He wasn’t afraid to die.
I found him in a wooded lot about a mile outside of Westford, Massachusetts. I’d heard rumor that some men had been shot at and a couple of others wounded. The police had gone in to look for the assailant, but they’d been driven out by what they stated was ‘wild firing.’
I didn’t believe them.
I saw the wounded. Their injuries were precise. Enough to injure and cause pain, but nothing permanent.
As for the police, the way they spoke of the firing, and the objects around them which had been hit, I knew they had encountered something far more dangerous than a random and deranged killer.
They had found a sniper.
A sniper who didn’t want to kill.
I made my way into the section of forest the police were warning people away from, and I soon found the trail. It was obvious, and had I not known about the purposefully missed shots; I wouldn’t have followed it.
As it was, I made my way along the path, my hands well away from the Colts.
The rattle of a branch and the sharp crack of a rifle told me when I’d gone far enough. While the branch tumbled to the forest floor, I stood still and waited.
A voice called out to me.
“Speak your name.”
“If you are, take the Colts out and show them to me.”
I did as the unseen shooter asked.
His laugh rang out through the woods. “Put those hand-cannons away, Blood.”
I did so.
A few moments later, a short man with a large beard stepped out from a well-camouflaged hide.
“I was hoping you would come,” the man informed me.
“Why’s that?” I asked.
“I will need a second,” he replied, the humor leaving his voice. “I would like it today. Your mother has sent me to kill, and I have no desire to do so. My killing days are done. The only death I will offer to her is my own.”
“Fair enough,” I said, and the man turned and knelt down, facing away from me.
“My thanks, Duncan.”
I didn’t reply. I didn’t ask him if he was ready.
I drew both Colts, lined the barrels up with the back of his skull, and pulled the triggers.
The dead man slumped forward, and in the stillness of the day, I buried him.
Unlike the others, he deserved it.