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He rode through dusty plains, across treacherous snow caps and deep within the cypress pine forests and he occasionally stopped to drink the dirty water that overrun in his coarse palms; these lowly, unforgiving ravines bubbled muck. His stallion dipped it's head and shook side to side and it let out the occasional sigh and hook kick with ears finely tuned to even the smallest beetle that crumpled underfoot. The man's eyes, dead and calm, watched carefully his surroundings like some battle-scorn beast lapping up the filth with war on his mind and the waters surface rippled on the black pond over yonder where dragon flies hovered above this dull and desolate hole. Nature's behavior seemed illogical and the man could relate though he didn't know why. 


He had fled from the life he had once known after scrapping with some Indians over a ring toss contest at Bourke's Saloon in Amarillo, Texas. The law that had trailed him had kept a close eye, though many moons had passed and he wasn't even sure of that anymore. The wind whispered hushed conversation through the leeves of the red cedar and he drank coffee and spat and his eyes locked in on his surroundings like a missile ready to engage in battle. He spat again beside the smouldering fire he had kindled. The man had to survive and the nature of this world rang like cathedral bells in his ears and he heard the voices of those he loved and their echoes kept him from sleeping at night. 


Dusk was setting now and the lonesome prairie dogs cried in heat and the fireflies flickered in the corners of his eyes and their luminous neon tails danced like some delirious apparitions. The man whistled for his horse but was ignored. Yet another night of no sleep. He awoke beside the charcoal fire pit and the sun was beaming down and the horse was gone. He had to keep moving. Another day.. and survival was God. 


Not before long, the man was crouched beside a patch of half rotten tomatoes and he ate furiously as to devour the beast that gurgled within. The man's trousers, tattered and torn, slipped between his feet and he shat and then stood to attention when the sound of hooves came thundering from his right. With a fastening pulse, he turned with fists cuffed only to realise it was his steed and it rode past him as if to taunt him. "Ye dumb old mule," he wipped the dried spit from his mouth and rubbed the sleep from his eyes and he whistled to his horse and saddled up. The thundering hooves continued and his next move was one of dashness. He vanished into the thick reeds beside the waterhole and ahead laid a towering mountain. 


The once thick reeved and marshy  landscape suddenly became one dense of shrubbery and lupine and wild daises  waved in the midway sun and a warm breeze was blowing in hard from the west. Rocks and loose gravel slipped beneath their path as the two ascended towards the mountains crest. The wind, now more forceful, carried the scent of pine as they climbed higher, and the air grew cooler with each step.


Upon reaching the mountain's summit just as dusk settled, the vast expanse of land unfolded before him and he lit a cigarette and he sat and watched the landscape for a long time. Meanwhile, the horse grazed off to the side. In the distance, he spotted a log cabin nestled cozily among the tall firs, smoke rising lazily from its chimney. Instinctively drawn to the promise of shelter and respite, the man urged his horse onwards and they followed a careful and cautious trail back down the slope of the mountain. Both were now close to exhaustion. 


Approaching the cabin, the man was filled with a mix of weariness and anticipation. The wood of the cabin, weathered by time, stood resilient against the elements. He dismounted his steed and approached the door with his revolver cocked and ready to fire. The floor below creaked lowly as he gently pushed the door open. Inside, was no one. It was empty besides a wooden bench with a seized vice grip, empty bottles scattered in one corner and the smouldering remains of a once recent fire. He wondered if the recent vistitors would return, but exhausted and dehydrated he gave up on his worries. He had found shelter, and that was all that mattered.  The man gathered twigs and sticks from outside  and crouched beside the fireplace and kindled a fire.  The warmth spread throughout the room, creating a flickering dance of light and shadow. He then made coffee over the fire and checked on his horse and then unrolled his sleeping bag.


He fell into a deep slumber and the wood glowed and dulled, glowed and dulled and the barn owl perched high on the rafters kept a close eye on the man. He hadn't slept this well in many moons and in his dreams he thought clearly. A new man was born and when he would awaken this world he was living in would finally cease. There was a large thunderstorm that rolled in from the wes and it shook the log cabin but the man still slept, though he felt himself being dragged from this peaceful sleep. He finally woke when there was a knock at the door. And it was God.




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