End Times

“That was a low blow,” Ponset gritted, pale-faced. “Shootin’ a man while he’s sleepin’… you shouldn’t oughtta have done it.”

“Maybe it was. Maybe.” Opal’s voice was flat, as flat as her face. “You’d’a won in a fair fight sure.”

His eyes couldn’t focus on her face, but he wouldn’t stop talking on account of that. “I never shot… nobody in the back. Anbody I shot… I shot when they was lookin’ at me.”

“Sure. How many died lookin’? How many men’d you kill right square?” She spat the stub of her cigar out onto the muddy straw of the stable. “How many’d you stare down that never coulda stood up to it?” She rocked back on her heels and lit another cigar. She studied him through the blue plume of the smoke. His lips shaped words but no sound came out. “Was that fair? Was that straight?”

After he was dead she stood up and kicked straw over his face. She left without closing the stable door.