john_h_holliday: (Default)
( Mar. 16th, 2008 02:31 am)
At least - some few of you are my friends, and I should also like to greet those of you that I hope, or will hope, will become my friends.

I have moved Doc Holliday's journal this week - John Henry Holliday, DDS - and I should like to introduce it, and explain the way in which I shall write it.

I am playing John - as I shall call him, as his family did, and as he signed his name - as historically as I may. That said, of course, there is much that conflicts and much that is simply not known. That said, of course, I am going to improvise wildly. Reports from his time and from our time are, as I say, conflicted. I have made certain choices of which to believe. I realise some of these are not the most popular choices, but I have my reasons, which I may or may not elucidate.

I shall play John as looking down from heaven, in which he surely believed - an omniscient eye surveying his life, perhaps musing on the modern age from his own experiences, if he must be forced to comment thereon, or indeed if there is something there I feel might have struck him strongly. He has already, futuristically for him, quoted Kipling.

Something called 'bendy time' has been mentioned to me. I shall, if anyone wishes it and it seems congenial, attempt to RP with John in a flexible way where he would play at any time of his life, from his antebellum childhood, through the civil war, the reconstruction, his time in the west to Tombstone and the day he and Wyatt parted ways, to his further life and death. That said, I shall only RP things that were possible, given little information and a wide world. Terrible as it is, John did die alone in Colorado, and I am not going to change that, or the given (or chosen) facts leading up thereto. Not having actually attempted RPing yet, it is possible I may not be able to do well at it, so I do reserve the right to rescind the offer to do so at a future time. Or I may be able RP, but in a very limited way. It is something that remains unknown.

The avatar is truly John. The photograph was taken in Glenwood Springs, when he was dying, and given by his doctor to Wyatt after his death. It surely is John and matches familial pictures which are beyond question. It bears little resemblance to certain ubiquitous pictures. The other avatar is an artistic workup of a photo taken of him upon the occasion of his graduation from dental school in 1872. It was in the hands of his cousin Mattie, and is undoubtedly the same man. There are other photos, but I have not worked with them here - yet.

'Nulli Virtute Secundus' is the latin motto on the Holliday coat of arms. 'In virtue, second to none.' John held honour highest always, and reflected this, so I use this as his 'signature.'

I do hope you will read this journal, and find it illuminating and useful. John means as much to me as I am sure your characters mean to you. He is, to me, exemplar. I shall surely comment when your posts enlighten or move me or inspire further musings of my own. I should likewise welcome comments, indeed very much hope for them. Please respond to my journal as you will.

Thank you very kindly.
john_h_holliday: (Default)
( Mar. 16th, 2008 02:35 am)
"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;..."

Ah, Kipling. That will not be published until twenty three years after my death, but I believe Kipling and I would have understood one another.
I will begin again. )

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count:599.
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
I do suppose I should first interpret the phrase, so you may all appreciate my understanding, and I shall proceed from there.
To me, it means that adverse circumstances - disasters, setbacks, pain, suffering, sorrow, illness and loss - make us better able to deal with the same in future, unless they render us deceased, of course.
It has taken my strength. )
Name: John H. Holliday.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 947.
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus.
I do have something from my lost family.
Something of real and personal value )
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 548.
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus.



What is the lamest excuse you've ever given for something you've done?

An excuse...

I do not believe in giving excuses, and looking back at my life, I cannot think of one. I always stood behind my actions, admitted my mistakes, not with guilt, but as tactical analysis. A gentleman may be wrong, but he surely does not lie. Giving an excuse, without sincerely regarding it as a reason, is lying. I calculate what is best, and there is no fault in error, simply learning for the next time.

Nevertheless, there is one occasion where I surely fear I fooled myself.
I bow my head... )
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 596.
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
Have You Ever Woken Up in the Morning and Not Remembered What You Did the Night Before?

