Tansy Undercrypt
Author, Illustrator, Purveyor of Doom & Whimsy


August 5th 2017 in Microfiction

“She out back practicing?” Yardley asked, stepping into the main room and removing his hat. “The Reverend doesn’t practice,” Katie said, gesturing for him to sit and handing him a glass of lemonade, “she intends. She is of a mind to hit those targets.” A hot breeze moved aside the simple burlap curtains and Yardley could see the Reverend Jane raising one of her guns in sight of three small cans along the top of the far property fencing. He stared, his right index finger scratching the frayed outside seam of his dungarees; Katie watched him (and the scratching) silently. “I do not aim with my hand,” the Reverend said, her voice low and clear. “She who aims with her hand has forgotten the face of her mother. I aim with my eyes.” BOOM. Yardley’s eyebrow twitched as something on the fence exploded. “I do not shoot with my hand,” came the Reverend Jane’s voice again. “She who shoots with her hand has forgotten the face of her mother. I shoot with my mind.” BOOM. “She does this every day?” Yardley asked, not averting his gaze. “Every single one,” Kate said softly. “leaning into the West to stare down the day.” “I do not kill with my gun,” the Reverend said, steady and strong. “She who kills with her gun has forgotten the face of her mother. I kill with my heart.” BOOM. BOOM. Yardley jumped at the extra shot, knowing without confirmation that the Reverend had taken out the sniper he’d hired to sit in the barn loft and catch her unawares. “I … uh … I’ll come back at another time,” Yardley said, setting his glass down and moving quickly through the door. Katie watched him go, taking up his glass from the floor and moving it to the clearing tray. BOOM.

(An homage to “The Dark Tower”; original gunslinger text adapted from Stephen King.)

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