The Ghosts of Perdition

Chapter Two, Scene Four

Long Shadows

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Jack and Bulwork looked out into the darkness, knowing Two Crows was out there, but not knowing what form he was in. Bulwork saw, on the edge of the darkness, the movement of a wolf. He put the lantern carefully down on the ground, and placed a handful of trail rations next to it. He stepped back with his hands open. “We mean you no harm,” Bulwork called. “We just want to talk to you.”

Two Crows remained in the shadows and he changed back into his human form. He walked slowly into the lamplight, watching the humans for any sign of trick or aggression. There was none. He leaned down to pick up the food; He was starving. Jack and Bulwork laid out their plan: since Two Crows spent time with the Killers of Carcass Creek, he would be able to lead them to their hideout, where they would assumedly have the loot from the Perdition Bank heist they pulled off a couple months ago. They could work as a team to take out the Killers and get the bank loot in the process. “They are enemies to me,” Two Crows said. “Then we have something in common,” Jack answered. They all headed over to The Grand Hotel to get a much needed night’s rest.

Po-Po had drank his fill and lost some money at the Poker table. He, too, was tired from his travels. Not knowing where his travelling companions had gotten to, he found a quiet place in the scrub-brush behind the One-Eyed Saloon to spend the night. The wind picked up as he lit his opium pipe, and there was a strange unsettled quality to the clear night. As his eyes started to close, and the poppy dreams developed in his head, he heard the sound of plaintive howling from the foothills nearby. He found he could not place the creature’s voice, whether it was man or wild beast. It sounded hungry, and desperate. Then, the dreams took him.

Bart and Two Crows heard the strange animal sound as well. They rose from their cots in the hotel room and looked out the window into the night. The pale moonlight cast a long shadow across the street, that of an unseen person who walked slowly with an awkward gait, like its legs didn’t match up right, or perhaps it was wounded. It moaned again, a sound plaintive and half-human, before it shuffled away and its shadow disappeared. Bart and Two Crows ignored the strange fears this weird shadow instilled in the backs of their minds, and returned to their beds. More than anything, they needed sleep.

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