Ouidah....

.... a tiny taste of what I am currently reading......

Mama Wewe sat another sixty years in that curdled odour of rotting brocade, her eyes glued to her father's portable oratory of the Last Supper.

This was a glass-fronted vitrine, the size of a small doll's house and made by the nuns of the Soledade in Bahai: The miniature room had sky-blue walls, mirrors and gilded pilasters. On the floor there was a marquetry sunburst and, under a glass dome on the mantlepiece, a clock. Wooden figures of Christ and the Apostles were sitting down to a meal of plaster-of-Paris chicken. The eyes of Our Lord were the colour of turquoise and his head bristled with real red hair. In her imagination she would contract her body and stand watching the doorway - though she would step aside for the shifty mulatto who left in the middle of dinner.

The years slipped by and nobody repaired the house. The thatch rotted, the shutters spilintered and, when ants undermined the floor, her rocking chair would no longer rock. Weeds sprang up in the rainy season, bleached for lack of light. Patches of mould spread over the walls: a delta of red streams fanned out from the wasps' nests in the rafters and cut across the termite trails

Only once, in 1942, was there a break in the rhythm of her days.

After a noisy vin d'honneur, the Resident's wife, Madame Burlaton, mistook the accelerator for the brake of her Peugeot and distributed Aizan, the Market Fetish, in pieces all over the square. The feticheurs demanded a human sacrifice for the reconstruction. Her husband refused. There was a riot.

A platoon of Senegalese saphis fired, killing a goat and wounding a woman in the leg. Roxa heard the shots and, four hours later, ran to the barracks with a message for the commanding officer: Mademoiselle da Silva would be delighted to receive him.

Lieutenant Andre Parisot had heard of the mysterious white woman whom nobody had son. He took some time to macassar his hair and put on his best whites.

'Lieutenant,' she said. 'I shall play to celebrate your victory. Roxa, fetch me my piano!'

Roxa carried in a white plank painted with thirty-five black keys, and the lieutenant chewed his lip as her uncut fingernails scratched the arpeggios, and dust fell out of the wormholes.

Dom Francisco's wardrobe, held together by its paint surface alone, lasted until 1957, when it collapsed, revealing a wreckage of whalebone stays and shreds of black taffeta that fluttered upwards like flakes of carbonized paper.

Spiders had turned the parrot cage into a grey tent. The pictures were peeling, and all Twelve Apostles eaten away to leprous stumps.

Yet, from the head of Christ, like the periscopic eyes of certain fish, two blue glass beads stood out on stalks.

.... I swear, this book is positively chewy..... yeef.....

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Rules....

...... behold my latest reading material...... and hey, it is absolutely amazing........

..... here is a snippet that had me giggling for hours........

Although it has been said that on Earth alone in our Galaxy is Krikkit (or cricket) treated as fit subject for a game, and that for this reason the Earth has been shunned, this does only apply to our Galaxy, and more specifically to our dimension. In some of the higher dimensions they feel they can more or less please themselves, and have been playing a peculiar game called Brockian Ultra-Cricket for whatever their transdimensional equivalent of billions of years is. ``Let's be blunt, it's a nasty game'' (says The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy) ``but then anyone who has been to any of the higher dimensions will know that they're a pretty nasty heathen lot up there who should just be smashed and done in, and would be, too, if anyone could work out a way of firing missiles at right-angles to reality.''

This is another example of the fact that The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy will employ anybody who wants to walk straight in off the street and get ripped off, especially if they happen to walk in off the street during the afternoon, when very few of the regular staff are there.

There is a fundamental point here.

The history of The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of idealism, struggle, despair, passion, success, failure, and enormously long lunch-breaks.

The earliest origins of the Guide are now, along with most of its financial records, lost in the mists of time.

For other, and more curious theories about where they are lost, see below.

Most of the surviving stories, however, speak of a founding editor called Hurling Frootmig.

Hurling Frootmig, it is said, founded the Guide, established its fundamental principles of honesty and idealism, and went bust.

There followed many years of penury and heart-searching during which he consulted friends, sat in darkened rooms in illegal states of mind, thought about this and that, fooled about with weights, and then, after a chance encounter with the Holy Lunching Friars of Voondon (who claimed that just as lunch was at the centre of a man's temporal day, and man's temporal day could be seen as an analogy for his spiritual life, so Lunch should

(a) be seen as the centre of a man's spiritual life, and

(b) be held in jolly nice restaurants), he refounded the Guide, laid down its fundamental principles of honesty and idealism and where you could stuff them both, and led the Guide on to its first major commercial success.

He also started to develop and explore the role of the editorial lunch-break which was subsequently to play such a crucial part in the Guide's history, since it meant that most of the actual work got done by any passing stranger who happened to wander into the empty offices on an afternoon and saw something worth doing.

Shortly after this, the Guide was taken over by Megadodo Publications of Ursa Minor Beta, thus putting the whole thing on a very sound financial footing, and allowing the fourth editor, Lig Lury Jr, to embark on lunch-breaks of such breathtaking scope that even the efforts of recent editors, who have started undertaking sponsored lunch-breaks for charity, seem like mere sandwiches in comparison.

In fact, Lig never formally resigned his editorship --- he merely left his office late one morning and has never since returned. Though well over a century has now passed, many members of the guide staff still retain the romantic notion that he has simply popped out for a ham croissant, and will yet return to put in a solid afternoon's work.

Strictly speaking, all editors since Lig Lury Jr have therefore been designated Acting Editors, and Lig's desk is still preserved the way he left it, with the addition of a small sign which says ``Lig Lury Jr, Editor, Missing, presumed Fed''.

Some very scurrilous and subversive sources hint at the idea that Lig actually perished in the Guide's first extraordinary experiments in alternative book-keeping. Very little is known of this, and less still said. Anyone who even notices, let alone calls attention to, the curious but utter coincidental and meaningless fact that every world on which the Guide has ever set up an accounting department has shortly afterwards perished in warfare or some natural disaster, is liable to get sued to smithereens.

It is an interesting though utterly unrelated fact that the two or three days prior to the demolition of the planet Earth to make way for a new hyperspace bypass saw a dramatic upsurge in the number of UFO sightings there, not only above Lords Cricket Ground in St. John's Wood, London, but also above Glastonbury in Somerset.

