"Any last words now you piece of shit?"
I could still feel the cold barrel of the gun on my forehead. It was weird how in this instant, everything around me seemed somehow heightened. I could still hear the whore he had been screwing mewling under the rustling bedsheets and the crackling of the logs in the hearth. The pain in my leg seemed almost as if it belonged to someone else. I looked up at the man that took everything from me, the man who had raped my wife and daughter and left me for dead. I looked up at him and smiled.
"Yeah I do. Seems you forgot to put on your boots."
It was just a momentary flicker, his eyes flashing down to his bear feet and I moved. My right hand flashed down from over my head, having freed my knife from where I had stashed it. My left shot out, driving the gun wide. I could feel the hot lead of the gun as he fired and the bullet farrow through the side of my scalp. My vision went red as the blood poured down my eyes. At the same time I plunged the knife deep into his foot until I ran it into the floorboard. I was rewarded with a scream through the red haze of my own blood.
My face a mask of crimson as I sprung upwards off of my good leg and tackled Morgan to the ground. I could hear him roar as his foot was pulled free from the floorboards. I kept his gun arm wide of his body with my hand as we pushed forward. He pulled the trigger reflexively again and again, the shots echoing in the room. I heard the whore start screaming at one point, but I drove the thought out of my mind as we fell to the floor. On top, I had the leverage, but he still outweighed me in muscle. The last year had made me lean, and in a straight fight, Frank Morgan would have killed me. But I wasn't fighting straight. I rammed my forehead into his nose hearing the crunch of cartilage. The headbutt had hurt me more than I thought, but I did it again anyway, catching part of his jaw and cracking a few teeth.
I felt my own hot blood running down my face as I brought the knee of my good leg up and drove it into his solar plexus. I could hear him grunting and huffing for air as his eyes went wide. I finally heard his gun click over to the empty barrel and I brought my right fist across into his jaw. I slammed his left hand onto the floor repeatedly until he dropped the gun with a clatter. Then I just kept punching. I smashed his face over and over until I couldn't feel my hands anymore. I didn't know where the blood of his face ended and the cracked knuckles and torn flesh of my hands began. I might have punched for minutes, or just a few seconds, but either way he stopped moving. Finally I stopped and leaned back from his body, my own breath coming in deep ragged rafts.
Frank Morgan's face was a bloody pulp. His breath came in forced gasps through a smashed nose and a mouthful of blood and teeth. He laid on the floor, eyes too swollen to open, and didn't move. I looked over to the whore in his bed, whose cries had long went from loud screams, to simply pathetic whimpers. One of Morgan's shots had caught her in the stomach and she was bleeding to death. I slowly stood up and retrieved the shotgun from where I had dropped it. My left leg was numb from the bullet, and Morgan's pistol had cut a deep gash across my scalp, running from my temple down through my already cut ear.
Moving to the bed, I used my boot on my good leg to kick off the dying woman to the far side of the bed. I fired the last round from the shotgun into her and silenced her sobs. Then I began ripping the blood soaked sheets into long strips. When I had a few solid strips, I took one and wrapped it around my head and another around my leg and hoped I wouldn't bleed to death until I was done. Then I flipped the bed over and stood it on end to expose the wooden slats beneath. I grabbed Morgan by a bloody mop of hair and dragged him to the bed. I rammed another hard fist into his stomach as I hoisted him up and tied one arm off. He began whimpering something, maybe a prayer, but God doesn't hear men who are about to die. I tied off his other arm after an even harder kick to the gut, until he was splayed across the underside of the bed, arms akimbo. I pulled the bloody knife from his foot and cut off the remains of the soiled nightshirt we wore. Still he whimpered.
I went back to the fireplace and placed the poker into the flames, feeding it the last of the logs that lay beside it. I waited until the poker glowed a bright orange and the flames licked the flume of the hearth before pulling it free. Then, I showed Frank Morgan the real meaning of pain. I did things that I didn't think I could. I hurt him and hurt him until the flames grew cold and he had grown hoarse from the screams and the begging. I hurt him until I became a worse monster than he ever was. When Frank Morgan took his dying breath, I whispered into his ear the name of my wife. Emma. The name of my daughter. Eve. And my name, Death. Then I fired my third bullet.
A week after my business at the Morgan estate, a single horse was found tied to the post in front of the Lawson house. It had a fancy saddle with the letter's B.T. engraved on the side. When Maggie opened the bags, she found several stacks of currency and a note that simply said, "A gift for an angel." Several other bags full of currency matching that of a series of train and stage robberies were also found at Sheriff's office.
As for me, I returned to the farm I had bought with my wife. I had done things I was not proud of. I had become something in seeking revenge that my wife wouldn't even recognize. A worse monster than the men who had taken everything from me. I held up my Father's gun and opened the barrel. There was still one bullet inside. The bullet I had found in the gun when I picked it up. The one I had saved as I loaded in those three more bullets. The bullet I had saved for the last monster on my list. Me. I tasted the cold steel of my Father's gun and prayed to see Emma again.
End of Line.