WHEN THE BUFFALO ROAM

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


A time-traveling Texas Ranger with a frozen memory emerges from a snowstorm in modern times to face down murdering criminals in a small cabin in the north country and to do battle with an enemy
he’s been chasing since 1880's.



Is he a ghost, a demon, or a time traveler? Justice is served best served cold, and Emil Marz delivers.

Submitted: December 06, 2017

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Submitted: December 06, 2017

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Emil pushed through the snow, one step at a time. Even under the buffalo hide, the blizzard’s howling wind pounded his face. He felt no sense of time, experienced no urgency; the length of his journey and the storm, he couldn’t remember. He’d been here before though, struggling through the darkness with only the next step to take. When he entered a glade with a small cabin nestled in the corner and light spilling from its single window, Emil reached beneath the hide to be sure his Colts were still in their holsters.

A red four-wheeled coach sat in front of the cabin. The wagon seemed to be made almost entirely of steel and glass, except its four black, rubber wheels. Rectangular, the car’s central section would hold passengers as tall as himself, the edges and corners smooth and rounded, its surfaces flat. It appeared sleek, and no harness for horses could be found.

Curious, he pushed the coach, but it wouldn’t budge. He walked around it and found several words, Ford Ranger; a large badge on one end of the vehicle read, ARIZONA, JUL, NZ 32465 GRAND CANYON STATE.

‘Ranger’

That word meant something. Memory moved like a frozen river, and Emil recognized he’d been to many places just like this; passed many doorways and across countless thresholds. He turned his attention to the small, single-roomed wooden shanty. As he stepped toward the cabin he heard men arguing inside, a raspy voice slipping through the thin door. “Eat me, asshole. You started shooting first!”

“The guard was drawing on us. So piss off! Rick. Maybe you want some too, huh?” returned a hostile male.

“News of your killing spree probably has Brandt rethinking laundering the money. I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t show up,” returned the raspy voice man named, Rick.

“I don’t give a shit what fucking Brandt does!”

“Brian!” A third, agitated voice came through the door. “Calm down! Both of you!”

“Like he’s going to be cool,” replied Rick.

“Brandt will be here,” returned the third man in the room.

From what Emil heard, the three men inside were criminals taking sides, but it was the name Brandt, that piqued his memory. He curled his cold fingers into a fist and knocked.

"Is that him?" Chair legs scraped on a wooden floor and then nothing.

Emil knocked, again.

The old floorboards protested as the men inside moved.

"Brandt! That you?" Rick’s raspy voice sounded through the door.

"Just a soul in need of fire.” Emil glanced back at the coach. ‘Ranger…’

"That ain’t Brandt," said the third man.

"Fuck it! Let’s see who it is Mike. Let ‘em in. I ain’t scared. You scared, little Ricky?” the bully goaded.

"Screw you!” replied Rick.

“Go ahead, Brian, open the door. Can’t have someone walking around,” ordered Mike.

The door swung inward, and a bright light from inside momentarily blinded Emil, just as a double-barrel shotgun was pressed forcefully under his nose.

"What’re you doing out there?" the voice belonged to the aggressive man the other two men inside had called Brian.

Emil thought quickly—they were waiting for someone. “I was told to be here.” He lifted his hands in surrender to the young blond man at the door. “Get the fuck in here!” Brian ordered, stepping back. “Who told you that?”

Emil focused on the double-barrels as he stepped across the threshold. He laid eyes on the smallest man, Rick. The thin man’s upper lip showed a trimmed black mustache. He wore a red shirt that hugged his body and tight blue leggings. A thin man, Rick stood the same height as Emil, but that was where the similarities ended. Emil was calm, and Rick, anxious, even frightened.

"I asked you a question!" Brian’s impatience boiled quickly.

The clothing was unfamiliar to Emil, and the men didn’t wear gun belts but were all armed, pointing their weapons at him. The two blonds stood well over six feet tall and topped two hundred pounds. Both were the largest men he’d ever seen. They bore a familial resemblance, and both had green eyes. While the elder brother Mike, wore facial hair, the younger brother Brian was the only man in the room with a clean-shaven face.

“He asked you a question. Take off that silly hood," Rick demanded, looking him up and down.

Emil pulled the buffalo hide off his head. “Don’t know,” he stammered from a dry mouth.

