Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tanner Burk

   He stood outside the motel, one foot  propped up on a rock lying by the sidewalk. Beads of sweat glistened on his forehead. Now in his middle forties, Tanner Burk had learned to trust his instincts as he warily scanned the quiet streets of his home town. He took one last drag of his cigarette and impatiently flipped the butt into the street and watched it hit the ground sending sparks flying.
   Just then a shiny black BMW roared up to the stop sign and a woman sat at the wheel clutching it for dear life. As he stood just a few feet from her car as she hesitated at the sign, he recognized Lindy Lewis, his friend, Reed Conner's girl-friend from their college days. And he saw the raw fear shadowed on her face as if she was racing for her life as she flew on by.  And, he wondered, had Sierra been chased by someone and forced off the road to her death?

   A block away, J.T. slumped down in Jones's red car. He'd been outsmarted by Lindy and the bikers and he was pissed. The Lincolm slowed down then as they approached a stop sign in a small town. As they neared the street corner, his breath hissed and he bolted upright in the car seat and yelled, "Jesus, that man standing there is Tanner Burk, my ex-old lady's attorney. Spittle flew in the air as he went on, "That son of a bitch sent me to jail!" He reached for his gun then and aimed. "By God, now I'll make him dance!" And in that instant as their eyes met in recognition an ear-splitting shot rang out and Tanner hit the ground.
   Christ, he'd been right all along and the wait was over, Tanner knew. Another shot blasted through the air, closer this time and the smell of gunpowder and dust hung in the air.
   Then there it was-- in a split second disclosure! John Thomas was in that car. The man whom he had sent to prison and now it all fit. And for revenge, John Thomas had to have been Sierra's killer!
   More shots peppered the air and time stood still as Tanner lay there hugging the earth, the pavement, and the sudden stillness brought a crackling reality, he was going to die!
   J.T.'s gun pointed directly at him and another bullet cut through the air with a scream. Then it was too late--too late to run. There wasn't any time, time had run out and the air vibrated as the weight of death hung suspended.
   Then with a deafening burst of force, his world shattered into a blur of nothingness and his life flowed across the cement in rivers of red. Tanner Burk lay dead in a pile of twisted humanity as a train whistle, from miles away, sent out lonely calls of departure.
   And adrendlin pumped through  J.T.'s veins as he and Jones flew through the rest of the small town. He laughed and said, "Fuck man that felt great! Lets stop at the casino up ahead,  my luck has just changed!"

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