The Unexpected

March 18, 2009
By Jason Pegis BRONZE, Shoreline, Washington
Jason Pegis BRONZE, Shoreline, Washington
1 article 0 photos 2 comments

The Unexpected

I stepped through the tavern. The cloud of musty smoke hit me like a wave poison after the rotten brown shutter doors swung carelessly to and fro. Dim lights hanging from the light ceiling flashed slowly, in fact, so slowly I had to gaze at them strongly to notice. They appeared a rusty maroon color, piercing the retina of my stern eyes. Wooden boards nailed crudely creaked every time my silver boots released from them.
The bar was hard to see, hiding all the way through the smoke to the end of the old wooden building; the bartender waited cautiously for me to approach. In my peripheral vision I could tell every lawless man was scrutinizing me. They saw my badge and didn’t admire it. One stroked his revolver like it was his child, while his buddy fanned blue playing cards. Bright bulls-eye dartboards crooked on the mahogany walls reminded me of my simple objective, but assassinating Rusty Miller, the most notorious criminal in the West, was later on. My eyes were squinting now, and as my hands hit the counter I came face to face with the bartender washing the counter. Something caught my attention in the corner of my eye. Down to my right the door was half open and Rusty Miller was shooting pool.
My jaw dropped as I stepped away from the counter, towards the door. I was going to ask the bartender if he had heard Rusty’s current or previous location, this was unbelievable. I heard the bartender’s confused words followed by a grunt when he saw my golden badge. The boards under my feet creaked faster and faster, like the music from a horror film. Sixteen homicides, twelve break-ins, and countless robberies were enough. He had to be stopped. As sweat dampened my black jacket, I reached the door. It was the perfect portal to Miller’s end. It had stress marks vertically that reminded me of a tree. I peered through the door, and I could make out the room much better. The pool table itself was a dull green, Rusty’s stick matched the color of it. Chairs were set up sloppily, I wondered if someone was going to join him. I put my shaking hand upon the black doorknob; the cold steel cooled my palm. I nudged the door open just enough to fully see Rusty. Somehow, the door was perfectly silent. It was waiting for me to shoot him. Them I knew what I had to do. My sheriff’s .45 colt revolver in hand, I waited until he took his shot. I saw his immense focus on the sleek black eight ball, about to finish his game. It would be his last. He didn’t look at all suspicious until his arm slowly bent back, revealing his leather holster wobbling at his hip. Rusty then jabbed the stick at the shining ball through his rough fingers. The moment the ball clicked my breath dropped, and I heard the gentle thump of the eight ball land right in the pocket. My hands were shaking uncontrollably. It was time.
s I burst through the door, to see him shocked and reaching towards his waist. I pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. No sound. No burst. No kick. Nothing. I rolled franticly to the pool table, crouching behind its fake cover. I knew he had his gun out, probably waiting for me to poke out. I had made the most incompetent mistake of my life. The safety catch was still on. I quickly turned it off, by ripping it out, throwing the piece of metal like a pin that danced around the floor like a gymnast before rolling to a halt. I had my revolver at my chest now, my neck strained up and right. His panting was heavy and asthmatic. I could feel my adrenaline in my chest, moving quickly to my hands and legs. I was sweating tremendously. I mean enough to fill a bucket. I had to do it! It was either going to cost my life or his-and so I did. Flipping up to my feet, gun pointed straight at the other side of the dark table, I aimed it straight at his chest, expecting him to already be in the same position I was, but he wasn’t. My finger stopped the moment before his life would have been mine. His holster was removed. His silver revolver was laid neatly at his feet, shining through the bland gray smog like a star in the inked sky. His sad face looked at my eyes. His hands were raised calmly above his head. I lowered my pistol shocked at the submissive sight of him. “So,” he grunted. “You gonna arrest me or what officer?”

The author's comments:
This is the first Western story I've written.

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This article has 2 comments.

on Apr. 14 2009 at 6:43 pm
Stefan Petersen BRONZE, Shoreline, Washington
1 article 0 photos 1 comment
nice job, draws the reader in

on Apr. 14 2009 at 3:26 pm
Jason Pegis BRONZE, Shoreline, Washington
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
Hey sorry for the formatting, TeenInk formatted my paragraphs weird.

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