Click to listen to the Guns n’ Graves theme song while reading!

It was a very weird second for John.  To him, it felt there were two different John’s.  One thinking and watching.  And one just shooting.  It was just before his finger pulled the trigger that the “thinking and watching” John began to yell. 

        “Never shoot without looking!” he yelled to the “just shooting” John.

        The “just shooting” John didn’t listen nor care.  He just shot. 

        The “thinking and watching” John watched as the bullet came out of the gun and moved in a perfect straight line.  It hit a patron in the bar in the stomach.  There was a small spray of blood. 

        “He’s not a zombie!” the “thinking and watching” John yelled.  “Look what you’ve done!”

        The “just shooting” John still didn’t listen nor care.  He just stood holding the smoking gun out.  That’s when he looked at the man he just shot.  So the the “thinking and watching” John.  That’s when John became one person again…

        The man he just shot was himself.

       “It’s okay, no worries,” a voice said. 

        John turned to see a man walking out from behind the bar.  He was… well, John.  John looked down at the body on the floor.  It was himself.  And then the man from behind the bar.  It was himself.  The bartender put a towel over the dead man’s face.

        “Hey, you two, carry him out of here,” the bartender said pointing.

        John watched as two more clones of himself walked over and picked up the dead John and carried him away.

        “What’s happening?” John asked.

        The bartender walked up to him.

        “Man, you must be hungry, huh?  And thirsty.  Look at you.  What’s your name?”


        “John, huh?” the bartender asked.  “Well, how about that?  That’s my name too!”

        “Mine too!” a man called out from the bar.

        “Hey!  Me too!” another called.

        And then one by one, dozens of clones of John stood up and introduced themselves.  John watched in amazement and horror.  Then for the first time since he woke up in the desert, he looked to his gun.  And for a split second, he became two again.  The real John and the crazy John.

        “Real John” bent his arm and wanted to put the gun away.  “Crazy John” refused to let the gun go into the holster.  He bent “Real John’s” arm.  Both John’s struggled but “Crazy John” prevailed.  He tucked the gun under “Real John’s” chin.  Then he laughed and started to pull the trigger.  Then John became one person again…

        He screamed and took the gun from under his chin and shot the bartender in the head. 

        “Wow!  Nice shot John!” a man yelled from the bar.

        “It’s okay, no worries,” a voice said.

        John watched in horror as a clone of the bartender – a clone of a clone of himself – stepped out holding a towel.  He put it over the other bartender’s face. 

        “Hey, you two, carry him out of here,” the bartender clone said.

        John shook his head…

        “Can’t be,” he whispered.

        “Man, you must be hungry, huh?  And thirsty.  Look at you.  What’s your name?”  The bartender had his hand on John’s shoulder.  He was smiling at John.

        John didn’t want to respond, but did.

        “John, huh?” the bartender asked.  “Well, how about that?  That’s my name too!”

        “Mine too!” a man called out from the bar.

        “Hey!  Me too!” another called.

        John took lifted the gun again and starting shooting all the clones of himself in the bar.  He reloaded and kept shooting until the bar was full of dead clones of himself.  He waited, out of breath, to see if anymore would appear.  None did.

        “Now I can eat,” he whispered and walked behind the bar. 

        His plan was to make a burger for himself, one for Mystery, and then get out of the bar.  When he opened the kitchen door, it was in full gear… of clones of John. 

        “Hey!  Whaddya havin’?” the cook yelled to John.

        “Hey, are you John?” the dishwasher asked.  “Because if you are, it’s really funny because my name is John too.”

        “No,” John yelled.

        “It’s true,” the cook said.  “But wait, that’s not the craziest part yet.  My name is John too!”

        John ran out of the kitchen.  The bar was full again.  There were dozens of clones of himself again.  Sitting.  Talking.  Standing.  Playing pool.  Drinking beer.  Laughing.  And then there were the dozens of dead clones at their feet.  They just ignored them.

        John didn’t say a word, he just ran for the door. 

        Two clones grabbed his arms just as he reached the door.

        “Where you going?” they asked.

        “I have to go,” John said.

        “No way!” the yelled.  “No way!  You’re John… you’re like us.  You have to stay.”

        The began to pull him back.  John fought and broke free.  He turned and swung a punch knocking on of the clones down.

        “Hey!  Nice shot!” a man yelled from the bar.  “Hey, what’s your name?”

        “Yea, what’s your name?” another voice yelled.

        “He’s John,” the clone said as it grabbed John’s arm again.

        “Wow, that’s my name!” the man yelled.

        “Mine too!” another yelled.

        Then the echo of the bar began again as each patron yelled about sharing John’s name.

        John turned and three more clones were at the door.

        “You can’t go John,” the said in unison.  “You can’t… ever…”

        John felt himself grab his gun and lift it.  He didn’t let his body or mind play any tricks this time.  He put it under his chin and pulled the trigger.


About Jim Bronyaur

Jim Bronyaur writes mystery, thriller, and horror books. Grab a book at www.JimBronyaur.com Tweet him @JimBronyaur And for those who have Kindles and Prime, you may be able to get some of Jim's books for FREE!
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15 Responses to -IX-

  1. John Wiswell says:

    The best testament to your skill in mixing style and substance lies in those opening paragraphs. That’s a lot of redundancy that lacks poetic repetition, and yet it doesn’t detract from the voice or momentum at all. If anything it reads more severely when the “just shooting” shtick is done.

  2. That is absolutely insane. I love it. Sort of reminds me of Luke Skywalker going into the cave on Dagobah and fighting himself. Except, you know, crazier.

  3. Pingback: Guns n’ Graves -IX- NOW LIVE! « Jim Wisneski

  4. What a nightmare! I’m with asthemoonclimbs, I thought of the cave on Dagobah. Except, yes– this is freakier.

    • jimwisneski says:

      Nice! I’m glad I score high on your “freakier” card! 🙂

      Thanks for the read and I hope you’re following the story because it’s only going to get “freakier”!

  5. Pingback: #TuesdaySerial Report – Week 5 – June 1, 2010 | Inspired by Real Life

  6. Pingback: Guns n’ Graves -IX- « NEWS

  7. Gracie says:

    I never get over here enough. Have a bit of catching up to do. But wow, how completely terrifying and insane. I’d shoot myself, too. 🙂

    Great story, like a good Twilight Zone episode. Well done.

  8. First thought, No, john can’t be dead! Like what does that matter, the whole stories about dead people. This is really freaky and so entertaining. I am so hooked on this series. 🙂

  9. Miladysa says:

    Crazy! I felt I was going nuts just reading it 🙂

    Poor John…and John.. and John…and on! LOL

  10. Pingback: #TuesdaySerial Report – Week 5 – June 1, 2010 | Tuesday Serial

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