House of the Rising Sun v2.2

published Jun 09, 2020 | | |
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alotoaxolotls2 44

"I'm doing fine." I lied.

Stevie soured at my response, but his fingers kept plucking away.

It had been three days of this. Three days of cowering in the Parish. Three days of jumping at every shadow, doing nothing but burying our dead, waiting for rescue that will never come. All the Stevie playing that goddamned music, singing at the top of his lungs like we weren't about to be murdered.

For the first time in days, the music stopped.

"Asakichi." Stevie said, placing his banjo on the ground gently, and climbing out of his chair. I shuddered at the creaking. "I know that it's tough for you, but you just hafta have faith. I know that we'll make it outta this."

I stepped away at his approach, and looked out the window. There he was, some fool brandishing his guns in bright daylight in the middle of town square. Keeping watch on us. He was grinning.

"I know that it's easy for you to say things like that." Was my eventual reply. I must gotten lost in thought, because Stevie was back in his chair when I turned to look again.

"I know that it's hard to believe, 'specially after all you've..." He cut himself off. "But you've gotta push through."

"And what?" I said, sinking to the ground. "Believe in the almighty? That my soul is saved?"

"'course not."

My surprise must've been a little too obvious.

"You don't gotta believe in anything." Stevie said. "You've just gotta believe."

It was quiet for a moment.

"Come 'ere." Stevie's gentle voice broke the silence. "I'm gonna teach ya to play. Now come on, don't lookit me like that."

I don't know how I was looking at him, but after a while, I did go over.

The rest of the day passed quietly enough. The music didn't seem as grating when I was the one making it. Stevie might not have felt the same, given his occasional grimace. But it was enjoyable.

Still, "I don't think I should do that again. Look at my fingers." The skin, usually so smooth, was blistered from the strings.

"Ah, that'll sort itself out soon enough."

"Soon enough?"

"You'll get tougher in the skin there. It'll get easier. You've just gotta do it every day." He said. His smile was warm, but his eyes were almost looking into me.

I hate to think what he saw.

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