I watched the vulture looking at me hungrily as I lay on the ground bleeding and injured. Its beady eyes watched and waited.
“What are you waiting for?” I said.
He didn’t answer, but looked at the sun high overhead.
“Come on, let’s get it over with. . . you saving me for dinner?”
The vulture looked left.
I followed his gaze and watched another bird come near.
The vulture moved over to make room for the newcomer, who had a small rodent in his beak. They shared the hors d’ouevre.
“So now we’re having happy hour?” The couple settled down to wait; two sets of eyes kept vigil.
I willed myself not to fall asleep by continuing my dialog with the birds. “We might as well get acquainted. Name’s Russ and that’s my horse, Marty over there.”
Hearing his name, Marty whinnied, a painful sound. He must have broken his leg when he stumbled, and fell, tossing me onto the boulders.
My hand moved on its own and found my pistol. I knew one bullet remained. I made my painful choice. And now I wait.