Undead Man’s Hand – Chapter 2

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Bullock and Abner raced through the dirt roads of Helena until they finally reached the Bullock family’s small, modest home.

The Sheriff ran inside. “Martha!”

Frantically, he set down his shotgun, pulled a matchbook out of his pocket and lit a candle sitting in a decorative holder on the kitchen table. Then, he picked up the candle and opened his bedroom door. He called his wife’s name again. “Martha!”

Mrs. Bullock was a looker with brown eyes and dark, curly hair, which at the moment, was hidden under a bonnet. Slowly, she stirred.

“Hmm?”

Bullock set the candle down and tromped around the room. “Where is the…ahh!”

He pulled an old leather bag out of his closet, set it down on the edge of the bed, then haphazardly packed it. A couple shirts, a few sentimental knick knacks and then…

“Fuck it!” Bullock shouted as he smacked the bag onto the floor, letting its contents spill all over. “Martha!”

Bullock grabbed his wife’s shoulders and vigorously jiggled her up and down. No better plan came to his mind other than to repeat his beloved’s name over and over again.

“Martha! Martha! Martha!”

“Unghh.” Martha sat up and rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. “What? What is it?”

“Do you remember how I’ve always talked about how great it would be to quit the law and take my buddy Sol up on his offer to become a partner in his hardware store in Deadwood?”

Martha closed her eyes and rolled over. “It’s a nice idea, dear. Let’s talk about it tomorrow.”

“That’s just it,” Bullock said.

Gunshots broke Martha’s slumber. A bullet tore through the wall and Martha sat up just in time to see it shatter a vase sitting on a table just a few feet away from her husband.

“We’re doing that now,” Bullock said.

Bullock grabbed hold of his wife and dove to the floor with her just in time to avoid a barrage. Seven or eight bullets in all. The Bullock home was becoming Swiss Cheese.

Martha was furious. “What…did…you…do?”

Floyd shouted loud enough for the whole world to hear. “Get the fuck out here, Bullock!”

“Just a little disagreement with the constituents, hon.”

Like a pair of snakes, Mr. and Mrs. Bullock shimmied on their bellies out of their bedroom and across a small hallway to another bedroom.

“Disagreement my ass!” Martha said.

“Magsie girl!” Bullock cried.

Maggie, a Daddy’s girl if there ever was one with long curly hair like her mother’s, sprang out of bed.

“Daddy!”

Bullock scooped her up and awkwardly crouch walked into the hallway. Several feet away, bullets shattered the glass in the sitting room window. Maggie shrieked loud enough that she would have broken the window had it not already been in pieces.

“Shhh. It’s ok sweetie.” Bullock retreated back into the room and passed his daughter off to Martha.

The Sheriff drew his pistol then looked his wife in the eye. He put his finger to his mouth to warn her to be quiet, then pointed to the left. Smart woman that she was, Martha instantly figured it out. Bullock wanted her to head to the pantry, where there was a back door.

Bullock counted down with his fingers. 1…2…3.

Blam! Blam! Blam! Bullock aimed for the broken window and laid down covering fire, keeping Floyd and his boys busy outside as Martha ran to the pantry, clutching Maggie tight.

Blam! Blam! Blam! Bullock was out.

Back in the pantry, Martha opened the door and whistled. Naturally, Abner responded to all Bullock family member whistles. In happier times, Maggie found this fact to be absolutely hilarious and made use of it often.

Bullock shimmied his way to the sitting room under another barrage of fire.

“Floyd!” he shouted.

“Hold your fire!” Floyd ordered his boys.

Bullock rummaged around in a drawer until he found an old bottle of Kentucky bourbon. Good stuff. Mrs. Bullock wasn’t keen on him drinking so he kept it for special occasions only.

He figured this qualified.

“I’m coming out!” Bullock shouted.

“Right now, Bullock!” Floyd hollered. “Stop fucking around!”

Bullock ran back to the bedroom, popped the cork out of the bottle, doused a handkerchief with booze, then stuffed it into the neck. He lit it up, then returned to the sitting room.

“I’m unarmed,” Bullock said as he picked the shotgun up off the table.

“Stop stalling!”

“OK,” Bullock said.

The Sheriff crouched next to the front door and put his hand on the knob. The flame was chugging now.

He opened the door, hurled the cocktail into the air and as soon as it was right over Floyd and the boys’ stupid heads, he gave it both barrels.

Kaboom! An immense explosion. Floyd and a few of his henchmen caught fire and fell to the ground in agony.

Floyd grabbed his face. It was burnt to a crisp. “Get him!” he screamed as he rolled around, trying desperately to put himself out.

It was a race. Floyd’s handful of unscathed goons running around the side of the house vs. Bullock running through the house.

Bullock found his missus already saddled up on Abner, holding onto Maggie, who was seated snugly in front of her.

The Sheriff hopped on the back of his steed and Martha snapped the reigns. Abner ran off into the woods.

Floyd’s flunkies followed on foot for awhile, taking blind potshots until, due to their laziness and lack of leadership, gave up and turned back.

And so, there they were. All three members of the Bullock family, divest of their home and all of their worldly possessions, riding through a forest in the middle of the night, the two females still in their nightgowns.

“You weren’t supposed to wait,” Bullock said.

“I know,” Martha replied.

“I wish you hadn’t,” Bullock said.

“I know,” Martha repeated.

“But I’m glad you did.”

And for the trifecta…”I know.”

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