The Last Word

"What's that?" asked Tyler.

"A genuine blowpipe with poison darts," answered Corey. "My uncle brought it back from Africa."

"Liar!" accused Tyler.

"Am not!" countered Corey. "What YOU got?"

Tyler brandished his weapon. "Belonged to Wyatt Earp. He used it to gun down the Clanton Gang."

Corey sneered. "No way!"

"Much you know! It's a..." Tyler frowned, trying to remember the correct word, "...family hair loon!" he finally decided.

"Earp was a snivelling coward," taunted Corey. "Doc Holliday did his killing for him."

"You'll eat dust for that!" warned Tyler.

With a war-whoop, Corey took off into the trees. "I'm a headhunter," he shouted. "Gonna bag me a missionary for supper!"

Tyler gave chase. "Come back you yellow-bellied horse thief," he hollered.

They reunited in the clearing. "Could've ambushed ya back there," smirked Corey.

"Says you!" contradicted Tyler.

"Showdown," cried Corey.

"Duel at ten paces," yelled Tyler.

The two small boys stood back-to-back.

Corey had the pipe to his mouth before Tyler could thumb the hammer. He ran to where Tyler had collapsed into a pile of rotting leaves. "Told ya!" he scoffed. "I ain't no liar...and that gun never did belong to Wyatt Earp!"

The bullet, entering neatly between Corey's eyes, made a much nastier mess as it exited the back of his skull. Tyler died nowhere near as quickly or as painlessly, but made the most of his final moments by getting in the last word.

"Did too!" he groaned agonizingly through clenched teeth.


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