Brega had only just slipped his pecker inside the beaming  Mrs. Jake Tatum when the downstairs door was kicked in by Mr. Jake Tatum, the master of the house. Mrs. Tatum stopped beaming and threw him out of her, off the bed, to the floor, mid-thrust.

“Under the bed!”

Her voice was a shrill whisper, the one that sounds louder than if she had screamed it. But Brega pulled himself up slowly, as though he was not about to found by dangerous man with his wife.

He made his way to the chair where his gun belt was hanging. He sat down and rested the brown, hardened pad of his left foot on the low oak table, on which lay two half-eaten plates of rice, two empty glasses and his immaculate white snap-brim.

He turned to look at the wild-eyed older woman.

“I’d get under the bed, if I were you.”

The sounds of Mr. Jake Tatum’s heavy, fifteen-year old cavalry boots as he moved up the stairs were perfectly timed between one another.  Mrs. Tatum looked ill.

“He’s liable to shoot you. But if you don’t do as I say, I’m liable to shoot you first.”

Mrs. Tatum looked at him as if to say: this isn’t how it usually goes. Usually they bolt under the bed, or out the window, and they can’t leave quick enough.

Brega motioned to the floor under the bed with a single half-nod of his head. She couldn’t understand it. Her husband was not a man you did such things as this to. Yet the half-breed didn’t seem the least bit perturbed. The only sign in a change of temperament was his member had lost all of its lustre of a few moments ago.

When he spoke again he didn’t look at her, instead at the grains of rice left on the plate.

“Get under the bed.”

“He will kill you.”

Brega didn’t say anything then. He placed the snap-brim on his mussed, waxy hair and from his gun belt took out a six-shooter with a nine inch barrel. He placed it on the table in front of him. He then pushed the chair onto its back legs with his foot.

She got under the bed. Then the door was kicked in.

Jake Tatum was a huge man, and one look at him you could tell he was a cruel one. His face was covered with a film of red dust clinging to a sheen of sweat. In his arms he held a sawn-off shotgun. He held it like it was a newborn. He looked around the room and his eyes fixed on Brega.

He looked sick, as though she could have at least had a white boy up here. He pointed his gun at Brega.  Brega smiled. He slowly lowered the chair forward, back onto its four legs.

“This was easy”, Brega said.

He had the pistol in his hand before Jake Tatum released his shot. Brega rolled across the cold stone floor into a kneeling position. He fired off all six bullets. Most of them found their way into Jake Tatum.

Mrs. Tatum screamed the house down. But it didn’t matter. As Brega had it, there was no one on the grounds that was armed, or be stupid enough to come running. There were only servants around. They were Mexican, they hated Jake Tatum and had a good idea as to why Brega was really here.

Brega began to dress himself. By the looks of things four bullets hit Jake Tatum. Another one had taken a chip out of the white plaster wall. The other may have gone out through the open window, across the desert. Brega didn’t know how far a bullet traveled before it just gave up. He wasn’t sure he cared.

Mrs Tatum was still screaming. He didn’t tell her to shut her fucking mouth, for it would have been a waste of time and he knew it.

Jake Tatum stared up through glassy eyes at the ceiling of his bedroom of the home he had built for he and his lonely red-haired wife with money bought with the selling of Navajo scalps. He finished his career a hated man, which is how he had found himself in Mexico.

There may have been better US marshals out there than he, but no one provoked his quarry to draw first quite like Brega. By now, Mrs Tatum had passed out.

~ fin ~

This is Peter McGann's first stab at writing short fiction. Up till now he has mainly written short comedy films for the web. He can be seen as failed actor Mick Lawless, found here: and you can follow him on twitter at