Phillip Thompson

Crime Fiction writer

The womenfolk around here a little concerned tonight. About an hour ago, we heard a series of gunshots — sounded like shotguns — off in the darkness, out in the hills and briars and occasional swamp that is Stafford County. Nothing to worry about, I said. Hunters, most likely.

Now, I know it’s not hunting season, unless groundhogs count. Varmint shooting is allowed up here, even if it is only March. I mean, this is Stafford, after all. (I don’t hunt a lot, but when I do, it’s deer season. And this, clearly, ain’t deer season.) Of course, it’s a lot easier to see said varmints in the daylight. So, for all I know it’s a couple of guys out in the woods who, fortified with $20 worth of Dollar Beer Happy Night, thought it would be a good time to go out in the woods after dark and compare guns. You know, mine’s bigger’n yours and all.

Like I said, the womenfolk were a little nervous. Me, not so much. When I didn’t hear sirens or other sounds of the law right  away, I figured whatever shooting was going on was most likely legal. Either that or whoever was getting shot probably had it coming. In any event, I wasn’t too worried. Besides, I have guns, too. And those ol’ boys ought to know that cranking off rounds in the woods after dark is a good way to get yourself shot.

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