The Gun

It was a small Beretta, tightly wrapped in its holster and kept in the night stand. Whenever the kid got home early enough he’d take the gun from the nightstand and examine it closely. He figured out how to take it out from the holster, found the safety and that was it. He knew better than to play around with it. He looked closely at the design examining the sleek machined metal parts. The hard rubber grip flowed smoothly onto the handle. The weight of the thing was impressive. He contemplated the manufacturing process and carefully put the gun away exactly where he found it. The gun was there for years, apparently never touched by the owner. One Saturday morning the kid took the gun upstairs. He planned to shoot the gun into the river from the second floor balcony. No one was around. Outside it was a perfect summer morning. He steadied himself close to the railing and cocked the weapon. Arms stretched out, using both hands, he aimed toward the river and fired.

The crack was deafening a smell of gun powder filled his nostrils. The recoil pushed his arms over his head or he may have done so because of a movie or TV show. He kept looking but could not tell where the bullet hit. He felt a drip of warm, liquid on his forehead. He knew it was blood panic rose quickly as he lowered his hands. His hands were dripping he realized he didn’t shoot himself some of the anxiety dissipated.

Anxious and not knowing what happened he ran inside to the bathroom. Ears ringing, panic still hovering close he saw the slice across the back of his thumb.  he quickly found a towel and wiped the blood from the gun afterward he placed it back into the holster and returned it to the nightstand.

It occurred to him that he didn’t properly close the slide. The gun fired but he didn’t know whether the bullet left the chamber or not. He was too stricken to go back and check the gun. He would wait until tomorrow or the next time no one was home. One afternoon getting home he had his chance. He returned to the night stand only to find the gun was gone. Over the next few months he’d check and the gun never reappeared.

Throughout the years he would think about the gun and the only proof he had was the permanent scar on the back his thumb.

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