White Horse picks up the tale of Spear. He’s out in the woods, hungry, hurt and cold. There are survivors about, but Spears hides from them, not sure if they are friend or foe. At least until we walks out of the trees an comes face to face with the man who has been slowly trailing him.
The newcomer gives Spears some water, and says he knows him, but Spears doesn’t seem to remember Braithwaite when he introduces himself.
Braithwaite claims to forget Spears name, and Spears is positive he doesn’t know Braithwaite, regardless of what Braithwaite says. Braithwaite says something very telling. He believes that they will both laugh once they realize who each other are.
While on the move Spears and Braithwaite hunker down and watch as a man on a Pale Horse trots by. Spears wanted Braithwaite to take the shot, but Braithwaite says it wouldn’t have mattered. If he had shot, the horse would have bolted anyway.
All the while Braithwaite keeps trying out names on Spears while saying things like “It’s a clean slate all around.” A little further along they find a woodsman, crushed under a fallen tree. While scavenging they find a bit of gear to start a fire as well as a pistol, which Braithwaite hands over to Spears. I think it was this act that bought Braithwaite some of Spears trust.
Spears and Braithwaite sit around the fire, drinking the dead woodsman bottle of booze, when Braithwaite pulls out a PayDay candy bar. He’s willing to share it but Spears is allergic to nuts. As they sit there Braithwaite drops more truth bombs. He knows Spears from back in teh day, and now Spears can’t deny it. Braithwaite knows him and his brother both. It’s at the end of this interaction that we first here them pledge that bygones are bygones.
When Braithwaite wants to see how badly hurt Spears is, Spears starts throwing punches and ends up getting his ass knocked out as repayment.
When Braithwaite wakes Spears up, its dark, pouring rain, and then we hear Zombies and a horse in the distance. As they are moving through woods Braithwaite tells Spears about his cabin. There is food, guns, and ammo, they just need to live long enough to get there.
As they are walking they find strange symbols in the trees and get a little spooked. It’s not long before they get run down by a small horde and are forced to shoot, which brings more Zombies. They rush through the woods until they find a cabin to shelter in. Great right? Well, maybe not so much. The place is covered in crazy scribbles.
When they see blood dripping from upstairs they draw their weapons and go to clear the 2nd floor only to find an old man surrounded by the bodies of what look like cult followers.
Spears then asks the old man something prophetic:
The next morning Braithwaite and Spears walk out to a mostly dry riverbed. As they are standing there talking Spears remembers Braithwaite. In another life Spears, or Little James, put two bullets in Braithwaite as he drank a lemonade. Braithwaite goes on to say he’s no longer a vengeful person, bygones after all.
Spears seems to struggle with the knowledge, thinking it means he may need to finish the job as the White Horse comes walking up the riverbed. We see Spears put the revolver to the back to Brathwaite’s head before the other man walks away, never looking back.
Watching White Horse for a second time it was very clear that Braithwaite knew who Spears was the whole time. What was his motivation? Wouldn’t he have known or guessed that Spears would see him as a threat? Was this his effort to get some form of internal closure? It sounds like he might not have been the nicest guy back in the day, or was it just that he was alone and Spears was that rare bit of throwback to the time before? Let me know what you think in the comments.
White Horse was an intense, well written, story that detailed how the world changed how two men saw each other. In the end Spears let Braithwaite walk away, and the two went their separate ways. White Horse earned every one of its 88 points, making it Worth Your Time.
What cost it a few points? Mostly the lack of more Zombies and the lack of explanation as to why Brathwaite played what was a very dangerous game of “Do you remember me?” with a man who was a known killer.