Arriving at this particular potential ending was a surprise unexpected. For mere fractions of a moment earlier, he held the advantage, the upper hand.But change reared its ghastly head once again and exchanged advantage for demise. Funny.
He looked up and into the black hole of the gun’s barrel. A supersonic projectile waited to be exploded and forced through air and flesh and skull and brain and skull and flesh and out through blood mist-filled air. This bullet had his name on it. Fate had brought them together.
Like countless times before, he processed this world and it’s possibilities, it’s eventualities, with each passing second.
And in this second, he realized that there would be no resolution, no epiphany, no realization as a gift for a violent lifetime lived.
No, there would only be nothing. Endless and without horizon. Simply nothing.
No her. No them. No love.
So he moved. Shrugged. His movement natural, instinctual, without thought.
He knew the names of each muscle attached to tendons causing a fractional movement a silly little millimeter ahead of misshapen lead hurtling ahead of the sonic explosion behind.
This shrug, a simple glide to the right was enough for this moment. For, like so many times before, the human holding the gun hesitated. He let a thought guide his actions, instead of ruthless instinct. And with that microsecond of delay came this particular ending. The bullet fired into the night. If his name had indeed been written on the destiny of that bullet, they would have to meet again, another day.
Preacher continued his sideways motion and immediately without a sliver of a moment’s hesitation, he transformed the parallel motion into forward momentum. This explosive movement, like every significant action taken with purpose started with the toes of his right foot. Electrical impulses traveling at light speed within nerve highways transmitted instructions to muscles and tendons attached to a framework of bone.
The result of this transfer of momentum resulted in a left hand gasping gun barrel and the upward right hand palm thrust delivering a blow to the left temple of the man before him. Continued forward thrust allowed a now cocked right elbow to follow the first blow with a second to his victim’s exposed neck. A fraction of a second behind this blow came a left knee to an unprotected midsection.
The resulting loss of body control by Preacher’s latest victim was the cocked right arm wrapping the man’s head in a vise that was then twisted violently clockwise as a left knee held the body planted to the ground.
The snap, or series of dull thuds indicating a separating of the cervical vertebrae within the neck, is not like the movies. The victim does not die immediately with closed eyes. Instead, the victims of this most violent action convulse, mouths agape. Nerves on fire still explode within lower extremities creating rhythmic spasms. Death is not immediate or guaranteed. But life as it was known from birth through just moments earlier is over.
Preacher had left others to live that agonizing and challenging life as a quadriplegic. But only those deserving of this misery. Those who fought well and sought only to kill him as a job, an assignment, these he showed mercy.
A hand placed firmly across nose and mouth for two minutes completes this merciful act. He always makes a point of looking his worthy combatant in the eyes, nodding in recognition of the finality.
When life ebbed from this man’s being, Preacher rose from a crouch to move off into the night and what waited for him in this world’s darkness. Death was out there. Someday.
iPhone notes story
TUL – SFO – TUL 11/07/14