Marcus walked alone on a desolate road and looked at all the fucking desolation around him. All around as far as he could see, barren fields, filled with dying grass, nobody ever said limbo would look so much like a North Dakota fall, that is to say, flat barren and freezing, but too dry for actual snow or maybe that was summer he was thinking of. Marcus wondered if there were seasons in limbo. He had originally been under the impression that limbo was neither terrible or particularly good, the holy fathers place to sort out the lukewarm damned, but this, this sucked. Marcus pulled his coat in tighter as he walked along. It took him long enough just to find the road now he had some vestige of civilization. Suddenly over the horizon a town loomed up. It came up to fast, jumping out of the horizon like a big beige jack in the box. Everything in limbo is in shades of beige and gray. It looked like something out of an old west movie set. Old wood buildings with old timey signs and wooden sidewalks over what must have once been a mud street that was long ago paved over by the dull gray asphalt. Where the hell did they find the wood to build all this shit Marcus thought to himself as walked up to the nearest building. A saloon. Ha. Marcus did his best Clint Eastwood walking in. Clicking imaginary spurs as he tossed both doors open, he loved these kind of scenes as a kid, and was disappointed to find no one turning to look as he walked in the door, there was no one at all, hey at least he could imagine he was getting silent glares, it felt that way most of the time anyway down here. Up here? Over here? Where ever in hell or not hell limbo was.
Marcus walked up and hopped over the bar, maybe some old cowpoke left him something to warm the old bones. He rifled through old cabinets tossing the empties on the saloon floor behind him listening to the glass break. It was fun breaking things, he wished he’d done that more during his life. He found a bottle of what tasted passably like whisky and decided to go a walk around this here ghost town. maybe I’ll head down to the local sheriff’s office, he thought, maybe I can take a picture of myself in a cell and send it back home as a post card “Greetings from Limbo having a time. P.S. stay out of the garage until the smoke clears” . Marcus wandered down the wooden walkway with the whiskey in his hand looking in the windows like it was nearly Christmas in Chicago. Donnertown supply, Donnertown clinic, Donnertown barber. What the hell I could use a haircut, Marcus thought to himself as he wandered in. Marcus sat in one of the barber chairs and played around, looking through the drawers. Rusty scissors and dirty looking combs all neatly arranged. Marcus wondered what happened here. Something shiny caught his eye. A polished oak handle and a silvery switch, Marcus pulled and found a straight razor like in a old movie. But this wasn’t like anything else in this town, everything else was old and rusted, this looked brand new. He held it up and turned in his hand, the blade was polished and sharp. And as he turned it there was a reflection of a man in it. Marcus spun around and was on his feet. The razor in one hand the bottle in another. The man was standing toward the back of the shop, in the shadows.
“It’s funny what people do after they die” said the man. he was old, dressed in a brown shirt, gray vest, and dirty jeans like a decrepit howdy doody. “Nobody knows the story of the Donners, the real one. The real one was here.”
“What are you talking about? The cannibals?”
“No not the cannibals, the cannibals lived, they didn’t get all this. Donnertown. Ha. Maybe if they knew they wouldn’t have stooped so low. Shame really.”
Marcus stood silent still brandishing the blade. The stranger abled to the door through all this, and Marcus didn’t want to be trapped, so he edged to the door along with him.
“Come with me.” Said the old man. Marcus had noticed something peeking out from then man’s back before, now he could see them clearly. They were wings, old wings covered in a layer of dust that would have sent Marcus into an asthma attack had he still been breathing. “The Donners most of them, died right around the same time, which is a blessing, because that means they arrived here right around the same time. They went to sleep and opened their eyes, and they were here.”
“Here isn’t much of anywhere” commented Marcus.
“Isn’t it? I thought there was a town here, a town made out of sheer will for there to be a town, on a lovely beach by the sea, that you didn’t even care to notice.”
Marcus was taken aback, he looked and it was there. A whole sea and he didn’t even notice.
“Life is what you make of it Marcus, Limbo even more so. These people were determined to make a place for themselves, now look at what they have. A place. You, you have half a bottle of bad whisky and a straight razor.”
“But where did they all go? There’s no one here.”
“This is limbo. They went on. And so are you.”
Suddenly all was darkness, except for one great light rushing at him like a headlamp on a gigantic motorbike.