The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters: Chapter Four Headhunters

9 01 2010

When I was starting to write this piece I had the image of Clint Eastwood playing the part of the stranger. He speaks seldom. And there is an ambiguous ethical quality about Eastwood’s early spaghetti westerns that appealed to me for this character.

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter Four: Headhunters

A freak storm. Snow falling. Flashes of lightning. Thunder. The howling of wolves.

Stranger moves through the storm, holding the reins of a second horse as the dog moves beside them. He has his hat pulled down and a bandana wrapped across his mouth, leaving a small lit for his eyes. The dog barks. Lightning strikes a tree and it flashes into flames. By the light of the burning tree, the stranger spots a wagon. He dismounts and ties his horses to the wagon. The dog barks again.

The stranger climbs into the wagon and immediately pulls back. Sweat runs down his forehead. And into his eyes. Inside the wagon he finds three bodies, a coloured family. The adults have been beheaded. The dead child’s body is intact. It is a girl and she is hugging a doll.

The stranger turns and vomits. The dog whimpers.

The stranger picks up some snow and cleans his face. He moves around the wagon until he finds a shovel.

The stranger: “God damn head hunters!”