Glastonbury had long been associated with myths of ancient kings, witchcraft, ley-lines an wart curing, and had now been selected as the site for the new Hitch Hiker's Guide financial records office, and indeed, ten years' worth of financial records were transferred to a magic hill just outside the city mere hours before the Vogons arrived.

None of these facts, however strange or inexplicable, is as strange or inexplicable as the rules of the game of Brockian Ultra-Cricket, as played in the higher dimensions. A full set of rules is so massively complicated that the only time they were all bound together in a single volume, they underwent gravitational collapse and became a Black Hole.

A brief summary, however, is as follows:

Rule One: Grow at least three extra legs. You won't need them, but it keeps the crowds amused.

Rule Two: Find one good Brockian Ultra-Cricket player. Clone him off a few times. This saves an enormous amount of tedious selection and training.

Rule Three: Put your team and the opposing team in a large field and build a high wall round them.

The reason for this is that, though the game is a major spectator sport, the frustration experienced by the audience at not actually being able to see what's going on leads them to imagine that it's a lot more exciting than it really is. A crowd that has just watched a rather humdrum game experiences far less life-affirmation than a crowd that believes it has just missed the most dramatic event in sporting history.

Rule Four: Throw lots of assorted items of sporting equipment over the wall for the players. Anything will do --- cricket bats, basecube bats, tennis guns, skis, anything you can get a good swing with.

Rule Five: The players should now lay about themselves for all they are worth with whatever they find to hand. Whenever a player scores a ``hit'' on another player, he should immediately run away and apologize from a safe distance.

Apologies should be concise, sincere and, for maximum clarity and points, delivered through a megaphone.

Rule Six: The winning team shall be the first team that wins.

Curiously enough, the more the obsession with the game grows in the higher dimensions, the less it is actually played, since most of the competing teams are now in a state of permanent warfare with each other over the interpretation of these rules. This is all for the best, because in the long run a good solid war is less psychologically damaging than a protracted game of Brockian Ultra-Cricket.

.... I just can't get by the bit where the collection of rules was so enormous that it collapsed under its own weight and created a black hole........

.... my goodness.....

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Brotherhood....

..... word.....

I spent the better part of this evening watching a familiar stranger. A handsome fellow, by all accounts, I studied him while he was busied with chores and outdoor tasks.

I knew him once, I think, but the memories are old, faded, and only half-seen now when I close my eyes and try to remember. It's like some badly misquoted line from a Robert Frost poem. You know the type. The ones where way leads to way, Grandsir Stark sips his whiskey from the depths of some ancient, open cellar, and leaves fall deep in the silence of a frozen wood; abstract, distant, and left more than just a little bit cold for the watching.

Today, though, I watched as sunlight trudged its way through a fresh canopy of leaves. Laboring to heal the freshly mown grass, the light moved almost as he did. And I sat and watched.

I found it quite painful to watch him after a while, and I focused on the smell of the freshly mown grass, the bird's song, and the hum of the motor. And the light, of course. It had the most unsual dappling as it found the earth, the grass, and the flowers.

The oddest thing was that he never made eye contact with me. He never spoke a word. He saw me, I'm sure, but he never stopped, never asked for a drink of water, and never ceased in his movement. Even after all of his tasks were completed and he was preparing to leave, each question that I put to him was answered with a simple "yes", or "no".

"Would you like a drink of water?"
"No", he'd say.
"Would you like a Coca Cola?"
Again, his reply would be "no".

And he would go on about his tasks disdaining any further interruption.

I will never understand how it is that we can be so far away from someone, and yet still be so close. And vice versa, of course. But also in being so close, we actually feel that much more terrible. If only for feeling so very, very far away.

Brotherhood is such an odd thing after 12 years apart.

..... and they say that the truth is stranger than fiction?.......

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Sir......

..... good evening...... I present you tonight with an excerpt from page 117 of Signet Classic's paperback edition of Sir Walter Scott's "Rob Roy"....... behold.... take your time, throw your best British accent at it.... and read it OUT LOUD........

My uncle, that the events of the preceding day might not pass out of memory without a practiced moral lesson, took occasion to give Rashleigh and me his serious advice to correct our milksop habits, as he termed them, and gradually to inure our brains to bear a gentleman-like quantity of liquor, without brawls or breaking of heads. He recommended that we should begin piddling with a regular quart of claret per day, which, with the aid of March beer and brandy, made a handsome competence for a beginner in the art of toping. And for our encouragement, he assured us that he had known many a man who had lived to our years without having drunk a pint of wine at a sitting, who yet, by falling into honest company, and following hearty example, had afterward been numbered among the best good fellows of the time, and could carry off their six bottles under their belt quietly and comfortably, without brawling or babbling, and be neither sick nor sorry the next morning.

Sage as this advice was, and comfortable as was the prospect it held out to me, I profited but little by the exhortation; partly, perhaps, because, as often as I raised my eyes from the table, I observed Miss Vernon's looks fixed on me, in which I thought I could read grave compassion blended with regret and displeasure. I began to consider how I should seek a scene of explanation and apology with her also, when she gave me to understand she was determined to save me the trouble of soliciting an interview. "Cousin Francis," she said, addressing me by the same title she used to give to the other Osbaldistones, although I had, properly speaking, no title to be called her kinsman, "I have encountered this morning a difficult passage in the Divina Commedia of Dante; will you have the goodness to step to the library and give me your assistance? and when you have unearthed for me the meaning of the obscure Florentine, we will join the rest at Birkenwood-bank, and see their luck at unearthing the badger."

...... well, boys and girls, there you have it....... so...... the next time that you read a horribly constructed run-on sentence here..... or the incredible abuse of a punctuation mark (ellipses withstanding), consider that I am merely attempting to mimic my dear Sir Scott.......

.... oh, and while I'm at it, I can promise you that I will never use the term "unearthing the badger" while writing about a half-drunken male character who is being flirted with by a coy female character.......

