The Feud Worth Forgetting: Part Six

The Following is fictional and is part of a serial story I have been posting on my Blog. This is not an excerpt from a real book I made it all up.  so sadly you can’t look it up. If by some weird twist there really is a book with this title I will gladly apologize and think of something else.

Excerpt from Visions in the Smoke: Strange and bizarre stories from the Civil War. By Jerry Richter. Published 1997.

It is from the battlefields of Tennessee that we find what can only be the most bizarre case of Friendly fire ever recorded.

Hell had frozen over that January morning and frost covered the ground like a blanket. The Union soldiers were huddled around their campfires trying to stay warm.  There was a shout from William Gellervice who was serving his turn on watch.

He claimed that there was a ghost out on the battle field. It was coming for him he cried. Just the sound of foot steps crunching the frozen ground and a cloud of breath in mid-air leaving a trail of blood in it’s wake.

The captain and others came running to see this specter. But once they arrived all they saw was a fellow union soldier wounded and limping badly in his hand he carried a service pistol and he held it up pointed in the direction of Will Gellervice.

The soldier was yelling, “Stay back specter of hell. I sense your presence and can see your unholy breath.” He gestured to the  to the newly arrived men, “Thank God that you have arrived can you not see this Specter floating in your midst?”

“There is no Specter,” proclaimed Captain John Stanley. “Only a fellow soldier in the fight for unity.” Both William Gellervice and the wounded man turned on him and said that he lied. Then they were reported to look right at each other and the sound of gun fire and death tore the quite of the frozen morning.

The wounded union Soldier was later identified as Lieutenant Thomas Brettsin  the only survivor of a confederate ambush in the small nearby town of Antigone. The sad thing was that Tom’s original, wound was found to be minimal and he would have had every hope of living, if it had not been for the nervous tension that haunted the air on that January morning in 1863.

©  This story and subsequent parts are my own original idea and are protected under United States copy right law.

The Feud Worth Forgetting: Part Five

The Diary of Juliet Brettsin September, 14, 1967.

Women and girls filled the hall at the University today. More than just college students, Mothers who had been denied their dreams and even teachers and high school students like me. Women from all over town all seated Indian style on the tile floor. A show of peaceful resistance to the University’s policy against women in male orientated fields. I was determined to be a part of it.

I looked everywhere but every inch of floor space was filled. Just as I was about to leave I happened to glance an empty section of tile near a supply closet just big enough to sit in.

Carefully stepping around and over my fellow students I made my way to the open location. Just as I was starting to sit the person next to me started to say something but by the time my brain had processed the sounds I had already felt the warm body underneath me. I jumped up and spun around. The blond haired girl that I had sat on looked indignantly and said,  “What do you think you were doing?”

“Yea,” replied the red headed girl next to her, “Watch where you’re sitting.”

“I’m sorry,” I said carefully backing away. I remembered my grandfather’s stories about the invisible feuders. Could this girl have been a Gellervice?

I turned and started making my way back out over the compact mass of students. Their voices following me out, “Why’d you let her sit on you Alison?”  my face burned with embarrassment. Why should I care about engineering classes anyway? I want to be an artist.

“I didn’t see her coming,” Alison’s voice  said. “It was weird, like these stories my Grammy told me about invisible assassins who stalk our family.”

I risked a glance back over my shoulder. The spot by the closet was empty once again and the red head was animatedly speaking to thin air. I hurried out of the building and ran home.

As a little girl I had always liked the idea that I could be invisible. I used to sneak around the house and be super quiet. Now though, after today, the thought that there is someone that I can’t see and can’t see me – it scares me.

©  This story and subsequent parts are my own original idea and are protected under United States copy right law.

The Feud Worth Forgetting: Part Four

Antigone Historical archives, 1967

Carolina Gellervice carefully tucked the news clipping back into her many greats Grandfather’s Journal and closed the book. She cursed the man who wrote of these events that should have been forgotten. Now she knew only too well what her mother’s family had been talking about all of these years. The weird tradition of making the men who marry in take the Gellervice name and the way her Uncle Phil raved on about how invisible assassins were always trying to kill him.

She bowed her head and prayed, “Dear Lord, I have uncovered a terrible thing. A thing that was supposed to be forgotten long ago. Please Lord I ask that this curse die with me. Let me be the last know so that my Children will not have this hanging over them. In your Name Amen.”

