The Gift

The Gift

By Maz McCoy

He watched their faces; mouths dropped open, eyes wide in astonishment at the speed of his partner’s draw. Heyes shoulders visibly relaxed and he let out the breath he had been holding. Kid was fast, lightning fast, faster than he’d ever be. Kid practiced, he cleaned his gun until sometimes it quite literally shone and his speed continued to save their lives.

The man opposite Kid at the poker table had no idea who he was talking to when he called the young blond man a cheat and a liar, as he threw down his cards in disgust. He pushed back his chair, with dramatic outrage and glared at Kid. The man’s face began to turn red with anger, as two cool blue eyes met his own.

Heyes tried to reason with him but the man wasn’t listening. Kid sighed and slowly pushed back his chair, rising to his feet to face him. His voice was calm. He was being very reasonable but the man wanted only one thing. He went for his gun.

And then there were the gasps and the wide eyed expressions, as Kid out drew him. His Colt pointed unwavering at the man, who could only stand and wait to see what the blond man would do next.

Some said Kid had a gift and Heyes had to agree that he did. He was the fastest he’d ever seen; the fastest gun in the west, but that was down to hours of relentless practice.

Kid didn’t pull the trigger. He met the man’s gaze, allowing him to know what could have been. Allowing him to live. The ability to do that, in the heat of a life and death situation; to judge in a split second when not to pull the trigger; to Heyes that was Kid’s gift. He gave others in turn, the gift of their lives back.

Heyes smiled.

“Whatcha grinning at?” Kid asked, as he twirled his gun a couple of times before dropping it into his holster.

“You,” Heyes told him, rising to his feet.

“Me?”

“Yep.”

“You’re weird sometimes Heyes, you know that?” Kid told his friend.

“C’mon, I’ll buy you a beer,” Heyes said, placing a hand on his partner’s shoulder, as they turned towards the bar. “After that, I could sure use one.”

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