.... and this sentence?...... "Sage as this advice was, and comfortable as was the prospect it held out to me, I profited but little by the exhortation; partly, perhaps, because, as often as I raised my eyes from the table, I observed Miss Vernon's looks fixed on me, in regret and displeasure."...... good god.....my ancient English teacher would have tied me to a wooden horse in the middle of class and jerked out her bullwhip if I'd ever written anything like that........ even if Miss Vernon's look HAD caused me to write "partly, perhaps, because, as..."

...... still, though, I hope that y'all enjoyed that little snapshot of a Master's Work....... he was, after all, astonishingly enough, a Sir........

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Nothing....

..... no post tonight, gentle reader........ just me looking back and thinking....... it has been a day of quiet introspection around here.......

..... homemade Salisbury steaks, homemade mashed potatoes, and a nice salad for dinner........ and after a few drinks, I am off to bed........ I'm tired today...... and I've been tired for the past three days.........

...... the one year anniversary of a project that I started here is nearly complete...... and with each word, I get more and more nervous......... more and more anxious...... not for the story, really, but for how it will be received........ time will tell, I guess..........

..... but tonight, I am tired....... mentally and physically......

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I don't know how...

But this song ain't never been listened to through this blodge... I imagine it's been sung once or twiced... I don't know how to put it in "place" here in MT worl', but here's a link to it Bubba Shot the Jukebox last night right about the 3rd quarter of that sorry assed football game I stayed up to watch... Got damn... I hope Bubba shoots me next...

We were all down at Margie's bar
Telling stories if we had one
Someone fired the old jukebox up
The song sure was a sad one
A teardrop rolled down Bubba's nose
From the pain the song was inflicting
And all at once he jumped to his feet
Just like somebody kicked him

Bubba shot the juke box last night
Said it played a sad song it made him cry
Went to his truck and got a forty five
Bubba shot the juke box last night

Bubba ain't never been accused of being mentality stable
So we did not draw an easy breathe
Until he laid that colt on the table
He hung his head till the cops showed up
They dragged him right out of Margie's
Told him "Don't play dumb with us, son"
"Know damn well what the charge is."

Bubba shot the juke box last night
Said it played a sad song it made him cry
Went to his truck and got a forty five
Bubba shot the juke box last night

Well, the sheriff arrived with his bathrobe on
The confrontation was a tense one
Shook his head said, "Bubba Boy,"
"You was always a dense one."
Reckless discharge of a gun
That's what the officers are claiming
Bubba hollered, "Reckless! Hell!"
"I shot just where I was aiming."

Bubba shot the juke box last night
Said it played a sad song it made him cry
Went to his truck and got a forty five
Bubba shot the juke box stopped it with one shot
Bubba shot the jukebox last night
Well he could not tell right from wrong
Through the teardrops in his eyes
Beyond a shadow of a doubt
It was justifiable homicide
Bubba shot the juke box stopped it with one shot
Bubba shot the jukebox last night

That football game last night... sucked hind tit...I might be bubba. Got damn I wanted to shoot somethin' after that curly steamer(tm(sam moore))....

You really didn't think I was gonna let that Spike Lee shit stick around too long didja?

The best horn I've had blown is mine. Now if I could only find her again...

This post in no way reflects the opinions of the owner of this blog. Especially if scribbled by 'Neck, but it might

Thunderman... Elisson... bring it baby. Don't let this crib get dusty.

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Eric's Excellent Adventure...

Eric and Fiona are indeed paying homage to her homeland, Scotland, and doing a bit of tippling with her relatives. And they are, in his master's own words, all snug and cozy in a chalet at Craigendarroch. What is not generally known is that Eric is also using this trip as a springboard to several meetings with high ranking government officials and captains of industry throughout the Euro states. His mission is simple: generate interest among that august group for major investment in our new joint venture. Yep, Eric and Winston are on our way to multi-billionaire status, all thanks to a recent blog of Eric's and the comment I left on said blog.

I recently discovered that there is a small but growing market for earwax. The current market price is over $200/kilo and rising. A new startup company is building a processing plant over in Arkansas using the latest technology. This will be the first plant of its kind in the US, and the largest outside of Korea, where the original refining process was developed. The speculative market has raw earwax pegged at over $400/kilo by Fall, 2008, when the Arkansas plant will reach full production capacity.

What does all that have to do with Eric matching shots of schnapps with a bunch of Euro-heads, you ask? Well, his story of sound deadening earplugs of the military/industrial variety got me thinking. And working. And thinking. And trying. And back to the drawing board, until voila, I had a working design. You see, the only thing that has held the earwax market to such a low profile is the lack of an efficient and effective harvesting mechanism. Using Eric's description, and having a pair myself, I have devised a new tool (patent pending) that will become as ubiquitous as hair combs and tooth brushes in bathrooms around the globe. The harvesting kits will be sold worldwide in stores and on the internet. A kit will include a collection container which is pre-addressed and postage paid, bringing millions of tons of earwax into our collection centers strategically located around the globe.

The marketing plan and financial projections I presented to Eric were strong enough that he has abandoned his lifelong dream of opening a chain of SWG Tanning Salon and Small Animal Crematorium locations. He fully expects to return from his European vacation with signed contracts in hand and vouchers for the funds deposited for us in Swiss Bank accounts by our new European partners. And why am I telling you all this?

Glad you asked, friends and rubber-neckers... Eric and I feel very strongly about all of you, our blog friends. Neither of us live on the greedy side of the street and we would like to share the wealth. And believe me, there will be enough to go around for all of us. So if you would like to get in on our private offering before we go public and an IPO is approved by the SEC, just send a cashier's check for $1,000 made payable to Eric & Winston International Earwax Consortium. You will receive a stock certificate for 100 shares. Sorry, until we get through this initial private offering, we are unable to accept your order for multiple blocks, but if you are interested in more, just drop us a note and we'll see what we can do.

Eric and Fiona will return in a few days. Let's welcome them home with a big pile of those $1,000 checks...

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Musicals.....

