I drag a match across the sole of my boot and light a cigarette. Two men tumble out of the saloon and one bumps into me and says, “Show a little respect, Beanpole!”

“Hard to get out of the way of all of you.”

“You sayin’ I’m fat?”


“You just said—”

“Nope. You said.”

“Why you…”


He stalks into the middle of the road, hands hovering over his revolvers.

“Lesson time, Beanpole.”


My hand hovers near the ebony grip of my Peacemaker.

Both of his hands move and I draw and shoot. He falls, hole in the heart and his friend draws. I drop him too. Silence and the smell of gunpowder.

The street fills with townsfolk cheering. I open my arms and a beautiful women sticks herself to me. “My hero,” she says breathlessly.

I smile down at her. “I came. I shot. I conquered.”

149 words

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