A small excerpt from a short-story in progress. Enjoy!

…A moment later he tossed the black bag on the passenger seat of his pickup and started up the old, faithful truck. Down the row of trailers, under the orange lights, a few teenagers straddled their bikes and drank cheap beers. They nodded to him as he waved to them.

In twenty minutes he was parked behind Clyde’s bar, two spaces from the dumpster. Within five minutes, the brothers Avery and Sterling Merrick pulled in to his right. At ten twenty-one, Bronco parked to the right of them. Two minutes later, Miles Hickson parked to his left. At ten-thirty on the dot, Lynn Marshall pulled in. All soldiers were accounted for. They piled into two trucks and headed down 83 toward a ranch they’d staked out on the western outskirts of Laredo. They were mostly silent, aside from a couple reminders about operational specifics.

In about an hour and forty minutes time, they pulled off on a dirt road and headed a couple miles down before shutting off their headlights. They stopped on the east side of the ridge and geared up.

Twenty minutes? asked Sterling.

Twenty-five, answered Lynn, after glancing down into the well-lit valley.


The brothers stayed behind while the band of four pulled black masks over their faces and then disappeared into the darkness round the bend. Sterling unpacked his sniper rifle while Avery began surveilling the scene below with binoculars.

What you see?


How far apart?

Hundred meters.

Anything on the north side?



They made their calculations and bided their time.

Been twenty-five yet?

Thirty seconds.

Sterling peered through the scope on the rifle.

I’m gonna give them another minute—at least until this sonofabitch crosses back in front of the truck.

Avery nodded silently.

The guard wore cowboy boots and hat, blue jeans and a white shirt, an M16 slung round his shoulder. When Sterling pulled the trigger, the heavy caliber round blew the heart clear out of his chest. He spun and collapsed, face first into the pickup and then into the dirt. His myocardium still throbbed on the earth beside him.

For dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return.

Amen, answered Avery…