Gunslinger | C.R. Gardner

The old west ain’t got shit on Annie. 


C.R. Gardner

The Audition Retribution Award


The door opened. She was called in. The room was dim, the only light sneaking in where the curtains didn’t quite meet. She let her eyes adjust.

‘Hello Annie,’ said the silhouette in the chair behind the desk, and she knew this wasn’t a call back at all.

Behind her there was a soft click. The lights came on. ‘So good of you to come back,’ said Eric Van Hueson, a rapacious smile touching his lips, his blue eyes regarding her with malicious laughter.

Arrayed around the room like shopfront mannequins were all the women who’d applauded when she’d punched Eric in the face for feeling her up – the bruises were dark on his white flesh. Beside each woman stood a man with a double action autoloader pistol pressed to her temple.

‘In today’s audition, Annie, you get the chance to be a hero. Do what I say, and no-one dies. But, if you try any of that martial art bullshit you’ll watch them die, one by one. You, we’ll leave alive until you’re begging us to blow your brains out!’ He stood up, slouching around the large mahogany desk, pointing his fancy revolver at her head. He cocked it.

‘Single action,’ she thought, as the cylinder turned. This was obviously Eric’s special with its engraved ivory handles, ten chambers and elongated barrel.

She could see he was getting off on this, the bulge in his pants obvious. Standing in front of her, revolver pointing unwaveringly between her eyes he undid his belt and jeans with one hand, pulling them down.

‘The audition?’

‘You’re going to suck me off, now. Do this, Annie, and I won’t kill you, or the others. If you don’t…’

Annie let the script she was holding fall to the floor, moving forward so the cold metal of the barrel kissed her forehead. With a flick of her mind the firing mechanism of every gun in the room jammed. She smiled as she slid her hand into his pants, cupping his balls. ‘Pull the trigger,’ she said, twisting and squeezing hard.

Gasping, he did. Nothing happened. ‘Wot the fuck!?’

Annie laughed, squeezing harder. ‘You’d have had a chance with blades, Eric, but I’m a gunslinger. You haven’t got a hope in hell.’ She let go, grabbing hold of his hand, twisting it so his revolver was pointing at him. Another flick. Eric’s gun unjammed. The hammer hit the chamber.

Eric stared in disbelief at the bleeding hole beneath his left clavicle. ‘No!’

‘It doesn’t look too bad from the front,’ said Annie, ‘But this close, your exit wound will be pretty nasty.’ Impassively she watched him crumple to the polished boards, the revolver landing with a clatter, spinning over to her feet.

Smooth as cream it was in her hand and she was shattering shoulders and knees, leaving blood, bone and whimpering men smeared across the room. The women she ignored.

She turned to Eric pointing the gun at his crotch. ‘Men like you don’t deserve to live.’

‘Please, no,’ he whispered.

The air popped. A woman with alabaster skin and hair like fire appeared, ‘Annie, don’t!’

‘He deserves it!’

‘I know, but it would be better if you let the “Normals” make that call.’

‘I thought you were dead.’

‘I was, but I rose from the ashes.’

‘It’s good to see you.’

‘And you. Shall we go?’

‘Yes,’ said Annie, taking hold of the outstretched hand. The air popped.

Audition Retribution Award

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