An Excerpt from the Journal of Elijah.
Summer 1934, Nebraska
Rain-making had become a serious business in the last few years as the dust began to swallow farms and towns alike. It was mean stuff just as like to leave you coughing brown the next few days as to ruin an entire county’s livelihood. And when the rain-maker came, people gathered. No one counted on a rain-maker being bad news. I wouldn’t call them simple folk, but they were naïve.
This town had money, as few enough did at this time. The rain-maker knew this, and it was obvious to anyone who saw him walk into the town like a saint about to cure it from leprosy or blindness. You could’ve mistaken the townsfolk for such the way the rainmaker treated them all.
When the mayor bought him dinner and some cider, he sat, eating noisily and getting drunk. When he was more sober he made talk about how the next town over just harvested their first healthy crop in months, and how in another town he saved a thousand acres from falling to a dust-storm. Two counties over he cured their live-stock of a wasting sickness that had culled most of their herds. But as the drink began invading his speech, making it trip and tumble, he began to talk of the women he had, how all he had to do was get them drunk and they were his. He talked of his sin, and how little the care he had for his unburdened little soul.
Now I am a tolerant man and I have no problem disregarding the dry law of the land in order to get a rain-maker as drunk as he wants, but it stops when a man talks of violating another man’s daughter. Its a pity I wasn’t there to witness the ingress of the rainmaker to Trellby county, but at least I was able to come and clean up after the son-of-a-whore left.
Apparently, this rain-maker woke early the next day and took to the fields, sticking his finger in the roots of corn and eating wheat-grass like a bored farm boy. He then did something that should’ve tipped off anyone as long as they knew anything; He asked for privacy, a barn, and a white bull.
These were uneducated God-fearing folks which blinded them to the peculiarity of this request. Its not their fault. In Leviticus a white bull was considered a worthy sacrifice to God. Oddly enough, this is one of the only circumstances where such a sacrifice is so innocuous. Near cities, we tend to watch whoever buys stock like that because it’s usually a flag towards some upstart cultist who has ideas about having a flock and bestowing dark gifts upon himself.
I remember hiking out to the barn to see what he did, and then I remember deeply regretting my curiosity. Every part of the cow, save its skin, that could be dismantled had been, and it was all laid out in order, like the rain-maker had just taken apart an engine and was planning on putting it back together later. The smell was horrible, but the flies all stopped short of the meat, refusing to cross a circle of cow’s blood around the entire mess. It wasn’t like they couldn’t pass it, they just didn’t seem to want to, like the meat inside the circle was spoiled. They had a mark more wisdom than I.
I’ll not bother to recount the entirety of what the town suffered as a result of the rain-maker’s sacrifice, as I have put most of it into my report. There is, however, something worth saying, a reason why I am sitting here and writing instead of tracking down the rain-maker.
I guess there is not any other way to put it, so I’ll just say it outright. I found his face, or what I assume to be. It was lying in the mud outside of the barn. I had the local mortician look at the thing to check. It was probably an easy thing to miss in and among the fire, brimstone, and plagues the town had started to suffer as soon as the rain-maker had left. At this point I don’t know whether to call this rain-maker man or monster, I just knew something foul and wretched is coursing its way through nebraska.
I have since surmised that the skin of the cow was probably used to fashion a new mask for this rainmaker, though how he made the thing so lifelike truly confounds me. Even the mortician hesitated before saying it was some sort of leather thing, but of what nature he knew not.
I have the mask right here and it has cracked some in the sun and heat. It sure does look a lot like leather now. It would answer where the cow-skin went, but would raise a whole host of questions more Questions I don’t know if I can answer.
I know where my duty lies and I know what I have to do. The whole of my skin crawls and my bones have a chill like they’ve never felt. I’ll approach the night with bell book and candle if necessary. I’ll fight again if I am called to.
What scares me isn’t the night. What I face isn’t just the things that lurk in the dark places of the world. Last night was the first night in a week it stopped raining fire in Trellby County. Locusts still ravage the fields and a mass grave of firstborn are piled in pine crates on the lawn of the church.
What does God hate with such a passion that he would see a small town of his devoted flock leveled just to rid the earth of it.
It’s an answer that scares me.