Color Him Dead
Charles W. Runyon
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Terrified, she rolled over on the sand and sat up, not even trying to cover her body.
''Tell you what,'' the strange man said. ''We’ll play a little game. You try to remember me and I’ll tell you when you’re getting warm.''
She watched him slowly unwrap an oilcloth package. ''You hid in that shack,'' she said, ''so you could catch me alone . . .''
''And violate your fair white body? No, Edith. I've been there and back. I can’t make that scene again.''
''Damn you!'' she cried. ''You come on like an old lover, but I can’t remember!''
''You aren’t trying,'' he said softly. ''Think of me without the beard, without the scars, a married man with a wife and kid. You destroyed it, Edith. You wiped me clean. Remember?''
He opened the package then and Edith saw the gleam of the gun.
''See, Edith? I brought it two thousand miles. Nobody knows I’m here, so they’ll just have to assume that the sharks got you . . .''
bag which contained his supplies. He looked at Chaka, who was almost invisible in black shirt and black trousers. “I’ll make it from here.” “Then … in three days I return to this spot.” “I’ll be here,” said Drew, and clambered up the ten-foot cliff behind the beach. His feet crunched on salt-crusted grass as he stepped onto level ground. This was the island’s windward slope, a bleak plain covered by short grass, dotted by flaring agave and spindly hexagon cactus. The sea drove into the
inscription: DANIEL GREGORY infant son of Lieutenant and Mrs. R. G. Gregory died of the fever March 18, 1760 He felt Edith’s warm breath against his neck. “Poor kid. Came all the way from England to die on this little clod.” Drew couldn’t resist the opening. “Did you find out what happened to yours?” Her hand went to her stomach. “My … baby?” “You said you’d had one.” “Oh … but the doctors only told me. I don’t remember.” “Nothing?” “Just a feeling, something heavy inside, my
manual precision, she whispered: “You should’ve brought the blanket. I’ll get splinters.” And even as she spoke, she seized him, guided him into that shadowed trap. Then she began to move, drawing the life from his body…. The bolt of his cell slid back with an oiled click. He stood up and found that his prison denims were dry; he had been away a long time, ten years into the past, but he had done nothing different. He had entered the trap and his life had changed. Now the cell door opened,
caressed the stock of the rifle. “Go back and tell him that. Tell him I’ll be shooting at him this time.” She rested her elbows on the parapet and looked out over the smoking island. “He didn’t send me. I … sneaked out and crawled through the fire.” “Why?” Her voice was scarcely audible. “Just … to be with you.” “You can’t do anything here but die.” “All right. Then I die.” She whirled to face him, her chin held high. “Don’t you want to see it? Isn’t that why you came to the island?” He
anchor. Each breath was a ball of fire sucked into his lungs. Suddenly the weight was gone. He turned and caught her before she went down. Her eyes were closed. “Can’t … Drew …” He passed the loop beneath her limp arms and pulled her onto his back with her face turned up to the sky. He swam with desperate effort, knowing that he had to get through the current or be swept out to sea, knowing at the same time that it was nearly hopeless. His arms seemed sheathed in lead. Knives of pain raked his