“Don’t you even think about gettin’ on that train!”
Dottie’s words echoed through my mind as I locked eyes with Caleb Stone. He squinted slightly as a droplet of sweat lost its purchase from his brow and streaked down the arch of his nose. The July sun was high over the train, and the air was thick with the rancid smell of steaming vengeance.
“You do what you think right, darlin’, but I have unfinished business.” I knew my bride Dottie would never forgive me for getting on that train bound for Mexico. But I also knew that Caleb had no choice. After the bones of his victims, scattered in a criss-cross pattern over the plateau, had been exposed…he had to be on that train.
“Make yer move…” Caleb hissed. He had me cornered. He knew it and I knew it.
It had been one year, to the day, since Caleb had killed my daddy in Chickenfoot. My daddy, a lawman in Missouri, had come into town to see his brother preach at South Street Baptist, and to visit with his kin at the Fourth of July family gathering.
What he found was the very heart of darkness…Caleb Stone, the preacher’s stepson.
It was about four o’clock that dark day when I turned the corner into the parlor and saw Caleb beatin’ my daddy. He showed no mercy at all. Every time it looked like my daddy would start to get back up, Caleb would get a malevolent grin on his face and mark ‘im again. It was a bad beatin’, and all I could do was look on, held in place by the horror of the massacre.
I vowed that day that I would avenge my daddy.
Caleb’s gaze dropped to my hands as I reached down and stroked my sixes. I knew they were likely useless against him, but a shadow of doubt briefly crossed his pockmarked face. He tapped the pearl on his piece, caressing the pits worn into its surface.
We locked eyes again, both of us knew that the train was about to make its last stop for one of us.
Caleb’s eyes flicked to Dottie, and then to Janet. It was almost imperceptible, but I jumped at the opening.
Bam! I fired my double six on the Mexican train. Caleb gasped. Dottie let out a half groan…and before the haze of confusion could clear, I drew again. I knew that this would be my one shot at either avenging my daddy or being Caleb’s next victim.
I closed my eyes for a moment…
Bam! A six – three, I finished unloading my hand. The domino Caleb had been clutching dropped with a dull pank on the picnic table.
“NOOooo! Four points! You beat me by four stinkin’ points”
I looked smugly into Caleb’s defeated eyes, “Looks to me like there’s a new dominoes champ in the family, scuz.”
Caleb raised his sweating unibrow comically, “Next year it’s back to Chickenfoot! I’m gonna go grab a cold one before the kids light off their sparklers, you all want one too?”
I nodded my affirmation for the heart of darkness to grab me another Sprite, but Caleb knew what I really meant.
Oh yes, my scuz knew. The stark terror in his eyes told the story.
“Chickenfoot” and “Mexican Train” are variations of dominoes play.
No dominoes were harmed during the writing of this article.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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