Seeking the Dark Tower

On the path that eventually leads to the clearing in the woods, the Charyou Tree. Fraught with danger, fear and loss, and yet, fulfillment. Welcome.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Gunslinger: The Waystation

Roland lay on the floor, bleeding. The last shot had been so unexpected and so sudden that even his honed senses could not provide any warning. The bullet had gouged a large ragged hole in his shoulder, ragged like his breathing. His guns, those that had spilt so much blood, now lay spilt from his hands, silent and unmoving. He moaned.

Slowly the shadows cast by the waystation in the hot blistering sun moved, and spit out a little form. Roland's eyes, watery from the shock and the sun, could see only a light coloured frock moving towards him. A light patter of feet on the hard alkali dirt signalled her approach.

"Hush now gunslinger", she said, mopping his brow and shielding his eyes from the burning sun.

"I was there all the while, yet you saw not me. Too preoccupied and too aloof you were."

Still she continued to mop his brow, dust his shirt, making him feel comfortable, but did nothing to staunch the blood slowly seeping away. The hard soil sucked it up like a greedy thing, leaving only an ever-growing brown stain.

The gunslinger was now giddy with pain, and to raise his head up was like moving the mountains far beyond. His eyes finally found focus and saw who was it above.

It was one of the sisters of Eluria, the one that had been the first there to greet him, smiling, before she was pushed away by him and the rest of the sisters. The one that had brought his medicine down to him when he was in his own hell of fever-delirium brought on by the endless days in the desert. The one that had stroked his hair while he slept. Or feigned sleep.

"I watched you all the while. And i needed to know, needed you to know". She raised the little revolver awkwardly, looked at it with a frown and dropped it beside his heavy, polished, sandalwood-grip guns.

"Hush now", she said again, lightly kissed his lips and bade him to sleep. Roland fought to keep his eyes open, to see her, to tell her he was sorry. Sorry while she continued to bleed his life. Slowly but surely, he got weaker and weaker, and even now his eyes were no longer his own. The sun was now but a pale moon, and then slowly nothing, save the distant bells of todash and discordia, spiralling deep into nothingness. Death.

***

Soon he would wake up, all wounds healed, his shattered bones mended like nothing had happened. He would get up, looking at the scar that would remain for all eternity. He would collect his guns and wipe the sweat off his brow - his lips he could do nothing for they were cracked beyond feeling - and dust his shirt, then will himself to walk on again. The first try and he would he fall back, but manage to haul himself up with enormous effort on the second. He would reach for his waterskins, and find nothing in it. There never was, it had been like that the past few weeks, yet he wouldnt throw it away. Someday he would find an oasis, someday. Then he could fill it up.

And all he had was a notion of a light patter of rain, a few drops hitting his forehead, one even managing to fall into his mouth. A cruel, harsh feeling, yet oddly refreshing. Yet there would be proof of the rain - for he would see little flowers all blooming around him, latent things lying dormant, waiting for a slight respite to bloom. They would die in a while, but not before they lay their seeds, their hopes down to the hard soil to wait the next rare shower.

Then the gunslinger would walk on, winding his lonesome way in this tractless wasteland, the apotheosis of all deserts, seeking the Dark Tower, ever always seeking the Dark Tower.

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