#216 An Old Cherry Pit

by Charles Bryant

The train rolled in, shrieking its arrival to the world, and the man straightened his back and took a drag from his cigarette. A minute or so passed and he saw his mark amongst the thinning crowd. He discarded the cigarette and, slightly trembling, crossed the street, never looking away.

To the other man’s credit, he did notice the stranger heading directly for him, stiff and suspicious, but by the time he made up his mind to do something a gun was being pulled from black slacks. And so he froze and his hands went up, and he backed against the gate behind him and his mind was ablaze with ideas and all the man with the gun did was stand in front of him, at the edge of the sidewalk, right hand trembling and breath convulsing and tears swelling and suddenly an accusation, a condemnation, about a stolen job and stolen girlfriend and stolen life, and the man against the gate was beginning to think more clearly and was shuffling slowly away and the man with the gun was crying now, almost bawling, and so the man against the gate bolted. And with a gasp and renewed conviction the man with the gun fired, and hit the arm, but his mark ran on, and so he fell to his knees, sobbing and clutching his weapon, and his arm repositioned and he felt the hot steel under his jaw bone and his last thought was a squeeze.

No comments: