The Passing at Highway 10 – Part 17

I was about to slip her into gear when I saw the flash inside of The Beak.  It was just a split second, out of the corner of my eye sort of flash, but any eyes that have ever seen a pistol shot would have spotted it in a heartbeat.  Even in the mess of that crazy ass storm.  I can’t say it enough that I’m no cowboy, no hero, but I ain’t the kind of guy that’ll just wait in the rafters while a buddy of mine gets his guts shot out.  My first thought was to call the cops, but seeing as I just left an empty police station, I knew for a fact that there’d be no backup.  No response would come.  All I knew at that point in time was that, for all we knew, a gang of crazies was roaming the town like a pack of wolves, and my good buddy Sam could be in The Beak getting robbed or taking a hit from some doped up schmuck.  Was I supposed to just drive off and pretend that I didn’t see anything?  Convince myself that it was nothing?  I’d never forgive myself if I did that…especially if I found out later that something had happened to Sam in there, and that I waited right outside and did nothing.

I did what I thought anybody in that situation would do.  Or at least what I hoped that somebody would do for me.  Was it stupid?  Probably so.  Nobody ever singled me out for my brains, anyhow.  I looked over at Sally and told her what I saw, and told her to sit tight.  She said that she didn’t see any flash, that she was looking down at her phone.  She pleaded with me to stay at first, and told me that it was probably nothing, but I convinced her that I couldn’t let Sam go down like that.  I at least had to see and be sure.  Sally understood, and I didn’t forget that.  Part of me just really wanted to get in the mix and find out what was really going on in that damned town, as crazy as that sounds.  I grabbed my piece from the console and flung the door open; the bang of the storm filled the cabin with a big wet whoosh, and the cold of the rain hit me like a hard reality.  I was scared, man.  Real scared.  If it weren’t so damned wet already, my palms would’ve been slippery as wet rocks.  I told Sally to grab hold of the slugger and to keep a good look out for me…I didn’t want some punk sneaking up on me and taking me from behind.  The wind was sending her hair across her face in soft brown streaks; as weird as it sounds, she was beautiful in that moment, and it was just the jolt of courage that I needed to head into whatever I was heading into.  I flashed her a wink, hopped out, and shut the door tight.

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