Big Iron

Cyrus took a the final drag of his cigarette, then ground it out on a nearby rock. He'd be sitting on this ridge for hours, just waiting for his next clueless victim to stroll by. For whatever reason, people were still using the main highways to navigate. Fortunately for Cyrus, Highway 97 was still blocked, meaning any wayward travelers would be on foot... easy targets. He peered through his scope, closely inspecting the tree lines for any sign of movement or activity. It was getting darker, and his chances of finding someone slimmer. Cyrus sighed gently, the heat of his breath fogged his scope just a little. As Cyrus rubbed his scope clean, he saw some people walking eastbound. That's strange... Cyrus thought to himself. After all, why would anyone be walking toward the city? It didn't matter anyway, after all, they weren't making it to wherever they were going.

Cyrus peered back through his scope. He counted four individuals, three males, one younger female. The males were armed, the female wasn't. Nor did it appear she had anything of value on her person. As he observed the travelers, two of the men began walking directly parallel with each other. Perfect.

Texas Red had not cleared leather, 'fore a bullet fairly ripped... Cyrus sang under his breath just before squeezing the trigger.

BANG BANG!!

The first shot went clean through the first man's head, then into his companion's chest. The second shot took down the third man before the other two had even hit the ground.

And the ranger's aim was deadly, with the Big Iron on his hip... Cyrus continued.

The only one left was the female, who now stood still as a statue. Cyrus contemplated letting her go. She wasn't armed and she didn't have anything of value. At least... nothing he was interested in, but maybe he could sell her? I gotta draw a line somewhere... Cyrus begrudged those pesky moral inhibitions. Then, the female ran off into the woods.

Cyrus collected his belongings, then made his way down the bluff to go claim his bounty. As he was rummaging through the men's belongings, he didn't find much anything of use. One man had a half eaten protein bar, but Cyrus didn't think it was wise to share food. He searched the final bag and finally got lucky. Two cans of black olives and a sealed bottle of clean water, now that was a score. Cyrus didn't relish his discovery for too long before the female came out of the woods again.

"Don't shoot me please!" She called out with her hands in the air.

Cyrus spun around with his pistol raised, "Don't take another fucking step." He looked her over again, now that he was closer he could tell she was much younger than he originally thought, no older than 18. "What do you want?" He snapped.

"Listen... I wasn't really with those guys. They were, well, using me. I was using them too I guess. They kept me safe... I kept them warm. Anyway, I'm kinda on my own now thanks to you. So I thought, you might be interested in similar arrangement?" The girl inched ever closer as she spoke to Cyrus.

Cyrus scoffed, "I appreciate the offer, but I don't like carrying around dead weight. Besides... you're not my type honey." Cyrus stepped back, placing the cans and water in his satchel.

"Please sir... I can help you with stuff. A pretty girl begging for help on the roadside? That's bound to draw in some people for you to pick off. We'd make a good team." The girl was obviously desperate.

"Listen, little girl, if you actually thought you were worth anything to me, you wouldn't be using sex and bait as your primary selling points. I'm leaving now. If you follow me... I'll kill you." Cyrus strapped his backpack around his chest, then he went back toward the bluff.

"I'll die out here if you don't help me! PLEASE!" The girl cried out as Cyrus walked away.

Cyrus sighed once again as he turned toward the girl for the last time. "You're right, and it will probably be slow and excruciating."

Before she could even react, Cyrus raised his pistol again and squeezed the trigger. The bullet echoed off the cliffs before ripping through the girl's chest. "You're welcome." Cyrus quipped as he walked away.

... and the Ranger's aim was deadly with the Big Iron on his hip.

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