Charo

The six shooter had two bullets left in it. He’d open the gun, look at the chamber, and close it. Johnny Carson was on in the background. His guest that night was Charo. The audience laughed at her. The old man snickered, then went back to looking at his gun. He shined it every day; kept it clean. It glistened when the light hit it. He had plans.

He’d often thought about it. Never did he commit the action. It was always in the back of his mind. Especially at the end of the month when he was broke. There were many ways to go about it. The old man thought of them all. Figured the liquor store on 41 was his best bet. That’s what he figured.

And the audience laughed harder at Charo. Carson was blushing. The old man turned the sound down. It was just a picture now, a picture of Johnny and Charo. Not still though. Their lips were moving. They were talking, but, there were no voices.

The old man stood up and tucked the gun in his pants. Turned off the TV and opened the back door. There was a silver sliver of moon in the sky. He cursed it. Wanted it to be full. At least then he’d have an excuse. That’s what he’d tell the judge.

He started the old Ford. Backed her out into the street and drove up to 41, a highway that ran north and south. The liquor store was about to close. The old man looked at the moon one more time. Damn it, he said. This is not picture perfect. This is not right, he began to sweat. Even in the autumn air he began to sweat. He had trouble lifting the gun out of his pants; shaking.

The old man counted the bullets one more time. There was two in there. Just two. And the moon was not full. He pointed the gun to his heart and thought of people laughing at Charo.

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