Aintright: An Idiot With A Gun, p.1DL Greenlee
An Idiot With A Gun
(Aintright: The Series, Episode One)
Copyright © 2014 DL Greenlee
All Rights Reserved
This is a work of fiction. All persons, places or things contained within and whether or not similar to an actual person, place or thing, is fictitious.
Part One: A Bullet For The Brit?
An angry woman with an English accent barked another impatient demand, “In one mile turn left on Ranch Road 1437!” She didn’t say it but he knew what she was thinking, “If you miss this turn I will set this motorhome on fire with you in it!”
Three months earlier when they left on their around the country adventure she had been polite, even flirty. He loved the sound of her voice. Now her only emotion was anger and all he wanted from her was silence. Her voice grated against his ears, “In one half mile turn left you Moron. For once listen to me.”
Clinching his jaw he stared out the windshield at the dust blowing across the road in the sunlight, and made his decision. A single speck of lead traveling faster than her words would shut her up forever.
His left hand on the steering wheel, he reached for the Ruger, .380 semi-automatic pistol, holstered inside the waistband of his jeans. Wrapping his fingers around the rubber grips he paused, inhaled slowly then puffed up his cheeks and spit out a burst of warm air. “Think,” he told himself. “Think about what you’re fixin' to do.”
Leaving the .380 in its holster he reached out and muted the mad little British woman that was rampaging inside the GPS. He knew if he looked over he would see her banging against the glass with her fists and screeching out directions. He grinned; all he heard was the hum of tires on pavement.
“Why’d you do that?” his wife asked, looking up from her Kindle.
“It was either quiet her down or use my .380 to 'recalculate' that ornery little British gal that’s been yelling at me since Boise. A company called American Coach should have a little bitty American woman giving directions.”
“So, you’d be okay with an American woman yelling at you and telling you where to go?”
“Well, after 33 years it would be somethin’ I’m used to. Crap here's the turn already.”
He stomped down the brake pedal, the tires slightly skipping across the road's surface. The cloud of smoke rising from the bottom of the motorhome carried the smell of burnt rubber. Passing the wheel from right hand to left he turned the 42’ motor-home onto Texas 1437 from U.S. 180, promptly accelerating down the two-lane road.
“Why don't you ever pay attention to where you're going?” his wife said crossly, her seatbelt choking her from being thrown forward and back.
“Umm, it's just because your gorgeousosity is so distracting.”
“That's not even a word.” Pressing her back against the seat she tugged on the shoulder strap in an effort to loosen it.
“You're right babe it's a beauty to indescribable for words...your beauty.” His foot still mashing the gas pedal against the floorboard, he stole a peek at her then looked back to the road.
“You are so full of it. Finally,” she said when the strap released. “Now stop driving like you’re in a police car? You’re retired you know.”
“We’re just about there, only 13 miles to Aintright.”
“Slow down you’re making me carsick, and what kind of name is Aintright?”
“Probably ‘cause all the folks in town just ain’t right.”
“Why do you say such stupid things?” she asked with a sigh.
“Probably ‘cause I ain’t right,” he said, throwing both hands in the air.
“Could you please steer?” she asked, leaning over to retrieve her Kindle from the floor.
Grabbing the wheel with one hand he turned to look at his wife. His free hand flourished in a parody of a tour guide describing an inviting locale.
“Actually the Aintrights were one of the founding families of this remote, but quaint, west Texas village that’s tucked away in a valley of hidden waters and nestling the Guadalupe Mountains in north Hudspeth County. A fun fact about Hudspeth county, it's approximately the same size as Connecticut.”
“You need something to read besides travel brochures,” she said searching the floor, trying to find her water bottle that had been thrown from the cup holder.
Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam! Gravel being flung against the underside of the RV warned him they were headed for the bar ditch. The wheel jerked in his hand. Digging her fingernails into the armrests of the leather captain’s chair she sank down into the seat. Looking back at the road he lifted his foot off the gas pedal and gently guided the vehicle onto the pavement, then wasted no time in regaining speed.
“Idiot. It’s a miracle you haven’t killed us,” she said relaxing her grip.
“You know what they say about God taking care of idiots.”
“What worries me is they say nothing about God taking care of those that have to ride with them.”
“Ha, very funny...mercy, speakin' a God, look at those mountains.”
“Seriously? Why don’t you try looking at the road, I’ll look at the mountains.”
