The tale down the reverse slope of the mountain was kinder to the wobbly legs of the corpse that William seemed to sit atop like some out of body railroad engineer. The notion that the manipulation of one’s physical form was the mindless expression of embodiment as the sole seat of self had been heartily disproved for him in the subsequent exercise of this absurd waking nightmare that he had been plunged into. “Think of your worst hell?”, he could recall one of his early classmates from the junior college lunch table would annoyingly torment him. The waywardness of the quickly deprecating thing still barely erect upon death withered limbs was not so much a wonder of impossible dimension but a royal exercise of the power of constant immortal obsession trying to keep up with the waning forces of nature that still had some inexplicable hold upon his transitory being. He had previously never taken the time to ponder the room hidden beyond the veil of death before. His former notion was of a great impenetrable portal past which only childish explanations universally fostered by larger political social aims predominated. Heaven? Hell? The idea of geography seemed pointless to the spiritually numb puppet that writhed and struggled under the increasingly impotent influence over its limbs. The road that he and it had traveled seemed some form of endless gauntlet fraught with futile struggle. The only amazing quality being the frequency of violent death that seemed to appear for no apparent reason as might a cell of violent thunderstorms at the juncture of the upwelling of the meeting of high pressure and low pressure. Was this just another form of inexplicable phenomena that like one’s language seemed intelligent but hardly mutually exclusive to the experience.
Travel was different now that he had once again reached the dry desert flatlands. The primal motivating desire of a imminent celestial comeuppance had been refreshed with the passage of dawn. He strode now confident in his unsteadiness through sandy loam which transitioned into sporadic farmer’s fields of well-irrigated crops. The impression of being at the head of small wavefront of humanity flowing from the dry infertile Mexican border buoyed his obsessions resolve. Here and there in the distance other bands of invading immigrants were penetrating equally far North determined and unstoppable. There were no questions to be answered! Only the need for swift action when the time to confront his murderers. For him, the scales of the entire universe were now held within his own skeletal grip by the dead quivering leather of wasted flesh sliding methodically over Sun bleached hardened bone. A twisted unstoppable juggernaut making its way to the final confrontation with that unsuspecting party who by his murder had tipped their own hourglass over so that the sand was unexpectedly rapidly spilling out. Bullets had not stopped him, nor car accidents nor other spirits equally undead. He was seemingly at one with the overbearing powers of the universe which weighed down from the incredible unseen heights. A plaything of unfathomable forces which he could not imagine let alone question the meaning of their intent. The corpse plied its way once again totally mindless and as one with its pacified master riding upon it like some anonymous hobo upon a hundred car train. He was a insignificant to the greater schemes of things as might be an insect or a leaf.
The whistle of the first slug landing short was followed by the report from the firearm thundering out almost two seconds later. Pulled immediately out of the heights of his vaingloriousness muse back down to crazy reality William did not feel the need to march his unearthly surrogate with its chest held high as some impervious target into the breach of further damage. He could hear the cries from a short distance away as the rifle fire had switched direction and was now aiming at a huddling group of immigrants. The bullet holes from his previous encounter in the van were already a nest for timid insect larvae. The internal composition of this currently immortal vehicle was purely a matter of supposition as there was no feeling attached to its operation just the manipulation of its limbs. It was better to once again lay here in the filed until these assailants lost their desire to continue further aggression. Even if they came upon him lying in these weeds, it would be impossible to believe that they would take his carcass as much more than an undiscovered unfortunate from some previous episode of target practice. William hovered inert just below weed top for an hour and a half before the county sheriff showed up in his SUV with his deputy. The side of the door was emblazoned with a large cornucopia logo hovering centrally upon a fertile field, an additional legend proclaiming ownership by the town constabulary of Brawley. A voice thick with a Spanish accented command of English began the conversation from several yards away to the two black uniformed officers approached gingerly from the road beyond.
“I found here when I was out shooting small varmints.”, the man’s toothy wide smile innocently proclaiming. One of the officers stared back through the impervious shield of a pair of sunglasses, the angle of his head suggesting a certain degree of skepticism. One of the policemen smiled back from under his own set of glossy black shades, “you sure now you weren’t out plunking at two legged varmints again?” The officer was now kneeling a safe distance on the upwind side as distant from William’s corpse’s pungent aroma.
“Hey look Edward“, the man protested, “He ain’t one of mine, I mean this beat up stinker, I never seen him before!” The kneeling officer was now gingerly probing the pockets of Williams’s bodies outer clothing fishing out scraps of paper that had been left in them by the older Mexican in the Volkswagen. The one officer rising to his feet with a small manila card delicately pinched in his latex gloved grip, “It says Hector Emilio Veracruz, 5′ 4″, 215 pounds, date of birth 1957.” “He don’t look no 215 pounds to me even if he’s been out here a while from the look of that desiccation and relative dryness of the body.” “Call it in on the scanner and then get the camera Tom”, said Officer Ed to his partner, “We need to get this thing back to the coroner before we can figure out what’s going on here.”