Hangman

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Showdown

It was an impressive sight seeing two men, in their mid thirties, standing either end of the street. While not normally impressive this was old country where civility was gone and people settled petty arguments with gun fights. Was it worth dieing for cheating at a game of poker, probably not, but all philosophies on life were thrown out the window with the first punch and a declaration of a challenge. So now the two seasoned duellists awaited the chime, signifying noon, from the old town hall.
“This is my battle, boy” One of the men yelled, it was Sammy the Skull Crusher, brutal name, brutal in nature. He got his nickname after he killed someone for putting salt in his beer as a practical joke and after Sammy killed him he jumped on his head crushing it completely leaving only a bloody mess behind.
“Not if I have anything to do about it” The Monk yelled back, his real name was Marcus Costello but everyone called him The Monk because of the way he hated these gun battles and although he was a veteran he had never killed anyone.
Marcus was probably the weaker battler of the two because of the lack of killer instinct but he was still convinced he was going to win, in old town you had to believe as the alternative was death.
“You shouldn’t of cheated, you dog” Sammy spat.
“And lose all of my money; I think not” Marcus replied “Besides, now I can finally defeat the great Sammy Skull Crusher.” He chuckled as he said his name, he was the one who cheated the game but not because he needed money. Not for himself, he was playing for a family on the outskirts of town they declared bankruptcy only the day before.
Both fighters looked at the clock, one minute to go. The air got tense and so did the men, they readied their hands above their pistols. The trick about these fights is to listen to the clock opposed to the chime. If one listens close enough they can hear the mechanics inside and acting on this sounds gives the fighter the illusion of being quicker than they actually are; and so both men listened.
The clock wound down.
Five
Four
Three
This was the moment all fighters loved, the moment before the climax when the outcome could not be seen. The dice were being rolled.
Two
There it was; the sound they were waiting for, Sammy thrust his hand onto the handle even before having a good grip he began angling the barrel at his opponent. Marcus, was more delicate taking his time, he got a good grip and started raising his arm.
BANG! Sammy fired. His shot was rushed and hit The Monk in the left shoulder, while the gun in his right hand never flinched. By now it was raised and pointed at Sammy he pulled the trigger. BANG! His hand flung upward due to recoil, he steadied it again and fired. BANG! Sammy was stunned realising the fight wasn’t over he fired. BANG! It seemed as though time slowed down as the three bullets moved leaving a trail of air pockets in their wake. Marcus’s first bullet passed Sammy’s sparing only an inch, the second wasn’t as lucky as it scraped Sammy’s altering the direction of both bullets forcing them to shoot of to the sides, missing both the targets.
Sammy still standing, dropped his gun.
“It’s over” Marcus said and he was right his first bullet had dug itself deep into Sammy’s right shoulder, the one he used to hold his gun. Marcus holstered his gun, turned his back, and began walking, he smiled. He had won but in reality no one wins in old town.

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