After a couple of hours, traveling back across the desert, Charlie offers, “By this time Billy was looking like hell, you look…you still have color.”
“Maybe Billy didn’t infect me after all,” Jack says.
“It’s a good possibility,” Charlie replies.
Very little is said between the two riders as they trail their way back to Candelaria. Charlie looks over at Jack, who has his head down, chin on his chest, sleeping, but still holding his red and swollen hand.
“Hey,” he says as he falls back to Jack’s position, “You still alive?”
Without warning, Jack’s head pops up and growling like a frenzied beast, he throws his body on top of Charlie, knocking him from his horse. The unsuspecting Charlie finds himself gripped between the monstrous jaws of Jack, who is biting down on Charlie’s right shoulder.
Still clutched in Jack’s teeth, Charlie draws his gun and fires a round directly into Jack’s face, ending his daemon life. Both horses have taken flight, but Charlie knows that catching up even one of them is useless.
Instead, he sits in the sand, under the shade of a Joshua Tree, thumbing the hammer of his pistola. No one will be around to hear the blast as he willingly puts a bullet in his brain.
Back at Mud Lake, the water effervesces as the stygian object dissolves into elsewhere nothingness. Later that night, under a gibbous and pale moon, the enigmatical desert-scape shall come to life with eidolon beings of a frog-like nature.