Joey glanced over at the Sheriff, “So what’s the plan boss?”
“It’s like I said before son, we gotta put him down. There’s definitely something not right with this fella, and I’m not going to take a chance on him getting those teeth into somebody.”
Without saying another word Sheriff Brown raised his rifle to his shoulder and took aim, as he did so the wolf turned his head and looked into the hardware store’s front window. It was almost as if he was trying to see who the Sheriff was aiming his rifle at. Turning his massive head back around, he stared once more at the Sheriff, and then he started to walk towards him.
His eyebrows were arched up almost in a quizzical sort of way, as if he were trying to say, “Hey Sheriff, how ya doing? Awfully nice day don’t you think, oh and why the hell are you pointing that nasty looking gun at me?”
Sheriff John Brown didn’t need any more of an excuse than that, when he saw the wolf start moving towards him. Steadying himself, he took aim directly at the great wolf’s chest. For a moment time seemed to slow down, sounds were muffled around him, ever so briefly he felt like he was inside a vacuum and all the air in the immediate area had been sucked out. He took a deep breath and fired; everything that he had felt a moment ago exploded at the same moment the hammer on his gun struck the round. The report of his rifle seemed even louder than normal, maybe it was because a deathly quiet had befallen the whole town in the moments just before he took the shot.
The shot from the Sheriff’s big hunting rifle had an immediate effect, the big wolf stopped like he had just run into an invisible wall. He stopped, but he didn’t fall, he looked down at the blackened hole in his fur that was starting to bleed, and then he looked back up at the Sheriff with a look that was part shock and part disbelief. He raised his giant head and howled half-heartedly, and then with a shudder he fell over on his side and didn’t move.
“Is it dead Sheriff?” asked someone who was watching from nearby.
“I reckon it is, but I suppose we should have a look see, eh Joey?”
Shouldering his rifle with the sling, Sheriff Brown drew his service revolver. Being a small town, the Sheriff didn’t feel the need for too much firepower and that’s why he carried a five shot .38 caliber police special, instead of Springfield 1911 .45 caliber auto jobby, there just wasn’t a need for that kind of stopping power here in Bettles.
Holding their pistols out in front of themselves in a two handed shooters-stance, the two men advanced on the wolf. When they were close enough the Sheriff reached out with the toe of his boot and gently nudged the animal in the ribs. Seeing no signs of life he got a little closer, and then slowly knelt down beside it.
“Damn it Sheriff, would you please be careful,” whispered Deputy Joey.
“Don’t worry buddy,” exhaled the Sheriff, “I think he’s gone.”
At that moment the wolf raised its head up a couple of inches off the street and looked directly into the Sheriff’s mirrored sunglasses. Joey jumped back, barely suppressing the shriek that tried to jump out of his throat. The Sheriff fell directly back onto his butt. After holding the Sheriff in its sight for a moment, the wolf gently laid his head back on the ground closing his eyes as he did so, and with one last rumble the giant timber wolf exhaled his last breath.
In the next installment we meet Max. Check it out!