In the cards and at the bend of the road, we never saw you

rating: +13+x

Luck is a fickle thing.

It appears when you need it and not when you want it, the personification of the universe fucking with you. Unfortunately, Nathan Rivers had figured this out the hard way.

Rivers’ heart pounded, his blood rushing through his body. He raced across the land, purposely avoiding any roads. If he got on any of them, it’d be trivially easy to follow and kill him.

It'd be all over.

He looked over at Monroe, who had sweat pouring down his face, breathing hard. The look in his eyes was something Rivers recognized.

It was fear.

Eyes darkened with the sense of losing all hope.

Rivers glanced behind him and saw the masked man with viscous black slime splashing onto the ground behind him with a sickening squelch.

“What the fuck!?” Monroe's voice broke as he screamed, eyes opened wide at the unbelievable sight.

The sound of a shot rang out and filled Rivers’ ears, and he spurred the horse to go faster. He heard another gunshot and realized it was heading low.

Were they aiming at the horses?

Rivers glanced over and heard the horse and Monroe let out their respective cries of pain. The horse tumbled, one leg going limp and the two bodies crashing down onto the ground.

He couldn't turn back now.

“Shit!” Rivers began doing zig-zag patterns, hoping it would throw them off.

It was a futile hope, he realized.

Far too late.

He took out a gun and fired wildly behind him, desperately hoping to slow them down. He glanced back, and saw the Masked Man raise a silver gun. Before Rivers could part his lips, he fired a single shot.
The horse stumbled forward and crashed onto the ground, Rivers’ feet still in the stirrups. He hit his head on a rock and his vision immediately became blurred with thick blood. He attempted to pull himself free but realized his leg was trapped under the horse.

“Oh, fuck fuck fuck-” He could see them getting off their horses and walking towards him.

“Shit!” He made one desperate heave and managed to pull his leg free. Rivers immediately got up and began to run, but a gunshot rang out and Rivers felt his leg buckle underneath him.

He collapsed, face buried into the hard ground.

The sand stung his face and clumped uncomfortably in his blood. He whimpered involuntarily.

Rivers looked sideways and saw the Masked Man, slime soaked fully through his clothes, still dripping. He was staring at him, eyes empty and vacant.

“F-Fuck you.”

The man laughed, his voice tinny and metallic.

“This will serve as a reminder. Best stay away from the Snake Boot Gang.”

He laughed again.

"Not that you'll have a chance to run away again."

He raised the gun, poisonous metal glinting in the light.

Rivers attempted a last, desperate move by attempting to kick out the man’s legs.

But by then it was too late.

A gunshot rang out, ringing with finality, and harmonizing with a dying man's last, pathetic cry.

The Masked Man looked down at Rivers’ cracked open skull. The other gang members walked back to their horses in unison, while the man grabbed a rock and laid it next to Rivers’ head.

Carved into the rocks was Rivers' only surviving legacy:

A Forgotten Man.

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