Well, all I can do is smile. You want me to tell you I am a lost and hopeless drunk. You want me to say that I swim so through my cups that my life is a drowned blur with the edges of the nights and mornings faded to darkness. You wish me to stand before you and those you have so convinced, my eyes lowered, my hat shifting guiltily in my hand and confess, "Good afternoon, my name is John and I am an alcoholic."
I am not sorry that I must disappoint you.. )
Name: John H.Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 784.
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
That is an easy question to answer.
There is something that surely angers me beyond mere emotion, in righteous offence.
Betrayal.
I am not guilty, have not been guilty, of this above all.
But I have been betrayed, and I have met betrayal. It is the worst evil in this world. I do not count errors in judgement. For betrayal, there must be a certain trust, a rare commodity. And there must be intent to destroy that trust while it is held.
I must present you with a lightly descriptive list. )
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 615.
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
What Is Your Favourite Retreat from the World?

My favourite retreat from the world is engaging in meaningful activities.
The only times I am at peace, sure and with a place are when I am working on teeth, when I am playing cards, and when a fight is impending or in progress.
I said it, without the cards. Wyatt said it, without the dentistry.
That in itself makes me smile.
But I dare say I felt the same fighting fire, at those times when I was on missions for Wyatt that did not involve gunplay, when I was studying in school, when I practice, as I do each day.
The world, ambiguous, and awkward - treacherous. )
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 736.
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
john_h_holliday: (Default)
( Mar. 16th, 2008 06:23 pm)
Well, there are all kinds of spirit, and more kinds of spirits. I myself favour whiskey.
One's soul.
The spirit of the age.
A lad of spirit.
A spirited horse.
Spirits and han'ts.
The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
So, what of inspiration? )
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 492.
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
john_h_holliday: (Default)
( Mar. 16th, 2008 06:27 pm)
Good evening, Dr. John Henry Holliday.
I am a gentleman. )
Name: John Henry Holliday, DDS
Fandom: History
Word Count: 327.
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus

What can I fear that has not befallen me?

Should I say my greatest fear is that harm come to my family? That I should lose my home and country? That I should become invalid, my health broken, that I should lose my work and live in pain because of it? That I should live without respect, reviled? That I should lose my best friend?

That has already come to pass. All of it.
But there is one thing yet... )
Name: John Henry Holliday, DDS
Fandom: History
Word Count: 553.
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
john_h_holliday: (Default)
( Mar. 16th, 2008 06:35 pm)
First.
One has done everything one has done a first time. Does choosing denote hierarchy?
Some surely important things, one does not remember.
I wish I remembered the first time I brought my mama flowers in a child's fist.
The obvious ones stand clearly - the first time I touched a patient's teeth with a steel tool.
The first time I smiled across a Faro table and announced the Soda..
The first time I faced a man with a gun in cool slow seriousness, though in truth it was a boy and it did not quite turn out that way...
I know. You want me also to tell you the first time I made love, the first time I killed, the first time I wept for someone, the first time I hated myself, the first time I met my friend.
Perhaps in time. But for now...
First means 'Never Second.' )
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 676.
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
Do you tend to make friends easily? Why or why not?

Friends.
I take friendship very seriously. I have not had many true friends, and that is surely for a variety of complex reasons. People who have not been my friends have been kind to me, while disliking me. Mostly I sense that I am merely tolerated.
But there have been some few. )
Wyatt Earp is my friend.
He so often said it, insisting again and again, to those who would refute it or challenge its desirability: "Doc Holliday is my friend."
And I will say it again, then, for him.
Wyatt Earp is my friend.

