Title Marched Away
Kyd and Marlowe
Word Count 600
So we found a place to sit, where it was mostly dry, and we could not see the body. We sat, and we waited to be arrested.
We did not talk very much to purpose. Watson's head was still bleeding, the sluggish ooze was clotting in the sunshine with his pale hair stuck to it. It would scar. No matter. Watson was a big man with an easy smile most of the time. And he could write. He could really really write. He did not take the stage himself, so it need not hold him back. I knew Tom Watson of old. Still he shivered, as we waited, pressing his lips into a tight white line.
“Bradley owed John Allyn money--” Watson said, after some time. “Ned did not want his brother misused.” Watson shook his head, winced. “I should have let it go. He was a rascal, but he need not have died for it.”
Christofer, shuddered and gave a small retch. He was not pierced anywhere. He had told me so, but I trusted the truth of my own hands more. I had felt him, briefly but with care. He was not guarding any hidden body hurts. He was not dissembling, to himself or to me. Still, his skin was drawn stark over his cheeks, and his hands were shaking. He had pulled his legs up close and bent. He rested his cheek on his knees, like a boy at the hearth. He had left boyhood behind recently, I realized, recently and incompletely. His fierce words at the tavern had made him seem older, bigger, stronger. And he had been good with his blade. This was the price being taken.
If I asked he would say no. I did not ask. I shuffled my arse over closer to him, and put my arm around his shoulders. He tensed all over, and then I felt him sigh, like giving something up. He burrowed against me.
“You could leave, Kyd,” Watson said. “No need to get caught up in all this. You struck no blow.” They could not leave, of course.
“I am your witness,” I said. “I'll stay.”
I hoped very much that I would not be marched to prison with them. I had left the puppy behind in my rooms. He was a chewer. If I left him too long he would eat my new play. It featured a Danish prince, and I had great hopes of it.
We had been there an hour, before the guard came. We got to our feet, stiff and cold.
“Tell Ned Allyn,” Tom said. They were binding his hands then, and he was bent forward, being tall. His voice was a little muffled.
“Tell him, he'll know what to-- ow!” He glared. “Too tight. My hands are going numb.”
The guard was an a older man, with a red face and a prosperous belly carried low. He was old enough to be the father of all of us. He gave Tom Watson a consoling pat.
“ Sorry lad, S'how it's done.”
Christofer was staring at the ground. He had not struggled, but he had been slow to comply. He was bound all around, therefore, and resembled a rolly pudding.
The old man turned to me.
“I'll not take you now,” he said. “But don't you go far. You can find your friends at Newgate. Bring 'em some food.” He said this last quietly.
And he took them by the elbows and marched them away.