Son of a Gun
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 600
“Holy was a preacher; he rode on his rig of steel in the rising sun every morning, except for Sunday. Sundays he reserved for his own special brand of worship for any left in whatever town he came to convert to the true faith. This was no grim reaper, just a man with a smile who took a pride in a job well done. Some said he rode into town in a blood red sunrise. Or that he turned the sunrise red with blood if people didn’t take kindly to his preaching.” Benny said to his son, Marty.
Benny survived the last massacre at Opal Creek by hiding his son under the church hall. They heard screams and moan for days after hiding, but were too afraid to leave to help. If Holy found them, he would be string them up as heathens and leave them for the crows.
“No one knows the true origin of Holy; his legend began in the early twenty-first century. If that were the case, then he would be at least two hundred years old now, and that’s only if he started preaching when he was in his forties.”
“Is he human?” Marty asked quietly. Although it had been two weeks since they crawled out of their hiding place, Marty was still too scared to talk above a whisper.
“Mutant most likely, son.”
“Why does he do it, Dad?”
“Just a god given Holy Roller. In a god forsaken land.”Holy was heard to say when asked this question. He said that he didn't choose this killing ground. He didn't want this scrap of land. You've got to scorch the earth, and make the rivers run dry. Until we learn to hate sin like him. Kill for killin'. Live to die. You've gotta be a hero, for one last time. To prove through your destruction. That killing is a great way of life.”
“That doesn’t make any sense.”
“The radiation poisoning probably sent him mad. He has inhuman strength and constitution, from what we saw ourselves.”
Benny shifted on his seat and put his arm around his nine-year-old boy.
“Since the fall of civilization, Holy was one of the few who maintained a firm belief in the Bible. “He's preaching conversion as you lie down and die” some said when the topic of the riding preacher was raised around a campfire of at a dusty old bar. People never said that if Holy was in town. He had a way of hearing everything, and demanding a pound of flesh in payment for any such idle chitchat.”
“I heard him say, “There's a wooden cross somewhere. Where they'll bury you down deep. You lie to your people, You lie to yourself. Your in love with death babe. You've got no shame.” Dad, what did he mean?”
“I don’t know son. Not much of what we heard or saw made any sense.”
“I heard the preacher laugh and then the preacher cried. He loaded bullets as he smiled. Most of the congregation sat and wondered, “Would they live or would they die?” The women and children were crying. Why didn’t the men save them dad?”
“He shot the law men down first thing on riding into town from what I heard. They did not stand a chance. Anyone else that tried was slowly tortured to death. Even though he was just one man, no amount of men rushing him could overcome his brute strength. He seemed to reload his six shooters before anyone got close to him, no matter how many rushed him.”
“I miss Mummy. Why did he kill her? We were always Christians?” Marty sobbed.
Son of a Gun
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