Stairway to Heaven – Short Story

Stairway to Heaven

“Bullet in my shoulderâÂ?¦bloodâÂ?¦runnin’ down my vest. Twenty in the posseâÂ?¦and they’re never gonna let me rest! Till I became a wanted man I never even owned a gun. But now they hunt me like a mountain catâÂ?¦and I’m alwaysâÂ?¦AlwaysâÂ?¦Always on the run! A wanted manâÂ?¦”

With eyes constricted and focused, he ran to the cliff. It was the only way out. A narrow passage almost straight up. A six-shooter in his right hand and the holster strapped to his thigh, he new he might be meeting his maker soon. With one more step to freedom, it happenedâÂ?¦the unmistakable sound of a pearl handled revolver. BlamâÂ?¦BlamâÂ?¦Blam. He arched his back, arms flailing to the side. The acrid smell of gunpowder hung heavy in the air, darkness closed in around him and he fellâÂ?¦tumbling head over heals until he slid to a stop at the base. With life still flickering, he sensed the hot breath of his nemesis. He felt the sharp blow of a kick in the side and the high-pitched voice yelled outâÂ?¦”OkâÂ?¦good one, now it’s my turn.”

For two boys aged 10 and 6, playing “stunt man” on the stairs was a game filled with danger and excitement. The Frankie Lane album playing in the background on dads Hi Fi Stereo added a sense of drama and reality. The goal of “stunt man” was to see who could fall down the stairs the most convincingly after being shot with a pearl handled cap gun. No half-hearted falls or hops or slides. This was the real thing. When tumbling head over heals to the bottom, total relaxation was the key.

The record now made the scratchy static sound as the needle rhythmically moved back and forth in the center of the album. We were done with “Stunt Man” for now, but tomorrow would bring a new dayâÂ?¦maybe riding cookie sheets down the stairs. Yeah, that’s itâÂ?¦cookie sheets.

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