by Neil John Buchanan
Mayor shuffles in circles; his reins hang from his butchered mouth. His clothes have disintegrated, and his swollen legs have been reduced to black stumps. Doc sways in his saddle, gives a gentle sigh, and slips from his mount.
Doc is already half-turned. We can’t have him go wild. Captain orders Mayor for dispatch, and Sarge steps up for the job.
Mayor looks to the middle distance with cataract eyes, oblivious to his impending ‘second’ death. Sarge unclips Mayor’s head and without preamble removes his brain. Mayor looks confused as if he’s just been told a joke he half-understands and pitches forward to lie dead in the dirt. Captain sets about the body with his ‘taming’ knife, stripping free skin with a practiced hand. When finished, he and Sarge roll Doc in fat so only his face can be seen. He looks like a giant maggot. The wild won’t smell him that way.