Dying Sheriff. Dying Thief.
He coughs. Blood splatters in a neat row of red dots. Inches from the badge, on his breast pocket. Another unfinished sentence, punctuated by multiple periods.
-Ere’s what I think. I think I should shoot ya. Right ere, right naw. I could shoot ya. In the head. But I think all the thieven ya done, is up there, up there in yir head. Just waitin ta get out. That be the last sight I git.
-Piss off sheriff. Ya been shot too. Look at ya. Bleedin. Bleedin. Bleedin. We’s gonna die ere together. Yir bleedin faster then me.
Buzzards oscillate above them. Their shadows eclipsing the bodies. That grow more still with each word.
-I should shoot ya, I should.
-Then what? I’s be yir trophy? Can’t do that with a man. Taint right.
-Taint right? Who are ya to decide what’s right? With all the thieven and murderin ya been doin.
-Ya been thieven and murderin too! Yir no different. We just be shootin at each other. Shootin at our enemies. Bang. Bang.
-I am the law. I am different.
Laughter cramps his body. Blood drips from the exit wound on his stomach. He crosses his arms over it and moans in pain. Once it subsides the laughter continues.
-Yir a great law man. Dying next ta a thief.
-I’s goin to Heaven. My killin was fir God.
-Fir God! Ya wanted me sheriff. Ya coulda given me up to the marshals. Ya coulda given me up ta God, long ago.
-BUT YIR MINE! TAINT NO MAN ER GOD TAKEN THAT FRUMM ME!
Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough.
Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough.
-Yir Mine. Ya ere me!
Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough.
Cough. Cough. Cough.
-Sheriff? Sheriff? Don’t leave me sheriff…don’t leave me ta die alone…sheriff?
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