Mike stepped forward with an irregularly shaped gun that held a long compartment beneath a short barrel. “What the hell is up with you. Did you miss your Halloween party?”

"Piss on it. We need all the karma we can get. May as well warm up by the stove while we wait to see if Brandt arrives." Rick stepped back to let Emil into the cabin. “Until we decide what to do.”

Mike glowered at Emil. "Take that hide off.” He pointed the weapon. “Search him, Rick.”

When the hide fell to the floor, the three men’s eyes were drawn by the star pinned to his red and black checkered vest; the star circled by a thin strip of tin and stamped with TEXAS RANGER. “What the fuck!” Brian roared.

Emil looked at the star on his chest. He could feel the weight of the pair of Colt .44s at his hips; a pack and horn tied to his gun belt contained powder, caps, and cotton.

‘Ranger’

Emil’s thoughts thawed as the name Brandt swirled in the cold water of his memory.

"You the law?" Brian mocked more than asked. "Think you’re Wild Bill Hickok or something?" He stepped forward, pushing the barrel of the shotgun into Emil’s face again. “I wanna’ blow your head off right now, Aces and Eights.”

"This guy’s trouble." Mike aimed the complicated looking weapon as he might fire. “Get them guns, Rick,” he ordered again.

“Fuck you, Mike, don’t tell me what to do!” Rick turned his attention to Emil. “Don’t move!” He pointed a small pistol.

"Think you’re the Lone Ranger?" Brian waved the shotgun in Emil’s face. “I’ll blow your head right the hell off. Can I?” He asked.

The young man wanted to pull the trigger, Emil had seen the look in a man’s eyes before, the thrill of taking life burned in them like a smoldering fire ready to leap and run in a dry forest.

Mike stepped behind Emil, slamming the door shut. "You so much as twitch, Texas, and you’re dead. Rick, get those god damned guns.”

Rick scowled, but tucked his revolver away and moved closer to lift the leather straps holding the pistols. He pulled the Colts from their holsters.

Brian smacked the barrel of the shotgun into Emil’s cheek. “You twitched!”

The was no pain.

"These are beauties." Rick admired the guns. “What year are they? They’re real powder guns, huh?”

Emil returned to the year had been 1870, the Spring he married the love of his life. He could hear her calling him to breakfast from across time. "Emil, Ee-mil Marz…"

 

***

 

Emil’s hands worked the old milk cow’s teats. The Holstein voiced her opinion softly as she chewed the fresh green hay, and Emil whistled a tune he’d learned during the war. It had been a perfect morning, the sky clear, the day warming up to something mighty fine, but that changed when three shadows leaned over the hill where a road led down to their little farm. Raising a hand to his brow for a better look, he watched as three strangers on horseback galloped in with the sun on their backs.

The men leaned forward in their saddles; their horses lathered from many miles of being ridden hard. Why would men be riding so early in the morning, Emil wondered. Was something wrong?

Cursing under his breath for not having his shotgun at hand, Emil picked up the bucket of warm milk and walked briskly to intercept the riders. He forced a smile. "Good morning for a ride." He looked at the scatter of thin clouds overhead.

Emil noticed the terrible scar surrounding the empty eye socket of the man out in front of the other two. It looked like the eye had been burned, or boiled from its socket. The man behind the missing eye did not look friendly. Emil had always been able to tell a man’s nature right off, grandma Marz had called him unique and his ability something the ancient Greeks called, ‘theurgy’ or ‘divination.’

"That bucket of milk would be mighty fine after a long ride," One-Eye commented, glancing back to his partners as he reined his mount to a halt.

The two men agreed with menacing chuckles. They were on the run.

Emil heard Mary from their single room cabin. "You fellers hungry?" Her voice gay, the morning sun dancing over her auburn hair in a nimbus.

Dread cut through Emil like a cavalry sword.

“Looky there.” One of the men grabbed himself in his saddle, and the other’s jaw fell open.

West of St Louis, Mary was likely the most beautiful woman these men had seen in their lifetimes.

"Just ‘bout breakfast time, soon as my husband brings that milk inside." She smiled at Emil.

The one-eyed leader turned back to him. "I reckon we have time for breakfast." The one eye glanced at the man on his right and winking with his one good eye. The single eye returned its gaze to Emil. “You got a pretty wife, sir; she must get lonely out here with just one man to take care of her."

