• H. M. L. Swann

Day 1: A Welcome




300 Days of Writing

Day 1: A Welcome

Ezekiel liked walking through graveyards without his shoes on. He said it helped him find the lost souls. The souls we came to save.


I didn’t mind the early morning walks through the graveyard: the early morning mist, the quiet, the dew on the grass. It was peaceful. There was a magick in the ground. I could smell the dead on the air—that soft and subtle decomposition masked by the elaborate bouquets people brought.


His sharp cry cut the quiet and pulled me away from my duties, my prayers, my mumblings, my incantations.


“Brother Ezekiel, what’s happened?” Though he was my biological father, I never called him that. Our spirits were siblings, united in the ether to the Holy One.”


“The sinner's glass.”


He had gashed his foot on a green glass bottle. Dark blood seeped onto the earth, and there was a shudder from the dead. I couldn’t risk this being construed as a sacrifice, I had to get him out of there.


“Come, brother.” I hoisted him over my shoulder and dragged him out of the yard. He was sweating and panting, his one leg useless, and despite his being a foot taller than me, we managed to make out way to the nearest house.


Yellow flaking paint, a wooden door, and an untended yard. I rang the doorbell, which was silent, and then, I knocked.


The was a soft shuffling inside, of heavy feet sliding across hardwood floors and then the door clicked open.


“May I help you?” The man was in a dressing gown, grey and unshaven.


“Yes, please. My broth—my father here, he needs help.”


With a swift glance at my father’s bleeding foot and the man opened his door wide. “Come on in. Please.”

*

A stack of heavy papers fell on my desk with a thud. “First day on the job?”


It wasn’t an easy question to answer. I’d been an officer for fifteen years and had moved to Kansas

City a month ago, securing the position before the move. The paperwork would say that my first day was six days ago, but this was my first day meeting everyone, my first day in uniform and in the office.


“I guess you could say that.”


“Well, welcome.” Officer Garcia, I knew only by reading his name tag, sat down and kicked his feet onto the papers he’d slammed on my desk. “Not much exciting happens around here.”


“No?”


“Nah. Not compared to… where you come from again?”


“New York,” I said, not clarifying that I was from the state and not the city. It made a difference, but I wanted the credit.


Сайхан Бичээрэй!

H



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