An Homage to Anton.

I decided to write a quick prompt inspired by one of my favorite Anton Chekhov short stories.

Prompt: Homage to Anton

I sped to the armory looking for some lead relief. The clerk, a tall frenchman with long and lanky hands, pulled out several pistols and revolvers to display. “This one is a colt sir,” he said, brushing over the guns with his fingertips as he spoke. “And this one is a Ruger, but a Ruger, unfortunately, is cheaply made, and not a proper tool for murder.”

“Murder? I’m not going to murder anyone,” I lied.

“It’s no matter sir, it must be the Colt. You are an American, yes?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Well, then it must be the Colt. The American gun for the American man. The Colt is the one sir. Well made, accurate, powerful. There really was no better tool for revenge.”

My skin flooded with chills. Ingret had been unfaithful for the last time, but I never met this clerk in my life. I took the piece from the Frenchman and it sunk heavy and real in my hands. “Hm. How much for it?” I said.

“Oh, that, that is an extraordinary piece sir, a 1911, well worth the money, I will part from it for twelve-hundred.”

“Twelve-hundred? The Ruger will do the job just as well,” I said and handed the Colt back to the disheartened clerk.

“Then the Ruger, sir, surely the Ruger must be your next choice. True sir, the Ruger is cheaper, but it can still kill a wife, I assure you that much.”

“What did you say?”

“Of course, it lacks the superior stopping power of the Colt, but if it is a woman, you have no problem sir.”

I ignored the strange comments, foreigners often got their words mixed. I gripped the pistol in both hands and aimed at the wall. I squeezed the trigger, imagining Ingret’s brains flashing against the wall in the blinding light of the blast. My stomach dropped. “Um, how much did you say for this one?” I said.

“The Ruger? Well, the Ruger sir, is such a fine, fine piece. I think I can part with it for six-hundred and that really is the lowest I can go sir, but look at the quality! And such a reasonable price! What is money to men like us anyway?”

“Six-hundred?” I said. I pointed to the smallest gun on the table, a two-inch long mini-revolver. “And this one?”

The Frenchmen rolled his fingers on the glass display case and stared at me. He let out a long sigh. “That one, sir, is for the ladies mostly. A small, useless thing, only effective at very close range. Two hundred and fifty dollars.”

I puffed out my chest, the price was right, revenge was at hand. “Wonderful,” I said. “Wrap it up will you, and throw in some, what kind of ammunition does it take? Ah twenty-twos, put some in there as well.”

“I’m afraid I cannot send you home with anything today sir.”

“What, why?”

“You can pay for the revolver, but there is a ten day waiting period on all firearms sales.”

“Ten days?”

“Ten days.”

“Well what about that then?” I said, jerking my finger to a crossbow on the wall. “How much is that?”






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *