It stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there’s someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master.
I was not inspired by ballet or dance or art this time, although that isn't surprising. Even as an Irish Ceili dancer, I was never that invested in dance. Ballet bores me. I respect the ballerinas who shape their bodies into instruments of expressive art, but I can't sit through the whole Nutcracker or Swan Lake. And therefore, art that features dancers does little for me.
What caught me this week was the quote itself. While I don't believe that all sacrifices fall under this train of thought, it did make me think of what a government could do to a people made too weak to fight against it. This thought led to our Founding Fathers and the American Revolution. Which led me to Thaddeus. We last saw him at the Battles of Concord and Lexington at the cusp of the Siege of Boston.
I offer the following in response: The Last Homecoming
The entire city was eerily quiet under the King’s Curfew as Thaddeus slipped around the sentry post. Tension gripped the air as if Boston awaited the order to breathe. Using the cover of night, Thaddeus climbed the elder tree and pried open the latch on his bedroom window of his childhood home.
The narrow bedchamber once housed three boys. After tonight, only his younger brother Adam would remain, sleeping the sound sleep of a care-free twelve-year-old boy. Thaddeus fought the urge to wake him to say good-bye. The less his brother knew while the Lobster-backs controlled Boston, the better. As he crept across the floor, his heart hammered in ears. His only thought was to remove evidence he existed at all, not that there was much. A cobbler’s son didn’t have the pistareens to spend on frivolous objects.
A rap at the house door gave him pause and he heard the familiar shuffle of his father’s steps cross from the parlor below him in response. “Mr. John White?”
“Er, yes, I-“
Hinges squealed as the sound of men pushed by his father’s voice. Thaddeus risked the landing outside his bedroom, settling into a shaft of darkness to spy on the proceedings. His heart spiked to his throat at the sight of Regulars – an officer with a small detail - crowding into the entryway. His father, still gripping a candle for light, grumbled objections to the inconsiderate visitors. “The hour is quite late, gentlemen.”
The officer removed his hat and ran a gloved hand through his hair. “I apologize, Mr. White. We have been delayed this e’en with many troubles that I will not bore you with at this time. His Majesty kindly provided more troops for General Gage, unfortunately, we are not yet in a position to house them. City records indicate that you have three bedrooms and a back parlor, yes?”
“Lieutenant Gregg,” he responded. “I have a need for these rooms, or any space you can sacrifice for the sake of the Crown. It should only be for a few days while we fortify Boston’s gates.”
“Of course, Lieutenant. I shall wake my son, there are three beds in his room. And we can use the back parlor for our purposes, if you would like the front rooms.”
“Very generous, my good man.”
“I only ask that your men endeavor to behave like gentlemen during their stay, for my daughter is of an impressionable age.”
Fury erupted within as Thaddeus retreated from the landing. How could his father be so blind, allowing abuses simply because they were asked of him? Would the Regulars compromise his sister's virtue? There was some discussion among the soldiers before Thaddeus heard boots on the staircase. He grabbed his satchel and raced for the open window, sliding from the sill to the tree with the precision of a boyhood’s muscle-memory; muscles that ached with the knowledge that this was the last homecoming of a once-loyal British subject.