The Passing at Highway 10 – Part 21

“Why the fuck are the lights off, Sam?”, I asked frantically.  “What the fuck is going on around here?”……I think asked that one at least three times in a row.  “Who the fuck was that guy?”  I was shaking…was it the cold?  The words spewed out of my mouth like puke, fast and hot and forced, and I’ve gotta say I felt like gagging after seeing that mess of a corpse outside.  Before Sam could answer, he quickly went to chaining the front door; I glanced around and could see that it was a rush job…there were a few random links of chain, a giant padlock, a table, and a few chairs shoved up against the doors, forming a sort of mini barricade.  Whatever was going on around here, Sam felt the need to hole up inside of his bar like a hermit.  “Sally”, I said, as I grabbed his arm before he could seal us in.  I pointed to the rig and flung the door open, and was greeted once again by the great cold whoosh of the storm.  The rain felt icier than before; I could feel it trickle down the small of my back, and it made me shudder hard.  I reached the truck and could see Sally looking wide eyed through the window, and I ran harder.  I reached the rig and threw the door open, and Sally spilled down into my arms, warm and dry and lovely.  She threw her arms around me and squeezed tight, and for that split second, all the troubles of the world just melted down into a pile of nothing.

Sally frantically explained that she’d heard what sounded like a gunshot, but couldn’t be sure with all the thunder, and that she couldn’t see a damned thing in all that darkness; she’d tried to call, but I told her my phone got smashed to pieces and soaked.  I helped her down from the truck and told her to follow me inside the bar, and that I’d explain the whole thing once we were safe and sound behind the barricaded walls of Sam’s new fortress.  So I left the rig running and as I shut the door and turned toward the bar, we both saw the rest of the dead guy’s buddies trickling toward us slowly from the back of the joint.  I could feel Sally’s hand squeezing mine tightly.  It was too damned dark to make much out, but from the movement I did see, I knew we were outgunned.  Except that I had my pistol…but was now the time to use it?  I’d just seen Sam blow a guy’s face into mist, but I guess killing a guy wasn’t something that I willingly saw myself doing.  I figured now was as good a time as any, though.  The only way to get back into Sam’s was forward, past the mob that was growing in front of us.  I looked down at my pistol and turned off the safety.

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