Any Port In A Storm Excerpt (A Talon Short Story)

Looking terrified, Tessa blurted it out, “Someone here is a murderer!”

Terry knew it was true, but he didn’t want it just announced like that. “Wait, ma’am, we don’t know that for a fact.” Terry didn’t even believe his own lie. As soon as he said it, he regretted it.

“Bullshit!” Gunner shouted. “Mr. Wadsworth didn’t skin himself, and the way I look at it, there’s only one person here who knows how to skin a person!”

Alabama stood up. “If you’re making accusations, Gunner, I advice you come over here and say it to my God damned face! This is your bar. How do we know this isn’t all just some kind of elaborate trap of yours? Maybe this is what he does. Wait for a big snow storm to trap people here so he can get his kicks murderin’ folks!”

“How dare you, you son of a bitch!” Gunner screamed as he raised his rifle.

Alabama returned the gesture and the two men were both staring down barrels of death. “For that matter,” Alabama added, “didn’t nobody go missin’ ’til Terry got here. How do we know he has a baby on the way? How do we know he’s even married? It could be his ass doin’ every bit of it!”

Gunner looked suspiciously at Terry and positioned himself where he could shoot at either Alabama or Terry if he had to. “Whoa!” Terry said. “You think I’m doing this?”

Alabama shrugged. “Why the hell not? For that matter, why not Nicky?”

Gunner scoffed. “His wife was the first to go missing, Alabama! Now you’re just spouting off bullshit to keep the focus off of you!”

“And why do you say that, Gunner? It’s not like a man ain’t never killed his wife before! Hell, I could have killed my ex-wife a few times.” Alabama blared.

Nicky stood up and tossed the liquor bottle he had at Alabama’s head. “And it’s shit like that which makes me think you killed my wife!” Nicky barked.

Spitting in the floor, Alabama’s eyes glared. “Boy, you best watch your fuckin’ mouth!”

“Or what?” Nicky said, walking straight up to Alabama. “You gonna kill me?” To Terry’s disbelief, Nicky grabbed the barrel of Alabama’s rifle and pressed it to his chest. “You going to kill me, Alabama? You got the fucking balls to do it? Do it! You already killed my wife! Finish what the fuck you started you piece of shit!”

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