Three seconds left. Down 91-90. Naturally Gary, the star, would take the last shot. He was unstoppable. But coach called my name. “Nickerson, we’re going to set you up to take the last shot in the corner.” My mouth went dry. “Can you do this?” Coach asked. I nodded, unsure of myself. The ball was passed in. I moved left, through the screen, found myself wide open in the corner, and caught the ball. As my defender desperately sprawled toward me I launched the ball. The clock: 3 – 2- 1- 0. Buzzer. The ball swished through the net. Game over. I was carried off the court.
Had I fired five bullets or six? I was good at shootin’, not figuring. Outlaw Tommy Benedict hunkered behind the overturned wagon. If it was five, I had one good shot left. One shot to take him down. If it was six, I was out of ammo. “Come on out Tommy,” I screamed. “Not a chance,” he bellowed. He stepped out from behind the wagon and pointed his gun at me. I lifted my pistol and pulled the trigger. My gun clicked. Shoot. I?had fired six bullets.
I could see that the doctor held the last available vaccination. I had to have it. If I didn’t get it for my daughter, she would die, like the rest of the world. I didn’t care about myself. There were five people in line in front of me. I didn’t care. I sprinted toward the front of the line, feeling hands grasp me. “Get back in line!” screamed a woman. As I got to the front of the line I grabbed the doctor’s hand. He wrestled with me, trying to give the vaccine to the next person in line. Finally, I wrested it from him. But he managed to hit my arm, and the needle plunged into my wrist.