..... Philadelphia Story, High Society, Royal Wedding, and now Fiddler on The Roof..... good grief..... I've heard more singing and watched more dancing today than I previously considered humanly possible..... having said that, I will concede that Cary Grant was one handsome sumbitch..... but I still have to lean towards the chick who was digging Jimmy Stewart in Philadelphia Story over Katherine Hepburn all day long and twice on Sunday.... brunettes over redheads all day long.....and the Jews?..... they got the shaft big-time......... Fiddler on The Roof is a sad and heroic masterpiece.....

... and Jane Powell?..... she's just as cute as a little nubbin..... even if she is a blonde.......

.... and hey, don't even get me started talking about Elizabeth Taylor in her late-teenage years.... my goodness..... but I digress.......

... in other news, I am very happy & extremely humbled to report that a piece that I submitted to a Southern online literary journal has been accepted and published....... at Muscadine Lines - A Southern Journal...... my very first acceptance for a piece of fiction, good god....... so go forth and read if you so desire....... although the story may be one that y'all recognize from here on the blog...... it may still be new to a few of you guys...... and I hope that you enjoy it....

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Fiction....

..... everyone's favorite Rube certainly has it goin' on..... and it is a gem to behold..... the only thing is, it actually makes me want to light one up.....

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Styles.....

The old man opened the screen door and wiped his damp shoes on the mat. The smell of bacon and fresh biscuits and the warmth of the oven made a stark contrast to the early autumn morning outside. Eva was standing at the sink and smiled at him as he walked towards her. Leaning in, he gently kissed her on the cheek as his hands rustled though his pockets. Apples. He stepped away and began fishing them out of the frayed denim jacket one at a time. Eight apples, bright and red, that he had picked that morning were laid on the edge of the sink. Eva looked at the apples and smiled again to herself.

"Your breakfast is ready, are you hungry?" she said.

The worn wooden table was set out orderly. Last year's preserves, apple butter, and the everyday knickknacks that made up their morning were all around. Peaceful and always the same, he thought to himself.

"I am that", he said, and took his place at the head of the table.

Jackson finished his breakfast quietly as his wife of 50 years finished washing the pots and pans that she'd used to fry up the meal. After years of cooking for a family, she found being alone with her husband a much easier chore. Eva had eaten her meal earlier while her husband had been picking apples from the orchard. Jackson often did that when he couldn't sleep. Rising early, he would wander out through the dew and gather freshly fallen apples. Arriving back at the house, he knew what to expect. Inside, his Wife would be scrubbing dishes, and his breakfast would be on the table.

Eva was a good woman, and her life with Jackson had been filled with many happy times. But she knew also of darker days that she had not been part of. She had seen those days when her husband would go through an entire day without speaking. She would leave him alone at those times. That is what he wanted. He would speak when directly engaged, of course, but only just. Once or maybe twice a year, he would slip inside himself for an hour, a day, or maybe two. It was as if he sought some sort of shelter that could only be created by quiet. He had been like that since she'd met him. Joyous and outgoing in a normal day, but deeply shy at times. Eva knew that something had happened in those long ago days that had forever changed him. And like the accidental touch of a word on a mental scar, the memories of those times would freshen in his mind. When those times came, she did not pry.

"Dear," Eva said without turning around. "I see you brought me some fine apples here. I expect you'll be wanting a pie tonight?"

Jackson was still chewing on the last piece of bacon as he rose and handed the empty plate to his Wife. Walking over to the tattered screen door, he put his calloused hands deep into the empty pockets of his overalls.

"That'd be fine, Mother. Just fine," he said.

Eva's smile came up, and her eyes sparkled slightly as she slid the dish under the soapy water.

"So, old man, what's your plan for the day? You going to head down to the church and watch them put on the new roof? All the old men are going to be there."

"No, I reckon not. I don't feel much like listening to them folks talk that roof up. That's all they do anyway, talk. They'll get along just fine without me."

Eva's smile slid away, and she glanced at her husband. He stood at the screen looking out towards the orchard. His hands moved gracefully to roll a cigarette without the aid of looking down.

"Yeah," he began, "those men will get along fine without me. Besides, I've got to write to Sarah's boy today. It was good to get that letter from him on Friday, and I need to write back. After all, it's been so long since we've seen him."

Jackson opened the door, stepped out onto the porch, and lit the cigarette. "I'll be back later, Mother," he called back. "And don't worry about that pie unless you just want to. I don't know why I picked up those apples just now."


******************************************

He walked steadily down the path towards the orchard. The wetness of the morning air clung to the rye grass and fell to the ground when brushed by his boots. Soon it would be time to mow the hay and store it for another year. He stopped for a moment and looked back towards the house. He wished that he could speak with his wife like he wanted to. She was his love and his strength, but he knew the words wouldn't come when he called for them. Such it is with love, he thought, more is often spoken in the quiet than we know. He turned and continued his walk. In no time, the orchard was passed, and he found himself at the creek that snaked beyond.

The fishing shack by the stream was his destination. Built long ago when his boys were young, Father and Sons had spent many Summer days resting there. When the fishing rods needed mending or lunchtime had arrived, the small shed provided shade and a cool place to sit and eat. And so today, he wrote.


*****************************************

September 17th, 1902
Sweetwater, Tennessee

Dearest Grandson,

Your dear Mother writes to me with great news of your studies in school It is indeed a blessing to hear that you are doing so well. She also tells me that you have been asking in regards to the War, and what I might recall of it. It troubles me slightly to recall back to those days, but I feel that I should tell you, however painful, what I remember. I do this not so much for myself as I do for you.

I really can't explain it to you, boy. Some things are without parallel in these mortal lives of ours. Your mother says that she thinks you need something, but I am afraid that the something you are a'needing ain't in my story. You ask me what I did in this past war, and I don't know where to start. I really don't. However, I can tell you this - and you can take it in any way you see fit. I only fired my musket twicet. Both times happened on the same day. For that matter, they both were fired off within less than a minute, and I never fired my musket again. Not during the whole rest of the war. There, what do you think of that? Not exactly what you expected, eh son?

I had been picked up in Virginia shortly after my 16th birthday by a wily Captain from Mr. Longstreet's Corps. His name was Coltrane. I had been fishing by a small creek when two fellows grabbed me and drug me off to join the Army. Mr. Coltrane and Mr. Fitch. They taught me to drill while on the march, and they gave me a gun. A fine, shiny gun. They taught me how to clean it, load it, and fire it. I did as I was told. As soon as I could, I wrote to Momma and told her I had joined the Army.

