'Farmyard' by Sal Page
He holds the gun to his head. Alice stops walking. Her blistered heels throb. He looks right at her. Defiant yet resigned. From the house behind him a dog barks. Alice pulls off her rucksack and fumbles for her phone as his body slumps into the slurry with a squelch. Her own blood pounding in her ears, Alice makes the call. A lady called Pat tells her it won’t be long. Pat’s kindness makes tears prickle in Alice’s eyes. She blinks furiously. She can’t look back at the farmer, if that’s who he is. Was. She stares at the cows in the barn, chewing and blowing out clouds of steam. They gaze back with intelligent curious eyes. As the paramedics appear in the yard, Alice wonders if the farmer was incredibly cowardly or terribly brave.