They sat on a bench and waited.
I entered the room in blood-soaked clothes and with my knife in hand.
The three men wore rough spun robes and held canes of a curious fashion. As my eyes traveled down the length of the canes, I saw they were embedded in the floor. The robes, too, melded seamlessly with the stone bench upon which they sat, and the men watched me with silent, patient eyes.
For several moments we stood there, and then, closing the door behind me, I nodded hello.
The men nodded and then spoke, one after the other, in a strange, rippling manner, where the one on the left began the statement, and the others, each in their turn, followed suit.
“You’ve come…looking for…her son.”
“Aye,” I agreed. “That’s the truth of it. Do you know where he is?”
“Do…you know…what he is?”
I shook my head. “I don’t care what he is. I told her I’d bring her boy home, and that’s what I plan on doing.”
The one on the left wrinkled his nose, the one in the center scratched his own, and then the one on the right sighed.
“Tell me…do you know…who the reapers are?”
“I know them well,” I answered.
The three men frowned simultaneously.
There was a pause, and then all three broke out in laughter. It was a joyous sound that filled the room.
“I thought…I heard…gunfire.”
The men chuckled, wiped tears from their eyes and nodded in unison.
“Go then…man-killer and find…Hulm’s child…he is…closer than…you think.”
“How close?” I asked.
“Two doors…on the right…and two…on the left…then you’ll…see the black door.” The men paused. “It has…no handle…Duncan Blood…but it…will open…for you.”
I started to ask why, but instead asked, “Do you need assistance?”
“No,” the men replied. “We are…happy here…where we…can torment…our captors.
I smiled, turned and left the room.
Their laughter followed me out.