But I know you are not interested in that. You want to know what happened on that famous day, and I really can't blame you. I'll bet your history books are just filled to the brim with tales of those three days. History books always are. Still, I probably have a different story than what you have read.

I first remember a very handsome fellow yelling for us to keep in line. Stay in step. We marched out into an open field and Federal cannons began firing at us. It didn't matter, though. All of our eyes and ears were focused on our Officer. The whole time those shells were falling, we just kept listening to what he was saying. Form Left. Align Right. Stay Abreast. Left Oblique. And so on, and so on. We were so engrossed with trying to stay in line that we didn't have time to be afraid. Besides, we knew that the bullet had not yet been cast that could cut us down. With that, we kept on marchin right up the middle of that field.

After a good while, we got to a small wooden fence. This was bad news to us all, and at first we tried to tear down the railings. We did this until our Officer yelled for us to just climb it. This was the first time that some of us realized that we were not as bulletproof as we had originally imagined. About half of our Company made it across that little, rickety fence alive. Some of us began to get very scared, and we all noticed that the cannons had stopped shooting. This too, was bad news since it meant we were now within shot of the Yankee rifles.

We formed our ranks as they shot at us, and our Officer - Lt. Higgins from Alabama - gave us the order to fire a volley and reload. Some of the boys were not scared and were fighting mad instead. They hollered like wild men when Mr. Higgins gave the order to fire. After that, we advanced about 15 more feet, and were told to fire again. I did so with much trepidation as many of my friends had either been killed or shot clean through. But Lt. Higgins was in charge and we all trusted him and felt that he would not let anything bad happen to us.

I had just finished reloading when the order to fix bayonets was given. We fixed them while marching, and were told to charge as soon as the last man had fitted his to his rifle. All this time, son, we were less than 50 yards from the Yankees and being shot at the whole time.

Most of us were out of breath from pure excitement and fear by the time we tangled with them Yankees at the stone wall. I was scared to death, and knew that I was fighting for my life right then and there. Lt. Higgins was waving his sword over his head and yelling one minute, and was shot through the neck the next. I reached up to grab him as he fell, but he pushed me to the ground and I hit my head on the wall. When I woke up, the noise of a single human being could not be heard. Instead, the cannons had begun to fire again. I didn't know what to do, so I just lay there in that pile of my dead friends. I think I cried, but I really can't remember. I remember the taste of Lt. Higgins's blood that had ran down into the corner of my mouth. It was a metallic taste.

Every time one of those cannons roared, the ground would shake and rattle. My head felt like it would explode as each concussion re-arranged the piled corpses at the base of the wall. I wish I had been able to burrow straight down to China to get away from those blasts, but I couldn't. I just lay there not knowing what to do. And then I heard the cannons stop. I thought that God had heard my wishes, but the very next second, I heard the click clack sound of men running with muskets. I knew what was about to happen, and I was powerless. I was frozen in fear.

Off in the distance, I could hear the yelps and cheers of my fellow Countrymen. This meant that they must be nearing the rail fence I have mentioned to you earlier. This was just as bad of a mess for them as it had been for us.

I could go on, my dear Grandson, but I think you understand me. I stayed by that wall covered in by my friends until darkness fell. The Yankees had sent word that we could pick up our dead and wounded, and I was found by a fellow from Texas. Yes, that is right. I was found without a wound on me at the foot of the stone wall on Cemetery Ridge.

No one ever called me a coward. I did not run from the fight. It just seems that once I woke up, I was too scared to figure out what to do. Later that night, Mr. Pickett heard of my situation, and called me to his tent. I explained to him how I had come to join the Army, and how I had come to be alive at the top of The Ridge, and he cried. I think he had been crying already that day, but I do not know for sure.

The next day, I was led to the rear of the Army lines, and told to go home. I was given a piece of paper that was signed by Mr. Longstreet that said I should be given free and safe passage back to Hickman, Virginia. Two weeks later, I was home in the field with Momma again. After the war, we moved down here to Tennessee and continued our farming. I met your Grandmother, and we'll be here for the rest of our lives.

I am not sure if this story is what you wanted to hear. And I really do not know what you are reading in your books. In the end, you asked my story, and I have told it. I hope this helps you in some small way.

Keep up the good work in your studies, and write to me often.

Your loving Grandfather,

Jackson Petty


**************************************************


... the ground seemed to buckle with each shot of the cannonade... the wall was close at hand as the large, heavy projectiles whizzed out of the smooth barrels... in an instant, they were overhead.. so close that the wind of their passing combined with the thunderclap and became one... noise and concussion merged... the sandy soil vibrated as if it were alive... particles morphed, and became a thick molasses which tried to swallow the trooper... lying on sore stomachs and broken limbs, it was as if the Earth herself was trying to sink him into the protection of a grave... the sulfur smoke sickened him, but he dare not cough.. he hugged the dirt against the stone wall as the cannons fired quickly... speaking an efficiency borne of years spent in battle...

... the screams and cadence of friends could be heard distantly muffled... they were approaching full of anger and ruin... they must have reached the rail fence by now, or he would not have been able to hear their voices.. he knew they would be here in three minutes at double-time..

... the click clack of men running with muskets drowned out the yells of his comrades for a moment... he knew what was coming, and he wished he could burrow into the dirt... dead or alive, just to be away from this... but with a yell of "Fredericksburg!", his eye caught sight of a thousand barrels being slid across the top of the low wall above him... he noticed that the cannon fire had ceased... this meant only one thing... infantry in an open field... and opposing infantry behind a stone wall..

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Hair...

...I was thinking this morning about the fine art of banter.... playing with dialogue... inflection.... casual conversation, jokes, and jibes... they really are an art form.... but you know, there are some things that are better left unsaid... even if they were tossed out jokingly.... and the following imaginary conversation came to mind....

Her while taking a shower: "hey!.. can't you see I'm shaving my legs in here?..."

Him while entering shower: "yep!... I won't get in the way.. I'm just doing my bit to conserve the Earth's water supply... there is a drought on in Sumatra, you know...... "

Her: "... you take up too much room in here!.. what IS this big, red, spotty thing in the shower with me?!.. "...

