The train slowly left the station bouncing from left to right along the uneven tracks; the grade of the tracks failing from the lack of maintenance. The railroads and subways hadn’t seen a repair crew in two years after the fall of the Government; cities were left on their own and had zero money for minor repairs, only a complete failure got any attention.
The total collapse of the Federal Government came within months of the contested 2016 election as civil war was touted as the only means of bringing the Federal Government back into the control of the people. Sure they’d spent millions and millions of dollars to arm Federal agencies from the IRS to the Food and Drug Administration during the last Administration but with no one shooting at them they just stood around looking for someone to shoot. After a few months the armed forces made it quite clear they’d protect the citizens from any hostilities from the Feds. The Federal Government was unable to pay wages with the exception of the Military leaving the State governments scrambling to cover costs and keep what use to be federally funded services running. The States tried but lacking funding they too slowly faded away after just a few weeks the employees just went home and didn’t report for work; most just left for home one night and never returned, they had families to take care of just like everyone else.
Leaving the station bouncing and bounding from side to side the train settled into a slow crawl at a mere 10MPH’s bucking as the uneven rails swung the coaches right and left over the tracks. It was an exhausting ride as the pounding grew worst; throwing everyone back and forth; you had to grip with all your might to stay in your seat the ride was that rough.
Ten rows up having entered from the forward automatic door at the last station six men ranging from fifteen to thirty five stood close together staring at each other with tattooed faces, clearly showing their disdain for the other riders among them; their black hoodies covered most of their faces and eyes, but pushed up sleeves in the heat showed arms covered with tattoos displaying scenes of violence and gang affiliation for those who could read them.
Five minutes from the station the leader nodded and all six threw back their hoodies and pulled guns from hidden pockets. Pushing a gun into the face of an elderly woman nodding towards his open bag, she dumped her purse and the robber greedily checked to make sure everything had empted into his black bag. Moving along both sides of the coach the thieves took what they wanted and pistol wiped anyone who gave any resistance. Two seats forward from where I was sitting a dusty raggedy man sat watching not moving as the six brought their violence towards him. Stepping up to the stranger the leader of the thieves opened his black bag and motioned the man to drop his valuables into the bag, giving it hard shake the robber’s impatience showed. The man’s dusty black cowboy hat pulled low over his eyes moved ever so slightly left to right sending the clear message NO. Bellowing “What, you mother fucker!” the thug brought his arm holding the gun up in a high arch to smash the strangers head.
The stranger stood leaning into the thug pushing him away blocking the swinging pistol from his head in an effortless graceful motion. Lowering both hands he spread his duster wide from his waist exposing large caliber pistols holstered on both hips. He motioned down towards his weapons and waited for the thug to realize he was armed; eyes opening wide the thug tried to bring his gun in but the stranger in a blur pulled both his guns from their holsters pressing one into the thugs upper stomach area; the explosion was huge lifting and blowing the thug against the window breaking it sending shards of glass flying in the sudden wind; viscous chunks of bright red meat with red frothy blood sprayed against the trains walls in a swirling cloud catching in the wind sucking out the window leaving a red streak down the side of the train car.
My eyes wide open expecting to see the stranger's head explode from the blow of the thief went blinding white in the flash from the explosion of the gun; my ears sent waves of agony with enough pain to slam my blind eyes closed. Explosion after explosion white hot blinding even through my closed eyes lids forced my eyes to remain locked closed as round after round found targets in the enclosed compartment of the coach.
Slumped over in my seat rubbing my eyes I forced my left eye open; tears were flowing down my face making my vision blurry, I saw the robber farthest down the car slowly sliding down the car wall into a sitting position leaving a smear of blood down the wall a huge bloody gaping hole in his forehead. The compartment was hazy with blue gray burnt gun powder making breathing the air metallic tasting. The dusty cowboy was standing between the rows of seats slowly reloading his magazines; six explosions, six dead thieves. My ears rang from the gun blasts; pulling softly on my shoulder from the seat behind me an old woman whispered in my left ear “Gunslinger”. The compartment filled with the gagging sweet earthy stench of blown vacated bowels.
In a practiced motion the gunslinger pushed his thigh length duster apart holstering both is magnum pistols; his heavy black belt taking the weight without hesitation. He toed the robber’s black bag with his worn boot opening it wide; pushing it slightly towards the old woman she dug her valuables out of the bag and stuffed them into her purse. Her eyes met his and with a nod she passed the bag to the next victim to retrieve their things. A small boy stepped up to the dusty man and handed him a twenty dollar bill; the man took it into his gnarled hand, looked at it and handed the boy back the money “You keep it son; you’re going to need it”. Staring into his eyes the small boy raised his left hand showing a spent magnum cartridge dropping it into the gunslingers hand still hot from the explosions. Three more people pushed their way to the gunslinger and gave money and four more used cartridges found their way home. Looking around the floor for the last cartridge an old man slowly walked between the seats and opened his hand to the gunslinger giving him the last spent casing to be reloaded again for the future.
The train car was a blood bath the rocking side to side motion of the uneven tracks spread the six thug’s blood to every corner of the car; the doors sliding open broke the damn of congealing blood pooled against them allowing it to pour out on to the tracks below; no one moved as the gunslinger slowly stepped over two bodies and disappeared into the gloom of the station.
Carefully people left the coach stepping high over the rivers of flowing browning blood as it gushed from the train car; no one looked back but the little boy with his fist clamped shut around a worn out casing the gunslinger had slipped him as his mother looked away. Pulling hard on his little arm his mother told him to hurry “I’m going to be just like that man when I grow up mommy; I’ll save you from those bad men too!” said the little boy under his breath knowing his mommy wouldn’t approve.
From the Ramblings