A drifter and a lost soul become the last hope of a family left devastated.
He arrived at the dawn of spring, in the echo of the last great storm of the dying winter. The echoes of the squall’s chaos dulled the citizens; they might have paid this stranger greater heed in a less stressful time.
He failed to ask permission to aid in the reconstruction of the town. Structures laid broken, their wreckage only a whisper against the wails of the townsfolk. They mourned their homes, their stores, and their church – especially their church – much like a family would mourn the passing of their beloved. The bereavement did not last.
Life, fate, or God – whatever one might choose to trust in – did not smile on the Annex.
The newcomer performed tasks in silence; framework hoisted, scaffoldings tied off, and spikes driven with nothing more than a nod. It was on the first day of rebuilding that his presence became a murmur amongst the people, this newcomer. His skin caught their eye first; the color of ink, not quite blue and not quite black. They spoke of his eyes next, glowing like the sun and bearing the color of hardened sap. The scars provided the last bit of conversation. The darkness of his skin made it hard to see them, but in the glow of the hanging sun, they stood out, like mad scrawling.
They did not ask him his name.