Father & Son

“I don’t wanna,” Timmy cried, holding the rifle in his shaking hands. “I can’t…” His face was wet with tears and his cheeks flushed.

“Ya gotta,” said Pop. “Ya gotta, Timmy! Remember what I tolds ya. Remember what they is.” The man shook his finger at his reluctant son.

“But they’s people!” The boy sobbed. “They’s people, Pop! I can’t do it to them, I just can’t. They’s people!”

John Angrum knelt down next to his young son. He clutched the boy’s shaking arm around the wrist, the one closest to him, the one that sat beneath the forestock, and slowly brought it up, leveling the weapon at its end with the milling crowd in the distance.

“You know what they is, son,” he said, looking him in the eye. “Tell me what they is.”

“They’s dead, Pop,” Timmy said quietly. The metal of the barrel glinted in the noonday son. “They’s dead.”

“That’s right Timmy,” John said. “They’s all dead.”

Timmy closed his one eye, just as his father had taught him years ago, and pulled the trigger.

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