Night comes quickly in the desert. The sun swoops down low over that flat, flat horizon, stops to eyeball you one last time, and then just dives. Like it knows you been cussin’ the god damn heat all day and it wants to give you a little taste of what it’s like to be alone. Alone in the blackout dark stumblin’ over yourself and turnin’ every noise you hear into a footstep.
Only what that old sun don’t know is you and your ancestors stole fire from the gods. Brought it right back down from the holy mountain like you was entitled to it and stuck it smack in the middle of every camp, town, village, and temple. We got your fire right here, fuckers. Sorry about the eternal vengeance of the gods and all, Prometheus. We was pretty keen to keep warm at night.
And it keeps you warm. Keeps the wild things that’s scared of it away. They can’t make heads or tails of fire. Like they know in their blood that light belongs in the sky. And if there’s light on the ground, it’s gotta be somethin’ dangerous that done it. Somethin’ that has the power of life and death. A god. You think about bein a god. A real one, not the kind as stole their fire and wears their face and just calls itself a god. The universal theology. Every man thinks he’s a god.
But the fire’s still warm and bright and it still keeps the wild animals away. Then your baby lays his hand on your arm and it burns like a brand. Ain’t no fire as can warm him now. He’s burnin’ inside. Those old gods got revenge on you. Got you good. Stuck a little coal right down deep inside your baby and he’s burnin’.
He says Jesse I’m so cold and he’s white like he’s made of wax and his hand’s shakin’. He’s got all the blankets wrapped around him and he’s sittin’ too close to the fire already. You pull him in and hold him tight and his head falls on your chest real gentle and soft and it makes you sick to your stomach cause he was always the strong one and you knew it.
He was so brave and sure and in love with you. Proud and determined and full of spirit like a thoroughbred. He said he’d go anywhere with you. And you worthless dog you let him. Took him right down off his mountain and let him crawl in the dirt with you like a mortal man. Like you was Prometheus all over again. Takin’ what you hadn’t a right to and keepin’ it for your own.
He’s fragile now. Like one of them white flowers on them trees up on his hill back home. He ain’t never been out in the wild like this. You knew it was gettin’ to him when he braided that black hair and wound it up real tight in a little knot. And you cried. You cried like a drunk at a funeral when he made you cut it off with your buck knife. That heavy, silky, braid of black glass. He wanted to throw it in the fire. You said you’d go in the fire with it and he cried too. But he was already too weak to fight with you and so you stuck it in your pocket and he didn’t even try to stop you. You don’t let him see you cry no more.
He says Jesse I’m dying and you lie. You lie like your heart and soul and everything in the world depends on it. Cause it does. You say no darlin’ you ain’t dyin’ it’s just it always feels worse than it really is. It’s just the fever makes your bones ache and makes you feel cold when you ain’t.
And he looks up at you with them bright black eyes and he’s so beautiful it makes you hurt. Used to be every time he looked away you got afraid he didn’t love you no more. Now every time he breathes out you’re afraid he won’t breathe in again. And you’re doin’ this to him. You’re lettin’ him die. Cause you ain’t no god. You ain’t even a man. You can fool them wild animals out in the black just past the circle where it’s light. But you can’t fool yourself. You got no power of life and death. You’re just a dog with some stolen fire.
He says Jesse sing me a song and you do it. Even though your fingers is numb and stupid and your mouth’s so dry it feels like you been eatin’ fistfuls of dirt. You play and sing your throat raw until you think he’s sleepin’ and then you play some more. You catch yourself fallin’ forward and realize you passed out playin’ and he laughs a little croaky laugh and it’s all worth it.
He says Jesse tell me and you do and you’re sayin I love you I love you I love you and holdin’ onto him like he’s a life raft and you’re drownin’ in a stormy sea and all the while the fire from the holy mountain is burnin’ up your baby’s insides.
But he gets to sleepin’ after a while. Shudderin’ and mumblin’ and moanin’ sometimes. As long as he ain’t still. When he gets still you go cold inside. Your mind and body screams at you and tries to tear you in half till he stirs again and then you sit there shakin’ and tryin’ not to puke. Sometimes you don’t. You wash your mouth out with whiskey and walk around to keep the sleep off. Your eyes is gritty and stingin’ and your arms and legs is heavy as bricks and stiff like old saddle leather but you keep movin’ just to stay awake. He can’t die if you ain’t asleep. If you don’t give up and let go.
If death’s comin’ he better bring a big-ass bag cause he’ll be takin’ two. Hell, he better bring the devil with him cause you ain’t lettin’ this one go without a fight. Johnny and his god damned fiddle ain’t got nothin’ on you. You’re Jesse god damned McCree. You got a trigger finger like a steel trap and a hand so steady it makes statues nervous. Both your hands is shakin’ now but when the heat of battle is on you, you’re a dead-eyed killer.
So you stand over him like a wolf over the bloody carcass of its mate outnumbered and outgunned and surrounded and darin’ hell and the devil and death and all the gods in Olympus and Hades to fuckin’ come at you. You realize you’re growlin’. Snarlin’ like a wild beast and the sky is gettin’ light. You fall on your ass on the ground next to him cause you can’t help it. You cuss your legs for bein’ traitors but you can’t stand up again.
He moves a little. Sticks his hand out from under them blankets and gropes around. You take it and Jesus Christ and fuck all else his hand’s soakin’ wet and you just break down weepin’ like a newborn baby cause the fever’s broke and you try to remember all the prayers from when you was little but all you can remember is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ I thought I was losin’ you.
His face and hair’s soakin’ wet too and you kiss them and kiss him and make him wetter with your big fat tears. You lie down right there in the dirt and hold him on your chest and the sun’s just climbin’ over the horizon. He laughs real soft and tired and asks why your gun’s out. You say you saw some coyotes cause you don’t want to admit you was threatenin’ the devil.
He drinks a little water and he says Jesse I’m hungry and you never heard a sweeter damn song in your life. Them gods can take their fire and stick it up their sanctified asses cause your baby’s gonna live. You don’t need no fire to keep you warm. You got him and he’s all you need.
Yearling gray wolves from the Mollie’s wolf pack capitalize on a drowned bison carcass along the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Wolves are hunters, but will gladly take advantage of these winter-kills kept fresh in the freezing temperatures.
I had some free time. I might write more idk
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I apologize in advance for some errors, I haven’t written anything in a long time.
Tyra looks over herself, like she did not remember wearing said item. Upon her shoulders is a wolf pelt, brown and grey. It looks way more eye-catching compared to her usual bear pelt, and to be honest, Ash thinks it looks better on her than her old one, but she can’t tell that, can she?