Him: .. "ha!... good one!... turn around, babe... I'll shave your back.. "..

.... of course, I have no experience in such matters... but I'd imagine it isn't a very safe thing to say to a woman with a razor in her hands...

... but it does beg the question... what would happen next?... would a playful counter-jibe be launched?... maybe a vicious attack with a straight razor would be next... then again, maybe she'd toss her man the razor and turn around for a good back-shave.... is there enough data in the snippet of conversation to cause you to lean towards one answer more than the other?....

... y'all think about that for a while... I'm off to Knoxville for a day of shopping for useless plastic objects...

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Found....

.... "you are incredible... you are so damn yummy.... good God... it is like some cosmic deity from a storybook plucked you up from a naked slumber and dipped you head-first into the River Styx of Wonderfulness... coating your entire body in a shining layer of nibbleability... leaving only your Achilles tendon to wallow in mediocrity while the rest of you glows and vibrates... I'm dying.... just wait till I roll you over, baby... "

... wow... the things you find on your computer screen in the morning after a 2AM session of inspiration...

... one really should refrain from writing fiction while under the influence of alcohol....

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More fun with dialogue...

Where were you?
Huh? When?
Just now, when you had your eyes closed.
Nowhere, really. I was just resting my mind.
Ok. I was wondering what you were thinking. I was watching you.
I wasn't thinking, not really, I was just resting my eyes. Today has been a long day.
So you were blank? No thoughts at all?
Yes.
I'm never like that, totally blank. I can't even do it when I try.
I know, and that is why you are sad sometimes. Like just now when you were watching me, you were sad.

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Dialogue again....

Do you want to come with me? I'm leaving.
I'm not sure. Where are you going? Is it far?
Yes, quite far, but easy to get to. It's one of my favorite places.
Is it pretty there?
Well, the Sun shines everyday and the streams are full of fish.
I'd rather have a daiquiri. Do they have daiquiris there? I'd rather go to a place that has daiquiris.
No, but I can buy the stuff to make one.
So you can have your mountains and I can have a daiquiri?
If you wish, yes.
Will I like it there?
Well, I'll be there with you.
So then it'll suck, right? Even with daiquiris.

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...playing with dialogue...

... "What happened to us?"
... "I guess we're just moving"...
...... "yeah.."
.. "but is it good, this moving?.. do you like it?.. I mean, really?"....
... "for the most part, yeah..."...
... "feels strange, doesn't it?.. how it all works? how we keep changing?"...
... "and lonely... it feels lonely too.. but only sometimes." ....
... "...I love you."....
.... "I love you too"....
... "what happened to us last night?"...
... "just nerves, I guess..." ....
... "yeah, I suppose so... you want breakfast?"...
...."bacon would be good... I think I'd like bacon... "...
... "and eggs?"...
... "... uh-huh... that sounds nice... "...
... "..you want to help, or should I bring it to you in bed?"...
.... "... no, I'll help... I like to watch you move... "....
.... "..you're a piece of work, you know that?"...
.... "yeah, yeah... and before you ask..." ....
... "... huh?... ask what?"...
... "yes, it's a good kind of moving."...

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Roots....

... some days, well, you got nothing... today is one of those days.... busy, confused, making decisions, and running the roads means no blogfodder... so, I guess I've give you a little peek into something I've been playing with lately.. enjoy, or not.. we be a laid back group around here... suit yourself... as for me, I'm off to re-watch Groundhog Day and wish I was Bill Murray....

... Roots... 1951... East Tennessee....

Soft, yellow light slanted through the branches of the willows and warmed the forest floor in patches. Shadows moved in the morning air as honeybees tumbled through the dampness in search of the blossoms of magnolia or tiger lily. The thick stand of trees had stood along the river since forever, and their sprawling branches reached out into the hair and pockets of the neighbor trees and created an almost impenetrable tangle. Roots, long ago buried deep beneath the soil, now had been washed clean. A month of rain that seemed never-ending had stripped away the soil and exposed the reaching arches that dipped into the river. And it was in the mangrove-like roots that they found the dead man.

"..I see it... right there," came a rough whisper. "...there under that log.. see it?... he's jammed in between those roots..."

The faded overalls that the corpse wore were marked with mud. The boy strained to see through the murky light. Bloody stains provided the darkest of colors to the ashen, black and white scene. The potash from the tobacco field covered the dead man's hands and neck, and his once black face was a shade of cold gray.

"..can you crawl down there to him, Mr. Will?.."

"..I believe I might be able to... he's on a slope halfway in the water... hard to get to, but I can get there...."

The hound whined and leaned on the leash at the smell of death. It had hunted these wood hundreds of nights, but it didn't know or understand this new smell.

"...get up here and take hold of this damned dog, boy... he's liable to start baying for blood or acting crazy.... get him back to the edge of the woods where he can't smell this dead nigger..."

The young man moved forward through the grasping limbs and reached for the leather leash. The horsehide was worn and cracked from years of use, but it remained sturdy enough to hold the old dog. He remembered watching the old black man yesterday. The thought had hit him that the man's skin had looked like the leather of the old halter that was slung over the neck of the feeble mule he was plowing. "... beasts of burden, both of 'em...", he muttered under his breath. The boy pulled hard on the leash and the dog let fly a yelp of surprise.

"...damn it, boy, keep that animal quiet... why the Hell do you think I told you to take it away from me?..."

The farmer bent at the waist and spat as he eyed the boy. Tobacco juice disappeared as it slipped between dead leaves. He turned his head back towards the river and slowly sank to his knees. He peered ahead through the roots at the face of the dead man. He felt the coolness of the wet soil penetrate his clothes and chill his belly and thighs as he lay himself flat. With purpose, he slowly slid himself across the mud. Nature was his best tool here, and he used the cage of ruddy roots to pull himself along.

He stopped just short of the body and turned. "...I told you to get from here, boy. Now, get!..." The boy was brought back into reality by the words, and spun around quickly. And with the faithful hound in tow, he started out of the woods. His ears heard the tearing of cloth, but he was too afraid to turn. "...Mr. Will must have made it to that black fella..." he thought, looking down into the brown eyes of the hound.

