Chapter 2: Corrupted Individuals
John opened his eyes to find that the dark, cold ceiling he saw last night had changed into a painfully bright ceiling filled with small little holes so that pure sun light could creep in. He lay in his bed for a while, considering if he should get up out of bed or not. He looked at the night stand and noticed a letter had been left on the corner of the night stand. John had no choice but to sit up now. He rubbed his eyes slowly. He then reached for the letter cautiously, trying not to knock it over. He unfolded the yellowed, starchy paper. The letter read:
I have received word that you are in fact a gunslinger and have an outstanding warrant. I do not want any trouble from you and would appreciate it if you would kindly finish your business here and then peacefully leave.
John crumpled up the letter and threw it at the wall. He got dressed and headed downstairs to the saloon. However, he was stopped halfway down the staircase by the saloon/hotel's owner.
Greg asked, "So, how are you enjoying your stay here?"
John replied, "Well, it's somewhere to sleep."
Greg's face quickly turned from a smile to a smirk.
"Well are there any problems with your room?"
"Yeah, there's holes in the ceiling."
"Oh, I see my bartender gave you our, erm, ugly room."
"I guess you could call it ugly. I was wonderin' where can I get supplies from?"
Greg replied anxiously, "Well, there is McNeal's General Goods, but for lack of a better term he is quite a prick. Then there's Wash's trader, he doesn't have much for food or ammo but he does have a good amount of clothing and animal hides."
"I guess McNeal's it is then."
"A word of warning, he has a very high temper. Just go in buy what you need and get out. Don't talk about politics, women, cattle, guns, or anything for that matter."
"I'll try my best not to."
Greg then patted John on the back and continued upstairs. John headed for McNeal's. John had a feeling that his visit to the store would not be peaceful. John entered McNeal's casually, as to not disturb the quaint and peaceful environment. John walked up to the counter and waited. No one was around and it seemed no one was going to come help him. He looked down and saw a bell. There was a sign next to the bell and it read:
Ring if no one is around to help. Please do not ring more than twice.
John was hesitant for he did not want to intrude on the peace residing within the store. But he picked it up anyways and rang the bell twice. He then heard a loud collection of noise coming from the back of the store.
"Yeah I heard ya!"
John looked towards the back. He saw a man rushing to the counter. He assumed that it was McNeal.
"What's so important that you need to disturb my sleep?"
John replied slowly, "I need a few supplies."
McNeal's attitude suddenly changed.
"Oh, well why didn't you say? What ya need?"
"Well I need ammo for a .32 Colt and I need some food and water. I would also like to buy another .32 Colt six shot if you have one."
"Well I got two of em'"
McNeal pulled out a .32 Colt six shot that looked identical to John's.
"That'll do. I then need forty rounds of .32 ammo and I guess throw in twelve rounds of 12 gauge ammo. Then I'll need three canteens filled with water and a bag of meat and veggies. Throw in some fruit too."
"Alright, that'll all come to oh, let's say a hundred dollars."
"Let's say fifty."
"Trying to bargain eh? Well it's now one fifty."
"You can't just raise the price like that!"
"I can and I will. Now either pay or fuck off!"
"Seventy five take it or leave it."
McNeal pulled a Colt Peacemaker out from under the counter and laid it on top.
"One fifty and you'll still have your life, whatever your name is."
"It's John. Come to think of it I don't know your name."
"It's Sloan McNeal."
"Sloan McNeal, has a nice ring to it."
John picked up the bell and threw it at Sloan's face. Sloan's face clinched it surprise and slight pain. John then drew his revolver and shot Sloan right between the eyes. Sloan fell and fell hard. The vibration of his dead body hitting the floor caused an apple to fall off of a small table. John stood there for a moment. He then gathered himself and took everything he needed from the counter and stuffed it into a bag. He darted out the door and headed for the hotel. He stopped in front of the hotel and drew in a deep breath. John opened the double doors and casually walked to his room. Greg stopped him again halfway up the stairs.
"Did ya go over by McNeal's?"
John casually yet cautiously replied, "Yeah, turns out he's got quite a temper."
"Told ya. Everyone in this town who owns a business is either controlled by him or the mayor. I tell ya, they are some corrupted individuals."
"You can say that again."
John walked to his room and dropped his bag on the room floor. He stared at the bright ceiling once more but was then caught off guard by a scream that seemed to have come from outside. He knew what it was for.