Writing in short bites

A Reunion at Revelation Rock

1880TownStorm2

“Are you gonna go my way?” the driver asked, the dust from the dirt road settling on his rusty pickup truck.

Of the two men walking at the side of the road, only the younger man looked up.

Dressed in torn jeans, military boots, and a ragged Dead Kennedys t-shirt, the man smiled though his dead white eyes still looked at the world hungrily. “Gladly. Always good to see a helping hand.”

His companion – a gaunt man in black that neither dust nor the sun seemed to touch – was intent on walking himself into the ground. But a touch on the elbow from the young man quickly turned him towards the direction of the pickup.

“So where y’all headed?” asked the driver, his lined face watching the road for potholes. Despite his watchful eye, the potholes seemed to sneak up on their vehicle despite his tight grip on the steering.

The young man looked at the man in black riding at the back of the truck and said, “The town of Revelation Rock.  I hear it’s at the end of this road. Is that right?”

“True enough,” the old man muttered. “I’m guessing you’re with the group that showed up in town. What’s your name, son?”

“I’ve been known as The Prince that will Come– but you can call me Dragon,” he said, studying the multitude of new and old cuts on his forearms.

“Your friend?”

He looked back and said mockingly, “I don’t know his name so I called him George. Met him at him at a place called Armageddon in Montana.”

“Hah!” said the old man. He swung the steering wheel past a boulder and pumped the brake several times. As the pickup slowed to a halt, he declared, “Well, we’re here. End of the line.”

The road before them had petered out before a stand of trees. As the three got down, Dragon asked, “What about you, old man. What’s your name?”

The old man grinned and said, “Nothing so special. You can find all kinds of characters here but me, you can call Daniel.”

“Well, Daniel,” said Dragon, “What say you lead us to these characters?”

Daniel nodded and waved them to follow him. At first glance there seemed to be no evidence of the town with the dry summer foliage surrounding them. But soon they could see ramshackle wooden buildings emerging from the undergrowth.

“The first one showed up a week ago, a dead woman who called herself Legion,” Daniel rambled. “Always noisy when she was around, lots of moaning and groaning of dead people though I don’t know where the sound comes from.”

He skirted a shimmering black puddle on the ground, but Dragon stopped before it. Hello, he thought as he looked down.

The thoughts that invaded his brain almost overwhelmed him like a swarm of maddened bees. But he fought back and soon found himself staring down into a darkness that stretched forever.

Nice to see you too, o Blackness of the Abyss.

There was a shrill desperate laughter that echoed at the back of Dragon’s mind.

Is everyone here? He asked. At the negative that he felt, he said, Ah, so the Sun God is late again?

He took a step back as the old man shouted back at him: “Are you coming?”

Dragon nodded and continued walking.

“The second and third came in fighting like cats and dogs,” Daniel said. “One was this big galoot always dripping wet wherever he went. Leviathan, he called hisself. But I thought him familiar as a Dutch mariner I once sailed with. Goes around with a cane with an albatross head for a handle. ”

“Who was he with?” Dragon asked, peering behind them to check if the man in black was still following.

“A beautiful woman,” he replied, laughing at himself. “She gave out a list of name like The Mother Beast, The Bearer of a Thousand Young, the Queen of Babylon, and so on and so forth. She thinks herself quite a bit, too.”

The three stood before an abandoned old structure, half of its roof collapsed in. Incongruously, wild flowers grew in profusion around the building. A sign that said ‘Diner’ advertised what the building had been before, but the sign had been broken in two. Dragon could not see what the diner’s name was.

“Well, we’re here,” Daniel said. “Go on in. I expect your friends are waiting for you.”

“No rush,” Dragon smiled. “We’re expecting one more. Besides, the year 2012 won’t be around for two more years, and we’ve got some time to play out whose turn it is, yeah?

He grimaced. “Though I hope we’re not playing ‘old maid’ again.” And the two went inside the building.

(First published in allmusicjunkies here.)

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