by Kwycksylver

Eerie shadows danced behind the altar then disappeared, snuffed out along with the flame from the last burning candle. The floor was swept clean, the pews were polished and the hymnals were all in place. The old wood had fairly glowed in the dim light, filling Duo with an empty pride. The full moon shone through the windows and lit his way to the doors. He stepped outside and closed them for the last time. He looked up at the wood cross mounted high on the stone facade and sighed. He was going to miss the old church almost as much as he would Father Maxwell and Sister Helen. They had been loving people, opening their hearts and their home to a stranger.

He crossed the road to the cemetery, filled with fresh graves dug by his own hands. Disease had swept through the small village, leaving him the only one untouched. Solemnly he placed flowers on two of the graves then bid them his last goodbye.

He untied the reins to his pale steed and slid a worn, dog-eared Bible into the saddle bag, a legacy from the old priest along with the threadbare frock he wore. He mounted then settled into the saddle, nudging the horse to a trot. Taking the main road, he passed darkened, empty cottages that had been filled with love and laughter a month before. They now stood in silent testimony to the fragility of life.

The wind was to his back and it began to howl, as if urging him to hurry. He spurred his horse to a gallop, it was time to move on.

Once again, Death was alone in the world.