Return for revenge
Back to Harlan
They didn’t recognize me when I walked into Dulaney’s Bar, but I remembered them. Same crowd as twenty years ago. I should say they looked twenty years older, but that wouldn’t quite fit because they looked twenty years older twenty years ago.
A couple looked up from their brew and gave me that “seen your face before” look. I figured Earl, the bartender, would spot me. He’s been pouring suds at Dulaney’s for almost 50 years and doesn’t forget a face. Seeing him here surprised me, for I would have bet money on him being dead by now.
I look a lot different now. Twenty years in prison changes a man both inside and out.
Old man Roscoe is still here, running the town from the table in the back corner. Sitting in the same seat he occupied the night I shot his son, who had three hours earlier killed his wife, my daughter in a drunken rage.
“You’ll never leave Harlan alive!” he had screamed as I backed out the door, my gun still pointed at him, while his son bled out on the floor.
He was wrong and right. I didn’t get far before Sheriff Herpin caught me. Roscoe had enough political clout to get me convicted, but not enough to get me a life sentence or a hanging. Twenty years was the sentence. I left Harlan in a prison wagon, not much alive or interested in living, twenty years ago.
They didn’t recognize me because my real executioner, Cancer, has been chewing on me for fifteen years. But I’m here to finish my task before he takes me, and they will recognize me yet tonight.
Roscoe looked up and recognized me. “You’ll never leave Harlan alive,” I said, putting two bullets in his head.
Word Count: 297