by underswansea


There is no telling it like it is. The truth would hammer us senseless if we heard it spoken. He kept his hat down along with his eyes. The promise was gone along with favor or chance. It wasn’t like walking a knife-edge or scaling mountains. It was like going down in murky water, but being able to breath. His eyes were open and his head was clear. He knew this was when he was dangerous.

Bishop didn’t have to look far for trouble. The first light he waited for the horn. It was an Escalade. It kept following.

He remembered being shot at for the first time. It was his brother. They were kids. It was a double barrel hammer shotgun, circa late 1800’s. His brother loaded it with nickels, the same size as 12-gauge shell and fired them at him. His brother laughed when the coin would splash onto his chest. It was a real gun. Bishop saw the two black holes at the end of the barrels that in the hands of his father had delivered death to countless ducks and geese.

Bishop learned you didn’t always die when someone pointed a gun at you. Now older he realized it was actually rare.

The guy in the Escalade went for the gun when he saw Bishop approach. Rich people have shiny vehicles and shiny guns, Bishop thought.

Bishop had him blocked in. It was an advantage knowing the local roads.

His brother hit him in the face the butt of the gun. He saw a bright sickly light, all yellow and dull, it was like piss flowed over him. It bloodied him up and made him taste metal. It was different from the blood.

The gun was leveled at his chest. The guy was sitting in a white leather heated seat. Bishop couldn’t understand why he’d followed him. Bishop put his hand on his hand and the top of the gun and pointed it away.

There was no danger. Bishop pulled his arm out the window of the SUV. Using the window frame for leverage he broke the arm at the elbow. The gun fell free.

It was a nasty injury, worse than being shot at with nickels or hit in the face with the butt of a gun. If they met again he would have to be careful. The guy was learning about pointing a gun.

Bishop picked up the pistol. It was lighter than expected.

Not all guns fire bullets. Some are heavier. It’s like days and nights. That’s the truth, he figured.

Bishop sat back in his truck. He could feel the danger drain out of him. He had beer in the backseat and reached for one. They were warm, but they were beer.

He put the Ford in gear and coasted down. It would be awhile before the guy found enough wits to call for help.