Before Peace was Torn…

An exert from Chapter 12 of “The Lives We Died Living – The Story of Bullet & Cass”.

A hot dry wind ran its fingers through the cedar leaves, carrying dust that clung to branches, bark, walls, and skin. An arid landscape bound by desperate soil, drought gripped the earth with no hesitation, squeezing moisture from every pore. Men of the farmlands were losing spirit. Ploughs left to rust and seize. Even the determined drone of cicadas had faded to an eerie stillness. The shallow hope for rain was evaporating, fast.

Cass stood with a stiff back. Straight and proud. The porch under her feet creaked louder than usual as her weight shifted from foot to foot. Wiping darkened sweat from a creased brow, she gazed out over a yard of wilted grass. Through the stretched tones of sun-bleached fields, empty of harvest, her eyes followed the dirt road that would guide her lover home. Bullet would appear in the distance soon enough. Whatever he had managed to hunt down would be quickly skinned, prepared and boiled. Moisture crept into the back of her throat at the thought of fresh broth, replacing the dust in her mouth. Meals were less frequent these past weeks. Hunger groaned from her stomach, a weakness stabbed at her mind.

The flashes returned. Short bursts of uninvited pictures invading her thoughts, jamming her field of view with images not yet witnessed in her years on this earth. Squeezing the bridge of her nose, Cass attempted to push them away. Knives dripping with fresh blood. Torn money spilling across a dirty floor. A shovel scraping at packed dirt, revealing a face with eyes open wide. Blank. Lifeless. Her face.

In her veins, Cass felt a familiar rush of acute awareness. Whether a blessing, a curse, or a conditional gift from the dark humour of God himself, these visions always came with ominous caution. And always before a storm. Before peace was torn. Before change forced itself upon her. This was a warning. A warning of what would come.

When Hands Forced the Tide - Bullet & Cass

Read the next instalment of the story of Bullet and Cass.