Sorry that it's so long, but I can't really find a good spot to break. And thank you captain. I appreciate it.
Thunder roared from above, but it was too distant to distract Manson. Instead, a flash of lightning and the sound of rain colliding against the roof of the cabin drew him to the nearest window. He pushed the dull curtains to the side and looked out at the forest.
The forest was still, as it had been the night prior. Rain smeared against the side of the window, but it was barrable. He looked further out, trying to find any sign of movement. As far as his eyes could see, there was none. Only the depth of vegetation and endless clouds of gray.
At that moment, a dull breeze swept through the room and brushed up against the back of Manson's neck. He turned, startled, and as he did so, the curtains flew together behind him.
"****," he managed to say as the candle's flame went out. Manson blinked, but when he reopened his eyes everything appeared the same.
There came the briefest of noises.
He bent down by his side, blindly extending both arms out in hopes of touching his handgun. His fingers tapped against the wooden floor frantically, but there was nothing he could clutch onto.
"Calm yourself, Drifter. It is only I."
The voice shook Manson. It was unexpected, and strong enough to throw him off balance. He toppled over, the legs beneath him already unsteady enough as is, but luckily the wall was still close enough to him so that he could reach out and prevent himself from lying out. Manson pushed himself back up onto his feet and looked around.
Everything was still dark.
"You've lost your nerve," the voice said. It sounded mocking, although there was still depth in the words. "Oh! Tell me, was I right? Has the Drifter seen too much since our last little encounter? Dare I ask, but has he become a coward?"
"The only coward here is the one who has to hide under the cover of darkness." Manson felt some rage boil up in his stomach.
A hearty laugh; Manson kept his eyes focused in one direction, trying to guess where the intruder could have been, but to no avail.
"Nonsense, Drifter. I am simply wise, like yourself. No?"
"I don't want to hear any of your riddles." he took a step forward, now hoping to reach out for the intruder's neck and break it. Again, no such luck. "Once I find you I'm going-"
"Be civilized, Drifter! Please, we are both gentlemen. Or wait--would you prefer that I call you by your real name... Manson?"
He stopped suddenly, unaccustomed to hearing someone speak of his true identity. It had been years since he heard someone else use it before knowingly.
"Yes, Manson, I know much about you; more than you could stand to hear at least."
"Who are you--who are you damn it!" Manson's voice grew alongside his eagerness.
There was a distinct pause before the intruder answered.
"Unfortunately, I cannot tell you that just yet, but all in good time, my friend, you will know; all in good time. Now, I ask that you take a seat. You've been standing like a zombie for almost an hour, and I have much to say."
Manson opened his mouth, about to voice displeasure at sitting on the floor, when suddenly he felt the front of chair rub against his calf. He looked around and saw the outline of a wooden sling.
"Take a seat," the intruder laughed. "Don't worry yourself. I'm not going to kill you with a chair."
"How did you do that?" Manson asked, still surprised, as he rested himself in the newfound seat. He tried to keep himself from looking too interested.
"Just something I learned a long time ago. Way before Man's Eradication. Please, relax. I assure you that I have nothing to hide."
Manson sneered subaconsciously. "Except for your name."
There was no response. Instead, Manson listened to the sounds of footsteps lingering in the room. They were quick, to the point that it almost seemed unreal. He tried following the noises his ears picked up with his head, but it seemed impossible.
Then at last, the man spoke.
"Are you a religious man, Drifter?"
"Depends on what you mean by religious," Manson answered truthfully.
"Ah! Now who speaks in riddles? Well, then," the man's laughter suddenly came to an end. "Tell me, are you familiar with the first few words of the book of Christ?"
"Fantastic! Then, pause with me, Drifter, and let us bare witness to a trick; let there be light!"
And surely enough, there was light. The intruder snapped his fingers, and before Manson could blink a small flame sprouted from the tip of his thumb. But it was not the sudden appearance of fire that kept Manson's interest. For the first time, he could see the face of the man he had been chasing for so long.
It was pale, like his own, although more handsome and wide. His eyes were ovals of blue, contrasting his silk black hair. The glow from the flame reflected his bleached smile the most.
"I realized my face drew women to the bed, but never did I think a man would be charmed by it--and of all men."
Manson ignored his tongue. "Your skin doesn't burn?"
"Burn?" his voice started to rise up in pleasure. "Of course it burns. There's a damn fire on my finger, Drifter! I can feel the pain just like you would. It just so happens that I'm doing myself no harm. And because of that, I don't complain. No reason to. Now, enough of those pathetic questions. I have come to give you answers, but first I want some good questions!"
The intruder snapped his fingers together a second time, bringing darkness back between them. But just as Manson was about to speak, he snapped a third time and brought the flame back. A fourth, fifth, sixth time. At last, Manson spoke.
"Fine," he said. The intruder snapped a final time, then halted and listened. "Why? Why did you kill them? Why did you kill my parents... my sisters?"