So I wrote this before I came up with the cigarette... I just stumbled upon it. But it's a fun what if.
What if Jeb Greenly found his balls and took out his own brother.
"Is it true?" Jeb asked, keeping the automatic pointed at Horrace. His hands were shaking but his eyes... his eyes were steady.
"Who do you think I did it for? Would you have had the fucking guts to do it? What had to be done?" Horrace asked, moving towards his brother. "Even now you think I need killing, and you can't do it. You NEED me. You've always needed me to get the bad shit done so you don't have to."
"Stay back," Jeb said, cocking back the hammer. "Stay back and let me think." Horrace walked slowly towards his brother, hands up, palms out. Jeb started to cry and shake, but he didn't put the gun down.
"What's going to happen when the crazies come? Or the dead things... or whatever comes next. You think I'm the worst person out in all this shit? One day men will come with guns and without someone like ME, they're going to take everything from you. This isn't Sunday School here little brother. This is the big bad fucking world and you can't handle it without me. You never could and you never will." He was less than ten feet from his brother now, eyes locked with Jebs.
"One more step, Horrace and I'll-" Jeb started but Horrace just laughed.
"You'll what? Shoot your own brother? Then what? Cowboy up? Do this shit yourself? Face it, without me you're NOTHING. You're LESS than nothing. Everything you have is because of me, everything you ARE is because of me. Without me you're just a scared little kid who can't wipe his own-" Jeb pulled the trigger and the bullet tore a chunk out of the pavement at Horace's feet. Horace stopped. The world was quiet. The deputies didn't move, rifles pointed at us, but they were nervous now. And the town was armed. Then Horace laughed, long and deep and mocking.
"Was that supposed to be my warning shot, little brother?" He asked.
"No, not a warning shot," Jeb whispered. The tears were streaming down his face now, the front of his shirt wet. His hands were shaking as he cocked the hammer back and took the gun in a two handed shooters grip. "I haven't fired a handgun in years, not since dad took us. Do you remember that? He used to take us to the range."
"I remember," Horace said taking another step closer to his brother.
"I was terrible a terrible shot. I still am. I missed. I love you Horace," Jeb said.
"I love you too little brother," Horace whispered. Jeb pulled the trigger, and Horace died. He was still weeping as he stood over the body and fired two more shots into Horace's head. Then he wiped his eyes with his shirt sleeves, and turned to the deputies, gun in hand and said in a voice that was less weakling and more man than I'd ever heard, "Drop your godamned guns. None of you are cops anymore. Horace is dead, Robert and Anthony are dead, Fetch is leaving. It's over. We're going to do this again and we're going to do it right this time. If you don't agree to that, I suspect you'll have to answer to them." He gestured to the crowd, and as the deputies turned they were greeted with the sight of guns. A LOT of guns. The town was armed, and every one of them looked ready to take their OWN survival into their hands now. The kids dropped the guns. Jeb turned to the crowd.
"I don't think it's safe out there," he said, "And I don't think it'll be safe for a good long time. But I'm not my brother. Any man woman or child who wants to try for Galviston, go with my blessing. But for the rest of you, I promise, in a year, or two, when these things have rotted down to nothing, we'll be safe. We'll go. You sure you arn't willing to stay, Jonas?" He asked. I looked at my friends and neighbors. Every one of them with a weapon, every one of them finally willing to step up and take their safety into their own hands. These people were going to be ok now. They didn't need me anymore.
"I have to see what's out there for myself. When we get there, we'll let them know you're surviving up here," I told him.
"Oh we'll be better than surviving. I think we're all tired of just surviving. Tell them we're living our lives up here. Maybe come back to visit some day?" He said, shaking my hand. I shrugged.
"I'll see what I can do," I said, smirking.
"Godspeed, Folks," He said.
"It's the only speed I go," Fetch said, honking the horn loudly, "So if you two queens are done making out."
"You're an asshole, Fetch," Wendel said, loading the black trunk gingerly into the SUV.
"You're only JUST figuring that out," Jackson said, lighting up a Newport.