Haunted

Haunted

By Maz McCoy

The white arrow painted on the rock pointed in two directions. To the left was Trader’s Gap, to the right Bittersweet. Below the name of each town, a number of miles was written. Kid rested his arms on the saddle horn and turned to face Heyes.

“Which way?” he asked.

“Bittersweet, of course.”

“Trader’s Gap is nearer. You said you were tired and you sure look it.”

“I’m not that tired.”

“Hungry then?”

“You’re the one that always worries about food. I’m okay. I say we head for Bittersweet.”

“We don’t have to.”

“I know but…”

“It was a long time ago.”

“Not so long, that I don’t remember. We go to Bittersweet.”

Kid didn’t look at his friend, understanding. “Thanks.”

“Come on.”

Heyes pulled on the reins, turning his horse, riding away from a town filled with memories. Kid followed. Thunder rumbled in the distance as they rode down the hillside. He knew Heyes was dying to say something. The silence between them practically crackled. A bolt of lightning flashed across the dark sky.

As if it had been a cue, Heyes looked across at his friend. “I heard he was still alive.”

“Me, too. Up in Colorado, somewhere, last I heard.”

“You ever sorry I stopped you?”

Kid pulled his horse to a halt and Heyes stopped beside him. Blue eyes met brown ones. “From killin’ him?”

“Yeah.”

“Sometimes.” Heyes didn’t miss the haunted look in Kid’s eyes. “I know he’s out there, still looking for us, still ready to take us in if he got the chance.”

“Does it keep you awake at night?”

“Not while I’ve got you to watch my back.” Kid smiled, and then his face clouded over again. “If we ever run into him again…”

“We’ll deal with it. If, it ever happens. By then we could have our amnesty. Now wouldn’t that be something?”

“Could be sooner than that.”

Heyes met Kid’s gaze. “Come on, partner. I have a feeling there are some really bad poker players in Bittersweet.”

“In that case I’d better watch your back.”

Heyes kicked his horse on. Kid took a long look over his shoulder. What if they did meet him again?

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