Dirty Pants (Part II): A RDR Chronicle Contest Winner…
By the way, nobody guessed how the story ends, so I picked a valid comment (the ones with a guess) and the winner is… revealed at the end of the chronicle. So let’s finish this…
I sprinted to a broken down cart for cover. I was facing the right and side of the porch and I could just make out the shape of the lawman in the failing light. There was light coming from inside the mansion – enough to make out the silhouettes of men on the front porch.
A loud crack and flash of light issued from the sheriff’s Winchester and one of the shapes on the porch went down. Then all hell broke loose. Gunfire, smoke and men poured out of the house. The men pouring onto the porch were now concealed in the haze, but I knew my business.
I watched for the flash of gunfire, aimed the Sprinfield slightly to the right and fired. A short, sharp scream, followed by the sound of dead weight hittin the deck confirmed the first hit. And now gunfire and yelling was preceding in every which direction. I counted 3 more men going down to the Sprinfield and I thought the lawman had taken down two more – And then all the gunfire stopped as suddenly as it began. I could here scrambling and tables overturning in the building as the gang decided it was time to take cover. I looked over to the sheriff. I could just make out his body slumped over the low stone wall facing the porch. Damn. I had hoped he would have helped even the odds a little more before he went down. Still, together we had over halved the numbers.
And then the building erupted as a hail of bullets crashed out of the windows facing the broken down cart that had served me as cover. But I wasn’t at the cart any more. I was on the porch facing the closed front door. I tossed the Springfield on the ground behind me and pulled out the sawed off from under my duster. There was still 5 armed men and uncertainty between me and the gold, but my blood was up and the battle rage was on me and the front door splintered off its hinges as I kicked and entered the building roaring.
There were two men in front of me and I saw the look of shock and surprise on the man closest to me – he started to turn bringing his six gun up. The world around me slowed and I was aware of the beating of my own heart and I could hear the blood pumpin through my vein. And I saw the expression on the gunman’s face change from surprise to fear. Even as he was raising his gun he knew he was going to die because he was slow, oh so slow, and I was lightning fast and I scorned him. Because I was carnage and destruction and damnation. Fire and lead proceeded me, and Death and Hell followed.
Both barrels of the sawed off exploded in quick succession and the first gunmen’s chest caved in as he lifted off his feet, and catapulted backwards. The second gunman took the buck shot in his lower abdomen and groin and his legs flew out backwards, as he jack knifed face down onto the floor.
I had already seen the man up the staircase to my left and I let the sawed of fall away, my volcano out and firing before it hit the floor.
My first shot almost took the mans leg off at the knee and he screamed and fired wildly into the roof, before my second shot took the left side of his face away, and I was at the top of the stairs before the echo of my gun had faded.
A door from a room on the top floor and behind me burst open and one of the whores, breasts exposed and screaming from a toothless maw, levelled a rifle at me and fired. Instinct saved me, the bullet cracking above me as I hit the deck. A fired twice, both bullets putting a hole through her where her left breast had been.
I sprang up and rushed the door. I had seen the second woman in the room behind the other and she now cowered, in a corner of the room as a lined her up and drew back the hammer.
“Dont kills me mister,” she blubbered. “Please don’t kills me . . .”
“Shut up.” I roared at her, and she quieted to a muffled snivelling. I lowered the gun and that seemed to calm her.
“There’s two more men in here somewhere,” I said quietly. “Where are they.”
“bbbasement,” she said almost inaudibly.
I nodded and smiled at her. I saw hope come to her face and I slowly reached into my duster and pulled out the dirty piece of paper with the picture of the mansion on it. In one corner was the drawing of a bulls skull hung on a post and I held it up to her and pointed at it with my pistol.
“Where’s this?” I asked softly.
Her eyes squinted and she craned her neck to get a closer look before nodding.
“Basement,” she said.
“Good,” I smiled.
“You’re not goin to kill me are you mister?” A slight, but forced smile crossing her face. I had already spared one persons life after being begged tonight. But it had served my purpose to do so. I slowly brought up the volcano and blew the whore out the window.
The gun smoke was still thick in the air as I bounded down the stairs reloading the volcano as I went. I found the basement door open. There was a dim light coming from somewhere at the bottom of the stairs and I paused. No good sneaking down – they already know I was here and probably had a bead on the stairs. I paused a moment longer, then crouched, tensed my muscles, and dived head first down the basement steps, curling my body in the air so that I hit the dirt floor of the basement rolling. I was up on one knee in a flash, gun whirling right and left. Nothing! No gunfire. No sound. And very little light issuing from a lamp in the far corner. As my eyes adjusted to the dark, I could make out a shape on the floor in front of me. I crept over slowly. It was a body. Very dead, but still warm. What the hell . . .!
Something made me look sharply to my right, and my gun was up and hammer cocked before I had thought to do so. And I stopped still.
Leaning against a supporting post, sat another gun man. His pistol was resting in his lap, a wide toothless grin on his face. But he was dead too. I could tell by the two bullet holes through each eye. How were they dead? Because I certainly would have remembered putting two neat holes through somebody’s head.
