The atmosphere crackled with their negative emotions. Fear, anger and anxiety pulsated like a heartbeat, keeping in rhythm with their cries and racing hearts. The chants of ‘demon goat eater!’ and ‘kill them!’ and ‘send them back to hell!’ rose higher and higher then faded, dying down only when a burly man with a thick scar down the side of his face stepped forward, his calloused hands raised for their silence.
The Leader of the little village had a coarse voice to fit his rough exterior and he spoke in harsh, rapid Spanish, his hatred oozing out of every syllable. As the leader of the small village condemned them to death, Theo began to hum the death toll. Ray glared at him.
The village leader finished his speech and six men armed with shotguns stepped forward from the crowd. Their eyes were clouded over with blood-lust and Ray could hear their hearts racing with anticipation. Only one of them, the youngest, seemed a bit nervous but the others were rock solid in their resolve. Ray knew the look in their eyes all too well; the five of them would be shooting to make him and Theo suffer before they gave them the liberation of death.
The village leader led the youngest executioner to the front by his shoulders, reminding him that killing these unnatural men would bring honor to his family and remove one of many evils from the world. Theo thought it was funny; the man sounded like he watched too many old movies. Ray was bored; he couldn’t wait to get back to the apartment and take a long shower. The young man looked scared out of his mind.
“Shoot the annoying one,” the village Leader said. He paused then added, “In the head. It talks too much.”
The young executioner nodded and took a deep breath.
“Wait, who’s the annoying one?” Theo asked, genuinely confused.
“That would be you,” Ray replied with a sarcastic smile.
“Hey!” Theo cried, “How can they just assume that I’m the annoying one! They don’t even know me yet! I’m actually a pretty charming guy! Tell them, Ray!”
Ray sighed, wondering, as he so often did, why he hadn’t been born an only child.
The chanting from the crowd started up again, escalating slowly until their voices was loud enough to rattle the windows and frighten the livestock in their pens. The young executioner aimed his gun squarely at Theo’s head. His hands shook.
“He’s gonna miss,” Theo said with a wide grin, his enlarged canines catching in the sunlight.
Several shrieks of terror tore through the crowd. A man somewhere shouted ‘El Diablo!’ A woman fainted.
The sheer force of the recoil sent him hurtling backwards into the dust.
The Pallis brothers had been shot at more times than either one cared to recall- not to say that Theo didn’t try once in a while. However, the result was always the same. The bullet, no matter what caliber, would bounce harmlessly off their skin and land in a crumpled heap on the ground. That’s what they’d come to expect. This time they had to expect a lot more.
To be continued…