The figures stood like rocks in front of him, like eternal statues no one had created. Lifeless, until the tallest one spoke.
“You have come far. Now tell us why.”
He swallowed. He had been walking for days, and now he was finally here.
“I’ve come to ask for forgiveness. I’ve killed a man. Or at least, I was the reason he died.”
“We don’t have such thing to give,” the statues said…
The goliphant suddenly stopped. What’s wrong you stupid animal, the driver said. He whipped it hard on its back. Keep moving!
It moved a couple of steps more, and stopped again. A big trunk was lying blocking the road. What the… The driver silenced. A man came out from the bushes, another out from the leaves of the tree.
Ronad got on his feet, got his sword up from the ground. He stumbled a bit, took another zip of the strong liquor he had in his flask. Leave dis to mee… He mumbled, and went half running down the hill.
The driver lifted his hands. Please! Please don’t…. (more)
Tapping his fingers on the table, he looked at the little bottles in front of him. Eeny meeny miny moe… he stopped at the biggest one. He grabbed it, walked over to the window. Watched the blue sky for a moment, took a deep breath of fresh summer air. The little tap was put tight, he had to struggle for a little while to get it off. Dark clouds came flowing out of the bottle, up towards the skies. They grew. The sky darkened…
He saw something move. A shadow was coming out from one of the backstreets. A man. He came walking towards him. Others appeared from the darkness as well.
Howdy! Clifton said. How come there’s so few people around?
No answer. They walked up the street towards him. They moved in a strange way, slowly, clumsily. One was limping, another seemed to be missing an arm. His horse neighed.
The marshal loosened the cap on his gun holster.
I said howdy!
One of the figures moaned. They were coming uncomfortably close.
Clifton pulled his gun in a fast movement.
Stop! He said. Don’t come any closer, or I’ll shoot!
He could see their faces now. Their eyes. They looked… dead. Empty.
He fired a shot. In the air, to see if he could scare them off.
They kept walking…
Hey kid! What’s up?
Jeremy opened his eyes. Someone was talking to him from under the bed.
Uh.. We… I mean, I’m… A friend! That’s it, a friend.
Several voices giggled. Friend.. Hihihi! Good one, good one, goo…
Shut up! You’re ruining it!
Johnny sat up.
Come down here, man! It’s fun! Don’t be afraid, we’ll have a great time, just me and you!..
He walked through the house, memories were flowing. Children playing. Him, his sister, happier than anywhere else. Laughing and playing when the house was still full of life.
He walked to the window, pulled the curtain aside. The old tree stood there in all it splendour, looking fresh and alive. It had been dead for years, now he could here the wind whisper in its leaves. A shadow stood underneath it, a silhouette of a figure, a person…