Sam and His Gun by Robert Bruce Crow III

Pulling the trigger was the easy part. It was with a modicum of difficulty that those miniscule muscles stretching from the tip of the index finger through the right hand and into the forearm managed to tense; and the subtle strain lasted only a moment. The loud crack of gunpowder blasting a .380 from his ppk sent a shock through his skin. Spooked, he felt a line of pain twirl through his trigger finger. Somewhere between a hundredth of a second and an eternity he released the tension and did what seemed natural. Three more bangs drowned out the first in a friendly procession of firepower.

The sound reminded him of the shrill snap of a well placed hammer strike that drives a nail all the way into a plank of oak. Four strikes, four nails. He could've crucified someone with that much sound, and maybe he had. Sam remembered that he'd just entered into a classic predicament called murder. Well, it wasn't really murder, he was sure the pissed-off methed-out redneck running towards him posed some danger. It wasn't likely that they were old acquaintances near embrace.

Several options gracefully presented themselves and he decided to rapidly execute the first two. First, he fetched a wallet from the back pocket of the carcass' pants. Second, he ran. Sam was surprised by the exhilaration he felt and equally surprised at the utter lack of remorse. He let out a jackal laugh and continued on his merry way stretching his legs one in front of the other covering at least a meter a stride until he concluded that he was a safe sprint away.

Sirens could be heard in the distance, but Sam wasn't phased. Sam relished in an electronic accompaniment to the bloody baritone of the devil's bellow blasting underneath his sweaty scalp. "Fuck", he complimented himself as if the bullets he'd blasted were orgasmic explosions from his God-given side arm. He felt the cold cement of the French Quarter floor through his pants as he slid down the wall and into a post-murder resting posture.

A smile mocked the death of his conscience. He wondered if he'd ever had a conscience. Most of his moral predicaments in the past seemed socially contrived and had been solved through Sam's clever application of game theory and aesthetics. Some things, he'd been told, were wrong. One could recognize what was wrong through some inner sensibility, a moral conscience. He felt nothing wrong about this and concluded, between breaths, that morality was a myth to pacify weakness and dampen artistic resolve of the darker variety. Sam rejoiced in his freedom.
He kept a bullet in the chamber and filled his magazine. Sam enjoyed the warmth of the gun's barrel and imagined smoke dancing from the dangerous end. He kissed it, like a spy would, or a cowboy that only had one shot to save himself. Sam had found religion, Sam cradled God loosely but snugly in his hand. His thumb held the left of the chamber and his index finger curled seductively around the trigger. Three fingers wrapped around the grip. He held his mudra and felt the power coarse through him. Sam was a convert to crime, Sam was a murderer, and Sam had never felt better. He designed to worship his god frequently to keep his holiness high.

As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. ~ Prov. 27:17


Bruce Harris said...

In the words of Al Pacino in "The Scent of a Woman" -- HOO HAH!

Bill Baber said...


Anonymous said...

great use of metaphor and this story fits the description of what one critic stated about Hammett, that his mysteries were about the character and their thoughts much less the crime or the process of solving the crime but the character and your story is all about character and not the cime but the character's reaction to it, his thoughts and transformation. Great stuff.

Paul D. Brazill said...

How brilliant was that?

Anonymous said...

This is how it must be for some of them..a religio/narcissistic experience. Nice. Terry Butler