Innovative Software-Development Solutions

Mini-story Monday, Episode 4: The Warrior Michael, Part 2

“All that fucking blood,” he said to himself. Jerry was just another casualty of the whole autodriver bullshit. They were all victims really but, Jerry, he took it the worst. They had all been given a decent severance package. He had his army pension as well as the pay off those fucking mooks had dropped on him. But, Jerry, when they took away his job, they took away his life. He wasn’t much of a person after they gave him the early golden hand shake. Mary, his wife, was sort of happy. She’d see him more. They had money now, they could travel, they could renovate the house, they could get a dog. But, Jerry, he didn’t want to do any of that. The first month he wanted to sit at Flynn’s drink and tell old stories of the road. When most of the guys moved on, took their money and started to live a different life, Jerry often found himself at the bar alone. Then, he started drinking at home. He had gone to see Jerry at his house a few times but, Jerry’s stories were all the same and he was now drinking with purpose. It was ugly. Mary was uncomfortable and the kid, Josiah, he could sense the end coming. Smart kid.

“I should give him a call,” he said to himself. He was now standing in front of the large can of beans. A dribble of tomato sauce ran down both the sides, the entrance and the exit openings. He swiped at the dribble on the front with a finger and licked it. “good,” he said. It was a clean shot, right through the center of the label. He looked at the sauce dripping down from the exit hole in the back of the can. The red sauce catching the sun, moving slowly, thickly down the can. “All that fucking blood.” He said to himself. He turned the can so that a clean side was facing down range and started to walk back to his spot. He saw the dust from the vehicle coming up the long drive. He put another shell into the rifle while he continued to walk back to his start point. The vehicle came into view. A pick up truck. Red, dirty, well used. He thought he recognized it. He wasn’t sure. He found his original starting mark and looked down range at the can. He walked a dozen yards further back. The truck came to a stop. Engine off. A beat, the door opened, closed. He put the rifle to his shoulder, sighted down the barrel, breath in, breath out, hold, three count, squeeze trigger. The can shook. Rattled side to side like a toy soldier. He lowered the rifle and looked down the field.