Up on the Roof

Up on the Roof

By Maz McCoy

Hannibal Heyes stared at the blood stained water in the bowl Preacher carried as the he stepped to one side allowing the outlaw leader access to the bedroom.

“How bad?” Heyes asked, not meeting Preacher’s gaze.

“Bullet to the shoulder,” Preacher stated by way of an explanation.

Heyes entered the room. Kid Curry lay on the bed, the blankets pulled up to his waist. A bandage was wrapped across his left shoulder, the centre of it already stained with blood. Kid was asleep or unconscious, Heyes did not know which. He moved to the end of the bed and rested his hands on the bed frame, studying his friend.

“What happened?”

Preacher moved back into the room and placed the bowl on the nightstand. “Not sure exactly. He was slumped over his horse when he rode in. Lost a lot of blood. Kyle and Lobo got him down, carried him in here. He kept losing consciousness but he was mutterin’.”

Heyes looked up. “What? What did he say?”

“Said they were up on the roof.

Heyes’ brow furrowed. “Who?”

“Don’t know but he said ‘Waitin’ for them’ and then he kept repeating ‘Up on the roof’.”

Heyes looked back at his injured partner. “He was ambushed.”

“I don’t think so.”

Heyes’ head snapped up, anger in his eyes. “Oh, you don’t think he walked into a trap?”

“Not one meant for him,” Preacher replied and watched as Heyes’ expression changed as he processed the idea.

“What makes you say that?”

“Kid went down there alone but he repeated that they were waiting for ‘them’ not ‘him’. I think whoever was on the roof was waiting for someone else and…”

“What?”

“Kid got caught in the crossfire or…”

“Or?”

“Or he did what Kid Curry does and got involved.”

Heyes looked back at the wounded man, blond hair plastered by sweat to his forehead. “Yeah, he does tend to do that.”

Preacher picked up the bowl.

“How bad’s he hurt?” Heyes asked.

“Wound wasn’t pretty but I got the bullet out. It’s clean and stitched up. All I can do for now.”

“Thanks, Preacher.”

“He’s gonna be out for some time, Heyes, why don’t you get cleaned up? I’ll get Kyle to make you some coffee.”

“I can make my own.”

“Yeah, but I only have time to treat one sick man.”

Before Heyes could reply to that barb about his coffee, Preacher left the room. Heyes’ gaze drifted to a pile of clothes on the chair beside the door. Kid’s favourite blue shirt lay on top. It was heavily stained dark red. Heyes rested his head on the bedframe. “What the hell happened this time?” he asked knowing full well his friend could not answer.

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