The smell of gun powder still lingers in the air as the wind gently pushes it down the baron streets. There is not a sound made except for the breeze. The sun shines from its highest point in the
sky not letting any shadows be carried over the dry dirt. Footsteps break the silence. They echo through the empty roads for each step taken. The hard leather, worn down from much use. The
material stills hopes together under the sole of the feet that house them. With each step taken, the buckles jingle almost making a tone to the listener but of course there is not any. Two buckles
on each boot hold tight while there is another on each that has broken. Time and the journey having taken too much of a toll on the hard skin causing them to finally snap and hang loose.
Still the person moves unfazed to the condition for the leather protecting the bare skin. Treading slowly forward, reaching closer to the small hamlet town where possible refuge may be found. His trousers scrape against another between his legs with each motion. Sliding against the inside of the legs like a small Velcro patch is being pulled apart. Normally it would not be heard but the silence gives way for the sounds everyone hears but does not register. Slapping against the back of his knees hangs down more leather, a coat. Its brown colour does not look natural but its unusual colour just attracts the eye to it even more. The ends are torn and ripped like the remains from a clawed animal making its attack. Around his waist a studded spike metal belt holds his trousers in place.
While either side of his hips lay his guns. They hang down to his side with only the handles left out to with stand the effects of nature’s weather which they looked to be on the loosing side. There are cuts and scratches and chunks missing. The guns must have quite the colourful back-story. Above them is his white shirt, if you can still call it by that colour. The effects of his journey have taken it from a shinning pure white to dirt and stain covered mess. He wears a cowboy style hat; it too is made from leader. Its edges cover his face from the intense heat of the midday sun casting the only valuable shadow in the area. From the back of the hat his past shoulder length hair sways lightly from side to side with the breeze. In the sun it comes across like brown maybe auburn red coloured.
His eyes stare directly at the floor, watching the dirt before he walks over it. It’s always the same, never changing but what would you expect while out in the desert? No matter how far he walks it has always looked comparable to where he had come from. Above him the vultures call to another, scouting, looking for their next meal and maybe if it could be him. He stops in his tracks and raises his head to gage the town that is in front of him now. The sun reflects from the floor, blinding his eyes but he winks to renew his vision and looks out again squinting through the light. He views the village from side to side, taking in every detail from the set up of the houses to which buildings are store shops and which ones he can not work out what function they belong to. He rears his head back to gaze into the cloudless light blue sky with its solid yellow circle. Where is everybody? He wonders to himself.
His head fills with questions, Where are the people? What had happened? But he knew that without anyone to ask them to he was not going to get answers but he could not finish his journey yet he still has a long way to go and this is only a break, to catch with shut eye and stock up of necessary supplies to survive out in the desert lands. He enters the town with his guard up, checking from side to side out of the corners of his eyes for any movement but there is nothing. There does not even seem to be a single pet or rodent anyway in this village. He spots to his left the town’s Inn which reminds his intensely of his condition, his stomach empty having finished his last pieces of food over a day’s walk ago. His throat dry and saw making it hard to swallow and speak without a jarring pain shooting down the back of his throat and his head, heavy from exhaustion and thoughts clouded making it make to think straight, his eyes lids ache from the time gone by without a good nights sleep. He knows that he can fore fill those desires here or at least he normally would be able to like the last place he pasted on his journey but even then he was not in such a state. Every muscle in his body ached from the travel here which had not happened before. He was used to travelling but getting here had tested him and pushed his body further to his limits than he ever knew it would. The wooden steps creek under his footsteps as he enters the Inn. He reaches out a hand, placing it on the door. In his mind he hopes with all his might that it is not locked and that he can recover but what if it is? What could he do then? Or even if it is locked, how long will he survive? He could not answer these questions. Using what little strength left he leans into the door and it swings open, clashing with the wall. He stumbles in and looks around. Looking to his right he sees’s the tables and chairs for those having a drink but theirs not a soul here. Glasses and drinks, some with over half left still in and others completely untouched. Peering over his left shoulder is the bar. It’s fully stocked with beers, whisky’s and spirits as if the bottle had all been replaces with new sealed ones that morning. He pours himself a glass of whisky and grabs a stall from the bar and takes a seat. He slips on the whisky, its warm; it seems out here there is not a place to completely escape the heat that is upon them during the daylight hours but even that does not stop him from feeling relief as the liquid washes out the stale taste from his mouth and to put his thirst at ease.
“Hello Mister” A sweet sounding young voice says to him.
He peers over his shoulder where in the doorway stands a girl. He looks into her eyes; they are the clearest shade of green eye he has ever seen like emeralds with life flowing through them. Her face is curved off by her drapes of long blonde hair that looks to have been taken care of to some degree. He turns taking another gulp of whisky and refilling his glass.
