Eva spurred her horse faster, down the trail way, the town of Desperation looming in the distance. She tried to block out the memories of her and Bartley; and even Thomas attacking those creatures at the roadside. The thoughts of the blackened blood spraying against the rock wall face, or worse yet, the sight of the poor woman the beasts had been feasting on. The thoughts seem to bubble into her conscious unbidden, no matter what Eva did to force them down. She suppressed a shudder and turned her mind back to the task at hand, saving Rex. In the hour since they had stumbled upon those creatures he had turned for the worse. His skin was turning a sickly yellow-green and he was covered in sweat. The bite mark was red and inflamed, the skin so hot that Eva wondered how it wasn't burning the flesh right off his skin.
She figured that they were about an hour outside outside of town when they ran into the stranger. He had blond shoulder length hair and was dressed in a black suit, twin Colt's resting crosswise on his hips. A thick layer of trail dust covered his clothes and the saddlebags hanging over his shoulder, but all Eva was watching was the sawed off shotgun in his hand. He had said that he had ran into some creatures in the woods that had scared away his horse, but that he was headed towards Desperation to catch a boat.
Eva's intuition flared every time she looked at the stranger, who had said his name was Beau Johnson. She didn't like the feel of the feel of the man, she didn't trust him. But her father and Thomas had agreed to let the man ride into Desperation with them. No man, no matter what she felt, should be left out here with more of those monsters wandering about. Eva didn't really agree with Thomas assessment, her gut said that he couldn't be trusted and to many times her gut had proven right. But time was of the essence, and she didn't have time to argue over it, with Rex's conditioning worsening by the minute. Besides, maybe one more gun would make a difference.
Eva bit her lip and tried to force the uneasiness away, but the tension lay like a thick knot at the base of her neck. The undead, the black sun, Rex, the stranger, it was to much, to fast. Instead she reassuringly patted her Colt and spurred her horse a bit faster, riding ahead of the stage and Thomas, ahead of the stranger sitting beside Bartley in the driver's seat. As she came the the edge of the forest line, Eva drew the reins back, drawing the horse to a stop. She dismounted on the trail face, just before the path wound down the side of the hill and into the valley, Desperation laying just ahead.
She felt the others draw up behind her, but no one said anything as they looked down into the valley. The outlaying farms were smoldering, small flickers of flames still evident. Columns of smoke billowed from Desperation itself, though most of the town looked whole. Even at this distance though you could see the creatures moving about the farmland. They shuffled, jerking and lurching, moving in a way nothing human ever could. Worse yet, you could see the dead they had left behind, ripped, eviscerated. The once lush green grasses stained by blood. Even the river banks that flowed along the edges of town were tinged with red. So many dead, so many people lost. Eva couldn't even summon a tear, so thick was the lump in her throat. She only felt her nails digging into her palm as she balled her fist in anger, in frustration.
It was then she heard her father's scream.
End of Line.