Hey! Guess what? I updated the Index of Completed Pieces. Hooray!
The people of the city said nothing as Esau made his speech, each claim bolder than the one before. Their thoughts and fears found expression in their bodies instead. Eyes looked around uneasily. Faces wore looks of mistrust. Hearts burned for vengeance against the ghost that had come to haunt their city.
Esau finished his speech and the crowd dispersed muttering amongst themselves. Some said that he alone could hope to find and kill the demon. Some said he would die as surely and as poorly as the guards had, torn limb from limb with an unanswered prayer on bloodied lips. Some knew him as a braggart prone to exaggeration and self-aggrandizement. Some knew him as a methodical, calculating, obsessive man.
Esau heard what the people had to say of him, and he paid it no mind. He was a hunter, a warrior, a killer, and it was no ghost, no demon that had slain his neighbors. It must have been a living thing, and he had seen enough men die, enough ferocious beasts felled to know that any living thing could be destroyed.
* * *
Esau sat on the roof of the highest building in the city, the ground a hundred feet below him, the guards patrolling the streets little more than shadows in the dark. He held a rifle in his hand, an ancient thing, ugly and black, metal and glass, that fired bullets that would shoot through walls, through buildings, through vehicles. It was a hundred years old, the weapon of an army that had passed by the city and had failed to claim it. In the end, that army did what all armies had done, declaring a false victory to ease their wounded pride and retreated to their distant home to lick their wounds.
The army was long gone, the nation it fought for dust as well, but the weapons remained, as powerful and deadly as ever. Weapons endured where men did not.