One-Eye swung down from his saddle like a rattlesnake.

Emil’s back and arms cooled with small bumps as spooked geese flew over his flesh, and his shoulders tightened in apprehension. "No sir, we do right well. I suspect you should forget my wife’s offer and head on down the trail to town. We don’t want no trouble here."

"Trouble is what you have, I reckon." One-Eye reached for his pistol. "Your beautiful wife for breakfast sounds mighty fine. You men with me?” He asked, unconcerned with what they wanted or not.

Both lifted their hats for a better look at Mary. “She’s pretty, Brandt! But them Rangers is close behind.”

One-Eye pulled back the hammer. “You know what? I can’t figure out which of us is in more trouble.” He winked his good eye again and struck Emil on the chin with the butt of his pistol.

The man laughed.

 

***
 

"He asked you a question, buffalo-fuck," Mike snarled. "You deaf or something?" The big-man reminded Emil of one of the rotund new creatures they’d discovered in the expeditions to the north. A walrus, they called it in the papers.

"I reckon eighteen-seventy. They were a gift from President Grant at my wedding," Emil replied.

Rick held the pistols. “President Grant? As in Ulysses?” The man’s head swiveled with incredulity.

Mike shoved the barrel of the gun under the tin star Emil wore on his vest. "You think I’m dumb or something, Mister Ranger? You trying to poke fun at us? What about this badge?"

Emil drew away from the short-barreled, blocky weapon. "I don’t remember much. I’m just cold and hungry. Maybe, if I warm up a little I’ll come to recollect?"

"How about your name?" Rick asked. The man wore rings on all his fingers; one appeared to be a skull.

"I’ll ask the questions," Mike asserted, pushing his bulk forward.

"Who put you in charge?" Rick snapped back but was pushed out of the way. His black mustache twitched nervously.

"Why don’t we vote, asshole?" Mike sneered.

"Does the retard’s vote count?" Rick motioned toward Brian.

Brian grimaced, looking at his brother as if to beg permission for something they’d planned all along.

“Name’s Emil Marz."

“That’s a pussy’s name,” Mike snapped back. “Your daddy want a girl? Sounds like you’re an Emily to me.” Mike turned to Rick. "And my brother’s vote does count."

Brian grinned, his short yellow teeth grinding under a greasy sneer, his lips pursing until they turned white.

"You sit in this metal chair, for now.” Mike unfolded an object and set it down at the far end of the cabin. “Sit here.”

Emil did as he was told and took a seat in the unfolded metal chair.

“Rick, watch him," Mike ordered. “Find something to tie him with.”

“Like what? There’s not a lot here to tie anybody up with.” Rick shook his head in annoyance.

"Why don’t we just blow his head off," Brian questioned, motioning with the shotgun. “I’ve always wanted to see a head explode.”

“That’s all we need.” Rick took a step closer to Emil. "What’s the last thing you remember?”

Emil searched his thawing mind as images sharpened into the vision of his pursuit of the one-eyed murderer, Brandt…

"I remember," Emil began. "I was chasin’…" He paused, looking at each. "Three bank robbers… murderers."

"Shit," Mike aimed the gun at Emil. "I knew this freak was trouble." He stepped closer, the floor protesting under his weight.

"Let him talk."

"Oh, I will, then I’m going to beat the truth from his ass. And you don’t be telling me what to do." Mike fumed.

"Go on," Rick pressed, ignoring the big man.

While he didn’t feel exactly warm, his memory flowed better than it had and his anger rose to an internal rage. "I was chasin’ my wife’s killers in the north country, near the Arizona Territories. I remember findin’ a small creek flowin’ into a deep box canyon. It was the only water I saw in days, so I filled my canteen. While waterin’ my horse I came across the tracks of the men I was after. I kept to the creek, searchin’ for more signs when I rounded a bend and seen the strangest buildings made of stone, and beneath them, two, round, open-faced pits, made of stone. In the cliffs above, there looked to be a rock fortress, and like nothin’ I had ever witnessed before—an ancient ghost city. It was there I seen the...the one-eyed devil that killed my Mary. He was lookin’ down into one of the round stone pits.

“He saw me and made for his horse.

I took after him. The canyon walls closed in, and I thought I might be trapped and was wary of ambush, so I stopped and climbed off my horse.

