A sound, a faint muffled throb, pounding closer by the second. I climb from the bed and pad quietly to the window, then pulling aside the curtain I look out. The chill mists of early morning that cling to the ground are turning a pale orange from the light of a sun still hidden by the red streaked horizon. Through this world of silent beauty there comes a lone rider, the gun sling on his saddle bouncing in time to the gallop of his foam flecked steed.
“Is it him?”
I turn to you as you stand there, your eyes wide and questioning your brown hair falling long down your bare back.
“Yes” I say, and the word reverberates through the silence like the tolling of a death knell.
“Don't go out.”
Your eyes are pleading now, pleading with me to stay. I don't answer, as I pull on my cloths, and the sound of the horse draws nearer. At the door of the room I turn and look back. You stand there, lit by the half light of the unrisen sun, and I marvel at your beauty, at the warm gentle curves of your body, and the small frightened smile on your lips.
“I love you.”
I reach the yard just he comes clattering in on his dark mare, and slips easily from the saddle.
He walks forward, his hand straying toward the holster at his side, his eyes shadowed by the brim of his hat.
“You can't have her.”
He stops, and his hand is on his gun.
“Why?” I shout “Why can't you leave her alone? She's no harm to you here”
The gun is in his hand now, and the ominous sound of him thumbing back the hammer is loud on the crisp cold air. Suddenly everything is happening in slow-motion.
I see his finger begin to tighten on the curved steel trigger. I think of the pointless cold-blooded way in which I will die, and I am afraid. His finger finishes its slow deliberate squeeze, and the stillness it shattered as the the deadly bullet speeds for my heart.
I feel the lead hit me, feel it rip me apart; then I fall on my face in the dust, and just as everything fades I hear a womans scream.