The old man walked through the aisles of the gun show. His steps were slowed from the assault of old age and old wounds. People behind him would grunt their displeasure before rushing through an opening when it presented itself. Ignoring the low protests, the old man grimly continued forward.
He limped past the pistols and revolvers; found an easier path by the shotguns; and struggled his way through the crowd gathered around the modern sporting rifles. The old man finally stopped when he came upon a row of old rifles leaning in a soiled wooden display rack. His slim, weathered hand pulled out one of the rifles. It felt heavier than he remembered. His right hand instinctively went to pull back on the bolt-action, but was stopped by the unyielding cable tie wrapped tight just behind the safety and woven through the trigger guard.
Thoughts flashed back to Stalingrad in ’42. How at the age of eighteen he fought against the Nazis in their assault of the city. Memories of shelling, screaming, explosions, and the low moaning of injured soldiers and civilians flooded his mind bringing along with it the phantom smells of sweat, sulfur, fire, and copper.
A hand stretching out in front of him snapped him back to awareness.
“Ninety bucks?” Cried out a young man wearing a digital camo tank top and buzz cut. “Why so little?”
“Because they’re cheap!” Spat the young man’s friend. “They are ancient, heavy, bolt-action pieces of junk that can only hold five rounds. They’re no match for a modern AR. Forget them.”
The young man looked at them with disdain. “Yeah. Cheap pieces of crap. Let’s go.”
The old man raised his hand as the boys left.
“Can I help you?” The middle-aged vendor asked.
“I’d like to buy this Mosin-Nagant.” The old man replied.
The vendor glanced over at the young men ogling the ARs and said, “For you, Sixty.”
Painfully created for the Trifecta Challenge.