11/04/2023 NaNoWriMo, DIG TWO GRAVES: 574/11170.

574 words are pretty good, given how tired I am right now. Lonnnnng day.

How many scorpions in a swarm? The answer is, too damned many. There were already a half dozen of ‘em sprawled on the ground, legs up and twitching; they were all sporting arrows too, except for one. I didn’t know what a Horseman was doing in these parts, but if I wanted to ask him I’d have to hurry up with helping. There were a few dead people, too, or ones so stung they’d look that way for a while. I hurried over to one, hoping that maybe one had a gun. I didn’t dare hope for bullets, but first things first.

First man: dead, no gun. Second man: still no gun, but barely breathing. Him I dragged out of the way a bit. Maybe there’d be somebody brave enough to help a sick man, at least. Then I went back in. Third guy: dead, gun — and a scorpion with bloody claws, and still mean enough to sting.

Poison don’t hurt me the way it’s supposed to. I can shrug it off. It still stings like a — well, like a giant scorpion. That thing got me in the neck, quick as lightning; and as my head snapped back it tried to rip into my guts with its claws. It might’ve, if I’d been alive enough for the poison to sting and not ache. Instead, I dived for the gun.

I almost whistled when I felt its weight settle in my palm. Single-action revolver, barrel shortened for a guard or gambler, and it hadn’t been fired more than once — yes, even then I had worked out my sense of smell got real keen when it came to anything tied up with dying, or killing. But it was a good gun, by God. Good enough to make me wonder why it didn’t do any good for the poor fellow I took it off of. I hoped I wasn’t about to find out.