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Story [Red Dead Redemption II] The Dedication

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by madman007, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 22, 2007
    The Dedication
    A Red Dead Redemption 2 fan fiction

    : Charlotte Balfour is 85 and dying. She reveals to her daughter on her death bed about Arthur Morgan and what he meant to her. This is a minor character in RDR 2 from a side mission you can play as Arthur. It is one of the most endearing missions in the game and it signifies how Arthur touched the lives of so many. Even if he didn't realize it. **Spoiler alert if you haven't finished the game or played the mission as Arthur and not John in the Epilogue.

    1957 New York

    "Mom. Mom? Did you hear me? I asked you a question."

    The elderly woman lying in the hospital bed opened her eyes. Charlotte Harris, known as Charlotte Balfour to her fans, creaked her head up at her daughter watching over her. Charlotte felt ancient and weak. Her eighty-five year old eyes had seen much in their lifetime. Some good. Some bad. Here she was close to the end. She could feel it. The cancer inside of her was screaming from within at her oncoming death. Soon. Very soon.

    Charlotte spoke in a low croak of a voice. "What, Emily? What did you ask?"

    Her beautiful blonde daughter leaned closer as she sat in the chair next to the bed. "Mom, I think it's time you confessed."

    "Confession is for the weak."

    "Which is what you are right now."

    "I'm not weak. I still have my mind. It's my body that's giving up."

    "Don't talk like that."

    "Why not? I'm fading away. Soon, I'll be seeing your father. Phillip will welcome me."

    "I'm sure he will. But that's not who I'm asking about now."

    "Then spit it out, child. What do you want to know?"

    Emily paused and said, "The dedications. In all of your novels you dedicated them to daddy, Phillip Harris."

    Charlotte nodded. "My first publisher. Then lover and then husband."

    "And you mentioned Cal Balfour."

    Charlotte smiled. "My first husband. The dreamer."

    "Of course. You've talked about him before. You two lived the life of means in Chicago and then you suddenly gave that up to live in the wilderness."

    Charlotte said dreamily, "Roanoke Ridge in New Hanover. We called it Willard's Rest after Cal's father. Certainly wouldn't name it after my controlling father."

    Emily reflected. "New Hanover. It's a metropolis now."

    "Yes. All department stores and those new McDonald's restaurants. At least they kept the lake and waterfall. Hunted some good game near that waterfall. Now you can buy a cheeseburger there for 10 cents."

    Emily shook her head. "The thought of you hunting." She paused and continued. "No, what I and all of your readers want to know is what the initials stand for in your dedications. AM? Not even daddy knew."

    Charlotte let out a chuckle that sounded more like a groan. "Phillip thought it was a relative of mine. Alas, it was not."

    "So who is AM? Time to confess before it's too late."

    "Very well." Charlotte paused and breathed out. She then muttered, "Arthur Morgan."


    "Exactly. He's probably not going to be in any history books. I found out later that he was part of the Van der Linde gang. Robbing their way through the country."

    "Who was he?"

    "A thief. A gangster. A killer. But he was the kindest man with the biggest heart."

    "OK. So why did you dedicate all of your novels to a thug like him?"

    "Because, child, if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be alive today."

    "Seriously? What did he do?"

    Charlotte cleared her throat, which began a coughing fit. When she could, she said, "You remember what I told you about how my first husband, Cal, died."

    "Bear attack."

    "Yes. Once that happened I was lost. Nature controlled me. Robert Green Ingersoll once said that in nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences."

    "Oh, mother. You're so dramatic. Over dramatic, actually. Just like a writer."

    "It is who I am, dear."

    "So, Cal Balfour died. What did you do then?"

    "I waited to die. I was alone out there. No civilization. No big buildings or fancy cars like now. It was just me and Nature. Just like Cal dreamed. He said we would be fine. We can live off the land, he said. Little did he know it would be the land that fed off him."

    "You mean the bear?"

    "Figuratively speaking. So, there I was. Crying constantly over his grave that I dug myself. I cried even in the rain."

    "It does rain up there a lot."

