The leather creaked as the horse moved restlessly. The rider wore a simple brown jacket his head was covered with a leather cap. Goggles covered his eyes to help keep out the rain.
The rider patted his mount and said, “Just a little longer boy.”
The horse shook its black mane and droplets of water went in all directions. The green grass under the horse was turning to mud as the horse stomped and shifted.
“Yah!” the rider yelled.
The horse shot off. The mud flew out behind him as he raced down the side of the hill. The riders leathered gloves gripped the reigns and horn of the saddle. He was hunched low over the black stallion looking straight ahead.
Any moment now. There he is. He doesn’t even notice me.
The rider pulled a pistol from inside his jacket and aimed at the lone horseman in the distance. He could feel the cold steel between his hand and a chill went down his spine. This would end it once and for all. They will never be able to hurt me again. He pulled the trigger the gun recoiled in his hand.
The stallion didn’t flinch as the sound reverberated through the green valley. His hoofs thundered through the valley as they drew closer to the lone figure that had now turned.
The lone horseman pulled a pouch from his waist and pulled fine dirt out throwing it into the rain. Instantly the dust turned to fire and sped toward the oncoming man and his black stallion.
Phillip fired the revolver again as the flame approached him. He did not fear the man’s fire this day. The flame engulfed them. The heat was intense. Phillip clasped a silver medallion that hung around his neck and said, “I repel your flame.” The flame died instantly and Phillip fired again.
He was now within fifty feet of the man and he could see fear in the lone man’s face for the first time. Your fire can no longer harm me. I rebuke you and your kind forever.
He fired again this time his aim was true and the bullet slammed into the man. He pulled the trigger once again. Another hit.
The man fell backward off the horse as it jumped.
Phillip pulled hard on the reigns and the stallion skidded in the stream that formed in the narrow valley.
“Where is she?” Phillip said.
The man lay in the mud that had turned red from his blood and said, “You will never see her again.” The man coughed and specks of blood sprayed out. He had his arm wrapped around his chest. His breathing came in gasps.
“Where is she?” Phillip said again.
He jumped from the stallion and walked up to the man.
The man smiled thinly.
Phillip grabbed his cloak and pulled him out of the mud. “Where is she?”
The rain poured down on Phillip and mixed with the tears that were running down his face. He shook the man. “You must tell me. Please tell me.”
The man laughed and more blood spilled from his mouth. “You can’t win. Even by killing me you haven’t won,” he said.
Phillip pulled a long hunting knife from his belt and put it to the man’s throat. Sliding it quickly the man no longer smiled.
Phillip wiped the tears and rain from his face with a wet sleeve and walked back to the stallion. I thought this would end it. Why has it turned out this way? Why can’t I win?
Climbing slowly onto the tall stallion he sat staring at the man who had ruined his life. He didn’t seem like much, but for the longest time Phillip had been tormented by him. The relief that he expected was nullified by the pain of not finding her. Where are you?
Phillip lowered his head into his chest and cried for a long time. It had been the first time he had cried in years. Being filled with hate and revenge he had had no time for it. But now he cried because of the emptiness that filled him.
The stallion shifted bringing Phillip back to reality. He looked down at the man’s lifeless body. Where did you hide her?
Phillip pulled on the reigns and turned the horse away from the man. He headed the direction the man had come from. He must have left something at his home.
Phillip kicked the stallion in the flanks.
They were out of the valley in a few minutes and heading toward a small shack that sat in the distance. The rain fell on the tin roof and rolled down into a gutter that emptied into a wooden barrel. The barrel was full and water was spilling out of it onto the grass in front of the shack.
Phillip jumped off the stallion before it stopped and ran up to the front door. It had been a long time since he had been here. Putting his hand on the handle, fear filled him. How many times he had dreaded that handle knowing that it would lead him into a nightmare. He pushed the latch and opened the door.
The smell of stew filled the air. A fire burned bright and filled the shack with warmth. A small table with four chairs sat in the middle of the room and a door led deeper into the shack.
Phillip walked to the table where a note laid.
“Don, I’ll be back shortly. I have some business to attend to.
Phillip pulled the pistol from its holster and looked out the front window. Don’s dead.
The stallion was grazing on the grass in the front yard and the rain had finally started to die down. There was a flash of lightning in the distance but nothing else moved.
He walked to the door and put his ear to it. Nothing. He turned the knob and pushed the door inward.
He screamed out and put his arm to his face as the ash burned his eyes. He was hit in the gut by something hard and he doubled over, dropping the pistol. He rolled to the side running into the wall. Grabbing for anything to defend himself, he found a poker and swung it blindly out in front of him. Connecting only with the wall he nearly dropped it.
A blurry image of an old man stood in front of him, it was Don.
Phillip’s mouth dropped open and he backed toward the table. “Who, how?” was all he could say.
The man in front of him smiled and leaned on a large staff. “We have our ways. What have you done to Steven?”
Phillip wiped the ash from his eyes and face. The pistol had fallen in front of the fire place. He only glanced for a moment at the pistol then back to Don in front of him.
“What have you done with her?” Phillip said.
“She’s safe,” he said. “Now what have you done with your father.”
Phillip looked away then back anger filling his eyes. “I killed him. He deserved it.”
Don glared and spoke through clenched teeth, “You wouldn’t dare. You couldn’t.”
Phillip snorted and said, “You have always thought that you were invincible, immortal. You’re not.”
“You had no right to kill him. After all he has done for you, all he has given you.”
Phillip started to stand but stopped when Don put the staff in his face.
“You stay down,” Don said. “We need to go and get him.”
“You can go and get him yourself,” Phillip said.
Phillip pulled his hunting knife from his belt and lunged for him. The knife hit an invisible shield.
Don laughed and then swung the heavy staff hitting Phillip in the head.
Phillip crashed to the floor knocking a chair to the floor. Everything went foggy then black.