I walked away from the spot where my wife and child had been taken from me. I could see Maggie waiting nervously at the edge of the clearing. Her horse figiting, detecting the riders unease. She and her father had been good to me these past year, I felt bad about dragging her along with me. Another month and that wouldn't be a problem.
As I walked back to my horse, I saw a slight glint in the grass. Near the spot they had held me down. I slammed my eyes shut for a second, trying to block out the images of me failing my family again. But then I let them flood back, all the guilt and all the rage, flowing over me. I walked towards the glint.
There, laying in the grass, was my fathers gun. Time and weather had not been kind to it, almost a year out here in the elements. Still I picked it up, probably thrown away after he had shot me. I ran my hand over the ivory handle, and cracked the barrel open, There was still one lonly round inside the chamber. I ran my hand over the rest of the gun before tucking it into my belt.
i limped back to my horse, tired but better for the wear. I saddled up and began the trek back to Maggie's farm. We rode in silence for the better part of the day. Myself lost in my own memories, Maggie gratefully allowing me time to come to terms with what I had seen. When we settled down for camp that night, Maggie finally broke the silence.
"What are you gonna do now?"
I looked up, brush and oil in hand, cleaning my fathers gun.
"I'm gonna get three more bullets."
End of Line.