Tempting Chekov

The gun hung over the mantle where the fire roared. It was a Henry Repeating with a beautiful brass plated receiver. It’s lever was widened to accommodate a bigger than normal hand. Garret stared at the rifle It was brilliant in the evening sun and he couldn’t help but stare at the piece. It was screaming at him.

“Shit, you looked at it?”

“It’s very fetching.”

“You’ll have to shoot it.”


“Go into the backyard and shoot a few cans.”


“It has to be shot, otherwise it will shoot itself.”

“Um, are you talking about Chekov’s gun? ‘Cause I think that only applies to fiction.”

“I don’t know who Chekov is but that gun will go off.”

Garret looked at Dan and back to his scotch. His scotch’s argument was more persuasive. Slowly, he took another sip and turned away from the fireplace and began to walk towards the door.

“Just shoot a few cans, otherwise we can’t know how it will go off.”

He stopped to consider the stupidity of that statement and the vulnerability of the speaker. He turned and walked back towards Dan. Garret had learned long ago that if he was too be a smug smartass, it is best to have eye contact. As he stepped next to Dan’s overstuffed leather chair, he noticed a weird place in the floor that caused the room to wobble. The rifle fell and suddenly Garret was holding his left bloody arm.

“But it’s not even the second act yet.”

The hospital was ten miles away and the third act would be surgery.


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