It was dusk again. Saturday. At the ridge overlooking a jagged canyon, a grove of gaunt pine saplings sat, starved of sunlight beneath a single, gnarled oak. From the cliff one could see flashes of thunder, warning of the coming storm from the mountains, yet for the time being, the air sat still like a heeled hound. Under the sun’s dying light the birds said nothing.
Below, campfire smoke whipped towards the sky, caught and cut apart by the wind, bringing the smell of seared fish up to the birch groves, the tumbleweeds, then beyond, out of sight.
Silas cocked the bolt.
He noted the pastel-red horse in the canyon below, the green tent. Then as he watched, a man with a hooked hand emerged from the flap. Eureka, Silas thought, as he trained the iron sights of his rifle. For a moment, the man seemed to note the horizon, the trailing clouds that were especially violet tonight. Silas felt a bittersweet solace that this stranger’s last moments should be so breathtaking.
With deafening thunder, Silas dropped him dead.