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 1234 (without the poem.)
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
john_h_holliday: (Default)
( Mar. 16th, 2008 06:41 pm)
Hurt.
Obviously, there is physical ill and sorrow, but there are also hurt feelings, I suppose.
I do not think much of the latter.
It is related to want.
There is grave physical want, and then there is simple desire.
'What do I want?' It does not really matter. If I do not want what is best, I am a fool. Therefore the useful question is: 'What do you think is best?'
It is a matter of ease and easiness. If I were concerned about potential mild discomfiture or discomfort, what I want, what is easy, comfortable, pain-free, effortless, I would never get up in the morning. I would roll about in a wheelchair. I would take the mind-deadening laudanum. God knows it has been suggested, even begged of me on occasion.
Mourning, sorrow, outrage. These are akin, but I can respect them, sympathise, offer aid, company and comfort. 'Hurt?' It does not really matter. Should I fail to do things because I am or may be hurt? That is weakness!
Things are as they are, and if we are 'hurt' it is a matter of great indifference to prevailing circumstances.
Think what you will, for I am proud )
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 694
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
"Look out! I’m walking/strolling/wandering/running/ducking past a window/door/tent flap/cave opening/car/alleyway and a bullet/rock/arrow/book/knife whistles past my head. I immediately..."

"I am strolling past a window and a bullet whistles past my head. I immediately..."
flatten myself against the floor 'like a pancake', so swiftly you are amazed.
I ready my gun, in case of need and think if my comrades are threatened or if I can help.
If not, when the incident is over, I stand and dust myself off, and then carry on with cards, in this case, as if nothing had happened.

Eddie Foy recorded my doing this, when dealing Spanish Monte with Bat. He was impressed with the speed and agility I displayed. He was a vaudeville acrobat, so he is an authority.

It was said that when I was so ill in Colorado, when it was an uncomfortable strain to walk or stand, that I was similarly alert to gunfire - watched as prepared as I could possibly be, despite my condition, my eyes keen and interested. There were no acrobatics at that late date, but I was alert and ready.

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 150 exactly, excluding the given words
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
What is my most powerful memory? How can I select one? I cannot. The faces of those I loved as they or I took my leave or passed from this world, and I tried to burn their images into my mind's eye forever? But there were so many.
Perhaps when I am in throes of fever, as I often am, especially of an evening, mental effects are a little like a kaleidoscope, and I watch just those faces.
They shift and swirl in panoply. When I am alone and ill my mind turns to them, its rigours of concentration weakened. Some seem to strive for contact, through the aether, and I do believe. And I reach for clarity of their voices or thoughts through the confusing waves of heat and cold, but nothing comes of it.
I do not cry 'Avaunt' but 'Welcome.'
And I watch in some type of delirium )
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 816
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
john_h_holliday: (Default)
( Mar. 16th, 2008 06:54 pm)
Apparently: "Loyalty (is) the cardinal tenet of (my) perverted creed."
How is my creed perverted? I feel anger rising in me once again - not hurt, but anger.
How can one equate loyalty with perversion?
Anger and pride.
Loyalty is a core principle of honour, and if the hard shining diamond of my loyalty to my friends is the valuable thing that has remained from the shambles of my life; if that is what remains to define it to others, so be it.
Yes, my jaw is set and my eyes direct. )
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 473
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
Name one thing about human nature that puzzles you.

There is one thing that puzzles me.
Why do people not take responsibility for themselves?
I believe I have mentioned this before, but it is because I do not understand it.
To me it seems so very simple.
One controls one's arms and legs.
One controls one's words and what one says.
Yet people's grasp of these simple facts cause them to fool themselves and to try to convince others of their inner deceptions with perfect conviction.
I am not so deluded. )
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 806
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
I have been accused of melancholy and told that I hold tight onto its inner feeling, that I search actively for those lost moments I cherished, and that I enjoy the touch of wistful sorrow.
Perhaps they are right.
When I was a boy, I read a book, and something in it stayed with me.
There was a passage of moving insight )
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 571
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
john_h_holliday: (Default)
( Mar. 16th, 2008 07:04 pm)
To my dear RL village: These are not my views, but what I deem John's to have been from 1887, when the world was a far different place.

What Are Your Thoughts about Monogamy?

