A Walking Tour of Hell – Epilogue
When it was time to go, they had no more words to say. So Jaded Tommy sat behind the steering of the battered rust-covered Jaguar and drove away. Merritt and Madame Harkness watched him go, the two-almost enemies consenting partners in their silent farewell.
When he exited the almost-deserted gates of the city of Larque, the burnt out light of the sun was just flickering over the horizon. Driving on the pock-marked asphalt road, he headed east and never looked back.
Most of the time he was alone on the highway, the orange sun and a few wisps of azure clouds high in the off-color sky as his companions.
Once he saw the Wild Boys running along the road through the high grass, their high-pitched laughter mocking him. He caught only glimpses of their ragged school uniforms through the vegetation. When he looked back, he saw blurred figures chasing him on all fours and lots of sharp teeth.
When the road turned into hard, salt-packed desert and dust rose behind the Jaguar’s trail, the Wild Boys swiftly disappeared back to their hunting trails. He wasn’t sad to see them go.
He looked up in the sky and saw silhouettes of flyers, the scavenger flicker-wings just brief flashes against the sun before they would swoop down onto prey. Large communities of flicker-wings watched him with intelligent eyes as he passed below their nests on the walls of the iron-grey buttes.
By the time he reached the blood-red sea, the afternoon tides had churned the waters into a frenzy. From here, he would cross the waters: the next step towards getting back to the world of living. After all of his mishaps, being dead had become tiring.
(First published on Monday, January 19, 2009 at 2:37 A.M.)