It was Sunday morning in Oklahoma. The birds were singing in the trees as the sun gazed radiantly in splendor down on his home as he greeted his wife and their only son. His peace was the blissful kind that made lovebirds jealous. And just as radiantly as the sun shone, he promised himself that the week would be full of bliss. Or so he thought. He was just 26. That morning, his wife had sent him shopping to the grocery store down 14 avenue. A trip he always regretted making. As he waved her goodbye and kissed his son on the cheek, nothing informed him of the bizarre twist his life was about to get. He entered his old Volvo, and as the engine revved to life, his wife blew him a kiss for the road. She was the sweetest thing ever.
He hurried back from the grocery shop, and met his front door unlocked. Highly unusual for Naomi. Naomi! He called out into the house, but didn’t get a response. Rodney? Where are you? Where’s mommy? Still no response. As he stepped into the house, his heart sunk. He saw signs of a struggle. The settee was displaced, and the throw pillows were all over the place, worse still, he saw a drop of blood. Now visibly frantic, he ran inside, searching room after room till he found his wife and son, eyes closed in eternal sleep, lying on his bed.
Rather than feeling pain and grief, he felt purpose. He was not going to let them go. To the ends of the earth, and the forgotten corners of the world, he would travel in search of a way to bring them back from the cold grip of death. Through hook or crook, high mountain or low meadow, he was willing to travel, and surely, he would! He called an ambulance to attend to the bodies, and proceeded to pack his things on a journey. A journey in search of revival. And so, his quest began.
That was 6 years ago. 6 years of toiling and searching for answers. 6 years of traveling and learning. He had slowly grown from a young blissful boy that made love jealous, to a hardened man. He was unsure if Naomi would recognize him when he brought her back, but he was going to bring her back all the same. He knew he had changed over the years. Aside from being more built and having a thicker voice, his chin was fully bearded. The thick black formation of hair that had graced his chin had probably been the effect of the ointment he used. He was unconcerned though, he could worry about his looks later. He had traveled around the world in search of a healer, a man with the power over the clutches of death. He had met the greatest physicians, doctors, and healers, yet they all said the same thing ‘no one comes back from the great beyond’. Well, that was their opinion, and it didn’t count for much to him. He was going to prove then wrong. Every last one of them. His love-fueled his journey day in day out, as the days turned to weeks, and then to months, and finally to years.
As he traveled, he heard rumors about a man who had invented a machine that could bend the rules of time. A scientist who had created a machine for time travel, but had not tested it. He reached out to him, willing to use himself as a test subject. The scientist agreed and put the device to use. He ached for his family, and so he went back to see them. Went back to two days before death took them. He saw her. Beautiful as always, he wanted to approach her and his son, but he saw himself too. His old self, jolly and happy, and he knew this Naomi was not his. He was going to bring his back to life. He returned to the present, informing the scientist that it worked and telling him of his quest.
The scientist, a surprisingly knowledgeable man in myths, told him of a man who had lived long long ago, and who had the power according to the stories, to bend the rules of life. He would find this man, and beg him, or force him to bring back his family. He traveled back a long way into the past. To the era of magic and wizards. But his quest didn’t come to an end as easily as he hoped. The Wizard was never to be found. To make matters worse, his time machine had lost power and needed a year to recharge. Now he was stuck here, without a means of livelihood, a family or even the Wizard. He had to make a living for himself, and having overcome the throes of the past years, he could not fit in with normal works of the old days. There was however a job for a man like himself. Being a former member of the police academy, he was trained in the military acts of using the gun and the specialties of warfare. His approach for the year that followed, was bounty hunting. A lucrative trade in the era he found himself. He looked for posters of wanted criminals and brought them to book. Within a short space of time, he had risen in the ranks of bounty hunters, and earned himself a revered name, ‘The Gunslinger’. The name came from the swiftness with which he could pull his gun in a fight, and the fact that he never missed a shot. He never killed anyone, but his shots were always accurate enough to incapacitate his targets and leave them at his mercy.
More quickly than he expected, a year went by, and the time machine was ready for another jump. This time, however, he was not going to travel through time immediately, but first, to a different location, he knew where the Wizard was, he would make a stop, pick him up, and return to where his Family’s bodies were stored. As he thought of the occurrences of the last years, he felt a sense of closure drawing in. He heaved a deep sigh, and put the machine on, as the sky ruptured with dark clouds signifying the machine about to work, he thought to himself, whether the Wizard was willing or not, he would get him. As the thoughts filtered in his mind, the machine sucked him up, and he was gone.