“That’s rude you know.” she says as she takes a seat on the stall next to him.
He looks into his whisky without replying to her. He leans forward trying to look under his hat at his face. “So what’s your name?” she says.
He turns his head and lowers his hat to cover his face from her view.
“I’m Silver. Nice to meet you.” She says. He looks her over. Who is this girl? Can I trust her? I don’t even know where she came from but she seems to be the only person her and I need some answers he thinks. She smiles patiently awaiting a reply.
“Nester.” His hoarse voice manages to vocalise.
She looks him in the eyes with a smile. “Wasn’t so hard was it? Mister Nester.”
Her friendly attitude helps to relax him even though he knows he should not after all meeting her and increased the amount of questions making themselves at home in the corners of his mind. He was not sure what it was about her but there was something he could not place, something seemed wrong.
“So what brings you out far this way, Mister Nester?” she says.
“A Journey.” He replies.
She leans over the bar, pulling out a glass from underneath and placing it on the bar.
“Can I have some of the whisky, Mister Nester?” She says.
He looks from the corner of his eye. She has her hands cupped around the glass and stares at him but it seems an intense stare but her lights put him at ease. Those eyes. He pushes the bottle of whisky closer to her with the outside of his hand. She takes the bottle and twists the lid off to pour. He lifts the glass up and takes a slip. Her face twists and contorts with discomfort.
“Yuck! How do you drink this?” She says while searching the bar with her eyes for something to wash the taste away. She grabs a bottle of water and gulps down a forth of it. Beside her, the man, Nester remains silent. He finishes the last of the glass and rises to his feet. He grabs the Whisky bottle and turns.
“Hey Mister, where are, you going to?” She says between gasping for air after drinking too hurriedly.
“Outside.” He replies as he pushed open the Inn’s doors and steps foot back into the desert.
He is taken by surprise when he exits the Inn to find that it is night time. It was noon when I arrived. Something is not right with this place. He wonders in confusion. The steps creek as he walks down and into the dirt road. Up ahead he spots a single tree between buildings. The night sky is clear, letting the stars shine brightly it the night’s sky is dominated by the full moon. He stops and looks to the moon. It’s almost like it is shining brighter tonight that it had before on his journey, he can make out the details of craters and the surface from where he stands. It takes all of his focus and he does not realise that the young girl, Silver has caught up with him and is standing next to him.
“Beautiful. Is it not Mister Nester?” She says.
His gaze broken he walks on. Sitting down at the foot of the tree he takes a swig from the bottle. The young girl kneels down in front of him. He can tell she’s looking at his attire and his equipment but for what reason he does not know nor is he sure that he wants to find out but something about her Emerald eyes keeps him calm. He gazes up into the moonlight, avoiding eye contact.
“Its cold, Mister Nester.” She says sitting down next to him. “Can I borrow your jacket? Mister Nester.”
He shifts his head to look at her. How could she be so friendly and request things from someone she does not even know? But a single glimpse into her eyes changes his mind. He feels no negative intent from her; he feels nothing but innocence from her. He slips his arms out of his jacket and passes it to her. She takes it and covers herself up to her head with it and gazes at him.
“Thank you, Mister Nester.”
He does not reply instead stares out into the sky while drinking whisky from the bottle. He notices out the corner of his eye that she is still awake. Her soft eyes watch him and now he does the same back to her.
“Is that real?” She removes her hand from under the jacket and points at his side.
He turns his head and follows the line from her finger until it reaches the pistol on his belt.
“Yes.” He says.
“Can I touch it? Mister Nester.”
He contemplates her question. Does she have an alterative reason? Or is she just curious? He thinks. He unsheathes the pistol from its holding place and holds in before him. Flicking open the barrel, it’s loaded with four bullets. He takes them out one by one, pulling them into his lap before passing over the gun to the girl, Silver. She sits up, her eyes widening and glistening with wonder as he holds the weapon in both hands turning it to view it from every possible direction.
“It’s not a toy.” He says with authority.
“Of Course, Mister Nester.” She sulks but soon perks up. “Say, Mister Nester, If you could wish for something what would it be?”
The question takes him off guard, he was not expecting this. He assumed she would gaze her eccentric eyes over the weapon before rounding off the night but to ask such a question. He just did not know how to reply. Should I tell the truth? He thought to himself. But, is there a real reason to lie to the girl who only seems to be harmlessly inquisitive.
“I would shoot the Moon.” He says
“Here. Try. I like you. Mister Nester.” She says with an innocent smile on her face while handing the gun back. He reloads a single bullet and stands to reach his arm upwards aiming at the centre of the moon. He pauses, glancing back to her. He see’s her smile and her pure Emerald eye and let’s slip a smile of his own. He squeezes the trigger and the bullet fires.
© Copyright 2016 ChrisLaw. All rights reserved.
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