Last week for Six Sentence Stories readers were left with an unresolved situation, with two brothers’ safety in question. This week the prompt is “noise” and we pick up right where we left off back in the primitive dimly lit deer camp. The link for Six Sentence Stories opens Wednesday and is brought to you by Denise of GirlieOntheEdge.
Besides the wheezy breath of the fire in the potbellied stove, the only noise was the clicking of the safety, on-off, on-off, over and over, the brothers keeping track as they eased out of their sleeping bags, put feet on the floor, faced Aaron sitting up on his bunk, ringed by the orange glow that crept from the stove.
“How about we play a game, how about you tell me which one of you gets a bullet in the head, ‘cause I’ve decided only one person’s going to die tonight, but you have to choose— which one of you lives, which one of you dies.”
Harry spoke first, told Aaron to just stop, put the rifle down, they could talk this out, but when Aaron persisted Harry said just as calmly that he would take the bullet as long as his brother lived, but then Bill argued, “No, Aaron, if that’s the only way, then shoot me, but let my brother go, promise me that you’ll let my brother go.”
“Here’s another way, what if I’m in the mix now, huh, still only one of us get’s shot, now who do you choose to die —easy— me, right?” and again the click of the safety, on, and click, off, as the dim wavering light from the stove licked at the muzzle now tucked under Aaron’s chin, glimmered at a ghost white hand feeling it’s way down the forestock, searching for the trigger.
“No,” Bill spoke softly, “If it’s that way, Aaron, I still choose me; go ahead, shoot me instead, then let my brother take you home.”
Aaron turned his head in surprise, the muzzle now pointing away in the pause of disbelief, the rifle falling heavily to the floor when Harry tackled him then held him tight; sobbed and stuttered apologies as Bill got a lantern lit with a shaking match.