Mexican Standoff


  My first mission and I’m caught with a rifle to my head in a god damn Mexican standoff.
  “Easy my ass, Effy,”
  “Shut up kid,” she shoots back.
  “Both of you shut up,” says the younger man whom I have at the end of my sawn-off. His own gun is lodged between Faith’s locks. 
  “Quit jabbing me, boy,” Faith snarls, “Trigger fingers awful itchy and I’m ready to give your ceiling a whole new paint job. Her forty five is underneath the older mans jaw, pointing up. I’m still not quite used to my sisters new demeanour, but I already know better than to fuck with it, and I try to communicate this to my charge with a narrowing of the eyes. I’m eager to avoid the bloody finale that will result from our current predicament should anyone lose their cool. I’m not sure if he gets the message, but he seems to pull back the archaic piece in his hand ever so slightly.
  “What are you doing in my house?” The older man asks calmly, as if he didn’t have his hunting rifle at my temple. As if the entire room wasn’t armed to the teeth.
  “Get that gun away from my brother,” Faith spits, ignoring him completely. I’d be touched if I wasn’t trying so hard to control my bladder. I can’t see the conversation but I can feel the tension radiating from the players. I’m focused intently on the guy in front of me. It’s dark but I can make out beads of sweat rolling down his face, kissing the rough edges of the shotgun.
  “Tell your brother to lower his double-barrel and I’ll think about it, otherwise this ain’t gonna end pretty for no-one,” the man replies, as cool as you like.
  “Actually, I’ve got nothing,” the other guy – who has remained quiet up until now – blurts out.
  In my peripheral I see Faith – very slowly – slide her spare from the back of her jeans and levels it at the kids head.
  “Nice going, bro,” says my target.
  “Shut-up Bobby,” the nervous man replies. His gun is at Faith’s chest and for a second I’m a little jealous that she the majority of the heat.
  “Look little lady,” the spokesperson says again, “why don’t we all lower our weapons and walk away. No one needs to die tonight.”
  “Oh we’re all gonna die if your kid doesn’t quit poking at my boob, consider this his last warning.” I realize now that she wasn’t talking to my mark the first time.
  “Son,” the man continues, “stop being such a tool and do what the girl is telling you.”
  The kid – very slowly – moves his pistol from Faith’s chest and brings it up, up, up until it rests between her eyes.
  “Nice going, sis,” I say. My would-be-victim smiles at the mimicry. Glad he appreciates it.
  “Where is it?” Faith says, a new calm to her voice. Maybe she realized the badass ‘tude wasn’t getting her anywhere.
  “Where is what?” The old man replies.
  “You know goddamn well what”
  “Honey?” comes a voice from the stairwell, a new voice, a voice that has the potential to shatter the new equilibrium that had finally been obtained.
  “Back upstairs, Em.” calls the nervous guy immediately, a warble to the calm front he’s desperately trying for. The footsteps continue.
  “But I heard-“
  “Em,” he shouts, “upstairs, now.”
  There’s a silence. No sounds of movement from the stairs.
  “That’s her, isn’t it?” Faith asks, a grin playing at her lips. Her endgame was in sight, or just out of it, at least.
  “You leave her alone,” the younger one continues, “she hasn’t done anything.”
  “Yet,” comes my sisters simple response.
  “Come on guys,” I ask, becoming increasingly rattled, “is it really worth dying over?”
  “It is a she kid,” the older guy interjects, “and she has a name. And yes – Emma is worth it. She’s a sweet girl, as good as they come.”
  “She’s dead, Fred.” Faith says. I’m pretty sure Fred isn’t the guys name but whatever, “Ain’t no corpse I ever seen worth a bullet in the brain for.”
  “Maybe you just never met the right one,” the father says, “but is-,” he pauses, “-whatever you got goin’ on here worth the train fare to hell?”
  Faith considers it – actually considers it – before steeling over once again. “I don’t do this for shits and giggles, grandpa, I do this because goddamn freaks like Em need to be put down for the sake of idiots like yourself”
  “Just plain ungrateful,” I add.
  “Shut up, kid,” Faith snaps.
  “Look lady, how about you let me deal with the potentials under my own roof. I’m sure there are plenty of real problems a couple such as yourselves would be better suited to dealing with out there”
  There’s a long pause. I can tell what Faith is thinking because I’m thinking it too. It’s getting harder and harder to D&D. The silence stretches on and on before the man finally pipes up again.
  “I reckon you’re an honourable girl, little chance someone in your line of work isn’t, so I’m gonna go ahead and lower my rifle-” and he does, he actually does. The guy in front of me – Bobby – doesn’t look so sure about this bold move. I am now a free agent. 
  “Dad,” he says, turning his attention – and gun – on me. Covering the bases. Damn it.
  “Son,” his father simply replies. Me and Bobby, for all intents and purposes we’re in it to win it, our eyes locked, our arms parallel in the air.
  “Nice piece,” I say eyeing the archaic revolver in his hand.
  “You too,” he says, doing the same to my sawn-off.  
  “Come on, kid.” Faith says, lowering her pistols and surprising us all, “Let’s go home.”
  Bobby and I slowly, simultaneously lower our weapons. The nervous guy is the last one to stand down. Faith turns her back on the lot of us and walks towards the kitchen once again. I’m still coming to grips that it’s over at all before I realise I’m standing amongst the enemy and quickly catch up to her.
  She opens the door and doesn’t look back but I can’t help it, turning quickly before I disappear back into the night, glancing at the three strange men who would give up their lives for the dead. A family, not so different from how ours used to be, sans necrophilia.

And that, my friends, is how you celebrate three months of Blame Per Diem! With a (distinct lack of) bang!!


~ by Joseph Blame on September 26, 2010.

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