XVII

SUNSET AND JUDGEMENT

 

The hours passed as the day diminished,

and all hoped the horror was nearly finished.

Bill stood in the tower, looking down at the Inn,

as the people carried out the wages of sin.

 

The bodies in carts were wheeled away,

to be cleaned so their sins were washed away.

Bill sighed a deep sigh and despaired for a time,

thinking of the extent of one terrible crime.

 

The candle beside him had long burned out,

and the chill of the evening was just descending.

They would come for forgiveness. He had no doubt.

But it was a courtesy he would not be extending.

 

‘They will need guidance,’ a devil’s voice

from behind announced in his troubled ears.

‘For they, in their weakness, felt they had no choice

but to follow the order laid down through the years.’

 

Bill didn’t turn ‘round. He knew who stood

and overlooked with him the price of blood.

‘I don’t know if I can forgive them their sins.

I feel, if I do, that their evil wins.’

 

‘Their evil was only to turn away

when fear kept them all from standin’ up strong.

You said it true when you came to say

that they just clapped their hands and sang along.

 

‘But now that the truth has bin laid bare

and all who kept it are layin’ down there,

they can move on and forget this terror.

Soon it won’t be at all but a dreadful error.’

 

‘But what of you?’ Bill asked The Horseman.

‘Aren’t you here to judge them all?’

 

‘You saw it all happen to Creation’s own plan.

I didn’t need to make that call.

They brought their own judgement upon their souls.

The fear of it comin’ was enough to control.’

 

‘I must admit, I had you demons all wrong,’

said Bill with a grin as he turned around.

The Horseman was human, all along,

and Bill exhaled with a relieving sound.

 

‘Most people think Hell is the Heaven of Lies.

It is the place of all truths; the ones which we hide.

Without them exposed, there can be no Purgation.

And that is the truth of Eternal Damnation.’

 

As the sun set and shadow embraced The Horseman,

Bill no longer saw him as something from Hell.

Exposed by the light like the sins of the town,

The Horseman, with his sadness, was human as well.

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