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"SHORT STORIES for HELL" -> "Becoming a Man"

Becoming a Man, Chapter 2: Still a Boy  by ORL13

Pa removed his finger from the trigger and gently withdrew the barrel from the hole.

"What in the hell's the matter with you boy?!" Pa screamed with a ferocity unprecedented.

"Pa...I...he was..." Duane tried to speak as tears began to race down his cheeks.

"He was what?! Your friend?!"

The backside of Pa's hand struck Duane so hard it hurled him into the wall.  Duane lay still for a moment, the taste of blood reminding him that he wasn't dreaming.

"You better git yer **** up and help me, or I'm gonna be diggin' two graves today."  Pa opened the shed door and started to walk out, but paused for a moment.  "If you ain't ready to spill Hatfield blood then you ain't ready to be no man and that means you ain't no kin of mine."  He continued out the door.

Duane struggled to his feet.  Blood was gushing from the gash that Pa's wedding ring tore into his cheek.  He hobbled to the doorway of the shed and leaned against it.  Pa was occupying himself with gathering what was left of Bo into a mound of bone and gore.  The rifle was resting against the picnic table, Duane was eyeballing it intently while fingering the lone 7mm caliber round in his pocket.  He crept towards the table while Pa had his back turned.  Silently he lifted the rifle off of the table.  Pa neglected to eject the empty shell that was occupying the chamber so Duane was forced to pull the bolt back, making a very audible clicking sound.  Pa turned around and instantly realized what was afoot.  He bolted towards Duane in an attempt to seize the rifle, but he didn't bolt quickly enough.  "She" was already staring him down.

" You ain't gonna shoot me boy!"  Pa said, his expression void of fear and self-doubt.

"You ain't my Pa."  Duane flinched as he loosed the bullet, but his aim was unaffected.  The bullet pierced Pa's chest and exploded out of his back, painting the trees behind him with a fresh coat of red. Pa collapsed into a pile of twitching flesh.

Duane dropped the rifle and fell to his knees, expecting to wake up to the smell of Ma cooking bacon and eggs.  This couldn't be real, an hour and a half ago he was eagerly waiting for his Pa to come home so he could finally become a man.  Suddenly, Duane heard several voices ring out from the east: "Bo?!" Duane could hear. Whoever it was, they were likely headed in the direction of the two gun shots they heard moments ago.

Duane rushed over to Pa and grabbed the remaining shells out of his jacket pocket.  Only three.  He stuffed them into his pocket, grabbed the rifle and ran into the shed, closing the door behind him.  Duane loaded the single shot rifle and peered through the lower eyehole.  After a few moments four men emerged from the trees.  Duane could identify one of them as Gregg Hatfield, Bo's uncle.  He and the others immediately hurried over to Pa's corpse.

 "It's one of them McCoy boys" said Gregg.  He had yet to examine the other corpse.


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  'Becoming a Man, Chapter 2: Still a Boy' statistics: (click to read)
Date created: March 16, 2008
Date published: March 16, 2008
Comments: 5
Word Count: 654
Times Read: 878
Story Length: 1