Ben closed his eyes and held his breath as he felt the warm blade of the “blank” press against the folds around his Adams apple. He didn’t feel it really, just the sputtering of blood and his lungs letting themselves out through the new hole in his neck. All he could think about was how he had expected to be stabbed in the back. He didn’t think these sons of bitches had it in them to cut an old mans throat. The only thing he felt in his back was a foot kicking him back to the ground. As his face flew towards the asphalt, Ben braced for what he knew was going to happen. His face hit the icy ground chin first. As his jaw shattered he felt his dentures slip out of his mouth. Damn things never stay put he thought. Ben opened his eyes to only to see his precious old blood pooling into a steaming puddle around his face. It was over. Ben knew he would never get up, Ben knew he was dead. Getting old is a bitch he thought.
He heard their laughs, taunts, and boasts. Congratulations, you just killed an old geezer Ben thought. As their noise faded, Ben began to choke, as breathing is a little more difficult with a bloody hole in your neck. They were done with him. As he watched his blood form small red rivers through the snow, the world slowly began to spin. So much for Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Casings he thought, at least I tried. The thought snapped him back from the spinning daze he was in. From his skewed angle he could see they were starting in on her now. Circling around her like a couple of jackals before they moved in. Her screams and cries intermittent through the slaps and kicks. “Please!” she begged, “please!” It’s all Ben could hear, “please!” She’s not talking to them, she’s talking to me he thought, and I let her down. Indeed she was pleading to the men raping her, but Ben needed to believe otherwise. It’s up to you Ben, its still up to you. With all the strength he had, still face down in the ice, Ben dug his hand into his right pocket. If he could have he would have smiled. The steel and wood felt good against his fingers, recharging him. The sounds of her clothes being torn off, the fumbling of belt buckles and zippers drove him further. She wasn’t putting up much of a fight really, but who can blame her after seeing what they did to an old man. Animals. No more pain now. Not for me and not for you Miss. Ben dragged his old .38 from his pocket. He couldn’t lift it, so he slid his colt across the snow and ice into position. It’s all up to you Ben he thought. It’s all up to you. Ben thumbed back the hammer and took aim. She had stopped crying, she saw. The shot rang out like a fire cracker. Ben was old, but he was a hell of a shot. The bullet connected with the back of his targets head, toppling its victim over like a deck of cards. After all, it’s pretty hard to stand without a brain. Still in shock, the other was standing with his pants around his knees trying to grasp what was happening. Perhaps the sight of an old man beaten, bleeding out his neck with false teeth hanging out of mouth all the while pointing a gun at him was a little hard to swallow.
“I’m sorry man! I’m sorry please!” he said, one hand holding up his pants, the other in the air surrendered to Ben.
Ben thumbed back the hammer again. It was over now.
It took Ben a moment to realize she had been screaming the whole time. He saw her sitting in the snow, hugging her knees to her chest screaming at him. Ben had done it. Good work he thought, she’s safe now. Suddenly she was up and running. Out of the lot and down the street screaming “help!” As he lay in the snow, Ben heard soft jazz coming from his car radio and the low hum of his cars exhaust. Feeling no pain at all now, he let it go. Not a bad way to die he thought, not to bad at all. He let go of his .38, and bent his elbow bringing his hand to his brow, offering the world his final salute.