As I moved up the creek, the walls leaned together to form a natural arch. I could see through the thing to a yonder place where it was snowin’ but around the arch, the sun shone as clear as a blue sky.

On the arch, itself was a queer drawin’ of a strange man with insect antennae on his head and leadin’ a line of people through the arch. I decided ole’ One-Eye must have passed under the arch.

I stepped through the arch after the man who killed my wife.

Passin’ through felt like a fine, thin layer of water tickling my skin, then a sudden gust of cold wind and I was sure I had lost my footin’ and was fallin’. The sky turned dark, and it was cold, and I felt the snow on my face… Later, on a plain, I found a herd of buffalo and killed one.”

 

***

 

“You say the man has one eye?” Mike probed. He glanced at his brother and then Rick, a curious expression on his brow.

Brian and Rick both expected an answer.

"Well, I don’t know what to say about you or where you came from, so I’ll just play along, but I’ll be keeping these for my collection." Rick stuffed the Colts in his belt. “What year is the last you remember?”

“Eighteen-seventy, I reckon.”

Mike guffawed, and Brian giggled maniacally.

“It’s two thousand and sixteen, Mister Marz,” Rick replied, his eyes wide, waiting for an answer that made sense.

Mike’s brow wrinkled. "You can pull Rick’s leg as much as you like, but you ain’t nothing but a whacked-out nut-job to me. He isn’t a real ranger, and I bet he stole it from Party City,” he snorted in disgust. “Brian, go get the bags and let’s get the cash divided up. I ain’t waiting for Brandt any longer; we’ll just head to Mexico and launder our share down there.”

“Won’t get as good of a deal in Mexico,” Rick insisted. “Brandt will be here.”

“You just said he wasn’t coming, and I don’t want to wait around for a what-if, so get your ass counting.”

Brian moved to the corner of the room and picked up two bags, tossing them on a table. He dumped out the contents.

Mike crossed the room to take a closer look at the pile of money on the table. “Rick, watch him!” he ordered as he walked away.

Rick pivoted his attention to Emil, furious with having been given another order. His hackles raised, Rick appeared to Emil to be a proud Bantam rooster that had encountered a bigger, more powerful rival in the roost.

"How about something to eat, fellers?” Emil asked the men. His stomach growled for the first time in as long as he could remember.

"Go ahead and give him something." Mike grabbed a stack of money, distracted by its lure.

Rick mumbled as he walked toward a set of packs. He pulled out a red and rectangular container, and a canteen of water and turned to Emil, handing him the items. “...kill us both,” Rick whispered, his eyes shifting to make sure the others was occupied with the money.

Emil felt the familiar handle of one of his Colt’s beneath a container: Nutter-Butter, it read. He slipped the gun between his legs and into his lap beneath the container and canteen, taking one of the small biscuits from the container and sliding the little dry cake into his mouth. The cake was sweet, and his thoughts turned to Mary...his lovely, innocent Mary as he chewed the first thing he’d eaten in as long as he could remember.

 

***

 

The smell of grass assailed him even as a pair of large, soft, hairy lips nibbled his face, pulling Emil to consciousness. The old mare stared down at him, her large brown eyes full. She nickered softly as he focused and recovered his wits.

He sat up, his head and stomach spinning like a cyclone. After a few deep breaths, he pushed the confusion nausea away and looked around the smoldering homestead. The home and barn were now blackened skeletons of lost memories. Some of the fences still burned, poking up from the ground like barbequed ribs. The only building still standing unscathed was the outhouse, which is where he saw her. On the ground, face down.

Mary lay in a mix of angles, her legs and arms akimbo, her red hair splayed like tossed out roses. He saw too much blood on her blouse. His shotgun was still clutched in her small, white hand. She was still clothed, and Emil prayed she had been spared violation. Her eyes were dead. He broke down and crawled toward her, sobbing until his head pounded.

Eyesight bleary with ashes and tears, Emil dug Mary’s grave and buried her. Later, wandering through the burned-out shell of their home, he found the Colt pistols unharmed. It was then that he cried for the last time, his despair turning to rage.

For the second time in less than twenty-four hours, strangers rode down the hill and into his homestead, two of them spurring their horses. Emil wiped the soot and sweat from his eyes for a closer look, ready with the shotgun, his Colts loaded and holstered.

