© By Gary Morton
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Marvin snuffed his cigar and
studied the bucolic scene below. Odors of clover and hay bales lifted his
nostrils. A rocky hill, thick with sumac and scrub, stood on the far side.
He looked from boulder to boulder, and then he detected movement in the
sumac - a brief flash of red.
The Uzi was out of ammo so
now he was left with a few slugs for the Remington, and his Bowie knife. It
had to be enough for the kill. Picking up, he dashed down the eroded
hillside, heading for a small barn halfway across the field. He'd almost
reached it when a cow in front of him suddenly blew up - buckets of flying
blood milk, something soft and wet whipped his face. But he kept running,
drenched in cow gore.
It was locked - Damn! Raising
the Remington he fired as he ran, blowing the rusty lock and half the door
away. Then he was inside in the musty shade.
“Shit, he's got a grenade
launcher,” Marvin said as he took cover at the rear. This was a bad
situation. To finish Jimmy he had to get close enough to lay in with the
Remington, which meant running a gauntlet of grenades.
And he didn't even get time
to get out the door. Grenades hit the barn taking out the south wall.
Splinters and burning hay ripped into his left side as he jumped. Once out
he ran for the hillside and Jimmy, zigzagging as grenades blew to his left
Luck was with him, he got to
a small slate outcropping. It had several large boulders that would allow
him to move under cover. Collapsing in the shadow of a rock, he checked his
wounds. The Kevlar had saved his upper body, but the left side of his face
was roasted, shooting with hot needles. Blood poured on his scorched leg,
which was mostly numb, the pain just beginning to come on.
If he died now it would be
unforgivable. He'd taken shit from Jimmy all his life. Jimmy, the boss.
Always kicking him, always mocking him, and pushing him. This was his
chance, Marvin's chance to blast the bastard to pieces - to shut the sucker
Jimmy's voice came as a weird
echo in the rocks. “Marvin, pussy boy. It's time to die.” Then a rocket hit
“Son of a bitch,” Marvin
said, rising and firing a blast at the sumac. A moment later, he heard a
groan and some shuffling in the rocks. He peaked over a boulder, and as he
did, something whizzed in from the rear.
An arrow glanced off the
boulder, and as he spun, a second one ripped through his shoulder - the
force so great it popped his collarbone, making it a crushed chicken wing.
Tissue smeared stone.
He was able to follow through
and shoot; a white bolt of pain flashing across his eyes as he saw the
Remington blast kick Dan in the midsection. It bent him into a V and lifted
him up into some bushes, pretty much torn in half, and certainly dead.
Marvin fell to his knees,
pain from the arrow forcing him to grind his teeth. Sumac and blood became
fire in his eyes. “Damn that Dan. I thought Jimmy already had him out.”
He didn't have a chance now.
He was down, unable to lift the gun with his wounded arm. He managed to get
the Bowie into his left hand, but it wouldn't be enough to take out Jimmy.
And he could hear him coming
through the rocks. Then he appeared at the side of the outcropping, grinning
from ear to ear as he noted Marvin's condition.
Still grinning, he walked up,
lowered his launcher, and took out his pistol. “Don't feel bad, Marvin,” he
said. “It's all very peaceful in the grave. Hell, you won't know you're a
He aimed, and then Marvin
suddenly flew up - the Bowie flashing, going straight for Jimmy's skull. It
went in and the gun went off - which made them both losers. Marvin falling
back with a bullet in his chest, and Jimmy looking like a stunned ape, going
down with a Bowie planted between his eyes.
Some people are fortunate and
go to heaven, but Marvin went to hell. He felt something being ripped from
his head, and then he saw his wife's angry face. She threw the VR gear to
the side. “Marvin, how many times have I told you to stay away from little
Tommy's game toys? Grow up; you're an accountant not a kid. The lawn needs
mowing and you didn't get the groceries yet. I want you to . . . and . . .
His head spun, he covered his
eyes with his hands. If he took any more of this, it would be unforgivable.
He'd taken shit all his life. Mary, the boss. Always kicking him, always
nagging him, and pushing him. This was his chance, his only chance to shut
her up once and for all. Reaching in his pocket, he found his letter opener,
and then he came up and planted it in her right eye.
Marvin didn't even watch her
fall, but heard the thump as he went back to his son's gear, picked up and .
. . .
Marvin snuffed his cigar and
studied the forest scene below. Odors of toadstools and rot penetrated his
nostrils. He raised the rifle . . . .