Jimmy lay flat on the ground, his belly pressed tightly to the earth.
Green shrubs sheltered him from view. Only one hundred yards of cleared
land sat between him and his objective. He had waited five years for this.
It so happened that it was five years ago from today that it had happened.
The nightmare that had taken place that evening was again playing in his
mind. The sound of the first shot echoed through his head. The scream as
his mother fell. The futile, retaliatory shots from his father . . .
That evening had resulted in the death of both of his parents. He
couldn’t help but think that, in some way, it was his fault. If only he
hadn’t left his parents alone. If only he hadn’t gone to explore the
woods. If only he’d thought to bring a gun with him. If only he hadn’t
just stood there watching from the protection of the trees as those lethal
bullets found their way into his parents. Then, maybe then, things would
have been different. Jimmy couldn’t really blame himself. After all, what
could a fifteen year old boy be expected to do under those circumstances?
His parents had dreamed of a better life. A life that would bring
prosperity and success for the family, specifically for him. They had
heard there was rich, fertile land out west. Sadly enough, his parents’
last breaths were drawn only a few hundred miles from their dream. They
had been murdered for nothing more than the few dollars and a couple of
small pieces of jewelry that they had possessed. The murderers had laughed
as they kicked at his dead father, looking for anything of value. They had
been quite sure of themselves and wore no masks. Jimmy could still
remember their faces as if it was yesterday. The murderers would be
brought to justice, come hell or high water, Jimmy had decided. As it
turned out, he was complied to track them for the past five years, through
Their trail had led through many obscure, sparsely populated western
towns. It had not been easy. But Jimmy had always looked older than he
was. Even at fifteen, he had been able to get rooms at hotels and bars.
Now, at twenty years of age, Jimmy was a hardened man. Life on the road
had been rough. It had taught him definite proficiency with his revolver
and not to be afraid to use it. He had been through it all now,
gunslingers, murderers, drunks, prostitutes, you name it, he’d been there.
The stress showed on his face though his tangled beard concealed most of
it. The only clothes that he owned, he wore. They consisted quite simply
of a pair of jeans, a plaid shirt, a black belt and a Stetson. Other than
his horse and his highly polished revolvers and his rifle, these were his
A shadow stirred in the window and Jimmy forced the memories into the
back of his mind. His parents’ death would soon be avenged. There were
only several hours until complete darkness would conceal his approach.
Jimmy began to plan his invasion. Drunken voices were raised in the cabin.
“Good,” thought Jimmy, “They should be intoxicated enough that they’ll
never know what hit them.” With this for assurance, Jimmy closed his eyes
slowly and rested, anticipating the night’s conclusion.
The sound of a plate breaking and the sounds of knuckles meeting flesh
woke Jimmy with a start. A quick surveillance of the property assured
Jimmy that nothing special was happening. He had often seen two best
friends fight when they were drunk. Liquor had that effect on people. It
made them do crazy things. That was essentially why he tried to stay away
from the stuff. He was wished that he’d brought some along tonight though.
Just then he was getting a little queasy about the whole affair. During the
past five years there had never been any doubt what he had to do. Now . .
. “There is no question of what I have to do,” Jimmy convinced himself.
It was time. The only light source in the area was that coming from
the lamp on the table in the cabin. His revolver slid out of its holster
silently. Jimmy crept up to the door, staying carefully to the shadows.
One deep breath of conviction and a swift, strong kick knocked the door off
its hinges. He tensed, ready to fire at the first sign of movement or
life. The air in the cabin hung thick with smoke from the fireplace.
Jimmy quickly surveyed the cabin. Signs of a struggle were everywhere.
Suddenly his eyes came to rest on two motionless bodies lying on top of
each other on the floor. Jimmy kicked at the man on top, much like the man
had done to his father. The difference here being that it was not Jimmy’s
weapon that had ended this criminal’s life. The kick separated the two
bodies, revealing a knife in each man’s heart.
Whether the second man had committed suicide after realizing that he
had killed the first or whether both men had plunged the knives into each
other’s bodies at the same time, Jimmy would never know. His five year