4th Horseman: part 8

He walked Blue slowly toward the Model T. Behind the wheel a youngster of no more than 16 sat bleeding from the head with what appeared a broken arm and most likely collarbone. Death listened intently to the boy’s ragged, short breaths accentuated by a gurgling. Crushed behind the steering wheel he had broken some ribs, probably causing internal bleeding. Too bad.

The passenger had already bled out a third of his total supply. Death had tingled with the familiar sensation before he’d gotten within thirty yards. Then he was struck with an odd idea. What if I help this boy? Wasn’t that what he had been thinking all along? He knew what it was like to take life, but what was it like to save it? This could be what he’d been looking for, but it was a big decision. He tilted his head back and focused on nothing in particular, took a deep breath.

The buzzard beat his wings against the air as he slowed himself to land on top of the pole above the accident. He squawked. Blue snorted. “Well those are your opinions.” Death looked back down at the boy slumped in his seat. He was a doer, not a thinker, just like this boy. Sometimes that got you pinched. Sometimes it got you dead. Other times. Well other times God rewarded the bold, didn’t he? Maybe this was one of those times. “Your lucky day, boy.” But then again, how could it be luck?

He jumped out of the saddle, feeling the customary disorientation of a cowboy regaining his legs. “Maybe this is my day too.  We’ll just have to see, won’t we?” And he went about what he knew he had to do.

“Get me the Sheriff.” Death spoke calmly to the operator as she patched him through. “Yes, there’s been an auto accident on FM 1061 just north of mile marker 162. One passenger is dead, but I think the other might make it. Hurry.” He hung up the receiver while the Sheriff was asking a question on the other end.

He’d stopped the internal bleeding. It was an odd sensation, using his abilities for such a cause. But it hadn’t been that difficult once he wrapped his mind around it. The boy lay on the ground beside the car moaning and moving slightly. He would make it. Death looked up at the buzzard still perched atop the pole.

“You can have that one there. He’s all yours. Just leave this one for another day.”

Death shook the reigns and Blue, still cross with him for intervening in such a manner, snorted before slowly turning back down the dirt road. No sooner had they turned when the buzzard fluttered down from his perch to land on the buckled hood of the car. Death flicked his wrist in a circular motion, and a dust devil kicked up behind them. It meandered back and forth across the road, following the pair all the way back to the trailer, just in case the Sheriff decided to look for tracks.

Part 9

About David Mark Brown

Writer. Novelist. Redneck. Granola. Raised on a Texas cattle ranch and schooled at the U of Montana (Berkeley of the Rockies), I am the world’s most self-proclaimed redneck granola and author of optimistic-dystopian dieselpunk, sci-fi thrillers and young adult literature.

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