Well, naturally, and I hope obviously, I believe that if people make oaths, they ought to fulfill them.
So the question becomes whether or not they ought to take such oaths.
I once had dreams of monogamy and a peaceful life. I do not like to talk about it.
That is all gone and has been gone since I stepped up from that train platform in 1873.
Monogamy is one way of building the world, and it is critical.
It creates purpose and of purpose is born strength.
But men are sometimes otherwise with other personal ends and they are critical too.
Wherein I make arguments for and against )
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 529
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
I believe in God )
*He recites it all, simply and sincerely.*
Pardon. The question was so put that it was the first thing that came to mind.

I believe in the agency of myself.
I believe in the agency of my friends.
I believe in the agency of my family.

I believe in acting with honour - with loyalty, truth, integrity, and courtesy.
I believe in the motto of our coat of arms. Nulli Virtute Secundus! It is my duty, and more.
I believe in diligence to bring to ever-increasing perfection, one's hand and eye and mind.
I believe in Public Service, and doing what one can for others.
I believe in being prepared by thought and training for Emergency, of all description.
I believe in Education - in study and learning and knowledge.
I believe in the advancement of Science and Medicine, and of course Dentistry, to ease suffering, and yes, to create new wonders.
I believe in Companionship and Collaboration, though a little wistfully, for these have seldom been mine.
I believe in my Cousin, whose image and goodness and faith in me and in God and in everyone shines like a star for me out of all external desolation.

I believe one ought to strive to be the very best one can be and the best there ever was and to continue extending the limits of that goodness up into infinity.

I do not believe in chance nor luck nor fate, despite what you might think of gamblers.
I do not believe in hope, nor tomorrow, for I cannot trust that I will arise.
I believe we must 'be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain...'
Ironically, in the end, the kindness of strangers will be all that keeps me.

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 281
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
john_h_holliday: (Default)
( Mar. 16th, 2008 07:25 pm)
Ah, now we come to it. Vengeance.
When did I take to vengeance? Oh yes, early. At twenty two, perhaps? Well leaving that aside...
There is another question, of course. At what point does reaction become vengeance? Challenge, for instance, of one who has caused offence, when it is sure to escalate into violence - is that vengeance? What of a duel? If that is vengeance, I took to it much younger than twenty-two. Is protection of others vengeance, when a good defence is a good offence? What about protection of oneself? If someone has committed something unpardonable, is it vengeance to prevent them from committing it again?

I don't look at it quite the same as others, perhaps. 'A reckoning' they had me saying, in a recent popular movie. I think, as I said before, of Michael, weighing the souls of the dead and lopping off the heads of the unworthy with his bright and shining sword.
I still believe I always did the right and best thing )
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 431
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
"You're looking into a mirror that reveals the thing you hide most from. That could be an emotion, something shameful in your past, something painful that happened to you, a dark secret that you've kept hidden for years, something about yourself that you refuse to acknowledge, anything. You can't look away and the longer you look, the more vivid the image of the very thing the mirror is revealing to you becomes. What is that thing?"

John protests, even in his fevered dream, and even though it is Morgan, "You must know I do not hold with scrying."

Morgan opens the door to the dressing room, "It is not really there."

Alright. (this one is a story) )
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 639
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
Hey John. *raises a hand in greeting*

1) What do you imagine Heaven is like?

2) Is it better to be lucky or talented?

3) How would you define 'honor'?

4) If you had a choice of a time period to live in, which would it be?*

*assuming, if you want, that John has some knowledge of what the ages to come are like as well-- i.e., the things he has learned through talking to other muses in TM
cut for length )
1.Your Middle Name:
2. Age:
3. Single or Taken:
4. Favorite Movie:
5. Favorite Song:
6. Favorite Band/Artist:
7. Dirty or Clean:
8. Tattoos and/or Piercings:
cut for length )
Have you ever rebelled? If you have, how did you do it?

