Murphy’s Laws of Combat
Inspired by Penski’s story, The Siege.
“You hit bad, Kid?” Heyes finished checking the bullet wound in his own thigh before turning toward his friend.
“Uhg,” came Curry’s grunted response, which could have served as either a yes or a no, but in this case seemed to mean, “Does it really matter?” The Kid removed his hat to peer around the large boulder he and Heyes had taken refuge behind.
A barrage of gunfire followed.
“Try not to draw fire, will ya Kid? It’s gettin’ irritating.”
“Yeah, well anything we do is gonna get us shot at, Heyes, includin’ doin’ nothin’!”
“Just sit tight for a minute and le’me check your wound.”
The Kid started to protest, but seeing the bright red patch growing on the front of his formerly crisp, white shirt, he stilled and allowed Heyes access.
“It’s deep. Gonna need a doctor.” Heyes pressed his bandanna against the bullet hole in Curry’s shoulder, incapable at the moment of offering further medical care.
“Not many doctors in these hills,” the Kid noted, sweat beginning to bead on his forehead.
“Guess we’re gonna need a plan to get outta here then, eh partner?”
“I’m listenin’.” Curry rested his head against the rock and his eyes drifted shut.
“Hey! No passing out, Kid. Keep your eyes open! And keep pressure on that wound! You’re not the only one bleeding and I’m gonna need your help to get us outta this!”
Two blue eyes reopened and Kid Curry strained to focus while reloading his gun.
“You running low on ammo?” Heyes checked.
“Uh-uh,” the light-haired outlaw shook his head, “but maybe if we’re lucky, they are. Who are they anyway? Professionals?”
“Can’t be, Kid. Professionals would’ve been more predictable. Wouldn’t have followed us this far into the hills. Only an amateur would’ve come up with a plan this stupid.”
Curry raised one eyebrow. “Bein’ stupid is what makes ’em dangerous, Heyes.” He motioned toward his partner’s bloodied thigh. “An’ seein’ as how their stupid plan seems to be workin’, maybe it ain’t so stupid.”
Heyes grew quiet and his brow wrinkled as he struggled to come up with something, anything to get them out of this mess, and quickly.
“How come the bad guys always seem to find us when THEY’RE ready and when WE’RE not?” Curry wondered, again fighting to keep two droopy eyes focused.
“Because it’s Murphy’s Law, Kid.”
“Murphy’s Law. You know, if something can go wrong, it will?”
“We don’t know no Murphy, do we, Heyes?”
“That’s not what I meant.”
“You s’pose they know him?” the Kid interrupted, motioning a weary hand toward the posse at the foot of the hill.
A full smile revealed two delightful dimples. “I don’t think they do, Kid. Not yet anyway. But I think it’s time we introduced ’em.” Heyes fished in his vest pocket.
“You carryin’ Kyle’s dynamite for him now, Heyes?”
“Today I am. Don’t trust him to carry both the explosives AND the matches. You got any?”
“Left vest pocket,” the Kid directed. “You got a plan?”
“Don’t know how good it is, but we’re gonna try it. I’m gonna work my way around the edge of the rocks,” Heyes pointed, “and soon as I’m close enough, I’m gonna throw this stick of Kyle’s dynamite at that rock ledge just above the posse.”
“You’re gonna do all that with your leg bleedin’ like it is, Heyes?”
“You’re going to provide cover for me, Kid.”
“Need I remind you, Heyes, that if the bad guys are within shootin’ range, so are you?”
“Need I remind you, Kid, that WE’RE the bad guys? They’re just a bunch’a deputized amateurs looking to do a good deed for society.”
“Or pad their pockets with a couple ten thousand dollar rewards.”
“Or that,” conceded Heyes. “So you ready to cover me?”
“Wait!” Curry insisted. “Ya know that five second fuse Kyle uses?”
“Yeah,” Heyes nodded.
“It only lasts three seconds.”
“Right,” Heyes gulped. “Good to know. You ready?”
“Almost.” the Kid painfully shifted his position, taking his own weapon in one hand and Heyes’ in the other. “On three?”
“Right. Oh, and Kid?”
“When in doubt, empty both weapons.”
“An’ then ya both jus’ made your way back to the Hole, limpin’ and bleedin’ all the way?” A wad of used tobacco sailed from Kyle’s mouth toward a spittoon in the corner of the bunkhouse.
“That’s about it,” Heyes shrugged, adjusting the pillow beneath his healing leg.
Curry nodded his agreement from a bed across the room. “‘Cept Heyes’ plan never would’ve worked so good if it hadn’t been for somethin’ we both remembered hearin’ you say, Kyle.”
“Me? What’s that?” Kyle beamed.
Two recovering outlaws chimed in as one. “If it don’t involve dynamite, it ain’t gonna work!”
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.