Everything Is as It Should Be
The Calla rises darkly over the needles of the burnwood trees. Albey watches it with a hunk of jerky in his hand. He ate quite a bit of jerky today, drank quite a bit of water. Needed to free up the jars.
Albey takes a bite. Grinds it up. Swallows it down. Takes a gulp of water. Takes another bite.
“As far as last meals go,” he says to himself, eying the last hunk of jerky, “it’s not quite the worst. Better than many of the meals I ate as a boy on the run from the highwaymen.” Swallows the last piece of jerky without chewing. It goes down smoothly. It wasn’t very large. The water helps. “Would have liked a loaf of bread, though.” Licks his fingers clean of the salt and spices. “A loaf of Ram’rl’s bread… how grand it would have been.”
Satisfied, Albey downs the rest of the water and hurls the jar at the firepit. It strikes one of the rocks and shatters, scattering sharp shards of itself upon the dusty dirt. The blowing wind might cover them up, or it might not. Hardly matters now.
The Mad Poet spits into the clearing and then steps backwards one stride, closes the cabin door, and locks himself in.
“The wolves will be coming soon,” he reminds himself as he piles wood into the fireplace. “The river be damned, they will smell the blood. I will die if ka deems it so, but I will not be the only one. The wolves of the Calla will smell the blood and they will come, blind and hungry.”
Beneath the pile of wood is the strange book about the ape’mans Albey found under the bed. It shall burn to ashes now, for a new moon has finally risen and brought this terrible trial to its last night. Atop the pile is every unsmoked nug’ of the cannastralis herb. The Flower too shall burn tonight, and its smoke shall smell so sweet.
Spinning a thin length of burnwood, Albey the Mad Poet watches friction lead to a spark, a spark lead to flames, flames lead to smoke. Soon the smoke will blow away and up the chimney, and then there shall only be ashes. When morning comes they’ll blow away too, and Albey will clean up the mess.
Or not. Mayhap he shall, mayhap he shalln’t. Only time will tell.
“Everything is as it should be,” Albey whispers to himself as he lowers into the divot. He dug the hole out with a few of the jars before smashing them along with the others, chopped many boards with the hatchet. He has the hatchet with him now, and the dagger. The rest of the weapons are skewered through the roof, blades hidden by the twigs and moss, pointed skyward. Ready. “Just as it always is.”
From within the shallow divot Albey reaches out and strains, muscles bulging, veins rising from his skin, as he pulls the bed over the hole in the floor. He then seals the hole with the unbolted boards, one by one. Hidden beneath the floorboards and peering out the gaps between them, dagger and hatchet clutched and arms crossed upon his chest, Albey the Mad Poet waits for the War to commence.
This has been the fourth subchapter of the last chapter of The Face of Fear, a novel about bigfoot written by the writer in Untitled Bigfoot Project. Here is everything you need to know about it:
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
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