The Gun of Crow
By: Antwan Crump
The door crept open. Gun awoke from his drunken stupor to a growing blare of light. He pulls himself up against the wall, as Blazer enters the room -with two accomplices. Gun takes the final swig of bourbon from his pouch. He wipes his mouth with the sleeve of his shirt, grunting as Blazer approaches -shotgun in hand.
“Wakey,wakey, you piece of shit.” Blazer antagonizes -kicking Guns limp legs, as his men pull him up. “Now is that any way to treat a friend.” Gun slurs. They drag him out of the room into the dusty corridors.
Seeing the multitude of machinery, Gun realizes where he is. “The factory. How the hell is this place still standing?” Blazer resists the urge respond. “Hey ugly, I asked you a question.” The men all pause. Gun laughs amused “No. the ugly one -with one eye.” He concludes.
Frustrated, Blazer commands the men to hold Gun straight up, as he pulls out his knife. Gently running it across Guns face he answers “When Crow fell the survivors sought refuge here. This is all that’s left standing for miles.” Gun freezes and is all at once sober.
Blazer continues -the knife now to Gun’s throat. “They’re all dead. Your mother, your father, your daughter; your wife hung in there for a while. Long enough for a few of the fellas to-“
Enraged, Gun headbutts Blazer, collapsing what had remained of his nose. Breaking free of the men, he snatches his shotgun from Blazer’s holster and opens fire.
The buck shot scattered hitting Blazer in his side, disabling him. Turning the Gun on Blazer’s henchmen, he shoots one in the head, and aims the weapon at the second -whose now cowering on his knees. Blazer’s screams of agony fill the factory,alerting it’s occupants.
Gun grabs the living henchmen by the collar, presses the barrel against his head, and demands he lead him to the exit. The men proceed. Blazer lays squirming bleeding out from his lower half. “Good catching up with you Blaze.” Gun says as he rushes past him.
Crow couldn’t have fallen Gun thinks to himself “Lies, all of it!” He exclaims, making the henchman ever more fearful for his life. Blazer’s screams could still be heard from floors away. “Shut up!” Gun yells.
The henchman starts to “Shh” Gun, but stops. He knows insanity all to well to finish making that mistake. He feels the barrel dig into his skull. Gun takes a deep breathe, after calming down they push forward.
“You know, you can’t just keep running Gun. At some point your gonna’have to face your problems.” Mystic had often chastised Gun’s uncaring facade. Though it annoyed her greatly on occasion, it was part of why she loved him.
After the collapse, he swore to protect her -equally she swore to care for him. The two spent nearly two decades doing precisely that. Their love was one, that had spawned hatred among the loners, and envy from the other “breeders”. Despite this, their notorious (and equal) reputation for retaliation had kept the angst at bay.
On the day Gun was to be sent on his five year mission, Mystic had supported the cause (they needed people). She opted to stay behind with the rest of the family. It was a humbling departure, albeit devoid of the traditional emotion. Gun knew he would be back, and once assured, Mystic believed it as well.
Don’t worry Misty. I’m coming home. Gun thinks as his hostage wails over the sound of reciprocated gunfire. “Would you pull it together, they’re gonna kill.” A bullet ricochets off of the machinery and through the henchman’s neck, disrupting his pleas. Gun releases dives behind a corner “Whups.” He snides, firing back at random and injuring several assailants.
Running low on ammunition, Gun decides to make a run for it through the hall’s -testing the doors for an unlocked knob. Cornered he thinks fuck it, and shoots through the knob of the second to last door -he rams his shoulder into it and enters the room -bullets following his path.
He barricades the door with a metal rack, and searches the wall for a light switch. “Well, I’ll be damned.” He hadn’t seen ultraviolet lights -since before this all began.
“I’m telling you Gun -by the time you get back to Crow, you won’t even recognize the place. We’re gonna have hydroelectric power, running throughout the whole city.” Merlin said optimistically -as was his way. “We may even have a few greenhouses going. Just wait and see. We’re all gonna bounce back from this.”
Gun stared at his family as they tried to maintain their composure -barely listening to Merlin. Noticing Guns disengagement, Merlin looks back at them as well; before concluding “That’s a beautiful family you’ve got there. Don’t worry, we’ll take care of them. Your this town’s hero now. Your family will reap the benefits of that. You have my word.”
Gun coldly answered”If not, I’ll have your life.” Merlin placed his hand on Gun’s shoulder, and nodded in approval of this arrangement. He jumped down off of the truck -Gun pulled away, heading East.
Gun pulls a tomato from the potted produce and bites into it. “Damn good.” A timer buzzes. Nervous, Gun aims in its’ direction, a sprinkler goes off and the room is doused in water.
Gun finds this refreshing, tilting his head back to drink, he hears “He’s in the green room!” Followed by a rush of footsteps. He takes cover behind one of the tables and prepares to exhaust the remainder of his ammunition.
“Cease fire damn it! I said cease fire!” A voice cuts through the array of fire. “Merlin, he’s in the green room.” A voice screams. Merlin replies , “So is our food, now -Stand Down!” Gun hears the group recede; but remains vigilant.
“Gun! Gun is that you in there? It’s me Merlin. You’ve got a lot of us nervous out here. Please surrender.” Gun hesitates briefly before responding “Merlin?”
” How about you get your ass in here. Just you! And you can tell me just what the hell is going on.”
“How can trust, you won’t kill me Gun?”
“You can’t Merl. As per our agreement. You’re just gonna have to have fate. If not, you can trust that I’ll kill everything in here, before you can get through that door.”
Merlin is quiet. “Gun continues, it’s real nice in here Merl! Wouldn’t wanna ruin it!”
“Okay” Merlin answers “We speak through the door.”