Far Horizons: Tales of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror. Issue #13 April 2015 - Page 53

Mingo Colfax lay eating tacos with his feet on the scrap-covered coffee table, an open beer next to his feet. He wasn’t tall, a shade under six feet, and what had once been a flat stomach years ago had taken on a softer edge. It didn’t worry him; he was still hard enough when it mattered. His face was scarred in several places, and his eyes, only interested in the TV on the wall, lay under a hairline that was starting to ebb. The only signs of aging anyone could see on him were the lines that stitched the skin of his neck. Around him lay the accumulated detritus from not cleaning for a month. He had an excuse: he’d been off-world for three weeks chasing down a bail skipper. He’d found him, dragged his ass back, and been paid well for his efforts. His bank balance was healthy, not that anyone would guess that if they saw where he lived. Colfax figured that since he was rarely here, there was no need to keep it clean and he never had the time for it when he was. (Getting a maid had crossed his mind a few times but too fast to leave an impression.) So it stayed that way, dust, cobwebs, and roaches and rats fighting for scraps. He drank the last of the beer, belched, and scratched himself in time with the music video on the vidscreen. Colfax was a bounty hunter. He liked to think he was the best, and he had good reason to think so. Once he was on someone’s trail, he was impossible to shake off, and more than a few had turned themselves in when they knew he was after them. Not the last guy, he was good, Colfax had to admit that. He’d chased him for over six months before cornering him in a sleaze-bar. Colfax had put the muzzle of his gun to the skip’s head and asked him if it was worth the effort. He hadn’t gotten an answer. Another video came on. Colfax watched naked women having an orgy while the singer walked through the scene looking bored, and there was a buzz on the comm speaker on the wall. It was always something. Colfax got up and pushed the button. “What?” “Is that Mr. Colfax?” The voice was clipped and precise. “Yup, what do you want?” “I have an offer for you Mr Colfax, all above board of course.” Colfax was not one to agree, little in his line was above board. Still, it could mean a nice payment. On the vidscreen the action was just getting interesting. With reluctance, he waved his hand, and the PAGE 53