Jeff Tsuruoka’s Picture Choice: 2
Title: The Boathouse - Part Two
They spent the next few minutes of uneasy silence looking around the old boathouse.
The warped, water-stained wood all around us failed to live up to the standard set by the fresh coat of white paint on its exterior. What remained of the dock hung broken and split over the water.
Broken rays of dusty light slipped through the cracks in the roof, leaving the corners o the structure in deep shadow.
One solitary boat, an ancient, rotting dinghy, floated in the water, still tied to the dock.
“I assume you all got letters?” asked Billy James.
Each man told the others about the typewritten letter he’d received, letters containing instructions for him to appear at the boathouse by an appointed hour. Their voices cracked when they described the price of non-compliance.
“Not just letters, man,” murmured Vin.
“My kids,” blurted Murph. “Pictures of my damned kids. At school, in front of the house, out to dinner.”
“Yeah,” said Billy. “Same here. They threatened to--”
“Don’t,” butted in Murph. “Just don’t.”
“This can’t be happening,” moaned Buck.
“It is happening,” growled Vin. “And we all know why.”
“You really think so?” asked Murph. “I mean, we did a lot of crazy shit back then.”
Billy stepped away from the group, then tried the door.
“We’re locked in here, boys,” he reported.
“I can’t believe this,” groused Murph. “All because of...”
The sound of a shotgun being racked silenced them. The harsh noise bounced off the walls and the water.
“All because of what?”
It was a female voice, rough and knowing.
“Because of what?” the voice repeated. “Because the four of you drugged me, took turns raping me, then left me for dead out in the woods?”
The woman stepped out of the shadows.
All four men gasped at the sight of her.
Five foot one, long red hair, black t-shirt, faded jeans, and new workboots.
And a 32-20, ready to fire.
“It can’t be,” whispered Buck. “You disappeared after...”
“Maybe I did,” she replied. “But I’m here now.”
Buck and Billy stared at her in stupefied silence. Murph looked to Vin.
“I’m sure one of you was stupid enough to bring a weapon,” she continued, “and I’m willing to bet it was you.”
She pointed the shotgun at Vin’s belly.
“Get a hold of yourself, boys,” spat Vin. “There’s four of us. No way she can get us all if we rush her.”
“You’re right,” she said. “It’d be much easier to deal with three of you.”
She pulled the trigger.
Vin took the rounds low in his midsection. His mouth opened in a soundless scream as he dropped to one knee.
“You gutshot me, you bitch,” he hissed.
Buck, Murph, and Billy stood there, staring at their wounded friend as the blood began to pool around him.
“Check him for weapons, big guy,” she said to Murph.
“Just do it, man,” muttered Buck.
Murph nodded stupidly, then rifled Vin’s pockets. He brought a handgun out of his friend’s jacket pocket and showed it to the woman.
“Drop it in the water,” she ordered.
Vin slumped down to the deck, his breathing ragged and shallow.
Murph looked at the handgun for a long few seconds, then tossed it away.
Billy James sighed as their last shred of hope sank to the bottom of the river.
She racked the shotgun again.
“Throw him in too.”
“He’s not dead,” stammered Murph.
“That’s his problem.”
Murph hesitated again, but not for long. Vin hit the water with a slight splash, then floated beside the dock.
The three remaining men, broken, beaten men, looked to the woman.
“All right, boys,” she said. “Let’s talk.”
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Jeff Tsuruoka is an author in search of a writing career. He has found a home in the Flash Fiction circuit and is grateful to the blog hosts that give him the opportunity to get his work out there. You can follow him on Twitter @JTsuruoka and be sure to keep tabs on his weekly contributions to Daily Picspiration.