THE LAST BULLET


By Rory Steves



Shattered glass and bullets flew around me as I crashed through the window to the snow twelve feet below. Being one of the three who had volunteered to shovel the snow when we arrived, I still had my hiking boots on, which I now hoped would give me an advantage in the snow.

I hadn't planned on killing the Don and his son today, but their finding my photo in the Police Academy yearbook gave me scant choice. At least I had finally managed to download his PC into the two flash memories yesterday, now I had to live long enough to turn them over to the Feds.

Unfortunately my coat was hanging on the coat rack behind the guys shooting at me, I already missed it, that's where most of my spare ammo was. Have to make do with the four left in my Colt, and the half dozen I always kept in my pants pocket.

And the knives my sweater concealed. Two they knew about, the others would be a surprise.

A quick glance showed a few giving chase in their dress shoes, while the rest of them put on their boots.

Good, that split them up, with limited ammo I couldn't trade potshots; every bullet had to kill.

The snow guaranteed an easy pursuit, but I decided to be predator rather than prey, and stopped behind a spruce.

Silas didn't expect me to cut his throat as he went slip-sliding down my path, I grabbed his gun and ran, bullets flew past.

I stopped, spun, aimed, and Tony and Angelo both died.

Stiff was nowhere in sight, that walking cadaver was as good a shot as myself, and that damn Contender of his was accurate to better that 200 yards, giving him an easy 50 yard advantage.

Two more shots emptied my Colt, and I reloaded as the two bodies steamed in the snow, but nearly tripped on a root and dropped a bullet as I ran, shoving the Colt into my holster.

Snow crunched to my left as I pulled Silas's pistol, and gut shot Bunt and Dunk before they could even line me up in their sights.

As I ran, I was making a wide circle back towards the cabin, and the cars.

I reached for my pager, and pressed a button on the side. The signal would alert the twins to bug out. I would find them later, if I lived.

Three of the Don's bodyguards were getting too close, so the three bullets left in Silas's gun found their foreheads.

I had five rounds left in my Colt when I saw Antoine stumbling down the hill on my left. The skinny, sniveling accountant was wearing my coat. Have to make sure not to get blood all over it, I wanted it back.

But first the four guys puffing behind me needed to die.

Jumping over a log, I spun and fired twice, now only two guys were puffing along behind me.

Snow flew when the branch by my head exploded from the impact of Stiff's bullet. The snow, or the cold wind must be screwing up his aim; he never missed.

Seeing his lanky form in the distance, I aimed briefly, and fired. I didn't expect to kill him with the shot, just a reminder about my skill. Besides he had been jumping out of the way when I fired.

A bullet tugged at the sleeve of my sweater to the accompaniment of several small caliber shots.

Antoine had managed to sneak up on me while I was shooting at Stiff, armed with his little pocket sized rimfire automatic.

It's difficult to hit or kill someone more that 10 or 20 feet away with the tiny rimfire, but I had to give him credit for trying.

I spun towards him as I pulled the three throwing knives from my left sleeve, and threw the first through his left eye. At least my coat would stay clean.

As I continued my spin the second and third knives sank into the foreheads of my two closest pursuers.

I managed to grab my coat as more bullets tried to find me; the Don and his son both traveled with at least eight bodyguards each, plus drivers, and their accountant; Antoine.

An easy job, the Feds had told me, infiltrate, download, and leave. That process had taken months, now all I had to do was leave, preferably alive.

Hopefully the twins had gotten away; I really wanted to marry them someday.

I buttoned the coat while I ran, besides being warm, it had a nice Kevlar lining.

My searching hand only found empty pockets; Antoine had thrown my speed loaders away, great.

I had three match grade bullets sewn into the inner lining of the coat, they with the two left in the Colt were all I had. Too many thugs were still in the chase for me to grab a gun from someone I killed, besides Antoine's little toy was empty. But I had managed to retrieve the knife lodged in his brain.

Two eager thugs were gaining on me as I struggled up the slope Antoine had stumbled down, I could almost smell their breath.

The bullet hit me square in the back, and knocked me face down. One of them laughed, unaware of the Kevlar.

The same blade that killed Antoine sank into the first goon's throat. I grabbed his gun, a nice automatic, and shot his partner in the face.

With two extra guns I felt my odds getting better, but with Stiff still breathing I wished someone had brought a rifle.

The knot of thugs hovering over Antoine's corpse looked surprised as I raced back down the hill towards them, my borrowed pistols blazing.

They didn't even scatter before dying.

I yelped as the bullet notched my right ear, Stiff gave me no time to grab a few guns, I ran.

Stiff didn't run after me, but walked slowly, favoring his left leg which had developed a limp, and a red stain.

My bullet had managed to nip his leg, so I guess my ear was merely payback.

I counted six thugs still in the chase, which accounted for everyone except Stiff, and Argyle, the Don's driver.

Shoving the three bullets into my Colt, my mind fixed on exactly where I had dropped that last bullet. Looked like I might need it. It had dropped close to where the tree root had that knot in it.

I twisted around a dead tree as it's bark exploded, my pursuers were in range. I sprinted towards a snow covered boulder, and leapt behind it, I needed to be below their level.

Pounding footsteps and ragged breathing told me they were too close to be able to react.

I could fire six bullets in 4.6 seconds, five took slightly less, but the thug I had hoped to kill in a nice two-fer had dodged to the side.

My blood covered knife didn't hesitate, but pinned his larynx to his spine.

An obstacle blocked my path twenty yards later, Argyle stood between me, and my dropped bullet.

With a snick switchblades snapped open in each hand, and he smiled at me.

I pulled one of my tanto-style fighting knives from behind my back, and smiled back at his scarred face, using the tanto to flick away the switchblade he threw my way.

With a snick a new blade appeared in his hand.

We had sparred many times during the past months, and his style was a slow teasing dance, he liked his victims to sweat.

Being a bit short of time, and out of bullets, I rushed him, sweeping one blade away with my left arm, while impaling his guts on the blade in my right hand.

His look was reproachful as he died.

I raced full out up the trail before Stiff had a clear shot; I had seen his limping form trying to clear the trees.

My heart thudded in my chest while my lungs sounded like a steam locomotive as I sprinted up the steep trail.

One more bend in the trail, and I could see where I had stumbled above me, and the root where I hoped my bullet was, just as a pinecone blew apart.

Stiff was just goading me, enjoying the hunt.

I threw myself forward as another bullet tore a hole through my pant leg, both hands groping for the dropped bullet.

Not there, it must have rolled.

Franticly my hands searched the snow covered ground, half numb from the cold.

Snow dumped on me, knocked off the tree branch by another of Stiff's bullets.

The walking cadaver was enjoying himself.

Buried in the snow, my right hand closed on the bullet. I really hoped the snow hadn't screwed up the powder as I rubbed it between my hands to clean it.

I cursed as another bullet hit shattered the small root I was bracing myself on, sending me feet first down the trail, bullet in one hand, the other grabbing my Colt, and opening the action.

Bumping over every root, rock, and ice patch as I slid down the trail made loading difficult, even without Stiff laughing at me as he awaited my arrival at the bottom of the trail, gun in hand.

There! The bullet slid into place, and I snapped the cylinder in place, the bullet in firing position.

My feet hit the log he was standing on with a thump, my arms already raising my Colt.

His eye, visible over his sights as he lined up his shot, was the last thing I saw.

Before I pulled the trigger.

continued...


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