I moved slowly around the room, thinking that whoever killed those two still had to be down here. But the basement was clear. And then I forgot about the bodies as my eyes came to rest on a post in the middle of the main wall. Bull’s skull and horns! Just as it was drawn on my map. I nearly stumbled as I moved quickly to the post. At its base was a pile of stones. Just like the last time, I thought. I threw them aside and bean digging with my knife. It didn’t take long to unearth a solid gold bar wrapped in cloth. I cursed out loud. Not again! As much as the gold bar would fetch a handsome price – at least $100 – It was nowhere near what I had been expecting. No where near enough to buy the posse I needed to take down Williams and Dutch and their lowlife scum. Lowlife scum like me. Dangerous like me – no, not like me. There was none that could kill like I could save for maybe Dutch. But still dangerous enough to need a small army to take down. An army I was going to buy with the gold that was supposed to be here.
I stretched out the cloth and examined it closely in the low light.
There were more pictures and writing on this one, just as there had been the two previous times. Another map. Another cryptic puzzle to solve. I cursed again and tucked the cloth and gold away in my belt.
And then I became aware of the dropping temperature in the room and the utter silence. I froze. I realised then that the feeling had been creeping up on me slowly for a while now but I had been too focused on my find to pay it heed. But now, I felt the flesh from my toes to the back of my neck crawl and a cold knot form somewhere deep in my belly.
I turned slowly, pistol ready, my eyes scanning the dark. Nothing.
Except for the two dead man sitting against the far wall, their dead faces still grinning at me. And now I was afraid. Not because of the macabre appearance of the bodies – but because they weren’t where they were supposed to be. One was supposed to be lying on the round, while the other I last saw leaning against a pole on my other side.
Rustling noise to my left – I leapt through the open door of a small storage cellar and fired twice into where the source of that sound should have been standing. But the room was empty. I was breathing faster now and came back out of the room crouching. And then froze.
The two bodies were gone! What the hell was going on! I moved into the centre of the basement.
“Johhhnnyy,” something whispered behind me.
I spun around, and what I saw turned my blood to ice. There stumbling towards me was the man with his eyes shot out. Blood was bubbling out of his mouth in a low gurgling chuckle and I roared in fear as I fired a bullet between his absent eyes, sending him crashing to the floor.
There was a high pitched squeal behind and I pivoted bringing up my gun, recognising the wild eyes of the second dead body which was hurtling towards me before my gun blazed, catching him in the chest. I turned quickly to see what had happened to the first body – but it was gone! I turned back to the second man, but he was gone too.
“Six shooter’s no good for killing what’s already dead,” the poker player in Armadillo had told me.
And the panic I had been holding back took hold and I ran for the basement stairs. I had to get out of here. I came up out of the basement and ran down the hallway to the mansions main foyer. And there she was – a whore with one breast and a gaping hole where the other should have been.
“Hello beautiful,” she croaked, in a very low, very male voice.
I didn’t break my stride firing twice and she flew back into the darkness. I was disorientated but I ran headlong to where I knew the door must be. Movement to my right – I whirled. Nothing. To my left – again nothing! Except they were still there in my periphery vision and almost on me. I fired my gun to my right without looking and something screamed and again to my left and I saw something fly back.
I was almost at the door when a cacophony of voices, some whispering, some screaming, all malevolent assailed my ears. I felt hands, cold and dead, grab and scratch at my shoulders and arms and I strained for the door, terror driving me. My mind was racing, acting purely from instinct. I could feel something climbing up my duster and I arched my shoulders back and let the dead things pull my coat away – And then I was loose and I stumbled out the door, scrambled to my feet and ran.
I was halfway through the town before I looked back. Nothing was pursuing me and I stopped. The unearthly noises that had pursued me were now replaced with the sound of a saloon in full swing. Men laughing and shouting – whores hollering and guns shooting. Exactly as it had been when I first came into town. What the hell just happened!
“Help me!” I heard a cry to my left.
And as I turned I saw a man tied hand and foot come crawling, caterpillar style, out of the abandoned stable.
“Sheriff Randall,” I recognised the law man. “But, I thought you were dead”
And then slowly my horror grew as he crawled closer, and I could see his deformed face where a bullet had taken away his jaw.
“Helloooo Johnny,” he choked out as he kept coming. “Cut me loose so we can take these boys down together. What do you say.” He cocked his head, his insane eyes mocking me as he began to make an unearthly guffawing noise.
My feet were rooted to where I stood, the fear debilitating as the dead sheriff kept coming. I felt the terror unloose from my bowels and rise up into my chest, and then my throat as I screamed and brought up my gun and pulled the trigger. I was out of bullets, but then I already knew that, and I pulled back the hammer again and then again, still screaming.
And then I was running, driven by blind panic, through the brush unaware of the branches that slashed at my arms and face. I don’t know how I found Dead Eye, because I don’t remember looking for him, but I was on my horse and galloping hard.
Behind me the sheriffs voice howled.
“Come back and play anytime Johnny! We’ll all be here waiting to do it with you all again!”
A short story based on Red Dead Redemption by
Now, I hope you realized why the ‘dirty pants’… If you’re still reading this you want to know who is the lucky winner… Spoiler Alert…
[spoiler intro=”Extra PSN Gift Card Winner”] EdEN[/spoiler]
Here’s the video capture of me using a reliable scientific method to pick the winner: Extra PSN Card Giveaway.
Congrats to the winner… Again! I’ll PM your code soon.