Here is my submission to the short story contest I mentioned yesterday. I am proud of this one and think it is some of my better work. Since I have already won once, I don’t mind if my submission isn’t picked this time. I had fun working on it. To read the preceding chapter, follow the link in yesterday’s post. Enjoy.
Johnny pulled the shotgun away from his head and ran to the cabin door, still clutching the weapon in his right hand. In one swift motion he opened the old cabin door, herded Scott inside and locked the door behind. The two boys stood silently staring at each other, neither one quite sure how to react. Scott felt an urge to punch Johnny in the face, but decided against it when he remembered Johnny was still holding a loaded shotgun.
As the emotion of the past few days became too much for him, Johnny began to sob uncontrollably. “You have to believe me that I didn’t know they were going to kill him,” said Johnny in between tears. “My brother told me he just wanted to embarrass Sam, like he always embarrassed Mike,” said Johnny. “You know I could never say no to my brother. He scares me too much.”
Johnny’s brother, Mike, and Sam had been rivals for years. Both boys competed for the starting quarterback position in high school as well as the affections of the prettiest girl in school. Sam always seemed to be a little better than Mike, though, and he was the one who led the team to the playoffs senior year and took the Homecoming Queen to the prom. After high school, Mike’s life took a turn for the worse and Sam always seemed to be there to catch him.
“Why didn’t you tell me Johnny?” said Scott, still struggling with the idea of his best friend being an accomplice in his brother’s murder. “You were my best friend.”
“I would’ve told you, but I didn’t know what to say,” said Johnny as he stared at the faded wooden floor of the cabin. “I don’t know what went wrong. Mike must have been using me as a diversion to keep Sam off his tail while they killed that guy Sam found in the woods.”
Scott was not entirely sure he could trust Johnny’s story and doubted he could ever forgive him for what happened to his brother. However, he also knew he could not make it out of the woods alive without Johnny’s help. Whether he liked it or not, his fate was now tied to Johnny’s fate. Scott knew he had to make it out of the woods alive. Otherwise his brother’s murder would go unpunished.
“We need to get out here as fast as we can and tell the police what happened,” said Scott. “Sooner or later your brother is going to come back here and they’re probably going to kill me. Do you think you can hot wire the truck?”
“I’m sure I could, but why would I need to do that?” answered Johnny, grinning as he pulled the keys of the truck out of his pants pocket.
“Here’s what we’ll do then,” said Scott. “Let’s make a run for the truck and drive as fast as we can away from here.”
“That will never work,” said Johnny. “Mike and Bill can’t be that far away. They could be in the truck right now waiting for you. I’ll stay behind and distract them while you drive away. They’ll trust me.”
“But they’ll kill you,” said Scott.
“If one of us doesn’t distract them, they’ll kill us both,” said Johnny. “At least I have a chance with my brother.”
“Let’s do it then,” said Scott as he extended his right hand toward Johnny. Both boys shook hands, not knowing if they would ever see each other again.
Johnny and Scott ran out of the cabin in opposite directions, Scott toward the truck and Johnny far away from it.
As Scott sped west down the trail, dust clouds following behind, he heard a loud shotgun blast. A tear ran down Scott’s cheek as he realized he would never see his friend Johnny again.