“They were once human beings, now lying around as stinking piles, feeding on the flies attracted by their stench. They do not move, they do not speak. They just stink and suffer.”
The words of the old man lingered in Drove’s mind as he looked into the valley. He could already smell the stench, and a welcome committee of flies was swarming around his head.
His horse pranced. This was not good place to be.
He forced forward.
They walked in between the tall canyon walls. Soon he saw them, lying on the ground. Men who had tried to find better land, just like him. He was not afraid. He was different from them.
He rode down rocky slopes and overgrown tracks. Through rivers so dirty he had never seen the like. The smell stayed on his horse’s legs, tearing his nose. Loathing. He felt dizzy, his stomach revolted. He heard the dirt piles around him moan in agony and self disgust. Their suffering dug into his back with the evening sun.
His horse stepped in something. Drove looked down. A pile of dirt looked up on him with tortured, pleading eyes. Their eyes locked.
Drove looked away. Opened his holster. Pointed his gun to its head.
The shot went through with a splash. Brown liquid pumped out of the hole. It still looked at him. There was no judgement in its eyes. No sudden pain, just a glance of hope. On the third shot its eyes went blank. The pulsing movements in its body stopped.
Drove looked around. Tens of other piles of crap were lying around him. He had only three bullets left.
The flies were swarming around his head. He held a cloth over his face to keep them away, to alleviate the stench. Trusting his poor horse to find the way out.
One day, he thought. One day I’ll be back with more bullets.