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Deadeyes Short Story

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Summary

In an alternate western - style world an elderly barman's normal day is turned into something more deadly with the arrival of a lone gunman.

Genre:
Action / Fantasy
Author:
Todd Harding
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
1
Rating:
5.0
Age Rating:
16+

Chapter 1

If there was one thing that Abraham Johnson could always spot it was trouble.

He’d been a bartender in the town of Hogsfeet located in the middle of the Dry –Bone Wastelands for near forty years now and if there was one requirement needed to stay alive in the business it was how to spot trouble.

And Hogsfeet was home to alot of trouble. The townsfolk think the surrounding vast desert and close proximity to the border had something to do with it; that the complete isolation of this town from all other pockets of civilization caused many to grow paranoid and angry. Abraham had never believed that himself however; he had been born and raised in this town and nothing was wrong with him. Since the desert around here was so barren literally the only way out of this town was the railway line.

So when this short looking fella came in to his bar a while ago he could just tell he was going to be trouble.

He couldn’t see the face of this fella because he wrapped the lower part of his face with about four different bandannas, each of them a different colour. He also wore a massive hat that shadowed his eyes and a long, tan trench coat looked liked it was made for a man slightly taller than he was. The fella was sat in the corner by himself and when one of his serving girls asked if he wanted anything the fella acted like he did not hear her.

Some of his other customers, three big fellows down here playing cards in the bar and two upstairs with his working girls, seemed to be a bit unnerved by the fella as well and kept giving him wary glances. Two even fingered their revolvers in their belt but made no other moves; the days when a man can gun down another man over a small matter where long gone. The Union had passed laws of strict gun control over the civilians; unless it was to defend themselves, one cannot legally draw their gun and as unnerving as the fella might be he had so for not done anything that would be classed a self defence.

Even so when one of his girls was leaving for the day he quietly told her to bring the local Sheriff here, if this guy was going to cause any trouble he wanted the law to take care of it. That had been ten minutes ago yet it felt to Abraham like ten hours.

Feeling sweat bead on the top of his bold head, he dapped it slightly with a clean rag, it was always hot in Hogsfeet but this month had been exceptionally cruel. It was the middle of summer and it could be weeks before the each rain. It bothered people so much that half of the town would migrate north where the summers where not so bad. Abraham had never gone himself; his daddy had taught all about how to survive the merciless heat of the summer.

“Hey buster I’m talking to you!” Someone said in a small shout.

Startled Abraham turned round and noticed one of the big fellows playing cards was at the bar. He was at least seven feet tall, bald and had numerous burn scars covering his exposed flesh. But the most unsettling thing about him was his small beady eyes that looked incredibly blood shot. Abraham had quickly served him and his friends an hour ago and he was unnerved by them then as well.

I don’t like this at all.

Abraham forced a smile “Sorry gent what can I get you?”

“A refill for starters and then you can hand over all the cash you got”

“Now hold on here -

However before he can get another word out the bold brute and drawn his revolver and shoved it right under his nose.

“Not going to ask again old timer,” The Bold Brute said, “The cash cash now or I’ll decorate this place with your brains.”

Abraham looked round and saw that the Bold Brute’s companions had gotten up as well; one with an eye patch pointed his gun at his serving girl who stood frozen with fear while the other with long hair was watching the man who was sitting down.

All this going down and that guy is still as a statue.

“You hear me old timer or shall we start with the girl first?”

“No, no please I’ll do what you say.” Abraham said quickly and just as quickly he emptied his wooden till of all the days cash.

“Thanks.” The Bold Brute said before he cocked his gun.

BAM!

Abraham flinched and raised his hands over his face but when he felt certain he wasn’t dead he lowered them. The Bold Brute stood stock still but blood and flesh where flying out of the side of his neck and splatter all over the bar counter.

What the!?

He looked over to his left and saw that the short man in the tan coat was standing with his smoking gun pointed at the Bold Brute, who was now collapsing to the floor. He must have acted really fast as the one with man with long hair had barely reacted at all.

“Son of bitch!” Long Hair said but before he could ever draw his weapon Tan Coat blasted him square right in the middle of the eyes. Long Hair went flying backwards by the force of the shot and sent blood spaying in all directions.

“That’s enough out of you!”

Abraham looked to his right and saw Eye Patch had taken cover behind his serving girl and was using her as a shield and had a knife pressed to her throat. However that wasn’t even the even the worst of it; parts of Eye Patch’s skin was turning a scaly grey, his teeth where becoming rows of fangs and his blood shot eyes turned a crimson red.

“Demon.” Abraham whispered.

The spawns of Hell that invaded this world centuries ago, who are at war with the Union even today, who murder humans just for the sport of it.

And served them in my bar!

“The Unions been looking for you three rogues for over a year now.” Tan Coat said, his voice muffled by his bandanas. “Their very interested in the heads of the three Demons who slipped past the border.”

“Well my head’s staying where it belongs.” Eye patch spat his voice now deeper and rougher. “So unless you want this whore’s death on your hands you’ll let me walk.”

But Tan Coat didn’t walk he just slowly raised his revolver and cocked back the hammer.

“Didn’t you here me!?” Eye Patch drew blood across the serving girl’s throat but not with his knife; his finger nails had turned into claws, “I’ll gut the bitch I swear!”

“I don’t doubt that.” Tan Coat replied softly before firing.

Abraham had seen a lot in his life but nothing had ever come close to this. It should have been an impossible shot with Eye Patch half way across the room and using the serving girl as cover but somehow Tan Coat managed to shoot in right in the eye. Blood and bone splattered on the wall behind and as soon as the serving girl felt Eye Patch's grip loosen she ran out of the bar screaming.

Is it just me or did that fella’s eyes glow red for a second.

Hearing a moan Abraham looked down and was surprised to see Eye Patch was still alive and crying out in pain. He didn’t look remotely human any more now, he looked like some stone gargoyle that had come to life with it’s wings.

“Its so annoying trying to kill you demons when you shed your human form.” Tan Coat said casually as he walked over and stood over Eye Patch.

“Wait!” Eye Patch said fearfully while covering the hole where his eye had been, “The bounty on me is worth twice as much alive.”

Tan Coat pointed his gun down at the demon trying so pathetically to hang on to his life, “I said the Union has been after you three, never said I was even interested in the money.”

And that was the last thing he said to the demon before he unloaded the rest of his revolver into him. Eye Patch's head blew apart in a hail of blood, bone and grey brain matter.

Maybe Abraham made a little whimper but Tan Coat suddenly turned towards him while holstering his revolver. This time Abraham was sure that his eyes glowed a faint red, almost the same kind of red as the demon’s had.

“Sorry about the bar old timer.” Tan Coat reached behind his belt and unsheathed a long machete and placed it on the bar, “Give their heads to the local sheriff when he arrives and that should cover everything.”

“Th-Thank you.” Abraham stammered out watching the fellas leave the bar as if he did something as normal as having a drink.

Maybe I should have migrated north with the others for once.

THE END?

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