The Congo again, four million dead and the world only notices the genocides on its borders. I went in pursuing a lead on Medicine Man and overzealous, felt the cold fire of a bullet fill my lungs, my body felt like sand. Once again Medicine Man had set a trap, a breadcrumb trail to the cemetery. Villagers in Kindu remember with dread the murder of a local man left skinless in a bed of ivory. The phosphorescence of the coffin served as a warning not to ask questions, to ignore the comings of goings of the strangers, but of "The Skull Prophet" there is no doubt: I call him by a different name.
Somewhere in North Kivu the trail ran cold. The sniper's bullet was true, I felt my hands, numb, clawing at some cellophane, my fear immense, my sweats full of terror, like junk sweats, Death once again not a stranger but a distant friend come from some far country with an invitation only half understood, spoke in a language unfamiliar yet clear. Even now, the cadence stops my heart, but Ranger was there and I must discuss some of what transpired after I left him but not now.
The hour is late, I go to join my dreams, which perhaps already progress down paths that wait for my step and form along the odd contours of a dark river.