The Instructions

“Roger,” the deputy answered, “Both the coroner and a recovery team.”

He looked down at the body, having seen this before. The lifeless form of a human being, a man in this case, still clothed, blackened, shriveled and desiccated – another case of death by thirst.

He joined the rancher, who had found the man, in the search for the missing note that the rancher claimed had been left under the old whiskey bottle that lay empty next to the body hand of the dead man.

“Well, it could have blown clear to old Mexico by now,” the rancher stated as he gave up his search.

“Any idea what it read?” the deputy questioned.

“Jus’ instructions on how to prime the pump and a warning not to drink the water in the bottle,” came the ranchers answer.

The two men walked back to where the dead man fell, now mummified by the desert heat and dry wind. The rancher sighed heavily, “Guess he didn’t follow the instructions.”

The deputy shook his head from side-to-side, “Probably didn’t know how to read a word of English, either.”

“That too,” the rancher agreed.

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About Tom Darby

French-born, American-raised, U.S. citizen, husband, father, friend, veteran, and writer.
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