Birdwatching (part 2)

(Gonna work on building a buffer of some sort, so that I don’t miss a day in the future)

Read Part1

We stopped at a trading outpost on the way to the destination. There was, miraculously, a room open with two beds and a desk. The past few trips, we had taken to sleeping under the stars – it was nice to have a roof over our heads for once. As Marie tended to the horses, I mulled over the information that she had given me.

The target was a halfman – specifically, one that the locals appeared to believe was half bird. Unnatural arm angles and long flaps of skin were what distinguished it. I now realized why Marie had brought the long arms. If the halfman was truly part bird, we’d need the extra range to even lay a finger on him. I pulled up a map of the territory. It had been given to us by the Citadel stablehand, and it had marked a few of the locations where the halfman was last seen. I began drawing lines between the marks. It seemed like there was a valley that several of the lines intersected. That’d be as good of a place as any to start.

A shriek snapped me out of thought. My hand reflexively dropped to my revolver as I looked outside. A brawl had broken out between two men. I say that it had broken out, but it seemed to have been going on for a while, as both men were quite bloodied already. I stepped away from the window, and went back to the map. Whatever was going on out there, it was none of my concern.

The sharp crack of a gunshot was unexpected. My gun was out and pointed at the window before I had fully processed what had happened. I peered back out again, and one of the men was down. The second man was holding a smoking gun in his hand. Where did he get the gun? His hand was trembling slightly. Someone walked out towards him but stopped when the gun was pointed at his face. He took a step back,hands raised. I aimed at the gunman. Whether to wound or to kill, I hadn’t decided yet.

The gunman was yelling some nonsense about amnesty, He had shot the man in self-defense, he said. I didn’t care enough to listen in detail. He waved the gun in the air, and I pulled the hammer back. Before I could fire, another gunshot filled the air,. The man collapsed, holding his leg and creaming in pain. Decocking the hammer, I saw someone run out and grab the gun, then two people rushed to tie the man up, taking care not to aggravate the wound further.

I sat back down at the desk, and went back to looking at the map. Marie would be by shortly. She loved to brag about a clean shot, after all.


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