I was only partially awake, sort of in a daze, because a rock had been stabbing me in the back the whole night. Many times, I got up to brush it away from underneath me, but every time I lay back down, it was still there, poking at my back persistently. So, I never fully fell asleep. Because of this, when I heard the sound of voices and movement in the middle of the night, I woke up instantly. Someone was in our campsite. I tried to adjust my eyes to the darkness to see at least something in the black, and from the corner of my eye I saw some moving light, probably a lantern. My heart was pumping, and I knew that if I got up too quickly, I’d be considered a threat, and if they were armed, which they probably were, they’d shoot. As slowly as I could, I moved my head to the side to see if there were, in fact, men invading our camp. Just as I had thought, a group of men, no more than four of them from what I could see, were prowling around our fireplace, searching for any valuables. My heart thumped noisily, and after trying to control my heavy, scared breathing, I slowly moved my arms back to push myself off the ground. With one hand, I slowly felt the holster on my belt to get my gun. As I felt the area where the grip should have been sticking out, I realized that there would be nothing there. I had left my gun by the fire so Frank wouldn’t be threatened by it. I silently cursed to myself, but continued to sit up. Maybe the gun would still be there and within range where I could grab it. Just as I was about to come up in a siting position, I heard a click that I identified as the cocking of a gun and felt the chill of cold metal pressed against the back of my skull. Obviously, this was the barrel of a gun.
“Stay down on the ground,” a voice behind me growled. I gasped involuntarily in alarm, and laid back down on the ground, the barrel of the gun still pressed against my head. The man that had spoken held it there until my back touched the ground. The rock was still there, mockingly poking my back. I looked up to see the man, whose face had faded in the dark so I couldn’t see it. Gun still to my head, he talked to the rest of his gang,
“There ain’t nothing here, boss,” a man said from several feet away. His vernacular was rough and that of an underclass, white trash rat, conveying some sort of pity in my mind that a human being, the smartest of any living being on the planet, would engage in such an errant career, if one could call robbery a career. Another voice said,
“Yeah, this boy’s piss poor.” Several more comment were made about my despicable lack of valuables, until the man who had a gun pointed at my head, assumingly the boss, started yelling.
“Just take the damn horse and let’s get out of here!” I heard the hurried shuffling of feet against he pine needles. The man still stood above me, and I realized that I had no choice but to accept it. There was no way I could go up against all four of them, and I’d most likely be able to keep my life if I stayed still on the ground. That is, if I could make the walk to the nearest town that was exhausting miles away without food or a horse.
Suddenly, the sound of gunshots interrupted my pessimistic thoughts. I heard shouts coming from different directions, and after a few moments of lying on the ground, petrified, the shots stopped. The only thing I heard were cries of pain from those that were undoubtedly shot. I heard footsteps approach me, the pine needles cushioning the sound, and a saw a hand appear above me, offering help to get up. It was Frank. I took his hand and he pulled me up. I squinted in the pale light of the lantern, which was now on its side, still in the hand of its owner, who was lying on the ground, motionless, and unquestionably dead, and saw my pistol in Frank’s hand. I looked around. Two men were dead, unmoving, at least, and one was writhing on the ground, screaming, clutching his leg. The other one, the boss who had a gun to my head, was nowhere to be seen. I worried a little that the missing one might appear later, but for now, I had some business to attend. I held my hand out for my gun, and Frank placed it in my palm.
“What happened?” I asked, bewildered.
“They came to rob you. I rolled over and grabbed your gun,” he stopped, looking at some of the faces of the victims, “Actually, these are the people who robbed me, too. That’s my horse,” he said, pointing to one of the three horses by a small carriage at the side of our campsite.
“How many are left?” I asked, referring to the bullets.
“Two.” I nodded, checking the cylinder, and saw that there were, in fact, two bullets left. It held a total of six, meaning that Frank had been on target all four times that he had shot. Impressed, I put my hand on his shoulder and said,
“Thanks.” He nodded, emotionless and professional. I walked over to the dead man with the lantern. After prying his fingers from the bright lantern, I took it, and walked over to the screaming man who had not stopped pleading for relief from the moment the bullet entered his flesh. He was a bearded man, middle aged, maybe nearing 50 years old, and his face was filthy and greasy. I crouched down to his level, holding the lantern to his face. With every shriek he made, he revealed his blackened and yellow teeth. From his voice, I recalled that this was the man with such an underprivileged accent. I hatefully pitied the animal of a human he was; disappointed that such a disgusting rat like him was of the same race as me. I move the lantern down to see where he was injured. Blood was running down from a wound in his shin. The light from the lantern made it glisten red.
