We stood silently in stylistic costumes modelled after Those That Had Come Before. Mostly the coats and trousers were a uniform drab with the occasional splash of color giving the impression of trampled petals peeking back through the mud.
It looked like the whole town had turned out tonight. Sometimes people tried to hide or pretend that this night was unnecessary. Preacher Jebediah, as comfortable with the bow-tie around his neck as he would be a noose, wordlessly raised an acrylic slate over his head. He opened it and snapped it shut with a mighty crack that echoed off the empty houses. Then he turned and began the slow march up to the Golden Gate, and our town slowly trailed after him.
The moon hung swollen and low in the sky. Her hungry reflection waited on the surface of the river below, a river salted with our tears and replenished every year.
Just before the Golden Gate, Jebediah motioned for the two sacrifices to come to him. Clad in white and with joined hands, they knelt for one final blessing.