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May 30, 2020
It was a Friday morning in the late 1700s, in a small town called Tyler. The sun was emerging in luminous splendor. The breath of nature was chill, fluttering the abundant grasses on The Patriot's field. He pulled in some fresh air, heaving a deep sigh as he exhaled it.
"A beautiful morning indeed." He said, coming out of his house with an iron bucket in his hand. The chill wind softly protested to remove the cowboy hat as he walked towards the stables.
He pushed the door wide open, whistling at his horses to come to get breakfast. They responded to that quickly. In no time, they were busy masticating the vegetables and grasses The Patriot had provided them.
He looked at the vast landscape, taking off his hat and repeatedly pulling his beard. It was such pride of masculinity that adorned his face.
"Oh shoot..." He said, remembering that he had not applied his fable beard oil that morning. He never missed it, not a single day. He was sure to in fact apply it before serving his horse's breakfast, but it slipped his mind.
"No rush...I'll do that just in no time." He said keeping his calm, and still pulling his beards while he looked at the scenery of his landscape.
It was a spectacle to engage him in some reflective thinking. He remembered his days of chaos on the battlefield when he was still a soldier. The smell of a canon when it exploded and the screams of mayhem. That was a life he had once lived, serving justice through war.
Unfortunately, last Christmas, his wife fell ill due to a terrible sickness when he was away. He came back only to find her corpse stinking in the house. It hurt him so bad that he quit military which was to honor his wife - saying that he'd rather spend the rest of his days by her side and not on war fronts anymore.
In that grief, he cremated her remains and disposed of it in a lake not far from his house. But the blood of serving justice still flowed in his veins. His life had been different without it.
He knew what it felt like to conquer evil, and in that understanding, he had hung the American Flag in his small living room. Every morning, he looked at it as a reminder of the days he did well for his country.
With a smirk on his face, he stood at attention with his right on his chest saying the pledge.
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." He said.
"Justice, justice, and justice." He repeatedly said, picking up the bucket and directing his horses back into the stables.
The Patriot left the stables straight for a shower. After, he applied the fabled oil that now made his beard shiny and alive. He was going to see a childhood friend Ralph, who lived some miles away. Ralph was a family man with a wife and two kids. He helped The Patriot mostly with maize seedlings which he cultivated on his farm as The Patriot was going to need to cultivate some soon. For him, farming had kept him busy, and that was good source of income. He sold his crops in a small market nearby.
Soon, The Patriot was on his horse headed for Ralph's. He had ridden for what seemed to be thirty-five minutes. The scenery of the road he traveled through was different from the dead silence he experienced back at his ranch.
While he rode, he could not help but notice a crowd almost running themselves over as they tried to get a good look at something that was hung on the wall.
"Hmmm...Town madness." He said in his baritone voice. Whatever that was, wasn't his business he thought. But the murmuring from the crowd grew intense - something that was now catching his fancy.
"What could that possibly be?" He said, getting off his horse as he approached them.
Hung on the wall was a portrait of a human head figure. It was an attempted sketch to identify a John Doe.
"What happened here...What about the portrait?" The Patriot asked a bystander who appeared to be in his late 80s.
"Ohh...damn you...Where are you from? He said in his shaking voice.
"Certainly not from around here. If you were, you wouldn't dare to ask about the John Doe we refer to as the Nightcrawler." The Old man said again.
"No, of course not. I don't live here. The Nightcrawler? Sounds creepy, he must have done some terrible things. What about him?" The Patriot curiously asked, interested in some details.
The Old man looked at The Patriot and searched his eyes. He observed how deep and calm it was at the same time.
"Manly and fierce." The Old man said.
"Oh, I...Thanks. I'd take that as a compliment." The Patriot replied.
"Don't flatter yourself. I only like your beards - shiny and radiant. It reminds me of my youth."
"But you see, the nightcrawler is the original nightmare. A serial offender. Killer of many...stolen from many. He's merciless, or she perhaps. Gender is uncertain. Attempts to bring him to justice has been impossible for months now, he eludes it swiftly and with fine professionalism."
"How many children have been victims of this?" The Patriot asked with a deep furrow between his brows. Something told him the children must have been victims, and he wanted to get it off his chest by asking if they truly were.
"My statistics are stale young man, but last I heard, he had successfully killed 32 children and abducted 51. Most mothers die out of heartbreak. This is no joke. He has succeeded in shoving fear down our throats. We don't feel safe. Nothing...No one feels safe." The Old man said in a weary voice, almost crying.
"Look at all these people. No one knows who is next. It could be anyone, me or you." He said turning his back to leave.
The Patriot felt rage within him, for some reason he wasn't budged, neither was he afraid of the Nightcrawler. You could see it in his eyes. He locked his gaze on the portrait, he felt some aura of challenge rise from it. He wanted justice, the whole town did.
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