In The Midnight Of His Heart
By AL BRUNO III
February 25, 1993
Just a few hours before sunrise, John paced his house like a caged animal, his bare feet slapping the floorboards. The crescent moon hung low in the horizon, outside on the street traffic had become low ebb. His memories were like a pack of well-worn cards, he shuffled through them. How many lives had crossed his? How many deaths? In the end what had it all been for? They’d fought a war and against the darkest powers but in the end they had changed nothing. They’d merely delayed the Monarchs, not defeated them.
Of course back then things had been different. Back then he’d believed in Victor Kovach, believed so passionately that he’d killed for the man without remorse or hesitation. John padded across the bare floor and opened one of the closets. A dark cloth bag hung on the inside doorknob; he retrieved it and made his way to the empty parlor.
If only the writhing in his gut would let him sleep. It gnawed at him in the darkness, an addict's crying need.
Standing alone in his unfurnished parlor, John reached reverently into the bag and pulled out a handful of his ancestors' bones. They were yellowed and cool to the touch. He began to arrange them in a circle around him. This was his legacy, this was all he had left to remind him of what he had been. If not for these he might have gone mad might have doubted the veracity of his memories.
How sad. John thought, How sad that my bones will never be used in such away.
Such was the way of things, in this age of genocides.
The old man with the scarred leg knelt in the circle of his ancestors’ remains and prayed aloud.