I finally read - sorry it took so long, KE.
It's gripping, but I found the ending disappointing. It's...there's no twist. Just that twist of the knife in the gut, that is, but it's a kind of predictable one. I was thinking, maybe it would turn out he didn't see right and it was all a terrible misunderstanding and in his action to save the boy from a danger that didn't actually exist, got him killed. Maybe some other twist, but...
That's if we take this as a stand-alone short story. As say an opening chapter that sets up a tale of revenge it's fine.
But it's good. The mood it set up well, the broadstroke characterization works, although there are spots where it's too coarse imo. I'm not familiar with "pa pa", so that was kinda jarring. "papa" I know. But that may well be just me.
"the Texas sky" is kind of a cliche. I understand it happens in Houston, but that's just become a cliche, much more so than "the (any other of the 50 states) sky". Is the sky really that striking - and different - in Texas? I've never been.
There's a bunch of punctuation issues that I need to go over the story again for.