The Color of Blood

Wish I Were Here

North Berwick, Scotland – September 2016

How high the walls of this castle are. How red the stone. Red: the color of the family that once dwelled within. The color of blood. My blood, diluted over the centuries by that of other tribes. Descendants dispersed in the winds of time. It’s just a name now: Douglas. A family ripped apart by rivalry. They became Red Douglases and Black Douglases. I have visited that other castle, in the Borders region. I wasn’t aware of the rift, then. Or to which line I belonged. It all comes down to color. Swarthy or ginger. Dark or light. Any heritage I claimed at Threave is erased and replaced by this intimidating structure. Tantallon.

The House that William Built, an information board proclaims. My mother and I exchange a look and snicker. William is the name of one of my brothers. She takes…

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