006: The High Life

006: The High Life

A Chapter by SDMcCarty

A one page story about a man on the run in the wild west. A murder in his past has put a price on his head. Will he be able to escape the men after him? Or will this time he not be fast enough?


    The sun was high in the cloudless sky.  The arid wind blew sand into his eyes but he did not blink.  His horse had long since given up on trying to clear its nose of all the dust that had accumulated in it over the past few miles.  They had started out early in the morning and hadn’t stopped to rest yet.  It was nearing the hour for lunch, but no food had appeared in their path – not even a half starved jackrabbit.  He’d probably have to wait until nightfall for any sort of food, and then it would probably be scorpions again.  It’s not that he hated scorpions; it’s just that one can only eat them for so long before they became a bore – a chewy bore.
Truth be told, he had been on the run for a week now.  You see, he had killed a man – killed a man in cold blood.  He hadn’t liked the way the man had looked at him.  It was a mix of things that had actually led up to the man feeling that he had to kill the man.  The day had been hot, he was tired, and he had lost another poker game.  Certainly the overpriced mud that passed as drink in the place hadn’t helped.  He had noticed the man looking at him funny.  He didn’t appreciate that, but who does really.  He had asked the man in a less than polite fashion if something was wrong.  The man replied just as civilly that nothing was wrong and that had been the start of the problems.  Perhaps if they had both been a little more civil to each other they’d both be alive, but that hadn’t happened.  He had asked the man in a rather strong fashion to come outside with him, and the man agreed.  Once outside, they both knew what was going to happen – a duel.  He won.  Well, as far as winning a duel is winning.  While duels aren’t technically a crime, it turned out that the man was a little younger than he had thought.  The man turned out to be a boy of barely 16 years, and the son of the richest man in the county.  If he had known those facts perhaps he wouldn’t have killed him.  But, then again, he probably would have.  When he’s in a bad mood, he let few things go.  If he was angry, someone was going to get hurt.  At that time, he hadn’t known that anything was awry, until the General Foods clerk came out and looked shocked.  That’s when it dawned on him that perhaps something was wrong.  He heard the clerk say the boys name and he knew that he was in trouble.  He ran to his horse and galloped away from the city.  He knew they’d be on his trail.  He hoped that he had enough of a head start to lose them.  He hoped he come to a city soon.  He hoped for many things, and the only one that seemed to be close to coming true was the hope for nighttime to come.
To be honest, he wasn’t actually ashamed of what he had done.  If it were to happen again, he’d do the same things except he might buy some food before he killed the boy.  He was lost in these thoughts when he heard a slight noise in the distance; the sheriff of the town and his men had finally caught up with him.  He smirked.  Sometimes he thought that he enjoyed killing too much.  Other times he realized that it isn’t such a bad thing, killing a man.  It’s a public service.
He stood up and started to saddle his horse.  The men got closer.  He tightened the girth just in time to see them in the distance.  He mounted as they came within shouting range.  He smiled grimly and charged them.  Taking out both his guns he aimed to fire at the men.  There were five in total.  He got two with the first two shots.  They didn’t know what he was up to, but they quickly figured it out.  The remaining three men took out their guns and started to aim as he fired again.  This time, he only got one man.  The other two fired and one hit his arm.  He was down to one gun.  He took aim again and fired, hitting ones horse.  The animal went down and the man tumbled off, breaking his arm.  The other man fired at the man and missed.  He fired at him and got him in the stomach.  The man yelled in pain and he shot him again.    He switched guns and charged the man on the ground.  The man tried to grab his gun with his left hand, but he just couldn’t manage it in time to protect himself.  He mercilessly killed the grounded man.
After that, he wrapped his arm and started a fire.  He was hungry and food had found its way into his grasp.  ‘Perhaps,’ the man thought, ‘I’ll find a town tomorrow.’

© 2009 SDMcCarty

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Compartment 114
Compartment 114


Added on May 17, 2009



Sendai-shi, Japan

I started writing more seriously just a little while ago (about a month or so), so I am not terribly good yet. However, I do enjoy writing, so I'll continue to try! I enjoy fantasy works, and I also.. more..