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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2013677-An-outlaws-compass
Rated: E · Short Story · Western · #2013677
After helping in a robbery, this guy is entering the life of the outlaws

An Outlaw’s
Compass
                             Jamie
Wills 10C Selborne


The memory of the robbery is
fresh in my head, we have taken the only witness as captive. We are
moving camp so I have to survive the long hard journey through the
desert on foot. The captive has my horse because I’m the new
guy. “Let him have one last moment of dignity,” they had
said.


I’m in a world of orange, a
world of fine orange grains and orange wind. Wind so savage it
pounces at the first living thing it sees, whirling and whooshing it
surrounds its prey and suffocates the unsuspecting target. And then
as fast as it came, the wind goes, leaving a dusty carcass among
tumble weeds and graves of other unsuspecting victims. There is
no-where to run, but this is where everyone runs to. The only problem
is, here there is little chance of survival. This is the Wild West.
The robbery has left me an outlaw.




My feet are getting heavy, it
feels like the sand is trying to suck me into its depths. With each
step the vacuum gets stronger. The sweat is dripping down my face, it
tastes salty as the constant trickle drips down my throat. Even with
the persistent drizzle of sweat, my mouth is still as dry as the
landscape around me. The sun is beating down on me, the heat feels
like a blanket of rays has just been thrown over me. Even the air is
thinning as I trudge deeper and deeper into the desert.


It’s been hours with no
food or water. The prisoner keeps laughing at me while he rides
behind on


My horse. My legs cave in and I
fall, face first, into the fiery sand. With handfuls of sand, I pull
myself along. The sun is now just above the horizon, laughing at me,
along with the men, as if it knows I’m suffering. My vision is
becoming blurry. The last thing I see is a silhouette of a man and
then my head hits the sand and I’m gone…




I can hear crackling and
spitting. I open my eyes and see the dancing flames of a fire, but
still the air is cold. That’s what they say about the desert,
its living hell. During the day it feels as if you have been thrown
in a furnace but at night it’s as cold as the middle of winter
in Europe. “Ey, Boss, ‘e’s awake.” Came a
voice from behind and then a kick in the back. “Get up.”
For a few seconds I didn’t move and with another kick in the
back I realised it was me he was talking to. Slowly I pull myself up.
The first thing I see is a pair of dusty leather boots at the end of
shotgun chaps. The hilt of a shiny revolver was sticking out of a
leather holster. He was wearing a white shirt and a beige fringe
jacket. And finally, on his face a mask and on his head a pure white
Stetson.




“What happened new guy?”
he said as I stood up and looked around, “Ye didn’t last
out there.” The men started laughing. “I’m like
you.” I said clenching my teeth. “Well then.” Said
the boss, he took out his gun and handed it to me, “Pull the
trigger.” He was looking in the direction of the laughing
captive, “One of us was gonna shoot him anyway, why don’t
you do the honours? Or else you will be joining him.” I had no
choice, it was him or me. I know if I hesitate I won’t do it. I
can feel my hands are already sweating. It’s now or never. I
aimed, closed my eyes and fired. The trigger was easy to pull and the
bullet left the barrel with a spark followed by smoke. I wasn’t
expecting the force of the recoil. The gun gave one large jerk
backwards and up as if struggling to escape, but I managed to hold
on.




After the bang the prisoner fell
to his knees and lay lifeless on the sand. “It’s a tough
life out here in the desert. This is where we here outlaws live.
Every day we fight to survive.” The boss stared at the
prisoner, “Fine we’ll see how long you last.” He
slapped me on the back. The gun slipped through my fingers and fell
on the floor. The men all started laughing and walked to sit around
the fire. The gun was lying in a puddle of blood. I looked over at
the dead man, the horror had been frozen on his face.




I picked up the gun and wiped it
clean then placed it in my holster which, up until now, had been
empty. I smile, I am officially one of them. The compass of my life
has been changed to point towards the outlaws.


© Copyright 2014 Neon Rush (j_me at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2013677-An-outlaws-compass