ethangranger: (In shadow)
[personal profile] ethangranger
“Yah ran outta time, son.” The weathered voice croaked out as he shook his head. Leathery skin crinkled while he considered Ethan’s situation while taking a drag off his cigar. His white stringy hair that was lightly tinged with yellow was braided down his back hanging limpy at the nape of his thick red neck. A leather cord and a piece of the smallest bone held the braid together. “Heard yous gonna catch a stainless-steel ride real soon. Real soon, son.” He muttered quietly nodding his head. Granger sat next to him in the yard and nodded back while looking out into the distance that was nothing but sand chasing more sand. Squinting caused the now deeper groove of the wrinkle of skin between his eyes to pinch into a small crevice as his eyes adjusted to the light that his shit-for- brains vampire night guards and vampire sympathizer day crew let him see less and less of now. Bite marks ran like heroine tracks along his arms, the secret of why he never turned the only thing that kept him alive. "Turn into what, princess? This ain't your fairytale, Cinderella, and I sure as hell ain't your godmother." That got him a row of broken ribs, which was infinity better, then being their meal.

“You remember how long yous been in ‘ere?”

Granger shook his head, lying. His thumb tapped on his lip as he balanced the cigarette he had won between his thumb and forefinger. Every purple welt spoke of hours, every yellowed bruise of weeks, every aching poorly set bone spoke of months, scar tissue over a stab wound told a story of a long year but it was the hollowed out deeply controlled anger that spoke of over a year on the Row. And time spent in solitary was like over-time. Except you weren’t the one getting paid.

“S’been a while.” Was all he muttered.

Prison made one a better criminal. A better, hardened hunter. The inhumanity of shit showered on him would find its rightful place. Even if he couldn’t be the one to be its harbinger. That’s all right. It’s why you had to have people on the outside. People like John the Revelator. Or Saint John as they called him. St. John granted your last wish on this earth. He wouldn’t stop until it was done. Guy was a fucking legend. Didn’t come to everyone’s call. He decided who he visited. It was like getting visited by Saint Nick, ‘cept you knew it was your time to go when you saw him. In a way he was there during ones personal last supper.
“Dates set.” John the Revelator said, his voice lifting a bit in an unspoken question. Scratched his scraggy bead, he revealed outlaw ink under his chin which he smoothed his beard over.
Granger nodded. “12/12/11” The smoke curled around his nose as he let it out evenly. “11pm.” Or so they said now. Didn’t matter to St. John. He’d find out the exact time. Because St. John liked to have the final dates and times of those he helped tattooed on his arm like Santa’s list of good boys and girls. Except that there was no one nice on that list. No one good. But that’s all relative, isn’t it? “It’ll be done.”

Granger sighed out, something heavy lifting off his shoulders as if this man had the ability to absolve his sins or right the wrongs he committed. Ethan Granger saw one glaring wrong.

Hannibal King was walking around, a free man. Alive.

Having learned that had been like having your matches pissed on by a dog when you really wanted a fucking cigarette.

But that wrong would be corrected.

John got up, a black shadow against the sun. Only when he moved would anyone see that on his right arm, he had a tattoo. It was native American-like. A beast being brought down. A symbol encompassed it and while it was different, elements of it bore a clear resemblance of the tattoo that Granger had on his arm. And so did something else. St. John unwound the leather strip circling over his wrist a few times. Holding it in his hand, his finger passed over the fairly large fang. However, only one who ever looked carefully enough would have seen what looked like a piece of twine woven into the leather. No one ever braved looking that closely or asking about it if they had. The others—those very specific monsters—, who saw it and knew from stories what it was, never had the chance to utter a word about it. The story behind it passed into a wordless legend of how a man could become more of a monster than the monster alone.

St. John held it out to Ethan. “Take it.” He ordered when Granger shook his head. Temples throbbing against his skin, his jaw locked into a painful spasm. It dropped into his open palm like a weight and he swore that he could hear wind pass through bone wind chimes again. Curling his fingers over the leather, he let the pad of his thumb brush over the worn strips of hide.

“I…I know that they probably took yours when you got here. I’m lending it to you. Don’t wanna die without it. Do you? Then you’ll never find your way through the wasteland. You’ll come back…again as Navezgane. No peace. No rest.” Usually Granger would have laughed this load of bullshit off. But no matter what you believed or did not believe, you sure as fuck did not laugh at John the Revelator. He had more apostles at the table than there were seats. “You better make sure I get that back, asshole. I don’t care if you have to swallow it. I better be diggin’ that out of your intestines or shifting through your shit to get it back or else I’ll be settlin’ a score with shadows. Understand me, son?”

Granger nodded once curtly.

Making a motion to the guard, St. John shifted towards the gate. “Oh.” Taking what looked like a page from his pocket, one that was folded over several times, he slid it on the table toward Ethan. “Just in case you get an urge to pray.”

John the Revelator was gone. Granger gingerly looked at the Bible page with raised brows, tucking it into his shoe. They would check. They always did. He knew that they’d find the leather strip too.

Have faith, Granger.

John has many apostles.
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ethangranger

March 2016

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