Jimmy lay flat on the ground, his belly pressed tightly to the earth.
Green shrubs sheltered him from view. Only one hundred yards of clearedland 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 hismind.
The sound of the first shot echoed through his head. The scream ashis mother fell. The futile, retaliatory shots from his father . .Order now
. That evening had resulted in the death of both of his parents. Hecouldn’t help but think that, in some way, it was his fault. If only hehadn’t left his parents alone. If only he hadn’t gone to explore thewoods.
If only he’d thought to bring a gun with him. If only he hadn’tjust stood there watching from the protection of the trees as those lethalbullets found their way into his parents. Then, maybe then, things wouldhave been different. Jimmy couldn’t really blame himself. After all, whatcould a fifteen year old boy be expected to do under those circumstances?His parents had dreamed of a better life.
A life that would bringprosperity and success for the family, specifically for him. They hadheard there was rich, fertile land out west. Sadly enough, his parents’last breaths were drawn only a few hundred miles from their dream. Theyhad been murdered for nothing more than the few dollars and a couple ofsmall pieces of jewelry that they had possessed. The murderers had laughedas they kicked at his dead father, looking for anything of value.
They hadbeen quite sure of themselves and wore no masks. Jimmy could stillremember their faces as if it was yesterday. The murderers would bebrought to justice, come hell or high water, Jimmy had decided. As itturned out, he was complied to track them for the past five years, throughboth hell and high water. Their trail had led through many obscure, sparsely populated westerntowns. It had not been easy.
But Jimmy had always looked older than hewas. 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 roadhad been rough. It had taught him definite proficiency with his revolverand 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 ofit. The only clothes that he owned, he wore. They consisted quite simplyof a pair of jeans, a plaid shirt, a black belt and a Stetson. Other thanhis horse and his highly polished revolvers and his rifle, these were hissole possessions.
A shadow stirred in the window and Jimmy forced the memories into theback of his mind. His parents’ death would soon be avenged. There wereonly 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’llnever know what hit them. ” With this for assurance, Jimmy closed his eyesslowly and rested, anticipating the night’s conclusion. The sound of a plate breaking and the sounds of knuckles meeting fleshwoke Jimmy with a start. A quick surveillance of the property assuredJimmy that nothing special was happening. He had often seen two bestfriends fight when they were drunk.
Liquor had that effect on people. Itmade them do crazy things. That was essentially why he tried to stay awayfrom 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 thepast 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 fromthe lamp on the table in the cabin. His revolver slid out of its holstersilently. Jimmy crept up to the door, staying carefully to the shadows.
One deep breath of conviction and a swift, strong kick knocked the door offits hinges. He tensed, ready to fire at the first sign of movement orlife. 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 ofeach other on the floor. Jimmy kicked at the man on top, much like the manhad done to his father. The difference here being that it was not Jimmy’sweapon that had ended this criminal’s life. The kick separated the twobodies, revealing a knife in each man’s heart. Whether the second man had committed suicide after realizing that hehad killed the first or whether both men had plunged the knives into eachother’s bodies at the same time, Jimmy would never know.
His five yearnightmare was over.