Personal log of Kowalski, Roger
Babsie had said, that she really has to think about this PI thing. “What about this instead? I stand at my corner and we share the money? That’s hell of a shit job, but not as bad as this.” I answered, “you enjoyed it.” “Fuck me sideways.”
We had searched the area where the body of Thaniel should have been. But all we found was his backpack and a piece of his coat. Both ripped and torn by the slide and the impact on the stones. We found a bit of blood too, but no corpse, no traces, nothing, just that his coat was found at the edge of the ravine, so he might have fallen into and taken with the torrent. One of the soldiers said, that the place where he found the coat was unlikely left by the sliding body. That he either had survived and managed to get down there, or more plausible that the body was still lying covered under the snow and the wind had blown the cloth to that place. Whatever.
We didn’t expect to find him anyway. After a few hours of searching we finally returned. Their leader, which rank I didn’t get, neither his name but “Sir” dropped us off by Rogers site, where Sarah was waiting at the landing spot.
We were cold and exhausted and the failed rescue attempt was hitting bad on our morale. So in the evening we were just sitting at a chimney fire in this house and tried to put the pieces together at a hot steamy grog, which was the right drink for the time.
Even Babsie was drinking some, but fell asleep of it shortly after she finished hers. So Richard, Sarah and me were sitting at the fire and staring into the flames. “What”, Sarah asked, “if the boy had not died and is now haunting like an angry spirit the woods?” Babsie lifted her head a last time and slurred: “That’s not funny.” But Sarah just laughed. “But”, Richard said, “it’s a bad thing what happened to that Ranger and his horse.” “Wolves?”, I asked.
We sat and finished our drinks, then with the dying flames we fell into sleep. Sleep that was haunted by uncanny dreams of a boy in black cloth, with frozen fingers and limbs, that was roaming through the woods of the Cascade Mountains, eating the living and crying with a mad laughter: “It’s just a joke! Just a fucking joke!”
Nobody knows what happened, but in the Sixth World everything is possible. Maybe someday someone finds out.