Take A Shot, Then Take A Shot. Just That Easy.

An excerpt from Any Tomorrow: The Curse.

He buried her that afternoon in the spot she so long ago had chosen for herself.  He fashioned a wooden cross and marked her place.  If the world ever regains its sanity, he vowed, he would replace the cross with a granite headstone.  Katie’s death, especially in the light of everything else that was happening, fell on Roberto with terrible weight.  He felt physically and psychologically crushed beneath it.  The grief that he felt was beyond his reckoning.  He couldn’t force his way or fight his way or shoot his way out of this one.  It pushed him into a dark and terrible place he was not sure he could escape from.  She had saved his life with her love.  He had been nothing before her and she had delivered him into life with her.  Now she was gone.

He sat for a long time in the kitchen and remembered her.  He tried to remember how many times her gentle curves had welcomed him into her world after a long day working the ranch.  He breathed deep and smelled her scent.  He imagined her with him, sharing supper, sharing love.  Then like a door suddenly closing between them, she was gone.  She was gone from him forever and he would never see here again.  He was filled with anger and confusion.  He wanted to scream at God for taking her from him, but he sat in silence.  He slammed his clenched fists against the tabletop and stamped his feet on the linoleum floor.  Exhausted, he laid his head in his hands and slowly began to feel the warm wetness of tears.

After he buried her, he sat for a long while thinking about joining her in death.  At some point he pulled out the old bottle of Whiskey River and had even poured a tall glass.  Whiskey was his old nemesis, the one from which Katie had saved him.  Weakened by grief, it called to him.  Its amber fire beckoned him.  Sometime during that afternoon, he also pulled out his pistol, although he couldn’t remember doing so.  But it was there and it called to him also.  Take a shot, then take a shot.  Just that easy.  The gun and the whiskey had a voice and the voice promised no more pain.  It was all too easy.  The voice was sweetly disarming and calmly reasonable, but the voice was not Katie’s and Roberto would listen to no other.

Instead of taking the shots, he found himself on the front porch staring at the sun easing down to the horizon.  The rays of sunlight were broken by the denuded branches of the big oak below which Katie was buried.  He thought about her and he thought about the promise he had made to find Jacob and Emily.  It was only that and the fear that the sin of suicide might prevent him from sharing her eternity.  If not for these considerations he might have ended it right there and then.  Instead, he began to consider the journey to Phoenix and what might lie beyond.  If he could just make it through the night, then there would be a tomorrow.

You can find out more about the Any Tomorrow Trilogy at http://amazon.com/author/kevinfraleigh

Leave me a comment here, on google+, facebook, gather, linkedin, or goodreads.


About Kevin_Fraleigh

I am a novelist, and much of my writing is predicated on the concept that within each of us is a hole. For some of us, the hole is a divot, shallow and insignificant. But for many of us the hole is a cavern, deep and expansive. We try to fill it with sex or drugs or religion, but the cavern has an insatiable appetite. This is where the dark things live―the things that fill our nightmares. The things that claw at our minds. The things that inspire the stories of horror, madness, and twisted realities. From the depths of that cavern come the seeds of my stories. Won’t you join me in the dark edges of reality? Learn more about me from my blog at anytomorrow.wordpress.com. You can find my novels at amazon.com, smashwords.com, and most eBook retailers. You can also read some of my full length short stories at http://www.wattpad.com/user/Kevin_Fraleigh
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