Search for Salvation by @neilsehembhy (402 words)

 Crows circled softly overhead dogging his footsteps as he staggered onwards.

  He was near the town now, not far to go but maybe too far for his tired legs. The rest of his posse had been rounded up one by one leaving just him, alone to bear the burden. The prickly heat beat down upon his head as he adjusted his hat, for better shade. The tipping motion was in the direction of a nearby bush, emaciated under the sun and he chuckled to himself then addressed the foliage 'Howdy there Ma'am. Nice day for a stroll out.'

All the provisions that had been carefully prepared for the journey were now gone, his limbs burned and his head pulsed as his throat longed for just one drop to slake his thirst.

The landscape was so desolate and devoid of life that he dared not hope to find a stranger on the road that could help him. Without his reliable steed to speed his journey he felt as though he was slowly dying, struggling to breath, dehydrated, and suffering from malnutrition.

    But this game of suffering in the sweltering heat was know to him. The dusky plains of the range had not beaten him yet. And they would not today. Slowly he braced himself then concentrated on placing one booted foot in front of the other, whilst simultaneously  ignoring the beating heart of the heavy sun.

    " I'm a gonna make it," he croaked as the small town came into view.

    The crows had grown in their number compared to a few miles back, beginning to caw. They were barely audible at first over the wind blowing ,but they soon grew loud, a rising crescendo of wails that hurt his ears.
Lethargy forgotten he broke into a run to avoid the crows continued barrage. Their shrieks were more piercing than bullets from a six shooter.

Finally he got to his sanctuary, Jacob Hunts saloon bar. Pushing open the swinging doors he
stumbled inside, his eyes blinking as they adjusted to the dimly lit interior.

A roar broke out as he entered.

"Davie boy. Davie boy. Oi Oi. You took your time didn't you. Got the text then did you ? Come on ova kidda, Lee has got the round in!" His friends crowded round shaking hands and greeting him warmly.

Yes it was always good to meet the lads for a beer on Saturday.

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