Their faces were wrapped in strips of muslin, their eyes blinded behind the fabric, their hands cut off and healed over. They walked slowly, feeling the road ahead with their bare blistered toes. Abby watched the road from a distance. Her head was shorn and her breasts were bound under the black wool vest she wore everyday hunting in the forest.
There was a man driving the women, like a gaggle of geese with their wings clipped. He smoked a pipe and barked out occasional orders to keep them in line. When one tripped or dropped of exhaustion he kicked them until they got up. He had a dog too, a large slathering cur that loped in and around the women's legs, biting and nipping. The dog periodically ran back to his master who gave him copious hugs and little treats.
The sun was low in the late afternoon sky, and behind Abby. She nestled further into the leaves on top of the little ridge. She caressed the long gun and fed in the strip of bullets. She aimed and shot one round at the dog--it dropped motionless. The man cried out and looked around. The women crouched. The man took the woman nearest him and pressed her against him, but he faced the same direction as Abby and his back was exposed. Another bullet ripped into his spine at the base of his neck and he slumped back. The woman screamed and fell forward.
The women waited and so did Abby. Then one got up and started running, finding her way off the road and into the nearby irrigation ditch. Another got up and ran, tripped, and got up again. There was another, but the rest remained crouched, afraid to even whisper to one another about what happened. Minutes passed. Abby aimed again, and shot each of the cowering women in the head. Then she got up and walked silently back into the depths of the forest.