The boy turned one last time as he approached the place where the willows ceased and the field began. He could not hear or see anything of Mr. Will or the dead man. The smell in the still air of the thicket had been overpowering, and it sparked his imagination. He placed a calloused hand on the dog's head and sat down in the tall grass.

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Fun with Slang...

... Lakeshore Drive... what a fucking memory... I was sipping free Minnehaha with the masses while a bald man with a German goiter poured.. he was behind the bar and in like Flynn with the owner... nothing like free booze to make the plugola's fly.. yeah, sure... I'd write about this gin palace for him in tomorrow's column... no skin off my back...

... besides, I was having as much luck with Betty as hand-milking a duck... damn, I'd heard she was easy, but even with her moist around the edges and half in the breeze she still shot me down... target practice, that's what I was.. she had her eye on a milquetoast oilhead I'd seen in here before... he liked to hang with pennies and had a name... what a jerkoff... Betty sure knew how to pick'em.. he was a true poindexter.. a real cut and paste job...

... ahh... what the Hell... I got no place better to be on a Sunday afternoon.. futzing around is a fulltime job... besides, the quail at the end of the bar looks like a sitting duck... maybe I'll swing one her way.. she ain't heard my smoke and mirror routine yet... a little soft soap... a little soft touch... some hooch, and I'll be in...

... "bartender!... yeah, man... fill'er up... and one for the doll with the curls at the corner of the bar.."...

.. shit, I wasn't buying.. what did I have to lose?... nothing like liquid courage, man.. nothing at all...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(1) | TrackBack (1)
» Letters from NYC links with: Hell Week Deux w/a Silver Lining

Clue me in...

... I have been mesmerized by the interest in Kelley's meme... Acidman's too... unfortunately, I had trouble identifying very many of the characters listed... so give a poor, uneducated Hillbilly some guidance... not being as well-read as many of you people, what do I need to round me off... specifically, what ten works of Classic Literature are required reading... you know, the kind of thing that you MUST read before you die...

... hit me with your best shot, rubberneckers... besides... with all this free time, having some great books to read would surely thwart the lawn care demons...

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Oblivion...

... well, that's it... the race has been run.... the latest blog collaboration has been brought to a fantastic conclusion.. talking burros, well humped harlots, and pools of coagulated blood.... a fitting final chapter... and told in the voice that only Velociman can conjure... go now and read it...

... on a personal note, I would just like to say how honored I was to be a part of this exercise... each blogger brought their own bags of tricks & goodies to the table... it sure wasn't Louis L'Amour... but it was one wild ride....

.. many thanks to Dax, Moogie, WitNit, Kelley, Pammy, and Kim... you guys rocked.. and thank you, Christina, for asking me to participate... it was a real pleasure...

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Tardy...

... Pammy posted Chapter Six of the Gunslinger a few days ago, and she did a fine job... my apologies for being tardy with my praise.. if you people haven't read the previous chapters, you are missing out.. it's turning into quite a tale..

... each of the bloggers were given a deadly sin to base their chapter on... this idea has created many interesting turns... not your normal Western, that's for sure... but each sin, blogger, and chapter have given the story depth...

... next up is the mighty Velociman... and with the arch-badguy castrated, blinded, and likely dead, he certainly has his work cut out for him... especially since his sin is Pride... but have no fear, children... He's not anchoring this team for nothing...

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The Gunslinger - Chapter Five

... anyone ever tell you people that patience was a virtue?... yeah, well... with my most sincere apologies to Christina and Pammy, I humbly submit Chapter 5...

The Blog Western - or - The Gunslinger

Chapter 1 by Dax Montana
Chapter 2 by Moogie
Chapter 3 by Mark
Chapter 4 by Kelley

... next up, Miss Lollygaggin' herself... with Velociman batting clean-up...

Chapter Five....

Emily stirred from her dream but didn't wake. Disturbed by the faint sound of spurs in the distance, she only nodded slightly. A few seconds later, and the steady, plodding footsteps of the old Undertaker were echoing off the dusty wooden porch. The rhythmic sounds of the boot heels broke when he stopped near the pool of dried blood on the porch. It was Big Bill Callahan's blood. His friend's blood; spilled by the scum of the Earth. Scum that Bill himself had bought and paid for. His old eyes began to tear as he clenched his fists.

"Never trust a half-breed cur, Bill", he mumbled to himself. "I told you that land was cheap enough to buy, but it was just easier for you to steal it, now wasn't it? Right? Right. Now, who's going to take care of your girl, Bill?"

His knock on the door was louder than expected. A respectful tap had been called for, but his anger had bubbled over. This man he was coming to get, now a corpse, was once his best friend, and the loud whack his hand delivered to the doorframe startled him. Respect for the dead, he thought, that's all I've got left.

"Miss Emm", he stuttered, flustered by his own slip in manners, "Miss Emily, I'm here for Bill, ma'am."

Flushed from her dream by the hard thump on the door, Emily jolted from the chair. Her hand instinctively reached out for the pistol by the bedside. She'd already cocked the piece, and was halfway across the room when she glanced back at Roger. He was dead. Just as she had expected - just as in her dream, he was gone. A wry hint of a smile crossed her lips as she stared for a moment at the orphan no one wanted. This house that Big Bill had built was quickly becoming a house of the dead. But with Roger gone, it was finally her house alone, Home of the Dead, or not. "Goodbye, Roger", she smiled as she turned, "I'd stay and chat, but someone's at the door".

At the last stair, she saw the outline of the Undertaker through the cream lattice of the curtain. The dusty air had caused the long-ago pristine, New Orleans lace to change. In the slanting sun, she could make out the battered shadow of the man, Ragged except for his black top hat. She could almost smell the musk that oozed from his body, the smell of an unclean man. Mixed with the smells of desolation surrounding her, the idea of seeing the grave-digging man turned her stomach. The charcoaled corpses of the animals outside mixed with his heavy scent to create a curtain of fumes. His lanky form was bent from the strain of living his years on the prairie; a life of marauding Indians, lawless bandits, and the incessant bleaching of bones, skin, and livelihood that the Sun in this place demanded. It was a hard price to pay for a life that promised so little, scratching in the dirt for a meager meal. Everything around here went crooked from the strain, she thought. This ranch, this prairie, and this pioneer lifestyle are brutal and vicious mistresses. Unforgiving. She slid the pistol into the curio at the foot of the landing, and called for the Undertaker to come inside.

