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Story 3: DUEL
The old man left the newspaper office. The lady who wrote his ad and took the money for it to run daily for three months, watched as he climbed into the old '48' Ford pickup truck. Stubby little shit, she thought as he drove away, but I betcha he could tear that door off if he wanted to. She pushed her glasses up on her nose and read it again.
CHALLENGE: I want the person who killed my dog while he was running in the woods behind my house, to meet me for a duel to death. I'm sixty years old and have gray hair but don't let that make a coward out of you in front of all your friends. I'm putting up posters all over town about this ad so many of your friends will know about it, and will also know you're the one. If you have any guts call me at noon on any day. I'll be at the payphone waiting. 864-4412.
She shook her head making the ratty, bottle-blonde hair bounce slightly. I guess there's nothing wrong with running the ad. She put it into the out basket.
"Hey Turby, you see that thing on the bulletin board at the Post Office?" Brody Danker grinned at Turby Deadbit.
"Yeah, I seen it."
"Gonna take the ol' fart up on it?" More grinning.
"As usual he's just blowin' hot air through his head-hole instead of his butt-hole."
"He know it was you what kilt his dog?"
"Hell no he don't know." Turby's voice was rising. "How'n the hell would he know, for Christ's sake?"
"Don't getcher balls in an uproar with me Turby or I'll kick the shit outa you again." Brody's menacing tone wasn't necessary. His two hundred and fifty pound, heavily muscled, neckless body was very convincing.
Turby's hundred and twentypound carcass still had bruises from his last encounter with Brody. "I'm sorry," he mumbled, "I just don't see why the ol' bastard's so damn upset."
"You kilt his favorite dog." Brody rolled the toothpick across his lower lip to the other side as he grinned at Turby. "Gonna take him up'r be a shithead?"
"Screw him," the scrawny little man said, then abruptly turned and left the bar with his glass still full, sitting on the bar with a pile of change beside it.
Two months of harassment by his friends finally wore Turby down. Brody and Thurmond stood next to Turby as he dialed. They both grinned when he asked, "When and where?"
The following Saturday the two men dropped Turby off at the appointed place. He got out of the pickup and checked his rifle then after raising it, he looked through the powerful scope. He slung it to his shoulder then took another swig of bourbon and grinned, "I'll have him in this scope before he knows I'm even in the woods with him." He pulled the camouflaged stretch-hat down and walked into the forest.
When Brody drove away he said, "Ol' Turbo's skeered shitless."
Thurmond drank deep from the quart of bourbon before answering. "Don't say's I blame him. That's a tough ole bird in there, and he's meaner'n a stepped on rattlesnake."
Turby's cautious movements didn't go unnoticed. The fireplug-like man in full camouflage gear and painted face was watching through powerful binoculars from high in a tree. He stood on a nearly invisible platform. "Well I'll be damn," he said almost to himself as he watched.
Turby knew the old man was a bow hunter, so he was searching the trees. The riflescope was clumsy and he wished he had remembered to bring his binoculars as he moved the barrel across the trees.
Turby! The old man said to himself, Shoulda known it was you what killed Boliver. You always did hate that dog. He continued watching for a moment, and then silently lowered the binoculars. He watched the young man moving below, a hundred yards off, through his still perfect eyes. You always were a piece 'o shit Turby. He brought the bow into position. His Popeye arms brought the powerful, deadly accurate bowstring back. His eye passed across the steel, razor edges of the tip, then lined up on the young man's chest, and let the string slip from his fingers.
When Turby didn't return to the bar later as planned, Brody called the police anonymously. The old man was soon in custody.
"You sure you don't want a lawyer Dave?" The police officer said as he locked the cell.
"Nope! Doc Prather says I won't live much longer with this cancer in my lungs, so why bother?"
"Mind if I ask you something Dave?"
"Been knowin' each other all our lives--why not?"
"Did you know it was Turby?"
The old man looked through the bars at his childhood friend like he was an idiot. "I got the damn cancer in m'lungs Billy, not my eyes."
The policeman just shook his head as he left the cell area. When he was back in the office he turned to his assistant after sitting down. "There's a good lesson for you Sonny."
"What's that, Chief?"
"Never give a tough old man like that any shit--even if he's your own dad."