Only The Strong

Behind his basement bar, Murray mourns the loss of very good booze. Old pale seeps into the mahogany amidst a shattered tumbler. He wasn’t interested in the police positive revolver pointed squarely at his gut. The violent dismissal of hospitality seemed more the glaring offense than the imminent murder. The shootist stood just in range of the dim lights. The pistol was somewhat closer, cupped in his hands.

“So who did I kill this time?”

“You destroyed my wife but you didn’t kill her. No, she did that. She had the courage you lacked.”

“So you’re going to kill me because your wife had that good sense to get busy dying.”

“I’m going to kill you because I think I’d gain pleasure from it. And I think you owe me that much.”

“I don’t owe son, there’s no money in it.”

The man with the gun moved closer. Dirty blond hair dripped with sweat down hazel eyes and further being off his nose. The face betrayed his youth. The hands betrayed the young man entirely. They shook with vigor as he held the firearm. The broken tumbler was incidental to the boy’s intentions; a lucky exclamation when all he wanted was a period. Slowly, a hesitant thumb moved towards the hammer.

“That’s a double action, you don’t need to cock it.”

In the space of a gulp and an assuring breath, Murray had himself his own pistol from a drawer full of towels. The revolver bucked and the second shot hit an expensive mirror behind Murray. Murray was propped on the bar and firing a much smaller load, he hit a lung.

“Now, this is a Luger and does need to be cocked but I had the foresight to prepare.”

The crumbled up coat with a man couldn’t begin to care.

“I had the same chances as you did growing up, but I prepared.”

There was no argument in the person sputtering on the ground, he had more pressing concerns.

“You’re wife should have been thriftier, should have been smarter. We’re all given the same cards you see.”

Murray wasn’t talking to anyone anymore. Felicity Kreuger had came to Murray, they always came to him. Being that she was a pretty and able a girl, her utility was obvious. So Murray supplied Felicity with an employer; Murray being the critical junction between ability and need. He was a pillar of the community really and pillars have the right to grow old if they’re built well. If you’re built substandard well, really how is that the problem of the better built among us.

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