11/13/2023 NaNoWriMo, DIG TWO GRAVES: 886/18294.

I’m… kind of beat, actually. I’m going to load the dishwasher, and go to bed. At least I have an idea of what’s happening in town now.

There were two ways Smiling Don could’ve got his name. He was big and broad enough to remind me of a sabertooth, that’s for sure. He was also sporting a scar along his jaw that kept half his face in a hideous grin. Hell, for all I know it was a sabertooth that gave him that present. You can survive one of those bastards with a big gun and enough room to run, but you’re always gonna remember the day you did.

Right now he was mixing that grin with a scowl. From the way he was sitting at his big fancy desk, all nice and arranged with two rickety-looking chairs set before it, I gathered he was expecting us to be manhandled in. Even on first meeting, Smiling Don was striking me as the kind of crook who liked being bigger than everybody else, and didn’t mind making everybody smaller if he had to. The scowl grew deeper as Marigold looked over her chair, shrugged, and stayed standing (I had found a wall that needed leaning against, and was getting on with doing that). Then he saw how both of us were still heeled. That was when the grin lost the fight for his face, once and for all.

I spoke before he could. “You ain’t outdrawing a dead man, Smiling Don,” I told him. “Your boys figured that out, right quick. That was smart of ‘em. Real smart.”