XIII

SUNRISE AND MURDER

 

The speculation and declaration,

and expectation for reparation

had gone on so long that the sun was waitin’

to make its way across the nation.

And all the people, in their desperation

to hear the truth from the gossip station

had stayed awake into the dawn;

into a time when hope was gone.

 

This time of year, the days weren’t long

and the sun and its rays felt they didn’t belong.

But this particular day, they were more than welcome

and everyone hoped they could hang around some,

cos The Horseman said he’d be back come ‘set…

and nothin’ had really bin sorted yet.

 

The Candle had long since spluttered out

and everybody now was milling about

in the inn and Jimmy was dead on his feet.

And Pastor Bill was pretty beat,

but he knew that there was still work to be done.

He felt that come nightfall, there wouldn’t be one

among the older of town who could really deny

being part of this thing that seemed to decry

the very good nature he had come here to sell.

There would be many people going to Hell.

 

By the looks of things, most didn’t care.

Most could barely sit straight on their chair.

They’d bin sittin’ so long drinkin’ and listenin’;

seemed nothin’ drank better than reminscin’.

 

‘So how you alive then?’ someone shouted.

‘How you standing here if he done shot ya?’

It was only a matter of time before someone doubted,

expecting Denise to turn ‘round and say ‘Gotcha!’

 

But the door to the inn was once more crossed,

and three men with shotguns stepped right in:

‘Well, if it ain’t the Lady we done thought we’d lost.

Think it’s ‘bout time we punished your sin.’

 

‘Ain’t no one goin’ die here,’ Pastor Bill snapped.

‘I’m sick ‘n’ tired of you twisted people.’

 

‘Git out the way, Pastor, ‘fore you git your knuckles rapped.

You ain’t got the stomach for this kinda evil.’

 

‘Well, if it ain’t Old Man Peabody,’ Jimmy voiced,

with his own barrels loaded and aimed at the folk.

‘My shooters bin hankerin’ for a reason to rejoice

ever since that boy of yours come to town and he spoke.’

 

Old Man Peabody eyeballed the Keeper,

said, ‘This ain’t your fight, boy, and that ain’t my son.’

But Denise stepped ‘tween them, challenged the Reaper

and said, ‘Your damn right he’s not, but you know what you done.’

 

‘It’s high time you learned, woman, to hold your tongue,

‘stead of stickin’ your beak where it don’t belong.’

 

‘And how you goin’ stop me, you rancid old swine?

How you goin’ convince people things’ll be fine?’

 

‘It’s high time people knew that we know best.’

He squeezed the trigger, the gun did the rest…

 

And Old Man Peabody blew a hole in her chest.

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