page 87

TYLER isn’t even sure what that means. A moment before XU WONG makes his final move, STRANGERHORSE sends the quiet message.

STRANGERHORSE(in Tyler’s head, cont’d)


XU WONG yanks the other gun from behind SAL’S back and fires at STRANGERHORSE. At the exact same moment, both STRANGERHORSE and TYLER, with no hesitation, bring up their guns and fire.

The bullets triangulate. A bullet screams toward STRANGERHORSE as his bullet flies at XU WONG. STRANGERHORSE’S only hope of survival is lost when the bullets miss each other by less than the width of a fingernail clipping.

TYLER’S bullet closes in on XU WONG at the speed of sudden death. XU WONG is about to re-fire the now un-jammed gun at SAL, but is too late. As STRANGERHORSE’S bullet just gazes XU WONG’S neck, TYLER’S bullet creases SAL’S cheek, threads the needle between SAL, the gun at his head, and XU WONG’S hand, and explodes into XU WONG, splattering his brains.

XU WONG'S bullet flies like a heart-seeking missile at the exposed chest of JOHN STRANGERHORSE. MULE has leapt into the air, stretching high to take the bullet. Too old to get enough lift, the bullet nicks MULE and slams high on STRANGERHORSE’S sternum. Knocking him over.

XU WONG falls to the ground, dead on his feet. His bloody head hits first on a big, flat rock, getting washed clean in the drizzle. SAL is left standing, unsure if he’s even alive.

DELUCA has watched the miracle of that sudden battle. Both he and D’ARCO are stunned by the shot.


No fucking way.

DELUCA watches SAL run to TYLER. DELUCA can’t look away. He watches the two men hold each other until TYLER checks and notices that STRANGERHORSE is down. They run to him.

STRANGERHORSE is bleeding out. He labors to breathe.


I guess I was looking for something deep to say. Something pithy and clear to blow people’s minds. Like there was going to be some universal truth to impart right there on the cross over.