Fiction - Night Bugs
Author and Illustrator
Night Bugs - published in
Will Jemper coming home whistling, clumping along the dirt road
in the black night. Bugs and cricket chattering in the woods with their lives.
Then the unmooned starlight warning with a bare glint from polished steel barrel
of the double twelve shotgun, warning of Juke Terment there, his boots dead in
the road, the gun muzzles pointing at Will. Neither man spoke but night rattling
stopped, almost patiently to wait. There was no more whistling or moving towards
as Will stood there, watching the small roundness of that steel, his eyes
terrified. Then his hands up across his chest in a vaudeville of protection and
the dark among the trees is wild light, roaring, the shotgun went off, both
barrels, to cut his body in half.
Dust settling again with some of
the dirt plastering itself into the flowing blood. The crickets rattling now and
a pleasant hoot by an owl deep in the trees. Night bugs and then the sound of
two brass shells ejecting into the dirt and finally the tread by a heavy man
carrying a shotgun, a padding almost too soft, Juke walking back down the road,
"That’ll teach the sonofabitch."