A villager is sick. His condition is deteriorating and adequate medical facilities are distant. Out in the street people look at each other with contorted faces and speak in hushed tones. They know it is coming.
Night falls. The moon hangs in the sky while herds of clouds roam freely. The village streets are deserted except for the dust swirling over the cobbles. Villagers sneak glances through gaps and crevices, looking and listening for its arrival.
The hills overlooking the village, pink under the sun now bloodless in the moonlight play host to a lorn rider. Its heading towards the village. Horse hooves clatter on rocks, ashen echos carried on the wind. Villagers pick up the reverberations. They know it is near.
The rider brings the horse to a halt. Standing on the mesa it looks down on the village. Moonlight flickers through its ribcage, interrupted as a grey lifeless poncho drifts in the night air, lunar flashes bathing the sallow horse with waxen light. A derelict sombrero obscures abyssal eyes, revealing only an emotionless grin. A tug of the reins and the journey is resumed.
The gaucho and its stead are never flustered, the same pace maintained whether climbing hills or crossing plains. A languid trot. The gaucho is now moving across the flats that separate the village and the hills. The horse kicks up gossamer clouds of lint at it moves across the land, navigating cacti and sage bushes.
A villager steals a glimpse and sees the gaucho and horse, devoid of flesh. He crosses himself before averting his gaze. The horses hooves clop onto the village path, a death rattle on the cobbles. Doors and shutters slam shut, the gaucho the only thing wandering the streets.
It arrives at the villagers house and dismounts. It opens the door, steps inside and looks at the villagers corpse. The gaucho raises its hand and in doing so wretches the mans soul from it moorings, releasing it from its fleshy prison. With a beckoning finger the gaucho leads the soul outside, instructing it to sit on the horse. The gaucho follows and mounting his stead, pulls the reins slightly and trots out of the village, companion in tow.
It is only the gaucho who can see the souls of the deceased. The villagers always assume it has eaten the souls of the deceased whenever it exits one of their dwellings. The gaucho takes no pleasure in its task. It has no animosity to the people it takes, yet by the same token it has no love for them. It simply helps them onto their next journey.
Villagers exit their abodes and watch the gaucho leave, an alabaster glint slowly vanishing into the landscape, under the moons watchful gaze.
Feedback wanted. I like it, but I also feel there are problems with it. Like say the 3rd paragraph. And maybe the fourth. I know what I was trying to do, but I do not know if I successfully managed it. Also I know there is no back story yet. I just saw the image and had to write about it. I hope to return to it. I have already explored it in poem form (Horseman (Undead)).