    "Then, he came by. Arthur Morgan. He was rugged to be sure, but something told me to accept him. He offered to help me. He asked for no money or anything else in return. He taught me how to hunt. He killed a decent sized rabbit and I skinned it."

    Emily chuckled. "The image of you skinning an animal. What would your readers think?"

    "Wonders never cease. But I did it. I fed off that rabbit for months since it was just me. I knew I would have to gather more food. Which meant killing more animals. I tried to use Cal's old rifle. Arthur even suggested I do so on his first trip. In fact, I was in the middle of practicing badly when he came to visit the second time. He taught me how to shoot it."

    Emily sneered. "Maybe he wanted something more, being a man who kept visiting you."

    Charlotte gave a chuckle. "No. Arthur wasn't like that. He just wanted to see how I was doing. I even suggested he stop by again."

    "In between robbing banks and train heists."

    "Arthur never talked about that in front of me. He hinted at not being a good man. He was. Arthur just couldn't convince himself of the fact."

    Emily brightened. "Mom, that sounds like William, the character in your first novel."

    "I guess there's a little bit of Arthur in many of my anti-hero characters. I even gave them some of Arthur's lines."

    "Like what?"

    "Nature provides, but she sure doesn't make it easy."

    "I remember that." Emily paused. "And daddy really didn't know? You never told him this?"

    "No. Not even on his death bed. He was all business and pragmatic. He only saw my romance novels as a means to make money. Ironic now, isn't it? He was my first publisher. By the time my first novel was released, I was tired of the wilderness. Tired of being alone."

    "And daddy took you away from it and brought you here to New York. You two were married soon after and then had me. Heard that story more than once."

    "You make it sound so formal."

    "Well, I leave all the romantic notions to you from your novels. Especially after hearing about your mysterious gentleman caller and bandit. Whatever happened to Arthur? Did you ever find out?"

    Charlotte replied in a low voice. "Yes. I learned that he passed away of tuberculosis. On one of his other visits, I invited him for lunch. He went into a coughing fit after he ate and then passed out. It took me a while but I got him in bed. The last time he visited a few weeks later..." Charlotte paused to consider. "The last time I ever saw him, in fact, he looked so pale and thin. I figured he didn't have much longer."

    "When was this?"

    "Oh, right before the turn of the century. 1899, I believe. I didn't know he died until one of his friends came to visit about six or seven years later. I forgot his name, but he told me Arthur spoke fondly of me in his journal. When I finished my first novel, I decided that I should pay back the compliment. And the dedications began." Charlotte paused to catch her breath. She hadn't spoken this long in quite a while. She then continued. "After Phillip brought me to New York, I tried to research Arthur Morgan in the archives. There wasn't much besides him being part of the Van der Linde Gang. There was something about him having a wife and son early in his life. It didn't say what happened to them."

    "Probably nothing good."

    "I suspect." Charlotte paused again and stated, "I loved my first husband, Cal Balfour. I even kept his surname as my pen name. But he was a dreamer. A naive optimist. And I loved your father, Phillip Harris. Much more practical. Of course, he gave me you. But if it wasn't for Arthur Morgan, I wouldn't be here today. I wouldn't have written best selling novels. I wouldn't have met your father. And you wouldn't have existed."

    Emily grinned softly and said, "Arthur was your Angel."

    "I prefer savior. As you know, I wasn't much into religion. But, yes, Arthur Morgan saved me in so many ways."

    "And you immortalized him in each of your novels."

    "Yes. After I'm gone, Arthur will truly be gone as well."

    Emily struggled to stand up from her chair. She parted her shawl enough to reveal the large bump in her belly. She patted her hand over the bump lovingly, almost feeling the living heartbeat under it. "Maybe there's something I can do about that. David and I won't know the sex until it happens. I can talk to him about it tonight. But I have decided." She paused and said, "A boy will be Arthur. A girl will be Morgan. What do you think?"

    "That's nice, dear, but don't feel that you have to."

    "No, I want to. It would be my dedication to the man who saved you."

    The End
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
  2. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    Both "seen" characters come across so well and realistically, as well as the described ones. Good job!=D= And the touches of humor like "the land fed off him" dark and funny ... [face_tee_hee]
    madman007 likes this.