Tequila – Part 2
By: James Dubeau
“He’s plumb soaked.” Jeff’s voice was labored. “I’m bleeding out. I’m going to die.”
“A belt of whiskey would cut the pain. He must have hidden that bottle good,” Dave said. Heavy boot-steps upon wood floor boards crossed the cantina. A revolver barrel scraped against a leather holster and tapped against window glass. “That rat is coming back with the sheriff and a couple deputies.”
“Get out of here. Leave me to die.”
“No brother of mine will rot in prison.” A window shattered and a revolver’s bark filled the cantina. “Look at them run,” Dave laughed.
“I’m not going to make it long enough to rot,” Jeff said. A chair slid across the floor followed by Jeff who hit the floor hard and loud.
Boots thundered across the cantina. Owen’s chair was suddenly no longer beneath him, his head cracked off the floor. Dave’s words were fast and furious. “See to my brother. If he dies, you die.”
Owen blinked in the dim cantina light. Pain seared across his skull. The spinning room slowly focused on the barrel of Dave’s gun. The unblinking black eye in steel provided Owen more than enough encouragement to move. He stumbled to his feet and joined Jeff.
“You better do what he says. Once he gets to something he’ll finish it through.” Jeff struggled with each word. His belly wound seeped across alkali dust caked clothing. A revolver hung loose in his grasp but remained trained upon Owen.
“I don’t aim to die today,” Owen said equally as slow. He tore Jeff’s shirt and revealed purple flesh marred by torn muscle and blood. The drunk washed blood away from the wound with a bar rag and bottle of tequila. Jeff yelped in pain.
“You livin’?” Dave brought his revolver to bear on Owen.
“It hurts.” Jeff managed through clenched teeth.
“He’s livin’.” Owen slurred.
“Throw out your guns and come on out or else we’ll gun you down.” The sheriff’s voice boomed from outside the cantina.
Dave responded to the sheriff with gunfire then added, “Come on in for our guns.”
“No can do, cowboy. I’ll burn you in the fires of hell first.”