Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer
The Dentist turns onto Fremont Street. Pausing, he slips a hand beneath the lapel of his jacket and massages the laudanum that eases the needles that scratch in his chest.
The double-action Thunderer that hangs at his hip will feel light in his hand as he draws and he knows it’ll pull up and off to the left. He will aim at the hip. The right one, at that spot that always glimmers, catching his eye as clearly as a nugget in a crystal-clear placer stream.
Once muddied wheel ruts have bleached almost to dust and crunch like freshly fallen snow beneath his tightly booted feet. He knows this town well, though his liver knows it better and, with this in mind, he stops and affords himself a most saddened of sighs.
Before him, the charred ghost remains of C.S Fly’s Saloon and Dance Hall play out a faint tune. The bitter remnant taint of the fusel oils that had so coddled his pains and echoes of a lust that only its soiled doves knew how to tame. The scent of its soot reminds him of meat. Carved fresh from the beast and cooked over an open fire in the spit of a skillet and bottles of smoky whiskey that he’d swallowed down in lumps.
He looks up at the sun that creaks just now to its zenith and he knows that blood is near. Now is perfect. Time to pull in the next few moments and reshuffle them until they are just right and just so.
His foe will appear in the ruins and out of the ash he’ll stride. Cordial greetings will be exchanged and then the Dentist will offer to count. 5… 4… 3… and with that he will draw and kill this foul blaggard dead as a pair of two black aces and eights. For scum of his order, they can but pray for the honour afforded to men.
“It’s time!”, he calls and his hand clutches at the air at his waist.
I ease forward with the brass-handled joystick and my Colt single action .45 caliber drone falters and then steadies as I draw it level with the greased slick back of his head.
And I know that he feels the taunt as the blades of my machine they sift through this moment on pause.
“Hello Doc”, I say, my words piping from the engraved slots of the speaker that hovers and points at his back.
I wait not one more instant and the bullet it slams through his skull and enters the mind of this man, so unworthy that he live as a legend. The remaining five rounds plaster his back and his nose snaps as he falls to his face in the dust, and I grin and rock back into my chair.
“You’ve shot him right through”, squeals Billy as he jumps up from the lunch my dear wife has only just laid down.
“I am become legend”, is all I can think to say.
I sense what’s to come but I walk across the parlour and stand upon a chair and rub with my cuff the dust that streaks the monitor that hangs just above the mantel.
Hear now the slick slide of barrel against leather.
“You are wrong, Jesse. I am legend”, William H. Bonney stutters with the shimmering tongue of a coward.
I struggled to get all of this, but have revisted several times to try.
I appreciate you taking the time to try, KevS. Thank you.
A fun, well-crafted romp (gallop?).
Thank you David. My Dad is a western movie addict and this was for him. Trouble is he hates science fiction 🙂
This is great. Yet another alternate universe wonderfully wrought. Very cool.
Thanks for your support. I do love playing with history and imaging different time-streams. Years ago I visited Tombstone and the ‘presumed’ site of the gunfight at the Ok corral. This story took a character from that event and had him interact with other famous figures… people that in actual fact he never met. Jesse James was the only one of the three to get shot in the back but then we make heroes out of all sorts of killers.
Isn’t this more a yesterday than a tomorrow?
Hi Tom, I was trying for an alternate yesterday. Gunslingers who send drones into their high noon standoffs.
A never ending Mexican stand off of backstabbers. Love this.
Thanks Emma, I was trying to create this endless cycle of futility – a lose lose world.
Ooooh, more! Love it! I particularly loved his nose snapping off – fab imagery. A Christmas treat, thanks Hari!
Thank you, not sure if his nose snapped completely off and I never imagined it would make a Christmas treat. Very happy you enjoyed it though.
You hadn’t considered the way my mind works!
Thank you blue. I’m very happy to have caught your interest.