When Carolina got home that evening she started a fire in the backyard and burned the Journal the news article and her entire book of genealogical research on her family.

“Mom, Why are you burning all of your research?”

Carolina turned her eyes from the flames to see them reflected in her oldest daughter’s eyes. She smiled and held out her arm, “Because, Sweetheart, Sometimes the past needs to be forgotten,” She said curling her daughter into her embrace. “Alison, promise me that if you get married you will take your husband’s name instead of making him changes his.”

“Sure, I guess.” Alison paused as mother and daughter watched their heritage blacken into ash. “Mom something weird happened today at the college.”

“Don’t tell me you actually went to that sit down thing?”

“Sit in mom. Sit in. And yes I did.”


©  This story and subsequent parts are my own original idea and are protected under United States copy right law.

The Feud Worth Forgetting: Part 3

The Antigone Herald August 26, 1827.

An explosion shook the area today. The large barn up at Job Gellervice’s place was leveled and naught but a crater marks the spot on which it stood. Speculation runs rampant with explanations from Rocks falling out of the sky to Old Job filling his barn with dynamite for use in his war against his rival Hiram Brettsin. But perhaps the most mystifying of all explanations comes from the only survivor of the blast Colt Brantley.

“None of us really believed that they was invisible to each other. So when Mr. Gellervice  paid us to bring Grady Brettsin over and lock him in the barn we just thought it would all be a big joke. So we dropped Grady there in the barn and locked the doors from the inside. We all gave a how do to Jared Gellervice and scurried up into the hay loft to watch the fun. Well the way Jared and Grady kept missing each other and swing their weapons in the wrong direction I was starting to think that maybe they really couldn’t see each other. That’s when the other boys took sides and started hollerin’ directions down to them. Well they kept coming closer and closer to each other when suddenly there was light and a voice spoke just like from a Bible story, it said, ‘Woe to you who defy the Lord. Now you shall be as a spark from the flint is to the gun powder. Leave now and do not touch each other and your lives shall be spared. And let the same be for those who encourage this defiance.’ Then the Angel or what ever it was vanished and everyone in that barn had become very still.

“I was scared out of my mind. Y’all know how keen I am about a good joke but my mama she raised her up a God fearing young man and at that moment I was mighty feared of God. But no one else seemed to care they were either ignoring him or they were defying him because they went right back to encouraging Jared and Grady to have at it.

“Me I was on my way down the ladder when one of them must’ve landed a lucky hit because I was blown clear through the back wall of the barn and safely into a patch of lettuce. Nobody will ever tell me I was just lucky.”

Whatever the cause of the explosion, it seem the result is an end to the deadly feud. Both Job Gellervice and  Hiram Brettsin are taking their families and leaving the area. The only comment from either family was from Hiram’s only surviving son Jonathan, who is quoted as saying, “As for me and my house, from now on, we will fear the Lord.” Hiram’s youngest son Caleb was mysteriously murdered earlier this month by an unknown assailant.”

©  This story and subsequent parts are my own original idea and are protected under United States copy right law.

The Feud Worth Forgetting: Part Two

Here it is as Promised and a day early to boot.

The Journal of Job Gellervice August 24, 1827.

That interfering, good for nothing, Preacher. How dare he interfere with our business. Centuries of work are wasted now; a fortune destroyed in one fell swoop, thanks to him and that God of his.

We had agreed that there would be an end of it. One last stand to the death. We met the Brettsins at Green oak creek, ready to end the feud once and for all. The whole family was there with loaded rifles, ready to wipe out our hated enemy. Then he showed up.

He came waltzing in among the rifle fire. Our shot missing him by inches. He got up onto a large rock that projected out over the creek looking all high and mighty at us, as if he were safely tucked inside his pulpit

“I told you once to stay out of this Preacher. Now if you don’t get back down that hill and outta my sight, I’m gonna put a musket ball through that righteous head of yours.” I hollered at him.

Preacher looked me in the eye and said, “No you won’t. For the Lord has decreed that this is the day the fighting ends.” And at that instant every single musket stopped. The powder in every last gun had become so wet that water was leaking out of every muzzle.

