The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
I Saved the Last Bullet for Death
by Melissa R. Mendelson
I stoked the fire and stared up into the starry sky. A star flashed overhead, chased by a wolf’s cry. The night closed in as the rock hardened underneath me. I waited for him. Still, I nodded off maybe for a moment. I jerked my head up, and he sat in front of me. His long, white skeletal face looming against the black as his ugly, twisted horns curled out toward the distance.
“Took you damn long enough. I’m freezing out here,” I said, dropping the stick by my boots.
“I almost did not come,” he replied. His skeletal head tilted to the side. “What do you want?”
“I tire of this game that we play.”
“Game,” he asked, and I could almost see a grin stretch out across that face.
“Yes, game. Damn it. Every time I’m shot, the bullet disappears, and it finds its way into the heart of someone I love. I’ve been shot six times now, and I’ve lost six people that I care about.”
“Do you want me to weep for you?”
“No. I want you to stop. I want the next bullet to be mine.”
“No?” I reached for the gun in my holster. “Why are you doing this to me?”
“Because of all the lives you took in your last one.”
“My last one?”
“You were a bad man once.”
“So, you are punishing me for something that I did in another life?” I watched him shrug. “When does it end?”
“When it is time to end.” He eyed the gun now in my hand. “Are you really going to shoot me?”
“I don’t know. Will it kill you, or will it kill me?” I could see that grin again stretch out across his face. “You don’t think I’ll do it. Do you?” He laughed in response. “I will do it,” I said.
“Then, do it,” he whispered.
I slipped off the rock that I was sitting on. My boots hit the earth. I aimed my gun at his head, and he waited for me to pull the trigger. I stared into the orange glow of his eyes and could hear the whispers of everyone I lost. I lowered the gun to my side.
“Then, the game continues,” he said.
“No, it doesn’t.” I shot him in the head.
Fiction © Copyright Melissa R. Mendelson
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Melissa R. Mendelson:
I got a one-way ticket out of hell. All I need to do is drive across country with a body in the trunk and run miscellaneous errands, but a lot of those errands come with a heavy price. And if I lose the body in the trunk, then I have to go back, and I’ll be damned if I return down there. I will fight to stay here, even if there is no rest for those wicked.
Gripping story – loved your use of dialogue – I’m still wondering what happened after that last bullet was shot…
A darkly intriguing story.