Four Horsemen Breathing FireMature

The dream that first came upon John Wesley's weary mind was of his mother's smile on a Springtime morn, when all of life was good.  He often recalled that moment for it was like gold to him.  They laughed and played in the sunlight, skipping rocks across the lake, playing tag among the lilacs.  John Wesley tried so hard on this last night to linger there.  To feel that sunshine on his freckled face, to hear her voice sound like larks in the fields, to cling to that one wisp of love that he had tucked away as if it were a lock of his mother's auburn hair.

But as desperate as he did grip that fleeting dream, a darkness, as if a dust storm, seem to roll into his mind.  And the dust began to choke away the dream.  From some unknown place, the scream raced in, a ghastly, deathly scream, the scream young calves make when the wolves begin their kill.

Louder, louder, louder, the scream came so near that it felt that it had flooded John Wesley's being.  Then as the scream was on the verge of becoming one with his existence, the scream, in an act of sudden death, went silent. 

Then in silence, he heard the heated breathing of horses steaming from a long, driven ride.  Still wild-eyed, still pawing at the earth, still straining at the bit, reluctant to give up the charge.  John Wesley could hear them outside that jail house window, horses from hell that had come for him.

From under that grey blanket now heavy with sweat, John Wesley wrested himself away from his last moments of self-chosen rest.  He did not want his eyes to behold what his ears had heard, but he could not resist.  When the Coachman comes, you have no choice.  We are drawn to Death.  It is the way that haunts from the moment of our birth.

Through the six black bars of steel, John Wesley caught sight of the horsemen, four in all.  Four horsemen with sky blue eyes midst coal black shadowed faces, each seated on smoke black horses with eyes of red hot coals.  They wore priestly dusters down to their boots.  Their faces were shadowed by dark felt Stetsons, charred and dusted as if they had been riding through fields of fire.

Then as the horses began to find their peace, lightning came upon the town, and the rains began to fall.  The horses began to steam as the water began to soak their heated flesh; the horsemen wrapped themselves deeper into their duster coats.

The End

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