Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Murder of Two - Part 2


August held up her hands. “This is not what it looks like,” she said calmly.

“Then what is it?” said the deep voice of a man, pushing himself through the braves. “One of our own is dead and you appear out of nowhere as if by magic.”

“It is magic,” explained August.

The man raised an eyebrow.

“Please, hear me out,” said August. “First, will you please tell me what they call you?”

“My name is Chief Running Bear. This is my tribe. She was my responsibility.” He pointed to the dead woman.

“Chief, they call me August. I come from another world, a world within your world. I’m not sure how I got here except that I was tracing a marking on the cliff side just above where one of my people was murdered. A pixie woman was murdered the exact same way as your ward. I was investigating her death, when I ended up here.”

“Pixie?” Running Bear rubbed his chin. “The elders have spoken of your world. They talk of the caregivers of the Earth. Father Sky and Mother Earth and their twelve daughters, the months. Do you have any insight to who might have done this?”

August shook her head. “Do you?”

Running Bear nodded. “One of our braves saw a man dressed all in black driving a black wagon leaving the area. The wagon moved, though it had no horses. The man carried a scythe. My brave could not see his face …”

“Because he wore a black hood,” finished August.

“Yes,” said Running Bear. “Do you know him?”

“It is one of the Ankous.”

“Ankous?” Running Bear cocked his head.

August nodded. “They are the messengers of death, they harvest the souls of beings. Most Ankous only feed on the old or sick. They take the spirits out of the bodies and then escort the spirit to the other world. Most of our people live for centuries, so they moved to your world, where harvesting was easier.”

“But this girl was neither old nor sick,” said Running Bear.

August sighed. “Every once and a while an Ankou goes mad. It hasn’t happened in a long time. I believe, now more than ever, that this is what has happened.”

“So how do we kill it?” asked Running Bear.

“We don’t,” said August. “It’s already dead.”

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