The day passed, and the night. Isaiah dug.
First, he completed the grave. However, by then it was evening, and the tide had come in. He knew tides. He should have expected it. This did nothing to change the fact that the grave was too close to the sea, that water was trickling over the edges and eroding the rim. So he moved it, and Dougal too. He moved further inland, past the high water mark, and he made a new one.
Somewhere before all of this, he had checked the collapsed guy, found him drunk. Luckily, he too was above the high tide line.
Isaiah found himself slightly less inclined to help the fellow. Drunk, at a time like this? He knew the need to escape pressure. Knew the ease of finding solace in alcohol. Knew the folly of the solution, in the long run. But, how could he judge?
Muttered, under his breath: "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1."
It made him feel better. The phrase was open to interpretation, serving as both a mild condemnation of the drunk boy's behavior (for, if there was ever a time not to be drunk, it was now), and also an admission of his own possibility of error (for, if there was a time to every purpose, there was surely a time to drink one's way into oblivion to escape impending doom). Either way, it provided something to ponder as he dug.
And so, now, as the rays of dawn shone down from above, as the boy woke from his stupor and began to speak, as Isaiah pushed the last of the sand over the body he had ensconced in the dirt, he found himself still pondering. Pondering the broader implications of their situation, the meaning of it all. It wasn't helping. All he could see was that he still had something to do. Maybe not a divine mandate, but a purpose nonetheless, a reason to keep going.
It wasn't to babysit some pasty moron who'd gotten drunk and now had a headache.
And so, it was time to move on. Time to find someone who truly could use his help. Adrian, Andrew, and the other guy could take care of themselves. The same could not be said for everyone. He wished his companions of the past day the best, as sincerely as he could. He just couldn't stay.
Isaiah stood, stretching. He was stiff. Drunk guy explained that he was Kevin, that he'd seen a killing. Bad news, that. It added a sense of urgency. A sense that Isaiah couldn't waste any more time. How to explain, though? How to convey the message without coming across as a jerk, without insulting these people? But then, if they were insulted, that was their problem. He meant no offense. He simply had more important things to do.
"Isaiah Garvey," he said in response, with a nod. Glancing to Andrew and Adrian, he added, "Thanks for your help. I'm sure they'll rest easier.
"Unfortunately, I need to get moving. There's a lot of people out there who could use a hand. Keep safe. God bless."
A smile. He adjusted his hat, hoisted his bag. The guy who'd left so long ago wasn't back yet. That was the way he'd go, then. He'd assumed the boy had just needed space, just needed to grieve, but it had been hours now, so he couldn't be sure. Yes. Start there, then keep moving. Do the best possible in the time remaining. Defend those who need it.
He looked around, suddenly remembering the metal bar he'd taken back at the cell tower. It was gone, vanished beneath the sands over a day's tide, lost with the remnants of the first grave he'd dug. Somehow, he didn't mind.
He didn't need a weapon anyways.
A wave, and Isaiah was off.
((Isaiah Garvey continued Late Dawns and Early Sunsets
((Breaking post order and moving Isaiah out to avoid inactivity and keep chronology nice and sensible))