The Phantoms

My name is Vito and I am a bounty hunter. I am tall and thin, with long brown hair and brown eyes. I am 20 years old. I walked down the dusty dirt road. Dawn was cracking and the town ahead of me looked red. I have only been in this country for 8 months and I have acquired my bounty hunting license and a nice revolver. My bandolier is full and all my gear is intact. This small town of Victoria was originally a mining town in the 1700s. It's currently run by bandits. I fixed my blue circular sunglasses on my face. I was near the northern entrance the town; I saw some funny movement going on near the western entrance. I thought nothing of it. I took out the wanted poster in my bag and looked at the picture in front of me.

It was a horribly ugly man who had a beard, a crooked nose, and eyes that weren't the same size. This monstrosity of a human also had one ear and a huge scar across his face. The bounty for this man was only $100 but he was a good first bounty. Apparently this man by the name of Zed stole some ammunition and was looking to sell it the bandits. He was wanted dead or alive, so either way I would get my money. The sun was rising and I had to move quickly. This is a small bandit town and I would fit right in here. I entered the town and started looking around.

Almost none of the buildings had windows and there were several burned or charred houses. There is the Union mining company banner on one of the buildings. The bandits here are all inside the buildings, passed out drunk most likely. I entered one of the pubs and inside there was a bartender sweeping the floor. Bandits were all over the ground and the bar tender looked angry. He was a short, balding man with a ginger mustache. He said the bar was closed. "I don't want a drink. I am looking for an old friend of mine by the name of Zed. Have you seen him?" I asked the man.

"No one here is named Zed. Well at least no one I have met. When did he arrive?" He asked. Just as I opened my mouth the door opened. A woman stepped in; she was pretty and had long flowing brown hair. Her eyes were blue and alert. She was rather tall, only an inch or two shorter than me. She had a blue shirt with blue pants and brown boots. "I am looking for a friend, his name is Zed. Have you seen this man?" She asked. She had a soothing voice. "Are you kidding me, this kid here is looking for Zed also. Look if you're not buying anything then get the hell out of my store." The bar tender demanded. We walked out together.

When were outside she turned to me and pushed me. "Who are you and what do you want with Zed." She told me. Her voice was full of anger and I answered quickly. "I need to find him, I need some ammunition." I told her quickly. She didn't buy it. "You are a terrible liar, I hope you know that! You're a bounty hunter. Well get out of here, Zed is mine. I need that bounty." She said. "If I was a bandit, I could have alerted the whole town that a bounty hunter was here. You don't admit you're a bounty hunter." I told her.

"I knew you were one because I saw your license sticking out of your back pocket!" She told me. I checked and she was right. "It's my first bounty okay." I said. "It's mine also how about we work together and split the profit?" She asked. "Sure." I said

"The bar tender said he hadn't heard of a Zed. Maybe he is here under a false name?"I said. At this point we were whispering because some of the bandits may have woken up. "Maybe, next we better describe him. He does stand out so if he is here then we should be able to locate him by asking some people." I said. "No, that is not a good idea, let's not bring attention to ourselves anymore then we have. I mean, let's go search the camp for him." She said. "Okay, but what's your name?" I asked. "Kelly and you are?" She replied. "Vito, okay I think we should get going."

We walked out into the main road. The police know about this place but they don't want to risk their lives. So basically they rely on bounty hunters for everything in this region. I looked into the crowds of bandits; they were all very calm and relaxed. I tapped Kelly on her soldier. "When we find Zed, we'll come off as criminals. We will tell him we have a weapon stockpile in a nearby mine. We will tell him that we want to buy some of his ammo and that he could take a few guns for himself." I told Kelly. "I don't know if it will work. We should do that and get him away from this crowd. So we will shoot him in the mine right?" She asked.

"No, I will stab him and cover his mouth so he doesn't make a sound and then we will carry him….crap I don't have a horse. We could carry him; it's not that far to the nearest town." I said. "How did you expect to be a bounty hunter without a horse?" Kelly asked. "I thought ii could carry him and get the bounty and then buy a horse. I mean I was happy I found a small bounty not far from here. I tracked him here and I could carry him." I told her. "I have a horse. You and I can go on it and we can lasso his body and drag him there." She told me.

We continued our search. I got a tap on my shoulder and I stopped and looked were Kelly was pointing. It was Zed all right. He was drinking something out of a tin cup and talking to a fat man with a huge mustache. "I'll go get him. He can't resist a pretty girl like me." Kelly told me. I waited by the road and just looked around and waited for Kelly to get him over to us. A few minutes later Kelly was back with Zed. Almost all of his teeth were black and he stunk horribly. "I'm game for some guns. I'll sell you the ammo for a great price." He said in a deep voice. We told him we would walk to the mine because we didn't want to draw to much attention.

The sun was beating down on us and I was starting to get thirsty. I reached to my canteen and drank deeply form it. After a while we arrived at the front of the abandoned mine. "All righty, let's see those weapons!" He said in an excited voice. He stepped forward into the mine. This guy was ridiculously stupid. He didn't even ask what direction to go into. Kelly started to leave so she could get her horse. I pulled out my knife and walked behind him. I put my gloved hand around his mouth and drove the blade deep inside of Zed.

He squirmed and muffled screams were coming out of his covered mouth. Blood starting spewing on my gloves. Soon enough he stopped squirming and I laid him down. I covered his face with a sack I found near the entrance of the mine. This was so his face didn't get too damaged. Kelly arrived with the horse. It was a giant black horse and it was beautiful. I lassoed Zed up and got on the horse with Kelly. We made our way to the nearest town. The heat was getting worse.

The nearest town was Black Creek. Zeds body was going all over the place. Luckily his face was covered. 20 minutes later we arrived at Black Creek. It was a small town and all the townspeople were doing their business. I hitched the horse while Kelly untied the body. The sheriff's office was next to the general store. People gave me funny looks because of zeds body. I dragged the body for Kelly into the sheriff's office .the sheriff was a short squat man and his name was Jason. He then gave us the money.

"Let's go get a drink." She told me. We went to the pub across the street. The pub was smoky and only old fat males were in there. I ordered two whiskeys and I sat down next o her. "Look, you are pretty good at killing people. I want to team up with you. It gets lonely out there and it will be nice to have some company. Will you come with me?" She asked. I looked at her and smiled. "Yes I will join you. I think we need a couple more people. That way we can go after the bigger bounties. That will need to happen after I get a horse though." I told her. "Your right, you'll be fairly useless without a horse" She told me. The whiskeys were laid on our table and I paid the bartender.

"Well we better go find a cheap inn. Eventually we will need a tent but an inn will do. Get your rest Vito; we have a lot of work to do!" She told me. I smiled and drank my whiskey.

To be continued.