It was as she had imagined. The orange light of a late September sunset captured the peaks of the Guadalupe Mountains in a fiery spotlight, while the salt flats of the Chihuahuan Desert glowed white in their shadows.
“I can’t wait to see the fall colors of the maple trees in the mountains,” she said.
“Yep, pretty unusual sight in Texas. But ya know what ain’t unusual in Texas? Me bein’ hungry.”
“Is food all you think about?”
“No ma’am,” he said with a wink, “it’s not all I think about.”
“You might as well just keep thinking about food.”
“Food it is. Soon as we get the Command Center set up at the Aintright RV Park, I’m breaking out that leftover Mexican we got at the Little Diner in Cornutillo. I’m sure he’ll be able to find work around here.”
“That is not funny,” she grumbled.
“Don't take everything so dadgum serious babe.”
“I don’t take everything serious. But you shouldn’t just blurt out whatever pops into your head, you might really offend someone, or in your case a bunch of someones.”
“I'd hafta' completely stop talking. More’n half the country is either a crybaby or just lookin' for somethin' to be mad about.”
She leaned against the headrest and let her eyes shut. “I agree with you...you should stop talking.”
“Don't get too comfortable, we're nearly there.”
He reached behind his head and grabbed the top of his seat with both hands, stretching and making his left shoulder pop. Sighing, he grabbed the steering wheel and turned his head from side to side. Cracking his neck he stared down the quiet Texas road, flipped on the headlights and yawned. Ten minutes later he was wide awake.
“Open those pretty blue eyes, we're here,” he said.
“Yes we are,” she said, opening her eyes and leaning forward. “Here on the road in the RV. See I can joke.”
“Uh, Okay, but no. To quote our fellow Texan, Bill Engvall, ‘here’s our sign.’ Aintright, Texas, population 413.”
“I should never have given you that DVD.”
“We can watch it again as soon as we find the RV park.”
“Yay,” she said mockingly. “Give me the address of the park; I’ll put it in the GPS.”
“No, no, no,” he said. “I’m not about to let Her Majesty loose again. From here on out we get where we’re goin’ with good ol’ American know how….besides I didn’t get an address.”
“Nope, but I did get directions. That's good enough in a town this size.”
“What are the directions?”
“Look for the Aintright ISD and school building”?
“That was it?”
“Pretty much. There'll be a marquee that said-”
“No, though yeah, prob'ly there is. It'll read Cougar Country, Aintright ISD.”
“I meant the Aintright School is right in front of us. You don't see that?” she said impatiently, then shook her head. “It's a wonder you never got shot.”
“Too quick to kill baby.”
“Just slow down and look for the RV Park.”
“Aintright RV Park right there,” he said, stepping on the brakes. “Looks like the road runs next to the school.”
He turned the motorhome onto a wide, well-maintained gravel road that had been recently graded. The gravel crunched under the wheels as he followed the road alongside an adobe wall of the Aintright School, before curling around the school's back parking lot.
At road's end a small wooden office with a single door and a fresh coat of white paint. Its porch barely big enough for the two chairs rocking in the wind, under a sloping roof of green corrugated fiberglass.
“The park is at the back of the school?”
“Seems so,” he said, “but it looks closed. Shoot it's not even eight o'clock yet.”
“It is Sunday evening in a small town. Stop and I'll check the office.”
He brought the motorhome to a halt barely twenty feet from the simple structure. Staying put he leaned his right shoulder against the back of the driver’s seat. His wife eased from her chair onto the steps leading out the door next to her. A year back she started working out in preparation for this trip and it showed in all the right places as she went out the door.
“Don't bother getting up,”
“Hadn't planned on it. I'll just sit here and admire the view, but do me a favor and walk slow,” he said out the open door.”
“Shuddup,” she replied, without looking back.
The two front windows were dark, a bulb screwed into the fixture above the door casting its yellow light across the porch. The boards of the porch creaked under her feet.
Reaching the door she saw the placard hanging on it, GONE TO WALMART. “Seriously?” she thought, "nearest Wal-Mart would be in El Paso, ninety miles away." The posted hours and check-in instructions were painted in black letters.
OPEN: When We're Here.
CLOSED: When We're Not Here.
Hookups are that-a-way. 20$ a day whether we're here or away. If you stay & don't pay it's best you learn to pray. Drive Friendly Folks!
Aintright: An Idiot With A Gun by DL Greenlee / Mystery & Detective have rating 3.3 out of 5 / Based on33 votes