The Duel

The Duel


“You have offended my honor, you puss-filled boil. I will have the satisfaction of a duel. Here and now. Choose your weapon.” He pointed at me with a long, crooked finger, while the rest of his fingers clutched the glove he’d just used to slap my face. The sweaty smell offended me more than the sting in my cheek.

I looked over his fashionable clothes and neat hair. Fit and athletic, he’d beat me at any contest of strength. I might get even odds with pistols, but I preferred familiar ground.

“Words.” I smiled.

“What? This is to the death. You think you can talk me into dying?” A few dozen people had gathered to look at the action. A few of them smirked.

“I’m serious. Whoever insults the other best wins. Loser dies. They can judge.” I put one hand out to indicate the audience. They looked shocked at being involved, and then glad of gaining some power.

“This is ridiculous.” He stomped a few steps away.

“Chicken?,” I said. “You can’t keep your woman happy, you’re probably too simple for a little contest of insults.”

“I’ll kill you twice for that, pig.” He pulled a knife.

“Really? That’s the best you’ve got? Clearly, you bored her into my arms, you fashion victim.”

“I’ll cut your heart out!” The crowd began to boo and tip their thumbs down.

“Looks like you lost already.” I shrugged, pulled a small pistol from my pocket, and put a bullet through his forehead.


Listen to it in audio form read by Jon Grundvig on this Flash Fiction Friday podcast by Immortal Work Press.

More Short Stories by James Wymore.