Tag Archives: Sci-Fi

Short Story Excerpt: Trial 39 by Abraham Lopez


Trial 39 (GoodReads Link – FREE to Read/Download)

Soft. Yeah, soft is what I’d say about the man walking into the bar. He won’t be around for long.

Lanky, weak, and green, we’ll kill him with his feet flat on the ground. He may have a knife in his belt, but that’d be all. This one wouldn’t be carrying a pistol. Firing one might break his wrist.

So, yes, a knife at best, and that weren’t going to be nearly good enough.

Now, we’ll let him eat his lunch, to see how he pays. If it’s with a rare-o coin or gold, we’ll shoot him, with mercy, as ‘ppreciation. Paying with bills, and rough-looking metal will get him a dragging, or maybe even a stoning. Gods, those’re what I like the best! Here’s hopin’…

And look here! Yon stranger is ordering drinking water with his meal. No beer or liquor at all.

How queer, and wonders never cease. Well, not for a few minutes, anyhow.

Now, he waits for his food, and starts looking around the bar. It is not much to look at, and full of shifty, dangerous people. Experience tells me this. Well, experience, plus the world seems to only breed that type of people in these harsh environments.

One thing is certain, though: I feel murder in the stenched air.

They do not like strangers; that is another certainty. These are hard, brutish men, used to getting what they want, and doing what they want, as is typical of Alpha males in the wild. However, the pack will often turn on itself, if they sense unease from within. Experience tells me this, as well.

So here comes his food, and his precious water. We may drag him anyway, even if he does pay with gold. I already don’t like him. And that makes killing as easy as sleeping.

His food is set in front of him, and he tells the waitress something. The stupid whore laughs at his talk, and walks away without getting paid. If she’s told him that he can start a tab, we may have to retrain her.

Is this right? She’s blushing, and I know I shouldn’t be, but it’s been so long since any man has asked me anything but my going rates. I need to get back into the kitchen, before too many people see. Before Garrett sees.

I feel sorry for this man. He seems nice. He seems too alive to be so close to death.

I wish I could tell him to just stand up, and walk out. To run out would be better.

But him running out is not my way. I do not lose control. I do not do anything in a hurry. It is just not my way. Not anymore.

My food is somehow bland, and delicious in spite of itself. I can taste the dust in the meat, and my teeth are gritty even after I drink the water. I relish this, though. My other excursions have been great, but God it’s so good to be back in the desert!

Now the man that I noticed first, the man with the huge revolver at his hip and minuscule understanding of this situation strides over to my table.

I take another drink and as he sits down, he asks, “You mind if I sit here?”

I regard him coolly. “Now that you are already seated, how stupid do you feel for asking me that question?” is how I reply.

Immediately, I’m as angry as a castrated bull. This shitty outsider comes into my bar, my town, and insults me?

I feel an itch at my side, but I don’t scratch it. I’m going to make sure this fella is rotting before I do anything else.

I begin to pull my gun, when he tells me, “It is truly amazing how simple folks like yourselves believe that they have control of their lives.”

He would have continued to draw his weapon, for my statement had no effect on him, if I had not immediately put my hand on his arm. The effects of the suddenness of my movement, compared to his perception of my abilities, were obvious from the surprise shown

upon his countenance. I make a mental note of this familiar Alpha male response.

Then, I continue, “I have a saying that puts this all into perspective: There are those who believe they have it all figured out, then there are those who know better.”

I’m still stunned by how quick his hand moved, and it takes me a moment to shake it off. I know that my posse is looking at me and wondering why I haven’t put a hole in this puke already.

So I say to him, “That’s enough jabberin’ out of you, my friend.”

He again tries to “pull leather”, and this time I allow him. I let go of his arm, and he has his revolver pointed at me in the next second. He is almost exhausting to look at, so I yawn as he is doing this. He uses his other hand to cock the hammer back, and then he pulls the trigger.

Nothing happens, of course. He pulls again. Same result. Again. Same. His mouth is now agape.

What the hell is going on? I know I….
It can’t possibly….
I don’t ever….

He is confounded, and with good reason. In his egocentric world, he is a god without any kind of doubt. No one has ever proven

him otherwise, and until five seconds ago, he thought he was prepared for anything.

I now attempt to show him, them, the error of their thinking. By now I am quite sure of how they will react, but such is the scientific process.

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