I’ve Had Better Days…

Cyrius Day hunkered down in the booth as a slug disintegrated the plasti-wood paneled wall behind him.

“Fine mess you got yourself into, Cyrius.” He quipped to himself as he checked the magazine to his Mk5 blaster. Four rounds left. “Plox!” He cursed as another round exploded inches from his head, raining debris down on him. “Come on!” He shouted out toward the diner’s entrance.

“Give it up, Day. Just throw out that weapon and die like the coward you are.”

“Now, come on Sebastian, ain’t no need for name calling! Can’t we just talk this over like…” Two more rounds let loose into the seat back of the booth he was hiding in. “I’m going to take that as a no?”

“You had your chance to do the right thing, Day. But, you chose to be a coward and run.” The heavy footsteps of Sebastian’s boots echoed in the sudden silence as he walked closer to the booth Cyrius was hiding in.

Flipping the gun down with a single finger through the trigger guard, Cyrius raised his hands and stood up from the behind the remains of the booth. “Look, Sebastian, good buddy. I’m sure we can come to some sort of understanding. Or…” he drug the word out hoping his smirk would disarm the old man, “Some kind of arrangement?” He finished with a smile.

Sebastian stopped eight feet from where Cyrius popped out from under the table. He held the hand cannon in his right hand, extended from his brutish frame. He looked at Cyrius with his one good eye and rubbed his white beard with his left hand. “Arrangement. It’s going to have to be one monstrous deal in order to make up for what you did. Cowards deserve nothing but death.” He spat the last sentence out.

“Hey, hey. I’m in agreement with you, bud.” Cyrius kept both his hands up as he took a tentative step toward Sebastian. “But, I’m going to have to ask, nicely of course, that you stop with the name calling. Start this negotiation off on the right foot and all.”

“Negotiation? This ain’t no negotiation. This is you begging me not to kill you like the cur you are.” Sebastian waived the gun around as he spoke.

Cyrius continued to step forward toward Sebastian. “Fine. Fine. You want me to beg? You want me to grovel for my life?” With each sentence he took another step closer. “Come on, tell me. Tell me what you want from me.” He stopped less than three feet from Sebastian, the muzzle of the cannon close enough to him that he could smell the ejected gases from the gyro-round.

Sebastian grinned, his face changing drastically as he looked at Cyrius. “Cyrius Day, legendary hunter of the ‘Nether. Not so big now, are you?”

“No. You got me, Sebastian. Now, how about we put our weapons away and we talk this out?” Cyrius flashed him a smile while he nodded to the booth next to them. “Besides, my arms are getting a bit tired.”

Cyrius could tell Sebastian was thinking it over, watching the way he bit and twisted his lip, but the cannon never wavered, steady at the level of his chest. “You’ve got my interest.” Cyrius noted Sebastian’s gun dip, signaling for them both to sit in the booth. Cyrius started to lower his hands down as he moved toward the table in time with Sebastian. Sebastian snorted as he sat, “What is it with talking and cowar…”

The word never finished as the roar of Cyrius’ blaster erupted, disintegrating Sebastian’s face. Cyrius stood there, his gun flipped upside down in his hand, looking at Sebastian’s body as it slumped down onto the table. “I asked nicely for you to stop the name calling.”

Published by

R. Todd

MFA from the Queens University of Charlotte ('21), BA in English from the University of Central Florida ('17), Group leader for the Florida Writers Association since 2019, member of AWP and ACES.

4 thoughts on “I’ve Had Better Days…”

  1. I don’t know why but for some reason when I’m picturing this, I get a cartoon image of a cantankerous old cowboy with a giant ten gallon hat! I’d love to read more about him, though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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