“What’s your name?” I asked calmly. He continued screaming. Again, I asked, “What’s your name?” Still, he kept crying. Frustrated, I stood up and brought my foot down on the man’s injured leg. He screamed out in sheer agony, and tears were starting to stream down his dirty cheeks.
“And your name is?!” I yelled this time.
“Craig Koons! Craig Koons!” he yelled helplessly. I smirked. Just as I thought. Quickly, I cocked the hammer of my revolver and shot him through the skull. He squeaked one last time, and fell limp to the ground. I exhaled quickly, giving a contemptuous smile at the disgusting man, and turned around. Frank stood in the same place he had before. His arms were crossed now and his face still emotionless. I looked around the campsite. It was silent now. No one was screaming. From across the campsite, I heard the click of a gun being cocked. I held up my lantern, and illuminated the face of yet another man, the one who had disappeared, standing next to his carriage, about twenty five feet away. The “boss.” From where I was sleeping, he had gotten up and ran to his carriage for what I assumed was for more ammunition. He held a revolver, pointing at me. His shoulder was shot, and blood had spread and stained his white shirt. The gun in his hand was shaking ever so slightly and he stood, tense, a little scared I think, based on his expression. I recognized his face from the wanted handbill.
“Smitty Bacall?” I asked. My gun was in my holster. One bullet left. He didn’t answer, but instead, in one sudden moment, he shot. I felt the bullet nick my right arm shirt sleeve. “Nice try.” I whipped out my pistol, cocked it, and shot. The bullet hit just above his collar, into his throat. The man fell to the ground. I walked over and watched him choke, blood bubbling from his throat and mouth. Despite the blood covering most of his face, I placed the bill next to his face to confirm that his face resembled that of the one on my handbill. I stood up, folded the paper, and shoved it into my pocket. I put my gun back into the holster. I started down at Bacall, the blood still spurting out from his throat.
“Eleven. Thousand. Five. Hundred. Dollars,” I said, dumbfounded. I spun around to face Frank, and repeated, “Eleven thousand five hundred dollars.” He simpered, enjoying my reaction to finding and killing one of the most notorious criminals known. I had never believed that I would get them. I usually ran after more amateur, smaller criminals. This was only a dream to me. But now, I’d be given more money than I had ever seen, let alone know what to do with. I walked over to Frank, a huge grin spread across my face. He started laughing at my thrilled reaction and I joined him. Once we overcame this, I said,
“I think you deserve some of the money, at least,” I said. “After all, you did kill half of them, not to mention probably saving our lives, too.” Frank held back a smile, trying to stay humble, but he couldn’t deny his need for money. He nodded.
“I’ll give you half.” It seemed fair enough. He had done most of the work. I just cleaned up after him, which was something he could have done himself. Then, before he could say anything, I said,
“Or, I’ll give you sixty percent if you become my partner.” I didn’t realize what I said until the words left my mouth. I thought I would regret it, but I rethought my reasons and recognized how much of a benefit he would be to me. He had a quick draw and almost unimaginably accurate aim. Frank stood a little shocked at the proposal, and I could tell he was wavering between the two because it took a few minutes for him to decide. After a while, he said, almost questioningly,
“I guess I’ll be your partner.” I smiled broadly, and stuck my hand our to offer a handshake. Frank grasped it and shook it powerfully. He had a small grin on his face, kind of like a little child. It was sort of a simple happiness, not like that of a proud man accomplished in business, but the small happiness of a child catching a butterfly after endless minutes of chasing. The child’s goal wasn’t to obtain money or materialistic things, but only to enjoy the chase and final capture of the beautiful creature, examine its intricately color-laced wings, and set it free into the air again, just so they could chase after it again.
A/N: Sorry if that was a little violent :/ That's how it goes down xD Anyway, I hoped you liked it! Rate & Review so updates come faster!
P.S. I thought I might ask: I wrote a oneshot about Ray (MCR) a few weeks ago because I felt like I neglected his character in a lot of my stories, and I don't know if people liked it or not. I didn't really get that much feedback, and it's not that I want it to be rated up, but I just want to know what I could fix or make better. So, if you've got the time, maybe read a little story called "I Remember" on my account and tell me what you think and what makes it (un)appealing? Thank youu :3
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