Gallows Mine – MWBB

One of the great things about writing is the freedom. No matter what’s going on in this world at this time, words can carry you to any other time or even some other world. This week’s Mid Week Blues Buster prompt was a fun one, that led to a fun blend of genres.

Led Zeppelin pic

Cottonwood seeds float down from the tree above and land on Victor’s nose, tickling a sneeze from the bound man. The moonlight shines off of his bald head as he wakes up. Confused, he looks down from on horseback, first at Katie, still arranging her skirt and hair. Then he notices Walter, shotgun cradled across his arm and anger in his eyes.

“Whas going on, honey?” he slurred from an injured jaw. “Thought you wanted some more fun.”

“You went back on our deal.” Katie snarled.

Feeling the weight of the rope on his shoulders, Victor’s eyes widened with fear.

“You made our brother dance. Now it’s your turn, after we take back what’s ours.” Walter said, hefting a bag of silver.

“At least, what we can.” Katie added, looking at the ground in shame.

Walter slaps the horse, sending Victor’s soul off into the night. They watch until the struggling stops, leaving Victor’s bowed head finally still to catch the cottonwood seeds.

Several hours later boots crunch the dust as the moon hangs lower, tired from a long night. Candles flicker in the breeze, as a silhouette steps around them, arranging things into a very specific order. Murmurs carry on the wind, but only the impatient coyotes seem to notice as they wait for an easy meal. Through efficient steps, a circle of exotic shrines to death grow up around a bound body hanging from a tree. Finally, a small fire springs to life from the dust between a figure in a long coat and the corpse. The murmurs become a loud chant, in a tongue from a land far away, and the fire burns green as the body starts to move.

“Victor! Come back, Victor! I call you back, and so you shall be mine!” a cold female voice calls to the body.

Pale eyes open, and his head snaps up sharply. He tries to draw in a deep breath, but starts gasping and struggling against his bonds once again.

“Victor! Don’t struggle. It won’t do you any good at all. You see this? This little bobble holds your soul here. It burns, you die again. I own it, so I own you. Clear?”

Victor nods, fearfully and confused. He hadn’t been a brilliant man in life, and coming back from the dead was something he was having trouble taking in.

“I will cut you down. You will do what I say, until I tire of you and send you on to whichever hell I pulled you out of.” The figure steps forward and cuts the bonds on his hands, and then the rope tied to the trunk, dumping Victor gracelessly onto the ground.

He rolls and begins to reach for the long coat flowing behind each step she takes, but is seized with spasms enough to break a strong man’s back. Thrashing on the ground, he can’t notice the object in her hand glowing with a light the color of putrefied flesh.

“Oh, and you can’t hurt me, either. Now get up, there’s a mine to work.”


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