No animals were harmed in the writing of this story. What am I writing about?
“Guns and Ammo Aren’t Enough”
A Short Story
Patrick and Jenny walked into the Paytonville General Store with their guns pointing their way up to the counter where William Payton stood. William smiled. “How can I help you today, Patrick and Jenny.”
“What do these guns tell you?” Patrick asked. “We are here to rob you.”
William looked around that empty General Store. “I’m too busy to be playing any games. You will have to go somewhere else to play.”
Patrick and Jenny cocked their guns. “We aren’t playing,” said Jenny. “Give us half your food here and all of your guns and ammo or we kill you.”
# # #
Kevin Payton came running into the living room of the Payton ranch shouting for Nathan Payton. Mark Payton looked up at Kevin from the chair he was sitting in. “Your father isn’t here right now,” said Mark. “Why are you looking for him?”
“I have something that he needs to know,” said Kevin. “It has to do with my brother, his son, William.”
“What’s wrong with William?” Mark asked.
Kevin sighed. “Physically he’s okay, but he has been robbed.”
Mark looked shocked. “That’s impossible. No one in our town would be crazy enough to do something like that.”
# # #
Jenny and Patrick stood in front of six graves. They shook their heads sadly at two large mounds, four smaller ones, and a cross at the back of each one. A few seconds later they walked out of a picket fence and walked toward a small bullet hole ridden house.
“Why did they have to kill them like that?” Jenny asked.
“To tell everyone what will happen to them if they don’t give them what they want,” answered Patrick. “We’ve got a bigger problem to deal with right now. We don’t have enough guns and ammo. That isn’t the only problem we have, though.”
# # #
Nathan and three other men were riding their horses down a long twisting road when Kevin rode up to them. All five stopped when Nathan got there. “Father, I need to talk to you about something that concerns the whole family.”
A few seconds later Kevin continued. “Our General Store in town has been robbed. They got away with every gun and ammo that we had there.”
“Who would be crazy enough to do something like that to our family?” Nathan asked.
“That’s the real mystery about all this. It was done by Patrick and Jenny Brandon.”
# # #
Patrick aimed his rifle at her head and fired. A second later a cow fell to the ground dead. Another cow died the same way a few seconds later. Patrick aimed and killed four more cows before Jenny knocked the rifle down causing the bullet to miss a seventh cow.
“Why are we doing this?” Jenny asked. “We will be going after some more guns and ammo.”
“We are going to get some more guns and ammo, but first we have to give the Paytons something else to worry about.” Patrick took aim and killed another cow.
# # #
Jenny and Patrick walked into a General Store. Only this time they didn’t have their guns out as they walked up to the counter. “Welcome to Austin City,” said the clerk standing behind that counter. “How can I help you kids.”
“You don’t look like a Payton, but you could be a relative to them. Are you?” Patrick asked.
The clerk looked confused. “No, I’m not. Why did you ask me a question like that?”
Jenny and Patrick pulled out their guns and pointed them at that clerk. “We are sorry you aren’t, but we are here to rob you,” said Jenny.
# # #
Mark rode up to his son, Andrew, and his nephew, Robert, sitting on their horses in front of a fence. “What’s wrong, now? Why did you insist on me coming out here to tell me what it is?”
“Because we didn’t think you would believe us if you didn’t see it for yourself,” said Andrew. Andrew pointed at the cows just beyond a fence, including about twelve dead cows.
Looking at where Andrew was pointed, Mark gasped. “What happened here?”
“We don’t know,” said Robert. “They were like that when we got here.”
# # #
Patrick and Jenny their hands raised. The clerk behind the counter of that General Store had a shotgun pointed at them. “Everyone in this territory knows what you two are doing.”
“So, you must be one of the Paytons. Either that or you are related to them. Which is it?” Patrick asked.
“It’s neither,” responded the clerk. “I don’t even know any of the Paytons.”
“Then why are you pointing that gun at us?” Jenny asked.”
“I don’t care who you are as long as you pay for it,” said the clerk. “Only you don’t do that. You steal it.”
# # #
James Payton stood in front of his two younger brothers, three sons, and five nephews in the living room of their ranch. “What are we going to do about Patrick and Jenny?”
“It was bad enough when they stole all of our extra guns and ammo from our General Store, but now they have killed some of our cattle.” James continued a few seconds later.
“We only think that they killed our cattle father, but we don’t know that for sure.” Deputy Gregory Payton stood next to James. “I haven’t been able to prove that, yet.”
# # #
Jenny started petting a horse. “Do we have to kill some of these horses too.”
“Cows I can understand because they are ugly, but horses are beautiful creatures.” continued Jenny. “They shouldn’t be killed.”
“I don’t want to kill them either, but we need to do it. The Paytons were shaken up by the death of their cattle but it’s not enough.”
