“I’ll be right down the hall.”
“If you need me or want to talk about today, I’ll be right down the hall.” I said it to no one in particular. My voice seemed to have gone unheard as the group of travelers I was with today sauntered over to the bartender. My black robes brushed against the floor as I left the group to their nightly endeavors.
The welcoming inn boasted a large bar, filled with the laughter of many people from the town. Everyone had something to celebrate: The river water returning, the disappearance of Ms. Kitty, or just being alive after the mine exploded. I could hear the chorus of clinking copper mugs echoing through the deserted hallway from my tiny room.
I turned over in bed to face the window.
This was the first time in a long while I had been so close to the feeling of death. While it was not my own death, I saw the lives of people slowly fade away. Their souls screamed in tortured agony, wishing for their final rest. I thought I could bury what I saw in that dusty mine shaft under the tons of rock we left, but the memories linger and disturb me still:
A mistress sewn together only to fall apart into fleshy chunks of decay.
Shadows in the dimly lit mine that followed our every step, giggling as we ran in fear.
The good doctor’s empty gaze as ribbons of crimson cascaded from the gunslinger’s shoulder.
I began to tremble as the white pillow caught my falling tears.I couldn’t save him… How old would he have been? Did he have friends? What trapped him to that ghost-rock cell of a house? How many times had his soul been pulled back into that shell of an existence? Were the pleas of death his only company? He was only a boy. I spoke soft prayers to the night sky, hoping this awful circumstance could be forgiven. I understand I cannot help everyone, I’m only human, but I want to save lives, not take them away. As if the wind carried an answer, the faintest of voices whispered, “Thank you.”
Leaning towards the wooden table, I gently blew out the dim candle. Sleep welcomed me with open arms.