I thought I should write a wee intro to this, as a story suddenly cropping up in a hobby blog might seem a bit weird.
I always enjoyed writing when I was much younger and I’ve tried it a few times over the years, without much success and got out of the habit, until my Bro, Tom inspired me by saying he was going to try to crank out a short story every Friday. He’s trying to make it his bread and butter, so he needs to keep the writing muscles well lubricated, but I thought why not have another crack at it.
Here it is, the first story that I’ve finished in quite some time. Be gentle, peeps!
Charlie crashed through the window, bullets zipping by, one of them so close it scored a red-hot line across his right shoulder. He collided with a table, bounced off it, grabbed at a chair to steady himself and failed, momentum crunching him painfully into the opposite wall. The impact jarred his finger against the trigger of his sleek revolver, causing him to fire off a round, narrowly escaping shooting the big toe off his left foot.
The day had started so well. He’d rode into town, hitched his horse outside the Saloon and before he managed to get inside and order a drink, he’d been stopped by a desperate looking town mayor and offered a job. It didn’t pay well but it did sound easy. Kill some guy that went by the name of Quick Dick, along with any of the men with him. They were a local gang called The Goatboys.
People often gave themselves stupid sounding names and Quick Dick was certainly a winner in that regard, but The Goatboys? Who came up with a name like that and thought it sounded scary. After telling the desperate man what he thought of Mr Dick and his gang, Charlie had taken the job and immediately got to work.
Quick Dick and The Goatboys had been laughably easy. The Goatboys turned out to be a one-armed man called Ringo and a guy so tall and thin that he looked as if he’d been stretched.
The gang had been squatting in a tumbledown shack on the edge of town and when he’d called them out, the trio had obliged him with all the enthusiasm of the big, tough guys that they’d thought they were. Tall guy and Ringo came out first, flanking the door so their leader could make his grand entrance.
As it turned out, Quick Dick’s entrance hadn’t been even slightly grand, but it did prove to be memorable. He’d sauntered through the doorway, tossing a sawn-off shotgun from hand to hand menacingly, before catching his foot on the door frame, causing him to trip, fall, jam the shotgun under his chin and blow his own head off.
Charlie had just stared for a moment, dumbstruck by the stupidity of the spectacle. Fortunately, he’d gathered his wits more quickly than the two men facing him and giving them an apologetic shrug, he’d pulled his pistol on them and shot them dead.
That was the point that his day had taken a sharp turn for the worse.
The Goatboys had been a pushover. More than that in fact. The idiots had come so close to dealing with themselves that if they returned from the dead they’d have a valid claim on the reward money themselves. Unfortunately, the mayor had failed to mention the inept gang’s affiliation with a much bigger group. They’d arrived just as Charlie was searching the bodies and one look at them told him that this lot knew what they were doing.
He hadn’t given them the chance to draw on him. He’d pulled his pistol and loosed a few rounds in their direction. His shots were poorly aimed and didn’t hit anyone, but he just wanted to keep their heads down long enough to have a chance at reaching cover.
That was how he’d found himself where he was now, hiding out in the Goatboys rancid little clubhouse, counting his bullets. Six.
“Bugger, that’s not enough.” he mumbled, before doing some quick mental arithmetic. There was at least ten of them out there.
“Bollocks. Maybe I can get some of them to line up?” he said, his usually mild Irish accent becoming more pronounced, as it often did in times of stress.
“Hey guy.” A voice called from outside. “I’m in charge of these boys and I’ve got more coming. Head on out guy, and I’ll make it quick. Make me dig you out and I’ll make it real slow.”
The man paused, presumably giving Charlie a moment to consider his extremely limited options and consider them he did; it didn’t take long. He could go out in a blaze of glory or make them come and get him.
“All this over an idiot who blew his own head off?” he yelled at the gang outside. “Come in here and get me. I’ll make you feckin’ famous”
“That idiot was my Brother.” Came the voice from outside. “That’s got to be settled!”
“Shite.” Charlie said and started shooting.