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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Flash Fiction: Under a Dead Sun: Past Sins

Chapter 42

Dawn had come, or what past for it these days anyway. Cody watched the cold black orb rise from the east and hung his saddlebags over one shoulder. He still held the scatter gun in his free hand as he headed towards the stage. He'd hoped to be able to talk Moore or Eva into him letting ride one of the horses, or worse case, ride double with one of them. He felt a flush of heat as he imagined Eva's tight breeches rubbing against him on the horse and suppressed a smile. He owed that bitch one and she was sure gonna pay for punching him. Still his murder of their friend Rex last night had not endowed him into their good graces and he was consigned to ride with that fat tub of lard Bartley atop the stage. Having a horse would have made things easier, but in the end, it wouldn't matter much.

Eva's plan had him atop the stage to protect it. Ideally he could fire at any of the undead that got to near the horses or the coach, protecting Bartley and the old man, allowing them to focus on moving the old stage with as much speed as possible.  That fossil, Caleb, hadn't liked Eve's intention of riding out in front of the stage with Moore, who'd gone white as a ghost at the mention of it, Her plan was to ride in large circles, drawing some of the monsters away, giving them a clearer path to Desperation. ll him what to do. It wasn't a terrible plan and that gauled Cody almost as much as having to listen to a woman tell him what to do. He grimaced as he approached the coach. There were four horses drawing the stage, and Cody marked the reins and truss in his mind as he passed by. He stashed his knife loose into the top of his boot and threw his bags and the scatter gun onto the roof of the stage before climbing up himself.

This will still work he told himself. He took a small piece of rope he'd stolen from the camp earlier and used that to tie the saddle bags around his shoulders, making sure they were nice and tight and wouldn't fall off. He made sure the flaps were securely shut as well, he didn't want the bag falling off when he made his move. He'd worked too damn hard for this money to fuck it all up now. He laid down on the stage and checked the loads in his twin Colts and the breech of the scatter gun, wrapping his feet through the edge of the railing for support.

Cody watched as Eva saddled her horse, fighting the primal urges that he still hadn't tended to since killing Rex last night. The tight suppleness of her pants, the curve of her chaps over her thighs, the quick glimpse of her cleavage from a button loosened top, all of that set a boil in Cody's gut. He bit his lip and looked west, towards the walls of Desperation and drew a deep breath. He was so close to the route to Old Mexico now, so close, he couldn't screw it all away now for a roll in the hay with some bitch. The rest of the crew mounted up as Cody fought to regain the cold calm that usually came before a heist. He needed to be on guard, he needed to be steady. He needed to be clear. He gently rubbed the pearl hilt of his beloved Colt and felt that calm click into place, a cold, remorseless detachment he'd first discovered long ago. He was ready.

Eva called out the charge and he felt the old stage lurch to life, Bartley spurring the horses on as Eva and Thomas Moore vaulted out ahead. Moore looked less pale today, he'd turned a sickly green shade instead and held that shiny gun so tight his knuckles were the only thing that even remotely resembled his pallor from the night before. The stage lurched down the switchback path of the bluff face,winding towards the bottom. Eva and Moore didn't really burst ahead until about the last quarter of the trail, Eva hollering out first at a breakneck pace. She was the first to fire and Cody looked impressed as she caught one of the monsters square in the head.

The creatures surged after the riders, drawing a large portion of the herd along with them. As Bartley drew the stage off the incline and onto the trail, he whipped the horses into a full on sprint towards Desperation. A few of the creatures got close and Cody could see Bartley flinch as the scatter gun shredded the undead creatures. He calmly reloaded and watched, waiting. It would only be a few moments more moments now. a few more moments until Cody Jarrett showed these people who they'd really been fucking with.

End of Line.

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