In Wolf’s Clothing
Vin snorted in amusement as his mind was again touched by Ezra’s thoughts. “Sorry Pard, can still hear ya.”
“This is entirely unfair Mister Tanner. A man should have some privacy of his thoughts. There must be some way for me to block my thoughts.”
“Ain’t worked yet Ezra, you just keep working on it.”
“I’ll do that.”
Vin smiled as the wolf settled into silence. They had spent most of the time travelling with Ezra trying to figure out a way to keep his thoughts to himself. So far it had proven unsuccessful. They were still a couple of hours away from town and Vin expected to see some of the other peacekeepers before too long. He knew he was long overdue from his patrol and couldn’t help but wonder just how he was going to explain Ezra.
“Mister Tanner would you hold up a moment please.”
Vin slowed up his horse but didn’t stop moving altogether. “What is it Ezra?”
“I hear something sir, if you would stop for a moment I may be able to discern what it is.”
Ezra had just finished his request when Vin’s horse decided to rear, unseat his rider and take off in a dead run for home. He watched in bemusement as Vin landed on the dusty ground quickly cursing his horse.
“Dang blasted, mule-headed idiot.” Vin quickly jumped to his feet and continued to yell obstinacies towards the distant speck that was his horse.
“Well Mister Tanner, you certainly can fly,” Ezra laughed.
Vin could still hear Ezra’s amusement and scowled at the young wolf. “Did ya ever figure out whatcha heard?”
“Oh certainly Mister Tanner, but it’s of no consequence now. Your trusty steed managed to dispatch the evil doer with post haste while unseating his master.”
“What?” Vin shook his head at the wordy response.
“A serpent Mister Tanner.”
“Why didn’t ya just say it was a rattler than?”
Ezra snorted at Vin before turning his back and heading in the direction Vin’s horse had taken. Why didn’t ya just say it was a rattler than? He mimicked to himself as he walked on.
“I heard that Ezra” Vin laughed loudly at Ezra’s silent curse. “Hey Ezra, hold up a minute. We might as well hold up and eat something.”
Ezra quickly turned back to his companion, “What a novel idea Mister Tanner, I find myself famished.”
“Great let me get a fire started and I can cook us up some grub.”
Ezra watched in fascination as Vin quickly had a fire started and a camp set up. With Vin’s saddlebag halfway home by now Ezra was curious as to what the meal would entail. His eyes widened in alarm as he saw the creature held in Vin’s hands and the slow evil smirk on the man’s face. “You cannot be serious!”
“Food’s food Ez and no reason to let it go to waste.”
Ezra watched with trepidation as Vin quickly removed the head. Wonder why one would bother with a dead snake?
“Seen dead snakes strike before, you take the head off and there’s no danger from the venom.”
“Oh, that is interesting. Why’s the body still moving?”
“Should probably have waited a few hours before doing this then it wouldn’t wiggle so much. Don’t know why it does it though.”
Ezra continued to watch as the snake was skinned completely and the meat was cut up and skewered on some sticks to cook over the flames. Well it smells good, wonder what it will taste like?
“Tastes a bit like chicken or fish. It’s good, you’ll like it.”
Ezra laid down to await the meal and decided he needed to get more information about the town they were headed to. “ Vin, what’s this place we’re going to like?”
“Well it’s a small place, but it’s growing bigger every day. I’m one of six that protect the place.”
“Interesting, what are the others like?”
“Well there is JD, he’s the youngest of us. He’s a brash kid from Boston got a bad habit of boasting but he’s quick with a gun and has a good heart. Then there’s Buck, he’s taken the role as big brother to JD. He’s full of life and loves the women. Nathan’s the town healer, quick with a knife though he sees life pretty cut and dry. Josiah is our spiritual man, man’s always looking for his crows.”
Crows? Why on earth would he seek out crows?
“I think Josiah is expecting death to come for him. Always going on about some past sins.”
“Interesting, please continue.”
“Then there’s Chris, he’s quick with a gun, drinks a bit too much on occasion, but there ain’t no one I’d rather have beside me in a fight.”
“Sounds like a unique collection of personalities, and what about yourself Mister Tanner?”
“Ah well I’m a good sharpshooter and pretty fair tracker. What about you Ezra? What happened?”
Ezra shifted nervously, “I’m really not certain how I came to this predicament, I believe though that mother was the cause for our transformation though.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Well it all began about a month ago when mother finally requested my presence to join her in New Orleans. Mother required my assistance on her newest business venture and I was finally at the appropriate age to render my support. Well anyhow I had barely met up with mother, dressed for a private dinner and off to a locale I had never seen before. Mother never discussed whom her business was with. I remember walking in with mother and after that it was a blank until I woke up beside mother in a swampy area in my present form.”
“Damn pard. Well we’ll try and figure out what to do.” Something else was bothering Vin about the retelling. “Just how old are you Ezra?”
“Old enough to know better than to answer that. Now about that food?”