The Posse #1
It would have been an odd sight if anyone had been paying attention. All of the men in trucks driving through the back roads toward the old mine armed with guns, beers, and bourbon flasks all while Billy sat in the passenger seat of Joshua’s truck, arm comfortably hanging out the window feeling the cool spring evening air on his skin, eyes closed with a smile upon his face.
“They’ll believe me when they see it,” Joshua said half to himself, half to Billy. “They’ll have to! Won’t they?”
Billy pretended not to hear over the night air passing by and the gravel dirt and rocks crunching beneath Joshua’s truck tires. He just looked out at the night sky, illuminated red with fear in his vision. The Nightwatchmen sure knew what they were doing when they gave Billy the call. This was fantastic. Billy was loving every second of it. Joshua alone was a beacon of fear that Billy absorbed like a fine wine.
The expanse of the evening was beautiful in Billy’s eyes. The red glow accented by the multiple depth levels of the static moon and stars, the slow-moving clouds, the faster trees, and the whipping-by tall grasses, all in a wake behind them as he and his brink-of-hysteria chauffeur traveled behind a posse of armed, scared, angry, and thoroughly toasted locals.
In the side mirror, Billy saw a set of lights join the parade. He knew who it was. It had to be that fucking priest, here to try to talk some sense into his flock. A priest can be a challenge, but ultimately their product was flawed. While the priest peddled God’s Products and sold what people thought they wanted, like love, acceptance, and forgiveness, Billy’s God’s product was what he knew they wanted, safety and security at all cost. Nothing motivates like fear.
The priest’s car caught up to them, now tailing right behind Billy and Joshua. Billy found himself somewhat impressed. Not so much in the loyalty of the priest, but the fact that his outdated Ford Taurus was doing so well on these back dirt and rock roads.
“Is that Father Moses?!” Joshua questioned over the air passing by and rocks settling underneath.
“Who’s Father Moses?” Billy lied.
“Our priest. The father of our church.”
“Does he drive a tan and brown 90s Ford Taurus Wagon?” Billy asked, already knowing the answer.
“Yes,” Joshua replied.
“Then yes, that’s him.”
Joshua started going off about how good it was that he was here although Joshua was nervous about having to admit the whole ruse to him, having to admit that he had eavesdropped and that he had lied to the men in the bar.
“Oh No!” Joshua yelled. “I said I was attacked by a black man!”
“Why is that a problem. Everybody attacks everybody. Humanity sucks,” Billy snickered.
“Not around here. Around here almost everyone is white.”
“Okay?” Billy questioned pretending to not know what was coming.
“Everyone except Father Moses,” Joshua said with brimming embarrassment. “Father Moses is black.”
“So what, man? So he’s black?”
Joshua turned to Billy, made eye contact, and said, “Like, really black.”
Billy knew what Joshua was going to say before he said it but hearing it out loud was just too much. Billy started laughing and howling out the window. Billy yelled, “On no! Like black-black? Like black as coal, black as asphalt,” he turned and locked eyes with Joshua, “like black as night? Black like at a dim Christmas mass all you see are white eyes and teeth in the shadow promising you a reprieve from the flame… like black as sin?”
Joshua just stared at him, fear and embarrassment swelling over his face, flushing his skin to that medium-rare pink that Billy liked.
At the sound of gravel, Joshua’s face whipped back front as he slammed on the breaks to keep from hitting the stopped trucks of the alcohol toasted yokels ahead. They had arrived at the old mine at the edge of Billington’s Wood.
Next on Of Eons and Stars: This Ain’t The Planet of Sound #2
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