Fiction by India Knight

Too Old to Die Young

Skipper steps out of his white chevy pickup, silently praying that he did not hit a small animal. He bends down at the wheel and sees nothing. He stands up and almost knocks heads with a young boy standing extremely close.
        “Man you scared m-” He stops short as he sees the black barrel of a gun aimed straight into his gut. It is a .25 ACP Raven Arms semi auto pistol, his extended stay in Vietnam taught him well he smirks to himself sadly. Oddly enough, this was a scene he never faced while over there, adult soldier facing off against a scared (but still dangerous) child.
        “Come on kid, you don’t wanna do this.” The boy stares back at him, silent and shaking, for a second he swears he sees a tear in the kids eyes and Skipper feels hopeful. A loud bang rips that thought from his head and he looks down and sees a red dot slowly growing larger on his shirt. Seconds feel like minutes, no, they feel like hours. Which way to the hospital? He stumbles blindly south, against traffic, until he falls on his side, unable to go any further. All he could think about in those minutes, as he lay dying on the San Diego Freeway, as the scared teen sprinted in the opposite direction, was how mad Maria was going to be that he ruined his new shirt.