A YEAR UNDERFOOT – entry #110

A Year Underfoot


December 20th, 2033

Every day is an adventure and today was certainly no exception. I ran into trouble on the east side of Oxnard and for the first time in my life I had to kill a man. I had no choice. I really didn’t. I know it is a cliche’, but it truly was either kill, or be killed.

He was rabid and out of his mind. I don’t know how else to explain it. We had no words, no confrontation. I was walking along the shoulder of the road heading south, he was walking in the middle of the road heading north and when he saw me he raised a shotgun and ran straight for me, – screaming all the while.

And, to my amazement he pulled the trigger.

He was trying to kill me.

No doubt about it.

His screams had given me enough warning and I hit the deck, – diving and rolling off to my right. I popped back up and leveled my .357 at his chest.

Stop! Stop! I yelled, and to my surprise he did and I got my first real look at him. A white man in his fifties or sixties, with a dirty white beard, wearing only a torn t-shirt despite the cold, his corduroy pants were torn and frayed and he wore no socks or shoes.

Somewhere along the line he’d snapped and divorced himself from reality, I could see it in his eyes, -big, empty and distant.

Put the gun down! I yelled. Put the gun down! But, he wouldn’t listen. He reached into his front right pocket and pulled out another shell.

Don’t do it. I pleaded. I don’t want to kill you! But he wasn’t listening, he wasn’t hearing me at all. He had checked out some time ago.

He loaded the shell into the chamber and drew up the shotgun.

No! I screamed, pulling the trigger a split second before he could. The round struck him squarely in the chest, knocking him backward. The shotgun fell to the ground and he fell next to it. He lay on his back, he wasn’t moving.

I inched forward, my eyes darting between the body and the gun. Any movement and I’d have to shoot again.

Mercifully, another bullet was unnecessary.

He was already dead.

I m so torn up inside I can’t think straight. With all that is going on, -I kill another man, another human being.

Am I no different than the Threak?



About paul nevins

Fiction writer, reader and baseball fan.
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