"I knew he wouldn’t shoot, but I understood that he wanted to feel in control, and like he had evaded trouble because of his intimidating ways. He deserved the satisfaction, the poor boy."
“Hey,” I said. He strained to bend his neck to see me. “We should get going.” He let his head fall on the floor and sighed deeply, his chest rising slowly and suddenly falling soon afterwards. I didn’t leave, but glanced to one of the walls of the carriage. To my dismay, the bullet hole from the night before was still there, a small ray of sun passing through it and making a small circle of light on the floor. I had hoped that the night before was a dream, but it wasn’t. I looked at Frank again, who was still lying on the ground, and walked away. I tried imagining what Frank was feeling. He didn’t expect to wake up this morning, let alone wake up at all, and now he had the misfortune of opening his eyes like he did every morning. Could he really have had that much pain that he didn’t want to live with it? I doubted my decision on saving him. Was I selfish to want to keep him just for the reason of helping me? Of course, I wasn’t using him. We split the money equally and I had developed a liking for him, but his needs for himself were more important than mine of him. I grabbed a bag of assorted food and took a few pieces of bread out. Soon, Frank appeared from the carriage and came near the campfire. He sat across from me and I handed him a couple rolls of stale but acceptable bread. He took them and starting picking at the outside. Obviously, his appetite had been compromised from the night before.
“Look,” I said, “we don’t have to do this. Just say so and we can return to whatever town you came from and we can part there. If this is too much I understand. It’s not my decision to make whether you want to stay in this or not.” Frank shook his head.
“No, I want to do this,” he said, “Let’s get going,” and cut our conversation short. I shrugged and stood up to pack everything into the carriage.
Like most of the rides we took, Frank was silent for the whole time. Eventually, we found the rumored small farm just below a small hill. We stopped just at the foot of the hill and silently unpacked our things. This time, we’d take the shot from the top of the hill instead of actually confronting the man. This way, I thought it might be a little less personal and easier for Frank. I still wasn’t sure why he would want to stay with me after feeling that hopeless guilt, but he must have had a good reason to, so I didn’t question it. I took a rifle out of the carriage and started climbing up the inclined ground with Frank following behind me. Out of habit, I felt my chest pocket for the judge’s papers. They were still there.
At the top of the hill, the small farm was in sight at the bottom. Frank and I lied down on the ground, the rifle under my arms, and we watched two people at the bottom, tending and plowing their farming plot together. I took a small telescope out of my pants pocket, extended it, and squinted through the small eyepiece. I focused it in on the two men, and took out the handbill from my pocket. Once comparing the picture to both of the men, I saw that the man on the left was our target. I said to Frank,
“The one on the left. That’s him,” and put the telescope away. “He’s too close to the other man there, and I don’t have an accurate shot. Can you take care of this one?” Frank nodded, and I took the rifle from under my hand and put in it his hands. He carefully took it and positioned it comfortably in his arms, squinting through the crosshairs at the target. A ruffling wind swept across the small hill, ruffling my hair. I smoothed it out and sighed loudly. To catch his attention, I nudged his shoulder with mine. It had been a few minutes since he had aimed the gun at the man.
“You gonna do it?” I said exasperated, but teasingly. He tore his gaze from the crosshairs and glared at me in the same attitude that I had given him, jokingly, and said,
“You want me to shoot the other guy or our criminal?” I raised my hands up defensively.
“No, no. Just sayin’…” He rolled his eyes and took aim again. I smiled to myself. He seemed happier now. It surprised me how much he had changed from the unforgiving figure at his first job to the distraught character he became afterwards. It confused me and made me whether his callous side was only a cover for what he really felt. Now, as he pointed the rifle at our wanted man, he seemed to be confident, like he had the day before but far less sadistic. Finally, Frank took the shot. Just after we heard it, the man on the left collapsed on the ground. The man on the right immediately went to his aid and was crouched over the body. Both of us stood up nonchalantly and started to walk down the hill. We left the rifle, but kept concealed pistols on us just in case. The man on the right stood up and ran to the house, probably to get some bandages of some sort. Before he came out, we jogged down the hill to the plow and out criminal. Blood poured from a clean hole in the side of his neck, and he was obviously dead. Bandages would do him no good at this point. I took out the handbill and placed it next to the man’s face to confirm our kill. Just as soon as I did, the other man came running out of the hose. He was young, maybe only just emerging from adolescence and was holding a shotgun. Immediately, we raised our hands above our heads, not wanting to cause any risky conflict.
“Who are you?!” the boy asked, frantic. The barrel of the gun was shaking. Clearly, he had never handled a gun before. Calmly, I said,
“I’m Gerard, and this is Frank. We’re bounty hunters.” There was no reason to tell him our names, but I said them anyways to try to coax him into believing that we were human too, despite the fact that we had killed a close person.
“What business do you have here?” the boy asked, puzzled and furious.
“This man here—“
"My boss,” the boy interrupted.
“Your boss here was a thief and murderer. He’s wanted by the state of Texas.”
“My boss,” the boy said, “was a small farmer that barely got by every year, even when the biggest harvest came.”
“Your boss,” I countered, “was far from ‘barely getting by.’ He stole enough money from a bank to last him years and killed several people in the process.” The boy’s gun wavered and his face fell, but still, he seemed disbelieving.
“What proof do you have?” he growled, his mind still in denial that his beloved boss would do such a thing.
“Can I get my papers?” I asked, and pointed to my chest pocket from above my head. He nodded but still kept the gun pointed at me. Trying not to make any sudden movements, I took the judge’s legal papers and wanted bill out of my pocket and handed it to him. He reached out for them and the barrel shook, too heavy for just one arm. He regained support of the gun and read the papers while constantly glancing up and down from Frank and I to the papers. Finally, he was satisfied and gave the papers back. He had no choice but to let us go, though he wasn’t happy about it. He kept the gun pointed at us until we carried the body over the hill and out of sight. I knew he wouldn’t shoot, but I understood that he wanted to feel in control, and like he had evaded trouble because of his intimidating ways. He deserved the satisfaction, the poor boy.
We loaded he body into the carriage. I sighed, and put my hands on my waist. I glanced at Frank, who had his hands leisurely resting on his head with his chest puffed outwards as he stretched his back. There was a glint of disappointment in his eyes, though, so I said,
“Great job. You have incredible aim.” He looked at me, his face smiling, but in a way of saying ‘thanks for trying.’
“Let’s get our money,” he said offhandedly and shut the carriage doors. He climbed on his horse and waved for me to hurry up and get on the carriage. I did so, and snapped the reins to start the horses galloping.
A/N: Yay for filler! Sorry it was short, this story just needed a little more substance before I end it :P Thanks for reading, you guys!!
I actually have a recommendation for you guys. I've never done this because I don't read other fics as much as I should, but this one just really hit me and it was just amazing. I really recommend this to you guys, especially if you like my stories, and advise you to rate and review it because the author definitely deserves the attention!! It's called "Louder Than Words You'll Never Say" by GettingHighOnCyanide.
Here's the link --> http://ficwad.com/story/213584