Preacher continued, “You Job and you Hiram,” Preacher spun around to point at Hiram Brettsin, “You have both carried this on too far. Under your leadership this family feud has become a ritual of debauchery and evil.” Here the Preacher turned his accusing  finger back to me, “When the rape of another man’s daughters is your son’s right of passage, and when another man’s life is the price for your daughters hand in marriage,” here the Preacher turned and pointed his self righteous finger back at Hiram. “When you slaughter your own son in cold blood for choosing the way of love,  you no longer have a feud you, you don’t even have a war, you are playing God. And that is something that God will not put up with.”

“Yea and what’s he gonna’t do about it.” Hiram yelled from his vantage point across the narrow creek.

“He is removing your temptation. From this moment on neither family shall see, hear, talk to or even smell the other. You and all of your descendants shall be invisible to each other.”

I blinked and watched my family’s faces fall into shock and disbelief. I looked across the creek. Every last Brettsin was gone.

“Where did they all go?” my son Jared asked. “They was there and now they ain’t. Tell ‘im to bring ‘em back Pa.”

“You bring them back right now you. . .”

Preacher whipped around from staring at the empty side of the creek to face me, “. . .you wizard. T’ain’t fair for you to be interfering like this, not any of your business and it ain’t the Lord’s no never mind either.”

Preacher held his hands up and yelled, “Quiet!” and we all felt the need to shut up. “Everything that happens on earth is the Lord’s business and he will interfere or step back as he chooses. You can not and will not interact with the other family until time has ended your foolish feud. Until the day that both families have forgotten that the other one exists neither shall see the other.” Preacher lowered his hands and took a deep breath and walked back down toward town.

If either of them thinks that a little thing like invisibility will stop our glorious quest to annihilate the Brettsins then he has another thing coming.  We just need a little help is all.

©  This story and subsequent parts are my own original idea and are protected under United States copy right law.

The Feud Worth Forgetting: Part one

So I confess I am really bad at posting on a regular basis. So I decided to try a little experiment. I have this story that I didn’t know what to do with.  It is kind of disjointed because I have mixed points of view and I spread the story out over a long period of time. So I thought that maybe I would take all of the disjointed bits and make each one a blog post.

The Feud Worth Forgetting

By: Cathrine Bonham

“Tell me a story Grandpa.” Juliet Brettsin had endured her bath and had brushed her teeth and had climbed into bed without a fuss so that she could enjoy her most favorite thing about visiting her Grandparents.

“And what story do you want to hear, Sun shine?” asked Grandpa pulling the worn comfy armchair up to the bed.

“Tell me the Family story.”

“Now isn’t that story a little scary for bedtime? How about a good Fairy tale instead.”

Juliet shook her head. “ I want to hear the history of the family feud.” She leaned close to her Grandfather and said the last sentence very conspiratorially, “I like the part where I’m Invisible.”

Grandpa gave her an equally conspiratorial smile and cleared his throat.

“This is not a love story. This is not a war story. This is the story of how God delivered two families from the sins of their forefathers.

“Once upon a time, after the British had left our shore and the constitution was being written, two friends, Silas Gellervice and Henry Brettsin, made deals with The Devil to become wealthy, prosperous and powerful in this new country. But The Devil had a catch. In order to obtain their prize each man was tasked to kill the other and wipe out his family line. Thus the Feud began, the two friends quickly turned on each other full of greed and thirsty for blood. For Generations it raged consuming the souls of all their descendants. Each family tree hungry for the rewards they would earn when the other finally died out.

“Now your ancestor and mine, Hiram Brettsin, and the leader of the other family, Job Gellervice, were the worst of all. They were so determined to be the ones to end it that they searched everywhere until they had every single descendent of the original two men Gathered up and living in Antigone, TN. The rumors say that these men were so evil that they killed the members of their own Family who refused to fight the feud. Well all of this gathering and murdering was starting to come to a head when Caleb Brettsin, decided that he wanted to join the church. He told his Father that he would have no more killing and nothing more to do with the works of Satin. He went into town and talked to the local Pastor. Well that Pastor was so Happy for Caleb that he was going to pay to send him off to some fancy seminary up north. Well, Hiram couldn’t have that could he? No. The last time that God took a personal interest in The Devil’s plans The Devil didn’t come out ahead did he?”

“No he didn’t,” said Juliet.

“That’s right. Well, The Devil put it into Hiram’s heart to murder his own son . . .”


I will post the next part of the story next week. I will. Don’t worry I won’t forget.

©  This story and subsequent parts are my own original idea and are protected under United States copy right law.

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