A rebellion is a failed revolution.
You say, for instance, that all youth rebel.
But I missed my youth. There was the war, and then the war lost, and the epithet 'Johnny Reb' still rang for me like a trumpet-blast of pride at the sound of which I still swing my head and at which my eyes still light. But the Civil War was not rebellion.
The rebellion of youth is a desire for freedom, but they are young yet and do not yet know the difference between 'freedom from' and 'freedom for.'
I would count the first only as rebellion.
To have rebellion, you must have recognition of authority. It is not rebellion if one is merely doing what one would in the absence of authority. It must be a clear challenge. Acknowledging authority by combating it gives it legitimacy, at least in its own eyes. Conducting a power struggle creates a situation where power exists.
Ah, you want me to be more personal. )
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 700
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
Write about a time when someone lied to you.

Once upon a time in Denver
I was walking, and I sat upon a bench to rest. On the corner was a newspaper boy, and I watched him a little, selling his papers. My friend Eddie Foy told me once how he had sold papers, long before in Chicago, when his family had nothing, after his papa died. He had not been able to go to school, for raising money for his mama and sisters. He had quietly borrowed a shovel and made enough money once to buy a dollar fifty worth of newspapers at three cents each. He sold them for five cents each - a small profit of a dollar, but a room was twenty five cents a night, and he could eat. I've always liked Eddie. He was so full of light and open welcome - to anyone.
There is a long prelude to the lie )
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 1128
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
I was cold. So cold.

Yes, there was the old pain, drowning, choking, the wracked coughing. But that was merely routine. It was not that.

An hotel in Pueblo, and there I was. Nothing more. Just myself, and I was nearly naked. So light and immaterial. Oh yes, a thick nightshirt. I do not mean that. Everything of myself beyond my pathetic body was gone.

Perhaps it was autumn. Of course, it was really just May. But think of a leaf - green, transforming light, its stem attached, its life strengthening it, flowing through that tiny rod, the strength of the tree flowing back. Ah, but autumn comes - slowly at first. The tree is still strong, but the leaf turns a little, at the edges. A brown friable transformation, a little of its life gone, a little of its ability and purpose lost. And the air gets colder, the sap becomes less inclined to reach the leaf so readily. And the brown portion increases, consumes eventually all the green, its core last of all, that rib that attaches it. And one night, in an angry wind, it tears itself away. And the leaf is blown away, useless, so light, breaking. And...

It awakes in a bed, in an hotel, in Pueblo, so very very cold. And even the heating bite of the tumbler of whiskey just calms the throat and lungs this time, reaching so far, but no farther.

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 236
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
Comfort.

That is a word I use. Something I surely desire. It means a great deal. Strange - now that I think about it, it is a criteria for value, often. It is not that I am weak. I can get by without it - leave everything hard and cold, all loss and pain. I can work despite it. I can use its lack, even, to strengthen my resolve not to leave things lay as they are. But, I do want it, despite my not often experiencing it. Perhaps too, when I do find comfort, my appreciation reaches the height of pure wonder. And I am surprised.
I believe it means more to me than to most )
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 918
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
Tell the truth about something about which you usually lie.

John's eyes narrow and harden and his jaw sets.
His shoulders relax and his hands are calm. A bad sign.

Are you suggesting that I lie? Are you further suggesting that I am generally given to lying, in fact do it 'usually?'
How dare you?
Not just for fear of me, though that is a factor, but for what you do to yourself and the offence you cause to what is Right?
Do you know the harm that is caused by the spreading of slander? It has killed people! Indirectly, by cycles of resentment and mistrust where it was not warranted. By the birth of deception due to fear, which spirals into nightmares of secrets, betrayal and death.
Of course I do not lie!
Not only do I not lie, I deliberately tell the truth when that truth would harm me, just for the sake of Honour and Honesty. I make a point of it. Anyone can tell the truth when it is easy - when they agree with someone else, say the expected thing, compliment. But to disagree? Why that is hard. To face accusation with insouciance rather than apology, to hold to ones unpopular or original vision, to address Wrong. These are hard. Truth is hard when one stands alone. So I have made a point of exercising will and honour, by telling the truth. Not even just when necessary, but as it arises, when I need not speak.
I do not lie! And I Will Not be questioned!