The riders wore black clothing with red neckerchiefs, silver embroidered riding chaps, and big hats that kept their faces in shadow. Both wore thick mustaches. Emil noticed the stars pinned to their chests and knew them to be Texas Rangers. An idea began to form, a plan of vengeance.

“Sorry about your farm.” The younger ranger sat back in his saddle.

"I’m coming with you," Emil announced to the lawmen.

“You think that’s a good idea? You look like you been kicked by a mule.” The elder ranger peered down, appraising Emil’s worth. His gaze pondered the Colts for a moment. He looked Emil directly in the eyes.

Emil held the man’s stare. “I was a Captain in the war under General Grant. And I suspect you’re after the three men who came through here and murdered my wife,” he paused, biting down on his fury, “and burnt our ranch.” He took a deep breath and steadied himself. “I’ll be taking after them, with you or without you.”

"Looks like you hit one.” The elder man indicated with a jerk of his head to the ground where a fair amount of blood could be seen. “The way he’s bleedin’, he’s stone cold by now, Captain."

"Mary must’ve got ‘im." Emil glanced at a new pile of rocks near the apple tree; a wooden cross standing over the body of his beloved.

"God bless her." He nodded. “We welcome your gun.” The lawman spurred his horse.

Emil mounted the unsaddled mare and reined her in behind the two men as they galloped from the remains of his life.
 

***

 

Emil escaped the sad memory. The three men inside the cabin with him were criminals, pure and simple. It didn’t matter where he was, or when, or whose hand had brought him; justice must be served. He knew that was why he had been brought here.

Emil had a powerful feeling; he’d done this before. Many times, with different strangers.

Rick leaned back from the cabin’s single table. "Can he count?" he asked the walrus-sized man.

"Why do you keep egging my brother on?" Mike straightened to his full height. “Ain’t you supposed to be watching him, anyway?”  He glared across the table and glanced at Emil.

“Because your brother got my friend killed and now I’m guilty by association,” Rick growled back.

Mike squared his shoulders deliberately toward Rick. “Well, you ain’t dead yet.”

“Why are we taking this dwarf’s shit?” Brian pleaded.

Emil swallowed the remains of another of the sweet biscuits, washing it down with water from the canteen. It was good to eat and drink. The Colt’s weight reassured his confidence beneath the flask and biscuit packaging.

Outside the cabin, a loud roar drew closer and caught everybody’s attention.

“That’s got to be Brandt,” Brian announced. “The cops wouldn’t just drive up.”

“I’ll be damned! It looks like One-Eye made it,” Mike looked out the cabins single window.

Emil froze upon hearing Mike utter the name “One-Eye.” He connected it to the other name, Brandt. The door swung inward, blocking Emil’s view.

“I can’t believe it’s snowing in May.” The door closed and revealed the man’s back. “You boys are in a heap of trouble.”

The man who entered wore a black suit, his boots shined; his hair was short and brown. Emil could make out little more of the man from his position behind him, but there was something about his shape and posture...

“About time you got here.” Mike nodded to the newcomer. Rick and Brian mumbled in agreement.

The man in black walked in. He carried a large brown parcel and plopped it next to the stacks of money.

The man’s gait set its hook into Emil’s memory as if he’d caught a whale. Muscles in his back tightened, and his hair stood on end.

“You boys coming up with new plans?” the man asked, turning so that Emil could see his face.

Emil could see the scar where the man’s eye should be first. Could he be? Emil wondered.

When the man had turned enough so that his one good eye noticed Emil in the chair, and he froze. “Who’s…who’s this?” The man hunched over a bit as if he might draw a weapon but realized he didn’t have one in the jacket’s pocket.

His voice, his face, the burned-out eye, the name—all added up to the same man, the man who murdered Mary and many more. Vengeance thawed Emil’s soul. “Do you remember me?”

Three of the four men stared at Emil with shocked expressions; One-Eye did not. Instead, he smiled a broad, shit-eating grin. “I do remember you, Mr. Marz.”

“What? You know this crazy guy?” Mike jerked his head around.

Rick looked to Brandt, and then to Emil, increasing levels of consternation twisting his face in incomprehension.

Brian looked at his brother for guidance.

“I never should have agreed to meet you boys in the four-corners area. I knew it. I haven’t been back here in a hundred years, or more,” Brandt remarked in a puzzled voice. “Fucking Anasazi magic.”

