It was a hot blistering day, the type of day where the sweat ran off your head in streams. Already several guys had passed out in the heat. Here I was digging ditches. Hadn’t done that since I was sixteen. Amazing how everything comes around again, but by now, you would think I would be used to that.
“So, how old are you really?” said the kid next to me.
Without thinking, mostly on reflexes, I immediately swung my shovel and whacked the kid in the head. Good thing I hadn’t thought about hitting him and just did it, otherwise the kid would have easily avoided being hit. Now, he was moaning and writhing on the ground.
The boss stopped behind me and cleared his throat, “Harrumph, what’s going on here?”
Without turning my head, I replied, “A goddamn mind reader, that’s what.”
“Really, a mind reader. Hmm, how do you know that?”
“The little bastard asked me if I still missed my wife, Leann. My wife died ten years ago and I’ve not mentioned her name in years,” I lied.
“Right, a damn mind reader. I hate mind readers too.”
The boss stepped forward and lifted his shotgun up aiming at the kid’s head. With a roar, the kid’s head was splattered all over our nice new ditch. Then the boss looked down at the kid’s feet, at the shackle that was around his left foot. I too looked at the shackle and then at the chain attached to the shackle, the damn chain that led to a similar shackle around my right leg. Looking up at the boss, I saw that he too was looking at my shackle.
I held my breath while looking at the boss in his sweaty gray uniform with a small star pinned on his left breast, and realized that my chances of making it through this were small and non-existent. The boss’s eyes rose and squinted at me along with his shotgun rising until all I could see was deep inside the barrel.
“Wait a sec, boss. You shoot two cons in the head, it might look a bit suspicious”, one of the other guards who had come up said.
The boss hesitated, and then lowered the barrel of the shotgun until it was pointing at my chest.
“Say your prayer’s boy, I promise it will be painless.”
“Oh hell, not again”, I thought.
To be continued…
All current parts of The Curse are now linked on the Storylines page if you wish to follow along in order.