Fortune’s Bitch

cowboy

  There’s nothing quite like being woken up with a pistol whip.

  “Get up, Fallows, you bastard,” the assailant yells, spitting on me for good measure as I kick up from the bench with a start. The sun’s still beating down wickedly from the noon sky and I realize I can’t have been out for longer than twenty minutes before Barlow found me. He’s guffawing now as I reach for a gun that isn’t there, thinking he has me beat, no doubt. He’s emptied my holster, that piece of shit, so I slug him with my left and send him spinning into the dusty street.

  “You’ll regret that,” He yelps as he steadies himself, lifting his revolver and aiming the barrel in my general direction, but I’m advancing and advancing fast and he pulls the trigger and I hear the bullet whip past my ear before I grab him by the collar and punch him again square in the nose and don’t let him go as his body recoils from the impact. I follow it with one to the gut and finish the affair with a swift knee to the testicles. He drops his gun – my gun, that sonofabitch – and as he crumples I let him go. I bend down to retrieve my pistol and smack him upside the head with it as I stand and he falls on his back clutching his balls, squealing like a stuck pig.

  “You just don’t get it, do you Barlow?” I bark, my cheek still throbbing from his rousing of me. “You don’t fuck with that which outdoes you in every regard.”

  “Fuck you,” comes his reply. I’ll make sure his headstone reads an errant fool to the end. I turn my back to him and check the chambers of my piece whilst I back heel him with a spur to the thigh. It sticks and I have to tug, hard, to get it out. He yelps again. I empty all the bullets save one from the cylinder and spin it. A couple of shopkeeps are standing at their doors now. A gentleman across the street is hurrying his lady friend into the saloon and there’s a kid, no more than eight, I’d wager, looking down at us from a room above. 

  “And you certainly do not wake up a man of said superiority with a foolishly cocksure method such as the one you recently employed. Cornered rats, as the saying goes-“

  “You got that right,” he spits, squinting up at me, “dirty fucking rat, you’ll get yours, I’ll see to it that you do-“

  “Now you’re in no position to make threats, my friend,” I say, waving the gun in his face. “We’re gonna play a little game I picked up over at Salt Creek, them boys play real nasty over there. You may have heard.” He remains silent now – out of fear or respect I don’t know, but I like to assure myself it is the latter – so I continue. “Are you a betting man, Mr. Barlow?”

  I shove the dirty metal in his mouth before his retort quite makes it out and it shuts him up but good.

  “Now listen up limpdick,” I snarl, crouching over him like I’m getting ready to dump on his chest, “this here is five to one, five being you live to tell your kids about this day, one being me painting the sand beneath your skull a virgin red. Don’t make me play those odds ‘cus I assure you they won’t play nice with you.”

  I withdraw the pistol from in between his teeth and place the wet barrel against his forehead.

  “Where is your brother?” I ask quietly, each word – each syllable – slow and enunciated to perfection to let him know I’m not dicking around.

  “Fu-“ he begins to say and I pull the trigger and evict his brains with a deafening crack and it even makes me jump let alone the fresh corpse beneath me.

  “Fuck me,” I exclaim in surprise, hopping up and finishing off the late Mr. Barlow’s sentence like we were old friends. The cavity where his face used to be is making my stomach twist in an altogether unpleasant way so I walk away and bend over at the side of the road, my hands on my thighs as I breath away the nausea.

  “Fuck me,” I repeat, annoyed not at myself but at lady luck for silencing my best lead as to his whereabouts. I look from the bench to the corpse to the stoic faces in the windows and think I had better find somewhere else to continue my mid-day siesta. I watch them all carefully as I reload my gun, tasting the gunpowder in the air as I flip out the cylinder to do so. When I’m done I tip my hat and back off down the alley behind me, knowing that now I surely have all the heat the Barlow family can bestow upon me at my spurred heels.

“It’s time to get the fuck out of dodge.”

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~ by Joseph Blame on September 3, 2010.

One Response to “Fortune’s Bitch”

  1. I do like an eloquent gunslinger. I’ve never liked westerns (films anyway), so I was pleasantly surprised by this. And even though I don’t even know what Barlow’s done, I’m kinda glad he gets his brains redistributed :p.

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