“What are you talking about,” Rick pressed for an answer. “How do you know this guy? What’s this about a hundred years ago?”

“I killed his wife a hundred years ago, give or take. Another life.” Brandt walked around the table and turned to face Emil.

“What’s going on?” Mike raised his voice.

Brian stood up from his chair, stepping away from the table, the double-barrel shotgun in hand. “This is too fucking much for me, man!”

“I haven’t aged a day since we went through that damnable arch, Mister Marz. But you.  You look like you been to hell and back.”

Emil slowly chewed another biscuit, but under the packing, he gripped the Colt’s handle.

Brian eyed his older brother for orders again, his ham-fists clenching the shotgun; he rocked back-and-forth on his heels.

“I want you to know Mister Marz—I never touched your wife. None of us did. Matter of fact, when I knocked you out, she sprang toward the house like lightning. She must have seen us coming because the shotgun was by the door and she was ready to use it.”

Emil’s emotions broke like a calving glacier as waves of sorrow wracked his mind. His chest tightened, but his tears were frozen.

“She came out of that cabin firing like a Yankee soldier. A good shot too… She hit one of my men, but you already know that. You must have found him.”

The lump in Emil’s throat grew, and tears threatened like rain-clouds; the thaw point had been reached.

“So here we are Mister Marz.” The man in black shrugged. “If the world made sense, men would ride side-saddle, wouldn’t they?” He cleaned his front teeth with his tongue and made a squeaking sound. “I don’t think I’m ready to go just yet.” Brandt shook his head. “And you don’t look like you’re in any position to mete out justice today, anyhow.”

“The only thing that will set all this right is justice finally being served,” Emil replied coldly.

Brandt’s face warped in frustration. “Would someone kill this guy?”

Emil pulled the Colt up from his lap before anybody could move. Biscuits and their packaging spilled to the floor along with the canteen.

The sight of an armed man froze them all.

“So, you’ll have your revenge then,” Brandt grimaced.

“Justice.” Emil eyed each of them, keeping the Colt aimed at Brandt. “Doin’ the dirty work of the Lord I guess? And there’s a lot of it to do.”

The young angry man frowned, his eyes shone with fury. "Fuck you!" Brian yelled, shifting his position and firing.

Buckshot missed Emil, exploding against the wall behind him.

The Colt responding with a kick and simultaneous roar.

 The bullet struck Brian in the heart, sending him backward and into the wall. Blood spurted from the hole in his chest.

Correcting his aim, Emil tracked Brandt diving beneath the table and squeezed off a shot. His aim true once again, a small hole appearing in one side of Brandt’s head as the other blew open in an eruption of blood, bone, and brains.

One-Eye fell to the dirty cabin floor, writhing a moment before he dropped dead.

Mike clambered for the oddly-shaped gun sitting just out of reach on the table next to the stacks of money. Grabbing and squeezing the trigger without control or aim, the gun blasted like a Gatling, cutting holes in everything in its path.

The aim had not been for anyone specific, but everyone. The random spray of bullets left one in Rick’s belly, about an inch from his navel, and another gaping hole just to the left of that.

Rick hadn’t seen it coming but felt the shock when the bullets hit him and knocked him on his back where he gasped for breath.

Emil pivoted toward Mike, pulling the trigger once again, the Colt spouting redemption in black smoke, flame, and hot lead.

A bullet hit Mike in the chest, knocking him backward and onto his brother’s corpse, where they lay dead together in a pool of blood.

Rick clutched at his guts, struggling through the excruciating pain, moaning through clenched teeth. Blood flowed onto the floor beneath him. “Christ,” he swore.

Emil approached the mortally wounded man.

“Help me,” Rick pleaded.

"If you’re riding with murderers. That makes you a murderer, too.” Emil leaned over and grabbed his second Colt from Rick’s waist.

“What the hell are you?” Rick gasped between his labored breathing.

“Justice.” Emil studied Rick’s brown eyes. He turned to gather his hide. "You’ll be dead soon enough, and only the Lord can decide whether your suffering was sufficient to pay for your crimes."

Emil tightened the buffalo hide around his shoulders and opened the cabin door. Outside, the stars sparkled in the heavens and he wondered where his next steps in the snow would lead him.

 

 

The End


© Copyright 2018 Tim Arnzen. All rights reserved.

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