The man is running, gasping, down a paved winding road lined with gargantuan, cheap-looking homes. It is suburban dusk in the springtime, and the warmish air smells of sweet wet grass and fresh asphalt and, weirdly, Froot Loops. The man’s name is Herriot, and he’s nobody’s idea of attractive: orange hair, avocado-sized Adam’s apple, tiny wrists. His bony body features a round, blubbery belly that appeared one day when he was 33 and has never left him. The man is a sociopath.
This man—Herriot—is running from his step-son, who is chasing him very slowly on a BMX bicycle. The bike’s gears are all fucked up, which is why the step-son has not yet managed to catch up with his asthmatic step-father. The step-son would be better served if he simply got off the bike and pursued his step-father on foot, but it’s a matter of pride for him. Also, frankly, he is enjoying the slow-motion aspect of the chase.
The step-son’s name is Kip Winterbottom. Kip has a Smith & Wesson M&P .32-20 in his pocket that has never been fired before. He is not a violent person by nature, but he has a good reason for chasing Herriot, which I will not go into here, because it is upsetting.
By the end of this story, the gun still hasn’t been fired. However, one of the characters gets two of his fingers cut off by another character—a third character, whom we haven’t met yet.
Six months after this story has ended, the gun is finally fired. Nobody dies. Justice is served in an unexpected and satisfying manner.