A single shot was fired and Viola Grace slumped to the ground.
“It doesn’t have to be like this,” she whispered, the pleading in her eyes disappearing behind the lids as they closed.
The Time Keeper caught Viola in his arms. His eyes caught the villain who’d fired the shot hovering fifty feet in the distance. It was the man with the metal face again. This time The Time Keeper could smell the evil coursing through his lethal veins. He laid Viola gently on the ground and stood his full height. His hand reached up and pulled his cowboy hat down so the shade would cover his eyes. He’d had enough trouble out of this guy, and he was ready for more. With one hand on his holster, he stepped forward, blocking Viola from the man’s path.
Their eyes met and challenged each other. Roderick pulled his second pistol from its holster, aiming them both at the Time Keeper. “I won’t be so nice this time, Old Man, if you don’t get out of my way,” he said.
“Out of your way? This is my land. None shall pass without my saying so.”
Roderick released the hinge that kept the safeties intact. “Look, I really mean you no harm, but if you don’t move, I’ll have no choice but to kill you. What happens to time when you die?” The Time Keeper remained where he was, amused as Roderick’s eyes lowered, becoming barely noticeable slits on his face. His eyes followed Roderick’s as they found Viola’s discarded pendant. His eyes never left Roderick’s face as he bent down and scooped it up, letting the wind swing it as Viola had done only moment ago. He caught the snarl that curled Roderick’s lower lip in response to his actions.
“This is my land. None shall pass without my saying so,” the Time Keeper repeated.
“And yet, in a flash of light and shake of hand, I did exactly that last time I was here.” Roderick turned his face just enough for the sun to catch on the metal of his cheek. The Time Keeper laughed.
“Your attempts to blind me have failed. I see more than I have ever seen before.” The Time Keeper raised his pistol, preparing to fire. Roderick raised his in return. “I am prepared to die to keep you from taking what you need.”
Roderick’s wicked smile exposed more of the metal on his face as he fired. The Time Keeper fired in retaliation. Both men slumped, the Time Keeper taking to the ground with one knee. More shots fired. Some went wild, missing both men, but more made contact. They both collapsed to the ground as bullets entered their bodies. The gunfight continued in a swirl of dust until the Time Keeper lay still on the ground, a puddle forming beneath him.
I gave Eric Storch this prompt: Pitter patter, / Lightning spree / People of the mist / I summon thee!
The 3 Word Wednesday challenge this week was: hinge, lethal, need.
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