The man stood up and drew his pistol from the leather jackass rig under his jacket; it was a well-polished seven-shot breaktop revolver, too big to qualify as a hidden piece. He was only wearing the jacket to muffle the holster’s tack.
“I’m sorry,” the man murmured, and fired a slug into the back of Ed’s head.
At first, he thought the round had vaporized the sleeping man; the instant the pistol had discharged, the muzzle-flash lighting up the room and icepicking his eardrums, Ed had vanished. He didn’t get up and run, he simply ceased to exist, and his assassin couldn’t understand what had happened. In a strange fit of pique, he had the bizarre notion that he’d popped Ed like a balloon. Ed was a big guy, almost three hundred pounds. Maybe all that flab was nothing but hot air.
The killer stood there, the gun still pointed at the bed, trying to wrap his head around the results of his premeditated murder, when snow began to fall from the ceiling: great big goosedown flakes that waltzed to and fro as they fell, twirling in the air.
Still bewildered, he looked up and opened his other hand, catching one of the flakes in his glove. It was a feather from the mattress.
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