This is also a first draft, so I'm not all that worried about minor details as of right now.
Gunmetal Gray Excerpt: The Prologue
There’s a man yelling at me in a language I don’t understand. The streets are empty; the sun’s just about to rise, the sky looks like it’s holding its breath before color explodes from the horizon. And the man is screaming. John’s trying to talk to him, trying to calm him down enough to speak. Tex’s voice murmurs like the sand, quiet: “What’s he saying?” We wait, and the sky’s not the only thing holding its breath. Sometimes, you don’t need to be a language specialist to figure out what someone’s saying – there’s a crazed look to the man’s eyes. They’ve seen too much death, too much destruction; the land is reflected in his irises. They’re black, but gray and brown, too. I’ve never seen eyes like his.
He looks like he’s seen a ghost.
“John, what the hell's he saying?” We aren’t alone anymore – people are beginning to notice us. They don’t speak, but I see children behind their mothers’ silhouettes. If we aren’t careful, soon we’ll have a situation. We might already have one.
“He’s talkin’ Turkish! I don’t speak Turkish! I speak fucking Farsi – not Turkish!” The man’s begging for something, looking between John and Tex and me.
“Ben, Doc, you boys come with me.” Preacher’s watching the people watching us. Everyone’s waiting for something to happen – our rifles are heavier, the wind gentler. The man’s not screaming anymore, but he’s babbling. Talking to hear himself talk. To convince himself that everything’s gonna be alright, that his world’s not going to disintegrate around him.
“Where y’all going?” Tex is closer to John now. The man’s eyes are buggin’ out his head.
“We gotta figure out what the hell he’s so worried about!” calls Preacher, and he isn’t afraid of the dark. Preacher isn’t afraid of anything, ‘cause he’s got the Lord with him. He baptized Tex a few days ago. Did it in a kiddie pool and ended up in the pool with Tex when it was done. Preacher’s been here before. He’s gone home and come back, and he isn’t afraid.