Title: The Heavens Shall Tremble
Author: Cathy Roberts
Fandom: The Magnificent Seven
Characters: Josiah Sanchez, Vin Tanner
Rating: General Audience
Warning: No archive warnings apply
Date: July 1, 2011
Summary: Written for the Mag7 Bingo prompt "Moon and the stars", bottom of row 'I'.
Vin stepped through the back door of the saloon, and headed for the privy. He was about to step inside when he noticed someone standing several yards away. It was close to midnight, but Vin was sure that it was Josiah. He'd know the man's silhouette anywhere. Vin debated going over to see what had Josiah's attention, but his bladder won the argument; and Vin stepped into the outhouse, telling himself that if the preacher man was still standing there when he was done, then he'd go over and talk. Or not. That was one good thing about Josiah. Like Chris and himself, Josiah appreciated silence. They weren't like the others, who sometimes seemed to be afraid of it, as if silence was some snake that would sneak up on them and strike without warning. Silence was peaceful, calm. Silence was also revealing. It never ceased to amaze Vin just how much he could hear around him if he stayed silent and still long enough.
Vin left the outhouse as quietly as he'd gone into it. Josiah was still standing off aways, his head tilted toward the sky. Vin glanced upward, but didn't see anything different than usual. The moon was half full, and the stars shone brightly. There were no clouds to be seen, and Vin knew that if he got out of town, away from the watch-fires and the glowing lamps, then he'd be bathed in nothing but the light from the night sky.
He stepped up next to Josiah, then waited until the man was ready to talk. If the man wanted to talk, that was. Gauging the angle to the tilt of the other man's head, Vin once more looked to the sky. Again, he saw nothing out of the ordinary. The moon and stars were right where they were supposed to be.
"I was working on something for Sunday," Josiah said, his gaze still on the sky. "Reading Ecclesiastes, and the part where it's said that there is nothing new under the sun. Got me to thinking." Josiah looked over at Vin. "So many stars out there, brother. It made me wonder if there's another planet like Earth out there somewhere. Maybe even more than one."
Vin grinned, "Hell, Josiah. We got enough problems here on Earth, no need to be worryin' on if there's even more planets out there."
Josiah laughed, deep and hearty, and it made Vin glad to hear that sound. He never liked it when Josiah was brooding. And not just because that usually led to Josiah getting drunk. It was more that the world just didn't feel quite right unless Josiah was in good spirits and savoring life.
"You are so right, Vin. So right. But, me? Now, I'm the kind of man who likes to worry about things like that. The Bible mentions the sky so many times, singling out the sun and moon, and even the stars. The Magi were led to the baby Jesus by a star."
Vin nodded, knowing the story. He still didn't quite get how just one star could lead people that far; it was his experience that you needed more than one star to guide you unless you only wanted to head in one direction. Still, the others seemed to believe it. Took great stock in it back at Christmas, so Vin kept that knowledge to himself.
"All through the ages," Josiah continued, "Mankind has used the stars to predict what was going to happen. They looked for omens such as shooting stars, or for certain stars to be in a certain alignment."
Vin looked back up at the sky, seeking out the patterns that he knew. They were in place, as always…except for that one area that seemed to be erased from the sky itself. Vin frowned, and wiped his hand over his eyes, thinking that he was just seeing things wrong. Josiah seemed to have noticed it, too, that is, if the sharp intake of breath from the other man was anything to go by.
As they looked upward, the blackness seemed to grow larger, and the silence that stretched out in front of them was shattered by a droning sound. It reminded Vin of what you'd get if you crossed a roll of thunder with one of those steam-driven railroad engines.
"Better get the others," Vin said, and Josiah nodded. Neither one ready to give voice to the uneasiness that Vin knew they both had to be feeling.
As Vin headed back to the saloon, he could hear Josiah speaking, and the words filled him with dread.
"The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble; the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining."
While Vin hadn't run back to the building, he'd not walked slowly, either. Yet, it didn't surprise him any that Josiah was right there at his side when he opened the door. Vin had lived through many horrible things, seen a lot of change, and not all of it good. Right then, Vin knew that something horrible was coming, and he had a new fear that nothing would ever be good again.
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