She was harder than the rest, but she still died.
I came across the trenchworks as the sun crept up over the horizon. Some damned sentry sent a few shots my way, and for a bit, we exchanged fire as I made my way towards his position.
No sooner had I put a round through his head than another soldier pinpointed my position and engaged me in another fight.
I killed him too, eventually, but it set off a pattern that continued for the better part of the day. I could have gone around the trenchworks, of course. There had to be some way to avoid them. But after those first two fights, well, my dander was up.
I worked my way through the trenches, taking a few hits here and there and realizing I’d be putting my sewing kit to good use whenever I made camp. Would that my clothes could mend themselves the way my flesh and bones did.
By dinner time, I was hungry and angry, and I wanted the damned sun to set.
But the sun wasn’t setting, I wasn’t getting happy, and I sure as hell wasn’t eating.
I paused near a corner, reloaded the Colts, and went into the next branch.
My mother stood there, dressed for war and just as surprised as I was. In her hands, she had a pair of revolvers, blued steel and triggers back.
But her surprise cost her.
My Colts roared a heartbeat before hers, and she stumbled back. One round clipped her shoulder, and the other took off her lower jaw.
Hate blazed in her eyes as she caught her balance, and despite the blood gushing from her wounded face, she brought her pistols up.
Both rounds took me low in the belly, but there was too much hatred to stop me.
I put another pair of slugs in her chest and sent her to her knees. As she struggled to bring her pistols back to bear, I stepped forward and kicked her in the chest, knocking her backward. Blood and pain pumped out of my gut, and I stood over her, my blood mixing with hers.
With my guns in my hands, I watched and waited for her to die.
She fought it, and I stepped on her arms, pinning them down.
Rage filled her eyes, and she squeezed the triggers until the guns dry fired.
“Aye,” I nodded, “there’s the mother I know.”