Powder Burn Flash # 155 - Jimmy Callaway
Hey, I Gotta Go Shoot Frank Miller Dead, I’ll Be Right Back
by Jimmy Callaway
The sheriff pulled his watch out and glanced at it. Five to twelve. “Well,” he said to himself, “Close enough.”
Frank Miller and his boys strode down Main Street . Dust kicked up by their boots quickly sank back to earth in the still July heat. The sheriff stepped off the porch of the general store and stood in the middle of the street.
“Frank,” said the sheriff.
“Sheriff,” Frank said, “You ‘n’ me got us a score to—” and then his head exploded.
Frank’s boys didn’t seem to register what happened, even as Frank’s headless corpse sank to its knees and pitched forward. They just stood there, Frank’s blood dripping down their faces, into their slack-jawed mouths. Their hands hung limp at their sides.
“Goddammit,” the sheriff muttered and looked up at Jasper on the roof of the Tinhorn Saloon across the street. Jasper gave a weak grin and shrugged. Smoke tendrilled from the barrel of his buffalo rifle.
Frank Miller’s boys just stood there like store dummies. Without moving his head, the sheriff glanced around at the shuttered windows in the barber shop, the general store, the newspaper office. He couldn’t see the townspeople safe inside. They couldn’t see him.
One of Frank’s boys raised a hand to wipe some of Frank’s brains off his forehead. The sheriff said, “Drop it! Or I’ll—” and opened fire. The boy dropped, and then the sheriff plugged the other one. He went down like a sack of wet laundry. The sheriff emptied his pistol at where they’d been standing.
Not running exactly, the sheriff went and knelt beside the three bodies, drew their weapons and placed them in their hands. Frank’s body had fallen with his right arm underneath, so the sheriff had to wedge it under there a little.
Then he stood and called out, “All right, everybody! Come on out! Coast is clear!” Timid doors began to creak open. “You’re all safe!” called the sheriff.
He looked down at the flies beginning to collect. “You’re all safe,” he said.