Fiction Friday – Too Late

Damn that hurts.” He growled through gritted teeth. “Figures they’d get one good shot in.”

Rick would have stopped to tend to the wound if he wasn’t sure the two he hadn’t picked off were going to be following. It burned painfully and from the amount of blood he was losing, he was sure he needed to get somewhere to try patching it up.

This is what I get for helping some stranger. Six mutants and I decide to go play hero.” He shifted directions to a bit more level ground, hoping he could slow his pulse a bit. “At least I wasn’t too late for the idiots on the road. I expect they got away safely.”

Up ahead he saw the ground grow broken and rise, creating a small canyon effect. He steered towards those. Once he was sure he couldn’t be seen, or more importantly shot at, he paused to look over the hole in his stomach. It was bad. If this is how bad the entry hole looked, how much worse was the throbbing exit where he couldn’t see it?

Yanking his sleeves away from the shirt quickly, he fashioned a makeshift belt with two lumpy knots to rest over each of the two wounds.

Shut up.” He muttered to the words that came to mind. He might be dying, but he didn’t have to give up. He started moving again, twisting and turning to follow the fissures in the ground. There was a sound somewhere behind him. They must be catching up.

Aw hell.” Rick stared up at the narrow walls where they came together too close for him to push through. Turning back, he realized the trail of blood was as clear as a road map, pointing out exactly where he had been. He checked his gun. One bullet left.

Alright. I shoot one, try to somehow overpower the other and then die from this gut shot.” He pondered that, expecting it was probably true. “Or I eat a bullet and end it before they can get me and draw it out.”

He shifted the gun in his hand, feeling the familiar weight. He tilted it up, pressing the barrel awkwardly to the inside of his mouth. One. Two. Three.

He couldn’t do it. It wasn’t that he was afraid to die. He expected to die regardless. It was the fact that pulling that trigger would make him into a coward and if he was going to die on his own terms, it would be to die fighting.

He brought the gun down and pointed it carefully where he expected the head to be when the first mutant turned the bend in front of him. He could hear one approaching. Not long now and it would turn the corner. He’d fire before it even turned its head and rush forward with his waning strength to deal with the one that followed.


Yvette hoped she wasn’t too late. The trail of blood was still pretty clear. That wasn’t a good sign for her savior’s well being. Between her medical training and the med-kit she’d grabbed from her cart, she might be able to save him. If it hadn’t been for the kind stranger’s act, she and her husband would have been dead. Between killing the first four and creating enough of a distraction for them to kill the other two, it had been like a miracle. At the very least she could ease his pain. Following the winding turns she began picking up the pace out of worry. All she could do is hope she wasn’t too late. Turning the corner, she didn’t even turn her head before a shot filled the canyon with thunder. Perfect aim and a realization too late.

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