Hazzardous Perspectives, pt 1: Dishonor Among Thieves

This here is an experiment in writing in the first person. However, it’s not just through one character. The first person perspective shifts from one character to another. So, hang on to yer hats and pay attention. Just to keep y’all from getting confused, I’ve added comments that indicate the current point of view for each passage.

By BlackJack Murphy

(Boss’ POV)

When I opened my eyes, it was so dark I couldn’t see a blasted thing. I wasn’t quite sure where I was, but I did know how I got here. It’s all my fault. I’d never admit it, but I let my greed cloud my judgment one too many times.

These dang ropes are killin’ me. I tried to adjust them, but they’re too tight. I called out to Rosco, but he didn’t answer. At least they didn’t gag me.

I never thought Carson would stoop so low as to double cross me while I was double crossin’ him. I gotta remember to be more careful when pickin’ my business associates next time… If there is a next time.

I tried freeing myself, but no luck. I let out a breath of frustration and tried again. I felt my face flush with the exertion and decided to let things be for now.

“Rosco!” I listened intently for a response, a sound, anything. “Rosco? You here? You ok?”

The door opened violently. I turned my face and squinted at the sudden bright light.

“He ain’t in there! So shut your mouth, Hogg, before I shut it for you.” The dark figure grunted and then added, “permanently.”

My head hurt. I closed my eyes to the recurring pain and tried to wish it away. When I opened them again, I remembered the moments just before I blacked out.

Rosco. He tried to stop Carson and Rob as they barged their way into my office. But Carson wasn’t in no mood. Rob and Carson grabbed my arms and started to pull me towards the door. Rosco stood in their path.

The confusion on his face spoke volumes. He questioned me, “Boss, what’s goin’ on here?” I stammered, as confused as Rosco, yet with a strange sense that I knew this was a long time in comin’. Carson grabbed Rosco’s shirt and slammed him against the wall. Rosco coughed as the blow knocked the wind out of him.

“Carson!” I yelled. The big oaf turned slowly and stared intently at me as he shoved his fist further into Rosco’s chest. My brother-in-law squirmed uncomfortably at the growing pressure against his ribs.

“Leave him be. He ain’t involved in this,” I pleaded. “He don’t know nothin’ about my dealings with you.”

I turned to look at Rosco. I could only meet his gaze for a second before I had to look away. But that brief second was all I needed to see the growing confusion, the shock, the anger, the fear.

“How touching,” Carson snickered. “Honor among thieves. Well, he’s involved now, ain’t he, Hogg? We know enough about him to know he’s in your hip pocket. Wherever you go, he goes. This ain’t no exception.”

He gave Rosco one last shove before he released his shirt then turned towards me.

“Now stop squealin’ and start movin’, Hogg,” he said as he motioned Rob to escort me out the door.

As Carson turned back to Rosco, Rosco’s hand went to his gun, his eyes glued on Carson. Just as his gun cleared the holster, Carson caught the move and lunged at the sheriff.

Carson pushed Rosco’s gunhand hard against the wall, but Rosco kept his grip. Carson moved his right hand to Rosco’s throat as Rosco tried in vain to block the attempt with his free hand. He grasped Carson’s right wrist as it tightened around his throat.

I jumped as Rosco squeezed the trigger. Carson cursed loudly. He quickly shook his left hand, burned by the sudden heat from the muzzle of the gun. He recovered quickly, this time grabbing Rosco’s wrist instead of the gun.

I could see Rosco visibly weakening from the thug’s choke hold, his face turning red. Carson was gaining the upper hand and he almost had the gun out of Rosco’s grip. I pulled away from Rob and punched Carson hard in the back. He grunted, then cursed at Rob.

I tried to grab the gun from Rosco’s hand as Carson was distracted by my blow, but in a fit of rage he ripped the gun away before I got there. He stood with his right arm fully extended still gripping Rosco’s throat and aimed at Rosco’s chest. I tried to pull his arm back.

I felt a sudden pain in the back of my head and my vision dimmed. I tried to keep my balance, but I fell forward, a sudden wave of nausea overtaking me. The only thing slowing my descent was my grip on Carson’s arm. I heard another gunshot. I blinked slowly, my head resting somewhere near Carson’s left shoe. I looked up. Through tunnel vision I saw Rosco slide slowly down the wall, Carson’s grip still tight around his throat. Rosco’s hand slipped from its grip around Carson’s wrist and hung limply by his side. As Carson released his grip from my friend, my world went dark.

***

(Rosco’s POV)

I woke up here in this cold, dark room. I couldn’t believe what had happened. He was gone. I searched the room again as my eyes started to adjust to the darkness. They took him… my little fat buddy.

My hands were tied behind my back and the ropes dug deeply into my wrists. I tried calling to Boss, but it came out as more of a croak as I winced at the pain in my throat.

I could still feel his grubby hand tight around my throat, slowly squeezing the life from me.. Several thoughts and images attacked me at once as I tried to remember what happened before I passed out. Can’t breathe, gotta keep hold of the gun… feeling weak, very tired. Can’t yell.. he’s crushing my throat. Boss! They got Boss… getting dark… lost my gun…. can’t see… can’t breathe. Gunshot… darkness…

Did they shoot him? No, they couldn’t. They wouldn’t. Would they? No… No! I shook my head hard, trying to erase the memories. I’ve gotta get out of here. I’ve gotta get Boss back.

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