Gonzo kicked the door open. A nebula of splintered wood burst out in every direction.
“Need ammo” he barked, drawing his gun and approaching the frail shopkeeper.
It was immediately clear the terrified old man recognised Gonzo for what he was: an unbridled psychopath intent on menace.
“W-w-what kind of a-ammo?” he spluttered.
“Pistol. Shotgun. Rifle. Whatever. I don’t care. Got any dynamite?”
“I-I afraid I can’t… I don’t… ” the man made a face as he burbled the words. It was a cack-in-the-pants face, the face all men make as the realisation dawns that they’ve entered their final moments. I’ve seen this face before, several times, but never at such close range. At this distance, you can almost smell it.
“What was that?” asked Gonzo, with a tone of wounded disappointment, like a child discovering they’re the reason their parents are splitting up.
The old man gulped and attempted to claw back his composure. “We don’t sell anything of that nature in this establishment”. He was lying of course – this was a gun shop after all. Probably out of a misguided sense of self-preservation. He knew that if he handed over the bullets, they’d end up in his chest or skull. Spend enough time in the wilderness, and you develop an instinct for this sort of thing. Gonzo’s instinct, however, was intimidation. He knew the man was telling fibs and he knew he’d have those bullets, one way or another.
“You’re lying to me. I can’t trust people who lie to me, and what is a transaction without trust?” Gonzo replied.
Again, the shopkeeper resisted, almost heroically in a feeble, simpering sort of way. Gonzo smiled, he’d been hoping it would come to this. Deliberately, he drew his revolver and thrust it towards the old man. Kerosene lamp light reflected off the barrel as he unloaded two shots into the old man’s neck. The first severed a vital artery, the second was just for show. The shopkeeper was dead before he even heard the sound.
Gonzo stepped forward and bent over the juddering corpse at his feet. Reaching into his pocket, he withdrew a cigarette, raised it to his chapped black lips, lit a match and inhaled ceremoniously.
“Now” he said, examining his quarry, “about that ammo”.