Last Requests

I could feel the chipping stucco on my back, still hot from the pounding desert sun. So this was how it was all going to end, I thought. At least I was going out with a bang. Or six bangs, really.

I was warned that this was the likely outcome when I started doing business with Pancho. Too late for regrets now, I supposed. The crunch of soldiers’ feet started moving away from me.
Don’t I get a last request,” I queried.

Like what,” the leader asked, his accent worsening the sick thrill in his voice.

“A cigarette,” I replied.

The leader hastily shoved the cigarette in my mouth, lighting it. I took a long, glorious drag, savoring that spicy taste.
I heard the cocking of six guns. I never heard the shots.

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