Setting Targets

Setting Targets

By Maz McCoy

 

“Mind if I watch?” Lobo asked as Kid Curry placed a tin can on a fallen tree trunk.

“Not as long as you stay over there,” Kid replied, placing another can a few inches further along the trunk from the first.

Lobo settled himself on a boulder and watched the young gunman set out the rest of his targets in the clearing. Sunlight cast dappled shade through the trees. Shadows danced over the cans and both men as the wind rippled through the branches.

Kid returned to stand beside Lobo. He drew his Colt from the holster strapped to his right leg, flipped open the barrel and drew a bullet from the back of his belt.

“Heyes still talking to the men?” Kid asked.

“No, he went for a walk with Kyle.” Kid raised an eyebrow at the news. Lobo shrugged. “Probably talking dynamite.”

Kid smiled and slid the bullet into the empty chamber before drawing another from his belt. “You okay with the plan?” The second bullet was slipped into place.

“Heyes usually knows what he’s doing,” Lobo stated.

“Don’t let him hear you say, usually.”

It was Lobo’s turn to smile.

Kid flipped the barrel closed and dropped the gun into the holster. He adjusted his stance, let his hands fall at his side and calmed his breathing.

 

***

“You sure we won’t need more dynamite?” Kyle asked as he followed Hannibal Heyes along the wooded path.

“I think we have enough, Kyle,” Heyes assured him.

“Don’t think you can ever have too much dynamite,” the smaller man observed.

“Well, for this one we have enough, although…” Heyes stopped in his tracks and Kyle bumped into his back.

“What?” Kyle asked.

“We need to do something bigger.”

“You want to rob a bigger train?”

“No, Kyle, we should be aiming higher.”

“You want us to shoot over the passengers’ heads?”

“What?” Heyes looked perplexed. “No! I mean we need to rob something bigger than just a small town bank. In fact I have the perfect bank in mind.” Heyes led the way along the trail and, like an eager puppy, Kyle followed.

 

***

 

“You ever doubt you’ll hit them all?” Lobo asked Kid a fraction of a second before he drew his gun.

Kid shot Lobo a look. “D’you mind?”

Lobo looked sheepish. “Oh, sorry.”

Kid returned his attention to the cans lined along the tree trunk. And then he drew.

“Ki…” Lobo began but the blond man had already caught sight of a familiar black hat moving just beyond, but in line with, the targets. Somehow he pulled back but not before he had fired one shot.

To his horror, Kid watched as Heyes’ hat flew into the air.

“Kid, you just shot Heyes!” Lobo was on his feet staring but the blond man was already running.

 

***

“Heyes! Heyes!” Kid cried as he leapt over the tree trunk. He’d seen the hat fly off and Heyes fall to the ground. Surely he hadn’t just shot his best friend? He couldn’t have! Could he? “Heyes!”

Kid found his friend lying in the undergrowth, Kyle crouching beside him.

“Is he alive?” Kid asked desperately. “Kyle? Is he alive?”

Heyes sat up smiling. “I’m alive,” his friend assured him.

“Oh, thank God.” Kid sank to his knees beside Heyes. “I thought I’d shot you.”

“What are you doing out here?” Heyes asked.

Kid looked irked. “What I always do out here, practice. What are you doing out here?”

“Planning.”

“Well, don’t walk behind a set of targets when you’re plannin’.”

Heyes smiled. “Had you worried, huh?”

“No. You had me scared to death.”

“You know, Kid when I heard that gun fire…”

“Your whole life flashed before your eyes?” Kid guessed.

“No, it was actually the floor plan of the Bank of Fort Worth.”

“What?”

“I’ll tell you later.”

Lobo appeared beside them. “Er, Heyes…” He held out the black hat.

“Thanks.” Heyes took it and then noticed something. He put a finger inside the crown and it poked through a hole at the front. “You shot my hat.” Heyes stated.

“Sorry,” Kid replied. “I’ll buy you a new one.”

“No. It’ll remind me to…”

“Duck?” Kyle suggested

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