Exercise 230616

The posse rode in to

town today. They all

de-saddled, like it was

the fourth of July,

their weariness quickly forgotten

as they jaunted on into

The Broken Wheel Saloon,

hoping for some cheap

cigars and cheaper liquor

and, if real fortunate,

a little comfort on the side.

Their lice and saddle sores

soon forgot, they blended quickly

into that evening saloon crowd,

the jostling, the raucous,

and the loud calls besides,

the sheriff and his men

failed to notice the three

amigos, seated quietly in

one corner. A shot rang

out (the bullet striking the

metal chandelier and bouncing

off to strike Ol’ Pete

Pruscott in his left

shoulder before settling

for the spit can, plopping

to its salivery sleep.

Ol’ Pete yelping was a

cause for mirth until

they saw the blood flow,

when then it became serious.

The pin fell to the

uneven boarded floor.

Most turned. It

was one of the amigos.

He stood near six feet,

and was brandishing twin

pistols, (one named Sally,

the other named Sara-lee),

his hooded eyes glaring

directly at the posse.

Hear you been looking

for us Sheriff. Well, 

I coulda save ya the

trouble cos me and

my brothers have been

here all along waitin’

for ya. Ain’t that right,

boyz. Sure enough, Tom,

whooped Amis, the younger

of the twins. He was

the talkative one. Ben,

though, was the quiet

one. He merely nodded as

he lifted his Winchester

repeater up to level

at the posse, now

quite isolated at the

bar. Sheriff Bart Simpkins

eyed the trio, cold grey

slate eyes calmly appraising

each one of the

threesome, standing there,

weapons raised, squarely

aimed at him. You boys

rest easy and lower

them weapons. You

know the ordnance

about weapons within 

city limits. You done

broke it clear as day

by your action. You’re

already in a whole

deep of trouble already.

And now this. You

must be shootin’ for

somethin’ other than

no-good thievin’ coyotes

that you already are.

The crowd, pressing backwards,

could only marvel

at Sheriff’ Bart’s audacity.

None of them had

the gumption to speak

openly to the McAllisters

like that, not even

on a good week of

bright chirpy Sundays.

But Sheriff Bart was

as hornery at them McAllisters,

and then some. Why, he

once took down Grumpy Bill

and the Reno Gang all

by himself, him and his

trusty six-shooter that could

blaze away forever it seemed.

Right there in town,

two seasons ago. But

Tom McAllister was a different

skunk altogether. Nothing horney

for he was pure evil.

Why, it was said, he

once raped a dying woman

just for kicks, and cooked

up her heart and liver.

In front of her

hostaged family

before hanging them all

by hand, one at a time.

No, the word good

was never meant for one

Tom McAllister. And

his brothers, Ben and Amis,

on that same path too,

so it seemed to one and all.

It looks like, Sheriff Bart,

Tom replied in that easy

drawl he spoke in,

purely for emphasis,

that I hold all

the aces, and even the

joker. What are you

gonna do that is

gonna change it?

You’ll be dead 

quicker than I can spit

should you try it.

Go ahead, though,

make it sporting.

As he said it,

he fired aiming for

Bart. But Bart was

a rattler when it

came to speed and

he shifted enough to

make Tom miss. But

Felix Loon, one of

the deputies, wasn’t

so fortunate and

took the bullets fully

in his body. As he fell

dying, Felix shot himself,

for good measure, as

he tried to withdraw

his holstered pistol.

Whooping it up,

young Amis opened fire

with his double barrels

and then followed up

with a glorious exhibition

of shooting without aiming.

The great mirror behind the

bar took most of his rounds,

and Amis might have

been proud were it not

for the two bullets that

struck him, one low

at his left kneecap. He

buckled and grimaced

and fell forward, just

in time to meet the

second fired bullet,

this time in his mouth

that cleft his palate

and entered his brain

before exiting his ear.

Amis would holler no more.

Sheriff Bart’s fall had been

leftwards and it was

his bullets that found

young Amis McAllister, now

dead and lying bleeding

on the filthy floor.

Felix lay atop him but

Bart cared none as he

flicked his aim

towards Tom, ducking and

weaving towards the

saloon doors, followed by

Ben. Shouts and yelling,

flashes of light and gunsmoke

clamoured for attention.

Bullets struck, most furniture

and furnishing, but some

into flesh. Three others

of the posse lay dead still

while four more grimaced

and groaned as some

raced to assist. But

the rest stood shocked

and like headless chooks

congregated in numbers.

Bart rose to his feet

and checked himself

before reloading. The sounds

of receding horses reached

him by now. He searched

for his deputies and

saw Lyle slouched over

foot rail. Moaning.

I’m alright, he said

as Bart knelt beside him.

Took a scratch in my

good arm. But Nate copped

it full. Can you hold

this? Bart asked.

Sure. Go get him.

And Bart stalked out

of the saloon, knowing his

men would be taken

care of. Two others followed

but he told them Stay and

keep an eye on the place

in case they backtrack.

Despite their reluctance,

they agreed. Go get ’em,

Sheriff, they yelled as

he mounted his pinto

and raced off into the

night. The rest of the

town slowly awakening to

this deadly evening.


© 2017 L. Tafa


Author: b20f08

I enjoy solo wargaming and writing. The first caters to the boy that never grew up; the latter satisfies a deep desire to communicate. Cheers.

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