’d never seen him drink himself into oblivion or anywhere close to it.  He wondered why tonight?  Why in a strange city, away from home?  If nothing else it just wasn’t very safe or intelligent to do something like that, and Scott was a very cautious and street smart man. 

And Johnny!  He thought he’d have just left his brother to whatever befell him.  Have the attitude that he got himself into this mess, he could get himself out.  He’d never seen him show any urgent inclination toward looking after his family.  Maybe I’m missing that too? 

Inside the hotel he checked the stairs to be sure they’d made it up by now.  He waited again and listened at the door to their suite, it was quiet.  He opened the door and stepped into the shared living room.  No sign of either of them.

Hearing Scott mumbling, he decided to check their bedroom, just in case more help was needed.  Scott was sprawled face down on the bed to the left.  His boots and jacket had been pulled off, and a blanket thrown over him.  Not much else to be done for him tonight. 

Johnny was on the other bed.  He was stretched out on his back, hat and jacket off, boots still on.  Murdoch did not see his gun, but one arm was up over his head, and one hand was under the pillow.  Murdoch sighed quietly, no mistaking these signs, Johnny was not feeling very safe or comfortable in these surroundings.  Too many strangers he supposed.

Closing the door, he retired to his own bedroom.  The rest of his night would be spent contemplating these glimpses of his sons.




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