Jan F.  Solvberg

Writing & Scrivenings Corner

 Issue - 2022.03.12 

The Preacher’s Son

Last Night in Prison

     "Who are you looking at?” The boy asked. His voice shivered from the cold of night under a thin blanket.
     “You,” the man said.
     “Don’t you know I supposed to be alone?”
     “Would you prefer to be alone?”
     “No, not really,” the boy muttered.
     “You couldn’t sleep?” the man asked.
     “No, I couldn’t. I would care to live. I’m not like him.” He sat up in the bunk, nodded at the snoring drunkard on the other side of the bars, and said, “He claims he has enough trouble in life to care.”
     “He witnessed against you,” the man said.
     “He did. He was not even there when the Sheriff killed my father. Now they accuse me, to hang me. I don’t understand.”
     “They will hang him too. He doesn’t know, not yet,” the man said.
     “The Sheriff, the Judge and the henchmen are companions. They want the Ranch. They clean the table for witnesses to take the Ranch.”
     “Our Ranch?” the boy said surprised. “Why? It isn’t much to kill for.”
     “He is greedy, the Sheriff. He will kill his companions also. He wants the Ranch alone.”
     “Why is all this happening?” the boy asked.
     “To stop you from preaching, as your father did. The boy born last month, will be President one day. You would teach him the good way. A demon convinced the Sheriff, there is gold on your Ranch. Gold he wants for himself,” the man said.
     “Our Ranch? Is there gold?”
     “No, the demon lied. When they find out, you are gone.”
     “Who wins?” the boy asked.
     “Nobody! It’s all vanity. We will meet again,” the man said and vanished.

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