Chasing Them Down: Day 7

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I have a growing dislike for the entire Martin family.

Jolene Nesbith had spoken the truth when she told me the whereabouts of Danny. She failed to mention he was with his cousins.

Seventeen of them, to be precise.

It turns out the Martins were a French-Canadian family. Their name, prior to emigrating to the US, had been Sainte de Martin.

I found Danny exactly where she said I would, with his cousin Bill. Bill and the other sixteen cousins who ran a small lumber camp a full day’s ride from Jolene’s house in South Berwick.

When I walked into the camp, it was a little past noon, and the men were all seated around a large fire that had a few pots of coffee brewing over it on iron swing-arms. Danny was there, seated directly across the fire, and his face went white as a sheet when he saw me. He let out a hoarse cry of alarm even as I drew both my Colts.

Yet no sooner had the barrels cleared leather than some of Danny’s cousins were reaching for shotguns.

Danny would have to wait.

Gunfights are a hell of a thing on a man. The world slows down, and everything leaps into focus. You can see a man blink and his finger tense on the trigger; you can hear the chambering of a round and the harsh clack of a weapon being broken open to be reloaded. You can smell their breath over the smoke of the fire, the sharp tang of coffee rising from the spouts of the pots.

And beneath your own fingers, you can feel the cool, beautiful steel.

There’s no need to aim because you know you’re going to hit every one of them.

The fight didn’t last more than a few minutes. I killed eleven straight off, and sent the last round into the small of Danny’s back, knocking him down.

The others I finished with my knife.

Danny was still trying to get away when I caught up with him.

We sat for a bit and chewed the fat, me poking my fingers in his wound whenever he stopped talking.

Finally, he swore he didn’t know where Luke had gotten off to, so I opened Danny up from stem to stern.

I wasn’t happy, but the day wasn’t a complete loss.

The coffee was still hot.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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