The Twins – Joyce Janes

They were twins although no one would have known it to look at them.  In fact it was difficult to believe they were brothers at all their appearance was so different.
Peach was the eldest by 4 minutes as he never hesitated to inform people.  He was nasty, idle and dirty, a wastrel.  Tall and handsome he attracted much attention when he was younger.  He gained a reputation for breaking the heart of many a girl in the neighbourhood that was until his gaze settled on Susan.  The unfortunate girl, overwhelmed by the attention he showered on her, soon agreed to marry Peach.  She had no idea what life with this cruel lout would entail.
Once married Susan was ill treated by him and it was considered a blessing when she ran away only months after the wedding.
Peach as always cursed his bad luck and blamed everyone else for his troubles never accepting that his life was what he made of it.  He became morose and sullen.  As time passed instead of working he wandered the fields avoiding people preferring to spend time idling at Arbor Low and Pilsbury Castles.  He would sit alone for hours his mind dwelling on ancient times.
It was rumoured he had seen things from the past, unspeakable evils, some said it had turned his mind.  He became a recluse lank greasy hair, dark as coal, hanging over his face, there was a sinister look about him.
He made a nuisance of himself wandering around the neighbourhood watching everyone and everything.  People felt uncomfortable when Peach was around.
He brought ‘finds’ back to the farm, old machinery, pots and pans, food, wood, nothing easy to identify but always easy to dispose of.  People didn’t trust him, in actual fact he wasn’t to be trusted.  Peach had sticky hands.
In contrast his flaxen haired brother Parsley had a kind, gentle nature and an easy smile.  He was friendly and patient happy to pass the time of day and give a helping hand to anyone.
He became very well known and popular in the area.  He toiled day and night to run the farm the twins inherited whilst his brother idled time away.
‘Handsome is as handsome does,’ their mother used to tell them.  Had she lived beyond the twins teenage years she would have been as proud of Parsley as she would have been ashamed of Peach.
Sadly she died only weeks after their father passed away, leaving the boys to fend for themselves and run Vincent farm alone.
Peach never lifted a finger and Parsley ran the farm as well as one man could.
Unfortunately for Parsley he had an uncontrollable habit of calling out without warning.  At first everyone would jump at the noise as he would shout ‘Hay’ for no apparent reason.  No one minded really, it would have been difficult to take exception to anything Parsley did.  He looked after the the sheep they didn’t mind his strange habit.  Occasionally when a ‘hay,’ echoed down the valley people in the village would smile and say it’s only Parsley.
As time passed, because of this unfortunate affliction, he became known as Parsley Hay.
And that is how the brothers became known as Sticky Peach and Parsley Hay.
Eventually Parsley met and married a girl from nearby Longnor.  They loved each other dearly and worked together to run the farm and raise a family.
Sticky Peach? He came to a bad end.
Jealous of his brother’s happiness he planned a murder.  Unfortunately he used some of the wood his sticky fingers aquired to hold up the heavy machinery that would, in his plan, fall on his unsuspecting brother.
Whether it was the vibration of the ‘hay’ as Parsley approached or just that Peach didn’t get out of the way fast enough no one knows.  Parsley heard a crash, ran into the barn to find his brother crushed and dying.
The shock was such that Parsley never ‘hay’d’ again.

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