John thinks of something else. Not lying, but perhaps a flavour of it.
His carefully maintained courtesy.
'How do you do?' when he does not care.
'A pleasure to meet you,' when the pleasure is dubious at very best or there is actual animosity.
'At your service,' when he would happily send them into another world given context.
'Quite fine, thank you,' when he is anything but fine.
'Thank you,' with inner resentment.
'You are welcome,' when he wishes they would leave and fall off the face of the earth.
Shaking hands, a tip of a hat, a bow or acknowledging incline of a head to an enemy.
In his old South, these things were not lies, but maintenance of culture and society. The words, when meant sincerely, were explained as sincere and had depth and feeling behind them. Respect, even fondness. But a narrowed eye with the correct words invested courtesy with its opposite intention. Politeness and elaborate manners could be a weapon, and every one knew the difference.
It is not lying to do this in an absence of understanding and culture. John maintains it, keeps a part of him, almost in defiance of a lack of civilisation. It is not a lie.

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 445
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
Describe a chance encounter that changed your life.

John Writes about Wyatt. Then he tears up the paper. It does not say the things he meant. It is not personal enough. It does not bring his friend back, convey him even, or begin to touch John's love or pain or guilt. He can't do it. Maybe another time he will try again.

Wyatt. Of course it is Wyatt.
He wrote about it - about meeting me. Why is it so hard for me to do likewise?

The young fellow who came into the office was so slim as to give a mistaken impression of his height, and was unusually pallid for the plains country. He was about five foot ten inches tall, but couldn't have weighed more than one hundred and thirty pounds. If his face had not been emaciated, he might have been handsome; he looked to be a man of intelligence and good breeding. From the moment I laid eyes on him, Doc Holliday's appearance haunted me - it does to this day- with his large blue eyes set deep in a haggard face, his heavy head of wavy ash-blond hair, and his neatly trimmed moustache, his really fine nose and his very expressive mouth.

*John stares at it a long time and begins obliquely*

Once upon a time...
I was a dentist in Dallas )
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 1215
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
"My mama..."

John drains his cup of chocolate and fills it to the brim with whiskey.

"My mama. She looked after me, fed me with a shot glass when I was a baby, learned to hold me only in certain ways, to help me eat and breathe. It was my mama who taught me diligence. She worked with me, teaching me to read, and teaching me to speak long long kind hours, with piano as a break. She was so patient, so encouraging, my mama. And as a babyI learned to work on everything so hard I reached the point of unlikeliness. And by the time I was ten, I could talk properly. And she taught me yet, until I went to school. It was the war and there was no good school until I was fourteen. My mama gave me everything good that I am."

He looks up, something distressed and restless still after so long. He laces his fingers for a moment and rests his forehead on them, supported above his elbows on the table. It is not a characteristic gesture. But he looks up and recovers, repeating himself as if it is something he tells himself.

"My mama gave me everything good that I am. You know, I've only told one person about her, since. She made me books to teach me. She told me stories, sang me songs of long ago, long ago then and so long ago now. She taught piano, and back then, when there were no entertainments, that meant so much more. All the town would gather around my mama and we would sing. And she helped the poor people always, visited the sick, looked after everyone. She was so gracious and kind always, even to the very desperate people, and courteous. Especially them. Beggars and travellers. People who lived in shacks with no land."

He wipes his eyes. "She gave me God. When she died... When she died... She wrote me a letter - she was so careful and loved me so." John opens a leather folder in his inside pocket and takes out a piece of paper. The writing is faded, faintly brown and elaborate, the paper cracked with too much folding, and it has very old fingermarks and blots, and a few newer ones. The outside of it is worn, the writing gone altogether. It is, in fact, completely unreadable.

My mama gave me everything good that I am. )
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 640
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
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