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by Mark Westmoreland

It was the middle of the night and someone was at the door. They were banging, hollering, and louder’n hell. I was floating at the bottom of a bottle of Woodford and not as drunk as I wanted to be.

The walk across the living room was like trying to walk the deck of a ship at sea. The couch got in the way and an end table bit my shin. The dog damn near caused me to trip but a wall was there to catch me. The person at the door was raising all sorts of hell and all I wanted was for them to go away.

“Who is it?”

“It’s me, Mack.”

“Who’s me?”

“Open the door.”

“I’m too drunk.”

“I need help, goddammit.”

I fiddled with the lock but it wouldn’t turn the direction I wanted it to. When I got it open Boyd rushed inside without being invited. “The hell’s wrong with you?”

“I need to hide out here.”

“Why for?”

“Got some boys lookin for me.”

“What’d you do?”

“You’re better off not knowin.” Boyd walked over to the kitchen counter and tipped up the bottle of bourbon. He guzzled it like he’s drinking a Co-Cola.

“Go easy on that.”

He wiped his mouth, burped, said, “Shit, that burns.”

He shook like a stiff wind was blowing, sat down on a stool, stood back up. “The hell’d you get yourself into, Boyd?”

“Told you, you’re better off not knowin.”

“You ain’t stayin here if you gone act like that.”

“Mack, you gotta let me.”

“I ain’t gotta do shit.”

“You gone get me killed.”

“The hell I am.”

He swigged from the Woodford. The last little bit of it was gone. He dropped the bottle into the trash and the glass banged against the bottom of the can. “I killed somebody.”

“Do what?”

“I killed Randy Jessup.”

“The preacher?”

“Yeah.”

“Sonuva bitch.”

Boyd paced back and forth across the kitchen. If he walked any faster he’d’ve wore a hole in the floor. “I didn’t mean for it to happen, Mack. He’s been owin me some money for bout a year now. Ever time I see him he dodges me. We finally come to an agreement that he’d just gimme some meth instead of the money. Thought I could sell it. Make more back than what I loaned him. Went over there tonight and he pulled a gun on me. The sumbitch tried to shoot me.”

“How’d you kill him?”

“Beat him with a baseball bat.”

“You’re sure he’s dead?”

“Sure as the world.”

“Shit, you’re as good as dead.”

“That’s why you gotta let me stay here.”

I walked over to the closet and got my Weatherby from it. I checked the scope and got a box of bullets from a drawer in the kitchen. I handed them over to Boyd and walked towards my bedroom.

“Where you goin?”

“To get my AR and some more Woodford. It’s gone be a long night.”


Mark Westmoreland is a Georgia native living in Oklahoma. He’s a Netflix enthusiast, Georgia Bulldogs fan, and pro-wrestling junkie. His stories have been published around the web and can be found at storyandgrit.com. You can find him hanging out on Twitter @Markaw00.

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