A dusty home at the end of a road, NM
Karl nodded toward the untouched mason jar of wine.
You best drink up son, he said.
The young drifter looked away. I can’t.
Yeah you can. Go on.
The boy went silent once more, turning to the window, to the city street wet with night fog. Somewhere, a train whistling.
Karl joylessly toyed with a wet book of matches. Around him, a humming riot of moneyed bohemians. Chasing sex and possibility, heedless of death’s proximity. They sat there for a while. Well I can’t fix this one, he said.
I know, the boy said, looking down at his hands. Blood under the fingernails.
What are you fixin to do.
I don’t know. The boy rubbed his hands together, in spite of the bar’s hothouse warmth.
They wont stop hunting you. After what you did.
Yeah I know. The boy put on his sweat-stained ball cap and walked out the door without looking back.
Karl watched the boy go. A pulsing pain in his gut. He watched the doomed boy fade into the smokey mist. Reached for the mason jar of California red. Drank it in one go. Goddamnit, he said. He stood up slowly, tired limbs protesting. He squared his hat. On his right hip, the Colt. Something he never got used to. The heaviness of the thing.
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