Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Seven #2.17

Seven stared nervously at the boy holding the gun. He tried not to show his fear but it was difficult. "What are you doing?" Seven asked calmly.

"You were part of the posse that came into Ravanna," the boy said. "I plan on killing as many of you as I can."

"Okay," Seven didn't know what to say. "I didn't burn down the courthouse though. Those people are in there," Seven pointed to the town hall. "I'm not even from Eminence. I'm just passing through."

"You were still with them. You could've stopped them but you didn't," the boy said.

"I didn't know what was going on and by the time I knew, it was too late. I'm sorry."

The boy teared up but kept the gun up then pulled the trigger.

"Eminence Vs. Ravanna, Part Two"
Cassius was asleep and dreaming when the gun went off. The gunshot entered his dream, changing what he was dreaming about. The Ravanna courthouse was in flames but just beyond the burning building was a wide-open expanse. A man, dressed in robes, greeted Cassius at the edge of a large sinkhole. "Cassius," the man began "you've made it to St. Jacob's Well--welcome to Shmand."

"Shouldn't we try to put out that fire?" Cassius asked, pointing at the courthouse.

"The end has come for the Great White Elephant but the journey continues for you," the robed man said.

"Cassius!" a girl's voice interrupted his dream and Cassius turned to try and find it.

"Cassius!" this time it was both a girl and boy's voice. When Cassius woke up, he saw Tara and Nicholas standing over his cot.

"Nicholas! Tara! What's wrong?"

"Seven's been shot," Tara said.

When the three of them made it downstairs, a small crowd had gathered and a doctor was already there. "How is he?" Cassius asked as he, Tara and Nicholas pushed through the crowd.

"The bullet grazed his arm just below the shoulder. It's painful but he'll be okay. I'm going to wrap the wound and he should be ready to go," the doctor said.

The four of them were getting ready to leave but Tara would barely let Seven do anything. "I can pack my own bag," Seven chuckled. "The bullet just grazed my arm. I'll be fine."

"Still. You should go easy on your arm. Plus, I can worry if I want to," Tara said.

"You were worried?" Seven asked.

"Of course. You're my best friend," she replied.

Seven smiled. "When that kid pointed that gun at me, all I could think of was you. I'm sorry that we've drifted away from each other and that I have been kind of a jerk since Indianola. I'm hoping we can become best friends again."

"I think we can do that," Tara said. She looked at Seven and smiled then turned away nervously. "So why did that boy shoot you?"

"Because I witnessed the Eminence townspeople burn down their courthouse, or the Great White Elephant apparently," Seven explained.

"What about the Great White Elephant?" Cassius asked.

"That's what the people of Eminence called the courthouse in Ravanna. I'm not sure why."

"Possibly the size and color of the building. Also, a white elephant is a term that can describe something that has no practical use but costs a fortune in upkeep," Cassius said. "It comes from India when kings would receive white elephants as gifts but the elephants couldn't work but cost a lot to keep."

"Eminence did believe that about Ravanna's courthouse," Seven said.

"That's our next sign," Cassius said. "Next, and last stop, St. Jacob's Well."

"We're almost there? I can't believe it," Seven laughed.

The boy ran off after shooting Seven. He ran off back to Ravanna and entered the small church and sat down in one of the pews and began to cry. "What is the matter, my son?" asked the reverend.

"I shot someone," the boy sniffled.

"You're the Anderson boy aren't you? Wilkie, is it?" the reverend asked, sitting next to the boy.

"Yeah," Wilkie responded.

"You shot someone?"

"Yeah, one of the people who helped burn down the courthouse. My father spent so much time on it. So did a lot of other people."

The reverend was silent and looked straight ahead at the front of the church. Reverend Everett Drood was a mysterious yet trusted character in Ravanna. He showed up shortly after Ravanna was settled and had plans made up to build a church. Reverend Drood put his arm around Wilkie. "You didn't kill him, did you?"

"No," Wilkie answered. "I got him in the arm."

"That's too bad. Wilkie, you are needed somewhere else. I have cleared it with your parents for you to come with me. To a place called Shmand. They are nearing a civil war and you will be needed to stop the interlopers," Reverend Drood said. "Come, we need to get to Shmand before they do."

"And it's okay with my parents?" Wilkie asked, still sniffling.

Reverend Drood smiled and stood up. "They actually insisted that you come with me." At the Anderson house, Wilkie's parents laid dead on the floor, their necks snapped. Reverend Drood ushered Wilkie out of the church and they made their way out of town down the Westward Trail on their way to Shmand.

The story of St. Jacob's Well and the arrival at Shmand.