Summary Justice

In the dark morning hours, three Viet Cong entered a village. They went into a hut. There was shouting.

“You didn’t pay your taxes. Twice you refuse.”

“I need money for my family.”

The guerrillas dragged an older man into the street. He lost a clog in the struggle. One of the guerrillas had an American pistol. The old man stumbled under the grip of two men. The one with the pistol waited on the dirt road. The old man began to plead.

“I must help my children and their children. The crops are meager with this war. I could not spare any money, or they would go hungry.”

The guerrillas did not speak. They were all business. There were no villagers in the street, but they were listening. The man with the pistol raised it to the old man’s temple and fired.

A dog was barking the whole time.

Copyright 2013 George Lowell Tollefson


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