“We must do this.” Patrick cocked his gun and pointed it at a horse next to the one Jenny was petting. A second later Jenny cringed when she heard the first of several shots.
# # # # #
Patrick and Jenny started putting the guns and ammo into bags. The revolvers went into one bag, the rifles into a taller one, and the ammo into yet another one. “You are the most helpful General Store clerk we have had so far,” said Patrick.
“That’s because I want to help you against the Paytons,” said that clerk. “I hate them almost as much as you do.”
Jenny finished filling one bag of revolvers. Then she started on another one. “I don’t care why you are doing it. I’m just glad you did it without us making you do it.”
# # #
Gregory came running into the living room of the family ranch. “We know where Patrick and Jenny are at. They left River City a couple of days ago.”
The whole family was there, but it’s William who spoke first. “River City, that’s fifty miles from here. Why are they robbing General Stores that so away?”
“For the same reason they robbed our General Store,” said Gregory. “They are getting all the guns and ammo they can get, and we all know why they are doing that.”
“Of course, we do. So, what are we going to do about it?” Robert asked.
# # #
Jenny and Patrick glance at a sign that reads ‘Lancing Ridge’ as they walked into a town and headed for its General Store. “Depending on how many guns and ammo they have here this might be our last General Store we need to rob,” said Jenny.
“Isn’t this the same town we were in when the rest of our family was killed?” Patrick asked.
“It is,” said Jenny. “If we hadn’t had been out looking for food and supplies, we would have been killed too.”
“Then this is our last General Store,” said Patrick. “If I remember right this one had a lot of guns and ammo.”
# # #
James was standing in the barn looking out the window at some of their cattle when Nathan came in. “Three more have shown up,” said Nathan. “That makes almost thirty. A few more should be showing up within a few days.”
“That’s good to hear,” said James still looking out that window. “I just hope they get here in time.”
“What does that mean?” Nathan asked.
James turned toward Nathan. “I just heard that Patrick and Jenny are on their way here now, and I don’t think that they are coming here to kill some more cattle or horses.”
# # #
Patrick got off his horse and tied it to a fallen tree. Then he headed through the woods toward the Payton ranch. Jenny was right beside him. Only they didn’t continue to the ranch. They stopped just before it to another herd of cattle rummaging around a fenced field.
“I think we need another distraction before we started our attack against the Paytons,” said Patrick. “The barn is too close to the ranch to kill any more horses. So, that leaves some more cattle.” Patrick took aim and killed one cow in the head. A few seconds later he killed six more of them.
# # #
Jenny and Patrick were still in the woods on that side of the Payton ranch. Only now they faced the ranch. They use two large trees as cover when they start their fight against the Paytons. Each one had about a hundred revolvers and about twenty-five rifles.
Both used revolvers first, one for each hand. Once that revolver was out of bullets, it was dropped and another one was picked up to use. They aimed those revolvers at the ranch. “We are going to kill all of them like they killed the rest of our family,” said Jenny
# # #
Mark and the other Paytons were using the ranch as cover when Patrick and Jenny started their fight against them. They broke out their windows and opened the front door slightly to do it. Two Paytons used each window. Taking turns shooting at Patrick and Jenny. Three used the front door. They positioned themselves one on top of the other and they also took turns shooting at Patrick and Jenny.
“Give yourselves up before you get yourselves killed,” shouted Mark from one of the windows. “We don’t want to kill you if we don’t have to.”
# # #
Patrick and Jenny were no longer together. He moved closer to the barn and fences where the cows and horses roamed when some non-Paytons started fighting back. Jenny remained at the ranch side of that fight. Only now they were both using their shotguns. It took longer to shoot, but each one hit their target.
“So, the Paytons have called in some help,” said Patrick. If they want to die too that’s okay with me.” The ones helping the Paytons were using the barn and fence for cover. That didn’t stop Patrick from taking them out one after another.
# # #
Nathan sighed as he looked at all the bullet holes on both sides of the door where he was at. There was very little ranch left. He sighed again when he looked at the other Paytons. Other than himself there were only three Paytons left. “I would surrender if I thought I could, but I don’t think they would let me do that.”
After reloading his shotguns, he joined the other three in that fight. Only now he was taking his shots very carefully. They still weren’t hitting their targets, but it did keep them from firing back a little.
# # #
Jenny just got hit in her left shoulder too. She took aim at Nathan and shot him in the head. After a few minutes of silence, Jenny went to help Patrick. She only got about halfway there when she saw Patrick get hit in his chest. Patrick fell to the ground. Jenny ran up to him only to get shot in her side. She went down next to Patrick.
“I’m only thirteen and Patrick is barely sixteen,” mumbled Jenny. “We are too young to die.” Jenny looked toward the ranch. “At least we are going to take all the Paytons with us.”
Word Count = 1,991