Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Poplar Mountain Part 58 by Dellani Oakes

It doesn't look as if the fight is going well for the brothers.

"Down on the ground," Squires motioned with the gun. "On your knees, hands behind your head."
Luke did as he was told. He wasn't sure, but he thought he saw a flicker of movement behind Squires. The moon was hidden. In the dark, he could barely make out Squires and his brother. They were more of a shadow in the night. However, it was apparent that Will was the sheriff's prisoner. Just enough light hit the barrel of the pistol to let him know how bad it was.
"Rachel Henry, I got your boys out here! You got two minutes to come out and give me what I want, or I kill your oldest boy!"
"Ma, you stay put!" Will bellowed.
Lucius was sure that he saw movement behind Squires now. He couldn't tell who it was, but the figure was small and slender. Closing his eyes for a second, he prayed it wasn't Dollie. He knew, deep in his heart, it was.
"I said come out, Miss Rachel! I got your boys!" He cocked the gun. "Time's a ticking! Ten"

Unable to control herself, Patty screamed. She dropped her rifle, nearly on Wilt's toes, and flew around the front of the cabin. Screeching like like a hoot owl, she ran full tilt toward the sheriff. Squires took the gun from Will's throat and aimed at Patty. He fired as Wilt knocked her down. The bullet passed her, but hit Uncle Wilt. With a groan, he fell, nearly on top of the young woman.
Roaring with anger, Will elbowed Squires in the ribs. The sheriff doubled over and Will hit him on the back of the head with his clenched fists. Lucius leaped forward, tackling the older man as he fell, landing awkwardly. Something snapped with a dull, wet sound.
"Patty!" Will ran to her side. "Uncle Wilt!" His tone changed as he dropped to his knees.
"I'm fine," Patty assured him. "Wilt's hit."
"Luke, help me!" Will yelled.
Lucius staggered to his feet. His left arm refused to move and he realized the snap was his shoulder dislocating. He picked up Squires' gun and retrieved the Colts from the fat man's belt. He stumbled over to his brother.
The truck's door slammed open, hitting him in his sore shoulder, making him scream. The third henchman was awake and full of fighting spirit after his nap. He swung at Luke, hitting him in the bad shoulder with his fist. He swung again, but Luke was ready for him. Taking a step to the side, Luke swept at his attacker's legs, sending him sprawling. A well placed fist cracked across the man's already injured head. Laid open to the bone, he fell unconscious once more. Luke collapsed, right hand throbbing.
Torn between his uncle and his brother, Will stood. A bullet buried itself in the ground near his foot. Yelling loudly, he dropped once more.
Hoop and Turner ran down the hill, firing wildly at anything that moved. Squires roused, trying to sit up. One of his own men fired at him, missing by inches. Squires bellowed, rolling behind the truck. The next shot came closer.
"Goddammit, you idiot! That's me!"
Luke struggled to sit up. In the shadow of the truck, he was hidden from Hoop and Turner. He fired, but he shot with his right hand, the one with the stitches. It hurt like fury when he squeezed the trigger and his bullet went wild, lodging in the truck tire instead of the sheriff.
Squires rose to his hands and knees, moving a quickly as he could toward Luke. His men were still shooting wildly. Another bullet hit the dirt between him and Luke. Squires fell on his ass, eyes wide. Luke couldn't risk missing again. He dropped the gun, scooting away from Squires. His hand closed around a fist sized rock. He picked it up with a handful of dirt and chucked it at the sheriff with all his strength.
Sheriff Squires yelped when the rock hit him in the forehead. He dropped heavily to the ground, blood pouring from his wound. Hoop ran around the side of the truck, leveling his gun at Lucius. With no more rocks to throw and his gun out of reach, Luke held up his hands.
"You caused me nothing but trouble, kid," Hoop said, pulling back the hammer with his thumb.
Lucius stared defiantly at Hoop, eyes focused on the barrel of the gun, weighing his chances of survival. If he dropped left, onto his injured shoulder, he might live. Jaw working, Hoop's hand shook as he stared down the barrel. Luke spit blood, glaring at the man, daring him to fire.
Hoop collapsed, clutching his arm, screeching loudly. Dollie rushed up, shotgun leveled at him, hands shaking, face pale.
"Make a move, I'll end you," she bellowed at the downed man.
Lucius started to chuckle, shaking his head. "Dollie, you're gonna be all night trying to kill a man with rock salt. That's Mama's shotgun she uses to keep critters outta her vegetables."
Hoop whimpered as Dollie advanced, trying to crawl away from the angry young woman. She raised the shotgun once more, but instead of firing, she clubbed him with the stock. Hoop collapsed, face buried in the dust.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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