Only one was allowed on earth at one time. The spirits would aid only those closest to what they were.
I said my prayers. I made my sacrifices. I hoped vengeance would come to my side.
My spurs jingled as I stepped into the street. Rain pushed down at the brim of my hat. Mud enveloped my shoes.
Empty. Only a handful of horses sat in front of the Harlan Saloon. Two squares with dots in the middle of each burned into the horse, snake eyes, the mark of The Devil’s Few. They had come to me, finally.
The mud caked around my boots, my spurs no longer musical. Just the soft squish with each footstep. I marched, keeping to the center of the street. I came to the swinging doors and stopped.
I checked my pistol, it slipped a bit in my wet hands. My lungs collapsed a bit. Am I ready?
A flash of my sister. The shot, the scream, the blood and tears. I was ready.
“Richard!” I shouted over the rain, “I’m calling you out.”
Figures moved inside. Silhouettes went to each window. Richard came to the front, leaning on the swinging doors.
“Little boy Howie,” he smiled with his brown teeth.
“That’s right. I have come with vengeance in every fiber of my being. My soul burns for your demise,” the words flowed from somewhere else.
I noticed that my hands were still. I really was ready.
“Well that’s too bad. You see, Howie, I have my crew with me. And as a rule I don’t enter duels that I don’t need to. And I see no need to duel you as you are the last of your kin. You will have no father, cousin or brother that will come looking for me. I can simply let my boys finish you off,” he postulated.
With a simple, lazy wave of his hand the two figures on either side of him smashed out the windows. I looked at two rifle barrels. Dirt and Grit aimed at me.
“Richard! You give me this you bastard!” I yelled.
“I’m sorry, boy. You were unprepared. And you will pay the price,” he straightened up.
I readied my pistol. But for what? I was outgunned, and the man I was after was not reaching for is pistol. He was armed but not ready. I would not shoot him. My whole body burned with hatred, I could feel the rain boiling against my skin.
A single shot rang out. But from two points. My left and my right.
Dirt and Grit collapsed into the shards of glass in the window frames. Richard backed into the saloon with wide eyes.
I turned to see a gunman standing on the opposite side of the road, with a pistol in each hand, the barrels smoking. Its brown duster covered an immaculate white shirt; a black bandana covered its face. A black hat rested on its head with a brim that went out to its shoulders.
When it spoke, the voice seemed to come from everywhere at once.
“Have your vengeance. I will help you no further,” said the spirit.
With a flourish, it spun the pistols in its hands, holstered them, crossed its arms and melted into the rain.
I smiled, turning back to the saloon. It was my time, now.