Enjoy the random bit of metafiction! The second half was done by Alma herself ^_^; the rest I fixed up a little, now that I’m not half-asleep.
The conversation about guns sparked an impromptu opening of the gun closet at Chez TXRed. Alma muttered to herself as she sorted which firearms belonged to whom. “OK, mine” She moved a few from one side of the closet to the other. “Dad’s” Alma moved a few more. “Mom’s plus that other one …Dang. We probably shouldn’t have left these alone together in the dark for so long.” She chuckled to herself, remembering the long running joke about owning Mosin-Nagant rifles, and their tendency to multiply, almost like zucchini.
A squeak startled Alma from her inventory. It came from the bottom of the closet, where boxes of ammunition were stacked. “Oh no, I hope that’s not a mouse hiding in there!”
The soft squeaky mewling came not from the box with the live ammo, but the small plastic crate where the spent casings were kept, to save for future reloading. In there nestled a litter of five tiny baby derringers, in a cozy bed of spent brass. One bold fellow nudged his way up against the side of the box to peek up with an odd gleam of curious excitement. “Pick me up,” he seemed to say. “Take me and give me a good home and I will help keep you safe!” She was reminded of a puppy; and that puppies’ teeth still can indeed draw blood.
They were quite adorable, especially when the other newbies roused themselves to peep at her, a chorus of noise that all babies know from birth to make: “I’m cute, I’m hungry, feed me!” But Alma scowled at the other firearms in the closet.
“I wonder which ones of you are responsible for this baby boom,” she sighed.
From the big guns, she got only silence. The babies, on the other hand, got louder.
Alma shook her head, picked up the box with the babies and took them to the kitchen with her. She should’ve known better than to ask. No sane gun owner would ever answer probing questions from those nosy gun-count researchers; so why would the guns themselves be even more forthcoming?
“Okay, cuties, let’s get you fed!” Alma paused. “What do you eat anyway?” She went back to the closet, and hoped the grownups were more forthcoming about newbie firearm care!
“Well, it was easy to find the sire,” Alma sighed to her friend over the phone later that day. “There were two pepperboxes in the litter, and only one of the shotguns was still in the case. What? Yeah. I left word at school and three have homes already, but pepperboxes? I’m tempted to just keep feeding them for a while and see if one will mature into a Judge. That I could find a home for. Oh, really? No, I hadn’t thought about that. yes, we have an Old West reenacting group.” She scrambled to find a pen and scratch paper. “I will drop them a line this evening. Excellent thought. ‘Preciate it, really do.”