AN- SURPRISE! ANOTHER CHAPTER!
No, really, this chapter is a surprise even to me. I hadn't planned on writing another one, but this popped into my head out of nowhere, and it seemed like the ending I had actually been looking for. So...THIS is the real ending. (No, really. I mean it this time.) Again, thank you for reading and reviewing, you guys have been wonderful. =]
It's fucking freezing.
My eyes opened and fell on the open window, swinging slightly as a breeze fluttered in. I shivered as I rolled out of bed and closed the window, still half asleep and vaguely wondering why on earth I had left the damn thing open. As I turned to get back in bed, i caught something out the corner of my bleary eye. I looked back out the window; there was a light on in the barn, the door slightly ajar. I was fully awake now, feeling a sudden urge to go out there, like something was pulling me outside into the cold. I found the clothes I had been wearing earlier in the day and pulled them on, searching around blindly for my boots, only to trip over them and fall into the dresser with a loud thud.
There was a slight shift from the body on the bed. "What are you doing?" came Ericka's voice, muffled by the blankets she was wrapped up in. "Nothing love. Go back to sleep." I held my breath, hoping that she wouldn't fight me.
"Ok…" She muttered, already unconscious again. I watched her sleeping for a moment, feeling warmth spread throughout me. By some accounts, I was one of the world's unluckiest bastards- broken bones, bullet wounds, and called upon to carry out the grisly task of murdering bad guys. Yeah. Some would deem that unlucky.
I had to disagree with that particular notion; In that moment I felt very, very lucky.
I made my way through the old house, taking care to avoid the creaky floorboards; even after all these years, I had them memorized. Probably because Murphy and I snuck out so much as kids, it was a survival skill of sorts to know exactly which boards to avoid stepping on. I walked out the back door and walked over to the barn, feet sinking into the cold damp ground. I peered around the door and saw Murphy standing at a table, one hand in his pocket and the other one in front of his mouth. His eyes were squinted as he stared at the two black bags on the table.
"I can't sleep." He said, not even bothering to greet me. I stepped into the barn and walked over to him, my own arms crossed over my chest. I gave him a minute to collect his thoughts, standing there quietly. He finally sighed and shook his head, looking deflated, confused, and worried. "Are we really done, Conn?"
"Why wouldn't we be?"
He shrugged. "It just seems so….anticlimactic." He chuckled darkly. "You know, I honestly thought that we were going to keep going until someone got the better of us and killed us." He sighed and again and tapped his foot. "I just wonder if we should've quit is all."
"You didn't have to quit just because I wanted to." He shot me a sharp look.
"I quit because I wanted to, you prick." He squeezed his eyes tight before continuing. "I'm just saying…. I have a feeling God isn't done with us. I mean, maybe I'm wrong and he'll let us live the rest of our lives in peace… but I don't know. I don't fucking know what he wants from us, if we're supposed to give it all up and leave it to someone else, or if we're still supposed to kill every evil man we run across until we die." He shook his head, eyes filled with doubt and fear, like God was going to strike him down for voicing it aloud. I stood there, staring at the bags, not wanting to own up to the nagging feeling that had been circling around in my own head, making my stomach squirm.
We weren't done yet.
But until the time God showed up on our doorstep again, I didn't want to be looking our past in the face.
I left Murphy's side and started digging around the barn. There's gotta be something….anything… God only knows there's enough shit in here. Murphy called out to me as I found myself half buried in piles of wood and metal. "What are you doing?" I heard his footsteps behind me, shifting his weight around as if he was debating interfering with my excavation.
My hands found a deep wooden chest. Carefully I pulled it out of the pile I had been rooting through, picking it up. Murphy instantly caught onto my train of thought, running to the corner and returning with a couple shovels. I set the box on the table and grabbed my bag, pulling a gun out of it. The weight of it was imposing, yet comforting at the same time; In a sick way, it was sort of like having a very nosy and caring friend. Murphy was holding his gun, looking at it interested. "It's weird, ain't it?"
It took a while, but both of us wrapped up our guns (and in Murph's case, knife), setting them carefully in the box, bullets chucked in as an afterthought. Murphy glanced around the barn, shovel in hand. "Where do ya think we should put it?" I pointed to a corner.
"Over there work for ya?" He nodded and walked over, sticking his shovel in the ground and digging into it. I joined him; welcoming the burn in my arms that came with digging into compacted dirt. It was therapeutic. Eventually, after we were covered in dirt and sweat, there was a sizeable hole in the ground. Murphy dragged the box over and set it in hole, looking both relieved and conflicted. After considering for a moment, he pulled off his rosary and lifted up the lid of the box, setting it in with the rest of the contents. It seemed the appropriate thing to do, all things considered. I did the same and took a step back before piling the dirt on top of the box, burying the past, the bad memories and the hellish nightmare we had been living in for last year.
Murphy stood back when we were done, looking at his handiwork. Finally, he turned around and walked towards the barn door. I stared at the freshly dug up patch of dirt for a moment, already dreading the moment I would have to excavate the box.
But life would go on.
"Conn?" asked Murphy, leaning against the door frame. "You coming?"
"Yeah, Murph." I said slowly tearing my eyes away from the ground. "I'm coming.
Life would go on. And when God came calling again, I would answer.
We both would.