As the War Between the States ground to an end, tens of thousands of men were left to pick up the pieces of their lives.
Some units on the losing side did not surrender or lay down their weapons. Not sure if they would be treated as traitors or outlaws, they merely disbanded then went to their separate ways and fates.
One rode towards his home, not sure of what to expect. He had stopped writing to his wife almost two years ago. His pen simply would not write what his mind told it to. Too many horrors crowded his nights, and he feared she would see the truth in spite of the words.
Concealed in the tree line bordering his farm, he puzzled over what to say, what to do. Suddenly, the front door opened, and his heart leapt at the sight of his wife, only to come crashing down as a man emerged behind her. They embraced, and in anger, he reached for his pistol. As soon as he gripped the handle, he stopped.
She thinks I’m dead, he thought, and has moved on with her life. He turned his horse and rode west, taking his secrets and demons with him.
He will come across another cast-out figure grievously injured while in his travels, whom he would help heal physically. Then in turn, he would be helped spiritually when ancient lore called forth a spirit walker to help cleanse him of demons.