John Reynolds’ house was gone.
Not destroyed, just gone.
In its place was a temple of sorts. One I suspected had its origins in Japan. How it landed on John Reynolds’ small patch of dirt and the hovel he had once inhabited is anyone’s guess.
John was a sour old goat, but I owed it to him to see if he was in the temple.
There was only one entrance to the building, and that was a massive door set within a framework of stone and lacquered wood. The door, despite its size, was surprisingly light and opened with a gentle touch.
In front of me was a circular room, the same curious combination of stone and wood, both of which blended seamlessly with one another. Opposite the door was a statue, the damned thing one of the strangest I’d set eyes on before and raised above its head was a stone sword.
There was a malignant odor in the air and no sign of John Reynolds. Either the man had been out when his home was obliviated and replaced, or he was in it.
As I turned to leave the temple, the door closed, and as it latched shut, there was a groan behind me.
I shifted my attention back to the statue, drawing my Colts and pulling the hammers back at the same time.
The statue stepped down off its pedestal, the floor shaking beneath my feet as the creature let out a low, hollow chuckle. It spoke in a cold, dead language I did not know, nor did I care to. The mere sound of the syllables exiting its harsh mouth hurt my ears.
The statue swung its sword in a slow, lazy arc as though expecting me to panic.
I’ve never panicked. Not once. Not even when my mother tried to stab me to death as a boy.
I sure as hell wasn’t going to panic now.
I put two bullets into the statue’s chest, and I was pleased by the surprised expression on its face. Cracks spread out from the holes the .44 slugs had left in the stone, and as the cracks widened, an off-white smoke slipped out into the air.
The statue dropped its sword and covered the wounds with its hands, and so I put four more bullets into its belly.
I don’t know what the statue was, but it took a hell of a long time to die.
It was an interesting show.