By joshmightbe 15 Comments
Chris sits across the table from Robert in a nearly empty diner, "So you're what like 150?"
Robert sips his coffee, "170, I think, after the first 90 birthdays don't matter much to you."
Chris then stares at him and asks him to explain how he got this way.
July 3, 1863 Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Robert had been a good soldier when he came here, he had fought bravely and obeyed his orders. Today he was a changed man, he stared off on the field like a statue as his comrades and enemies ran at each other but he could no longer distinguish between blue and grey. All he could see were corpses and blood, he heard orders being screamed but they were drowned out by the throbbing in his head. He would have lost track of the battle all together had a bullet not drove into the skin of his thigh.
Something had snapped in him and he ran, away from the battle and away from his fellow rebels. He didn't look back for a second. He only stopped because of blood loss a few miles away from the battle. He dropped against a tree as the sun went down and broke down in tears as he tried to bandage his wound. He called himself a coward for running, thinking he deserved to die right here and be forgotten.
As the night set in he managed to collect himself but suddenly he noticed a low growl behind him, he looked to see what he took to be a wolf the size of a bear. Survival instinct took over and he fled, the creature almost caught him but Robert smashed the butt of his rifle into its snout drawing blood. He made lost the beast briefly and found a small barn where he hid as he loaded his last bit of ammunition hoping he was safe. He heard the beast stomp up to the barn but then silence.
He peeked out the door and let out a sigh of relief, unfortunately the beast was crafty. It had silently climbed into the loft and crept down behind him. Just as Robert turned the creature grabbed him by the shoulder. The rifle went off firing into the wolf's neck. It yanked away and roared in pain as Robert raised his rifle again. The beast ran off and Robert fell to the ground thanking God it hadn't called his bluff. He then passed out.
The next day he awoke to a man standing above him. He would later know him as Hektor but at the moment a stranger. Hektor offered a hand up, "You look like you've had a rough night Reb."
Back at the diner, in the present.
Chris paid close attention as Robert finished his story, "The rest is pretty similar to what's been happening to you these past few days, except no puttin bullies through walls and if I remember right my first kill was a horse."
Robert then looked at his watch, "Shouldn't you be getting to school?"
Chris shook his head, "Its ditch day any way."