Monday, August 15, 2016

The Gunslinger Series; Siege

The shot came from nowhere; splintering wood just four inches from his face. “Did you see it?” Turning “Did you see where it came from?” “Not a damn thing; either distance or muffled; nothing” “Well I’m not going to give him another chance!” Sliding down and away from the window opening Jacob pulled an inch long splinter from his cheek. “Damn that last one was close; I didn’t hear the shot either. He must be way the hell out there; no silencer is going to tame a big bore rifle, we should have been able to hear the shot.” “That’s a big rifle; rounds are coming right through the walls. That one clear through the two by four window framing and almost took my head off!

Jimmy pulled hard on his sixth beer. “Relax we’ve got lots of beer and he’s out there and it’s gonna be dark in two hours; dark and cold tonight.”

The cabin sat fifty yards from the small lake; timber cleared back twenty five yards on the other three sides to protect it from the forest fires that plagued the area nearly every second year. Copious amounts of rain make brush and grass grow at an accelerated pace at this elevation. One great room with a small bedroom an even smaller bathroom filled out the description of the small building. Two slit side windows on both sides of the main and only door, one small window over the sink and two good sized windows looking straight out towards the lake giving the evening sun free run of the great room at this time of day. Someone was thinking when they put a metal roof protecting the structure from blowing embers.

“Come have a beer; it’s going to be warm shortly. Damn I wish there was power up here; I hate warm beer.” Jimmy said around a stomach empting belch.

“Are you kidding me? We’ve got a bounty hunter dumping molten lead on my ass and all you care about is cold beer?” Jacob said shaking his head; he was damn worried. How’d he end up with a drunk as a partner; one that’s way too quick to use force when a little talking can get them to hand over the money without shooting the place to pieces.

The radio said they’d left three dead and two more badly wounded; for five hundred bucks? Now this; they’d made the big time; bounty was two thousand bucks dead or alive and someone that can shoot hidden up someplace in the hills. Why’d they decide to hit the little bank in Sweet Water Nevada of all places; dried up sage brush and cow shit as far as the eye could see; dusty little town, brick buildings faded in the bright sun. They still had a little money from the last job, enough to get them by until they got to some bigger cities, ones that you could hide out in. Jacob knew they were in deep shit here.

Five forty five am; ante meridiem; jumping to his feet with a start, Jacob dreamed the gunslinger had kicked in the front door and was chasing him through the building. Standing eighteen inches from one of the great room windows in clear view for anyone to shoot through Jacob dove for the floor. Nothing, no splintering glass, no explosion of rifle cartridges; just a plain piece of paper taped to the center of the window from the outside. Starring at the sheet of paper as it fluttered in the light wind of early morning Jacob wondered if it had been there the day before; his mind prayed it had been there, maybe for months on months cause if it hadn’t been there then the gunslinger had walked right up to their window and taped it there in the last couple hours after he’d finally had fallen asleep.

“JIMMY!” “JIMMY…..OH HOLLY SHIT WE’RE DEAD!” Jacob shrieked; a cascade of piss filled, overflowed and rained on the hardwood floor standing tall and round in heavy droplets, pooling in neat little round puddles from a nice layer of wood protecting wax finish. “OH fuck we’re so dead”

Crawling out from the bedroom just showing his head around the door frame. “What’s the problem?” Jimmy said still half asleep.

“What’s the problem? WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?....... this guy’s got some balls is what’s the PROBLEM; he walked right up to the window and posted a freaking note in the center of the window sometime this morning. I was sleeping right under the window and he posts a note right over my head; THAT”S THE PROBLEM!” Jacob screamed.

“What’s it say?”

“It says we’re fucking dead you ass hole, who walks up like they own the place and tapes a note on the window when he knows we just killed three people four days ago. He’s not scared of us not one little bit!”

“No really, can you see what it says?” Jimmy was wide awake now.

“Well he was nice enough to tape it with the writing facing in so it makes it nice and easy to read; it says we have until noon to give up or his going to take us in dead”

“Damn” That’s all Jimmy had to say.

Eleven fifty five pm; post meridiem; “We’ve got five minutes”

“I’ve got all the time in the world; I’m not going out there. You want to walk out there and get shot you go right ahead; I’m staying in here and he can come get me if he can.” Jimmy said with as much swagger as he could find lying on his stomach in the corner.

Twelve oh five pm; post meridiem. With a thump and clatter like something roller over a couple times a bundle hit and rolled up against the cabin wall under the window hosting the note still fluttering in the wind. A light white trail of smoke whiffed up and across the window blowing right to left in the light breeze as the boys lay wondering what had just hit the decking.

“DYNAMITE!” Jacob screamed and ran for the bedroom of the cabin, Jimmy hot on his heels.

WHOMPH the wall blew in blowing shards of glass and framing in deadly spirals. Jacob turned the corner into the bedroom as a second huge explosion rocked the silent day. Jimmy hit the far wall hard standing him up straight, slowly turning back towards the bedroom door blood gushing from his chest another thunder clap smashed him against the wall blowing his head near off his shoulders.

“NO no I give up, I give up!” Jacob screamed to the shadow standing filling the bedroom door as he crabbed his way into the corner.

The shadow raised an arm in the universal watch check motion; “nope, it’s twelve oh seven, times up.”

The thunder clap shook loose a piece of glass from the twisted blown out window; a joint of putty fell from a joint in the wall.

Two thousand bucks for four days work; more reloading to be done.

From the Ramblings



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