A time-battered shed.
Front door, askew.
One rusted hinge.
Wedge of sunlight,
On plank flooring.
Beretta in hand.
“I heard a shot, but I was too scared to look. Is he in there?”
“Stay back, please.”
Standing to side of doorway. Breathing heavy.
“Frank. I’m here to help. You okay?”
Flies buzzing, darting in and out.
Lots of it.
Tissue on ceiling.
Sitting on floor.
Shotgun in lap, upright.
“Frank, you okay?”
“Is Daddy all right?”
“Go back in the house. I’ll be there in a minute.”
Hand over mouth, sobbing. “Okay.”
Squeeze through door.
Flashlight aimed toward ceiling.
Friends since high school.
Twenty years, or more.
“Why, Frank? Great kids. Great wife. Nice house. Good job. Wonderful life.”
Key radio mic.
“Send M.E. and paramedics. No particular order.”
Chest moves, slightly.
Then, a wet breath … from somewhere.
A finger twitches.
Another jerky, unbelievable breath.
“Hold on Frank. Help’s on the way!”
Frantically grab radio.
“Tell paramedics to hurry. Victim is alive. Repeat. Victim is alive.”
Holding Frank’s hand.
Sirens getting closer.
“Hey Frank. Remember when we …”