A quiet country road, still warm from the day’s heat, leads into a peaceful village. Its sleepy inhabitants, finished with the day’s labors, are parceled out and away into the respective homes. The Sun’s rest is at hand, heralding the evening symphony of insects. A soft breeze barely rustles the random corpses of trees. A typical end to a typical day.
A far-off rumble breaks the night’s chorus of song; a change in tonight’s program. Squeaking wheels and heavy horse hooves crunching lay down a new beat against the rarely used dirt road. The closest village being over 30 miles away makes it an epic journey to undertake by foot; a distance that leads to a lifetime of secluded bliss for most of the locals.
Scattering of birds heralds a four-horse team hitched to a large wagon on top which is something most had never seen before, either in their dreams or nightmares. Conical in shape, the metal girders curved and twisted upward to be level with the tallest trees. The smell of oil and grease begin to mix in with the natural scents of the area, a putrid cloud of Industry and Progress. Fire burned in a warped glass compartment at its pinnacle, casting the most eerie glow on the surrounding landscape below. Spikes and hooks swing like ornaments glinting, clinking in time with the motion of the wagon; The Song of Souls.
The parade of solemn men behind the monstrosity gives their appearance a more sinister feel; the coming of the storm off of a warm breeze.
Pulling into the small village, the group huddles together outside the humble local pub. Most of the men proceed to get off their horses, all but one that is. Under that unnatural illumination, the man left sits up in his stirrups and delivers his message in a deep, booming voice that echoes off the store fronts in the village epicenter.
“Attention all who live here. I am Captain Terin; The Keeper. My brothers and I have come to bathe your souls in our Light. We seek to cleanse the world of rotten and decayed evil that threatens us all. Come out, fair people. Come out and look upon the Guiding Light.
Come out or we shall come in.”
Emelyn St. James ©