"Good morning, Miss Emily," came a raspy voice from behind a long mustache. Mr. Whitaker removed his hat and shuffled his tattered boots as he spoke, bowing his head as if in church. "I am sorry for your loss, miss. Bill was a great friend to me, as you know, and I am truly, truly sorry. You have my most sincere condolences, ma'am."

Jack Whitaker finally raised his head enough to catch Emily's gaze. She was just as he had remembered her. In those days before she left for Virginia at 16, he had told Bill how beautiful she was. Bill had laughed in his face for saying so. Emily was meant for a Governor's Wife, not the companion of an over-educated mortician. But now that she had returned, Jack could see that she had only grown into a more incredible creature.

"I've got some more bad news, though, Miss Emily. Sheriff Tom killed himself last night after he left here. Evidently, he started hitting the bottle once he got to town. I know you two were close, and I felt I should be the first to tell you. I asked the Doc about it, and he just shook his head and spit". As his words entered the air, his eyes traced the line of her jaw down towards her neck and downward to the floor.

"Thank you, Mr. Whitaker," Emily smiled. She had seen what he had done, and she laughed inside. "I appreciate the news and your condolences, Sir, but I've got some bad news as well. My dear Roger died during the night, and he is resting upstairs in his bed. It is a sad, sad thing for me to report, but it looks like your cart will be full when you leave here."

Tom's eyes began the dance again, and caught hers for a split second - sapphire blue and soft - and then, slow like molasses, he traced her outline of her body down to dusty boards where she stood. At rock bottom and head downward, he spoke.

"Doc said that would probably be the case this morning when I talked to him. I'd hoped he'd be wrong. Everyone always liked Roger pretty well. That Stalking Wolf and his bunch is a dangerous, dangerous crew."

Emily placed her hands on her hips and tilted her head. Her eyes studied the wiry man for a long moment before she spoke. Her voice was measured and still, but full of honey.

"Yes, yes. Indeed, they are. But if you'll excuse me, I have some chores to get on with, Mr. Whitaker." Emily knew he was watching her as she turned and entered the kitchen. She could feel the weight of his brown eyes as they took their chances with her back turned.

"I'd be pleased if you would just start your work, sir. I understand that my Father has lots of unfinished business in town, and I must not let him down. He would have wanted it that way, don't you agree?"

Stopping at the table, she glanced over her shoulder without turning around. Whitaker's eyes quickly hit the floor as she caught him staring. How pathetic, she thought, He couldn't keep his eyes off of me even for a second. I've never seen a grown man blush before.

The Undertaker began the climb up the staircase hastily, ashamed of the thoughts he'd been having. Emily was a flower. Cultured and cared for, and he knew he should not have treated her that way. Each step of his boots seemed to land like a thunderclap on the wooden stairs serving to only further his embarrassment. He wanted her, and he knew Emily could tell. All women could sense a man wanting them.

Emily listened to the plod of Mr. Whitakers boots and heard him enter Bill's room. She turned slowly and walked towards the landing to check. Yes. She could see the Undertaker closing the door to begin his work. As quietly as she could, she slid off her shoes and discarded them at the foot of the stairs. In her stocking feet, she walked to picture above the fireplace. The combination to the small safe easily opened it, and she removed the contents: Deeds, Letters of Recommendations, Water Rights, Leases, Mortgages, Stock Certificates, Mineral Rights, Bank Balances, Liens, and finally, the contracts with The Gunslinger and Stalking Wolf. She took them all. Now, these documents belonged to her and her alone. She shuffled them neatly into a pile, folded them quickly and slid them into the leather binder on the sofa. The suitcase she had packed the night before was hidden on the back porch with a fresh pair of riding boots. She looked around at the large ranch house one more time before she lit the kerosene lamp on the mantle. When they find this tomorrow, she thought, they'll think the bandits hit us again while the Gunslinger was away.

A wisp of black smoke from the lamp swirled towards the ceiling beams lazily and she watched it. It was almost time for this dusty phase of her life to be over. Soon she would be back where she belonged. Virginia and the East. Her Father had shipped her off for an education. Well, she had gotten one. Those belles from Garrett's had told her exactly what she was when she arrived - the beautiful daughter of a filthy rich cattleman. The word that had struck her most at the time was "filthy". Cow money, blood money, stealing water, and railroading small timers could make you powerful, but you were still lower class rich. In the realm of real money, you were just Circus sideshows who scraped, begged, and brutalized. Being the well-heeled daughter of a broker, magnate, banker, or politician was the only way to be respected. Big Bill hadn't understood that, but Emily did. Her time back east had taught her a few things about true wealth, and what it meant to be civilized. One thing was for sure; even when you are dirty, filthy, stinking rich you don't have dirt under your fingernails and dried blood on your front porch. You have white shirts, sweet smelling hair, and marble floors. Those frilly tarts from Norfolk and Richmond would take notice of her shortly. But first, she had business to conduct.

The flaring lamp burst easily against the steps and immediately ignited the worn bearskin on the wall. Within seconds, the house was in flames and Emily was in the buckboard heading out into the prairie. She thought she might have heard the Undertaker scream at some point, but she couldn't be sure. It almost sounded as if he was yelling "Emily! Where are you?" If he had made it down the hellish staircase, he would be searching the inferno for Emily right now. Then again, perhaps it was the wind. It does make strange noises on the open range time and again.

***********

Heavy and spent, the drunken outlaw rolled off of the lifeless teenager. She'd been quite a sport for the past few weeks, but now the heat was beginning to work her over. The outlaw grinned as he remembered her moaning like a whore after the fourth bandit was finished with her. That first night when he and the boys "broke her in" had been incredible. In his mind, she loved being the pigbitch. Hell, all white women did. Deep down, they all wanted to be used like pieces of meat until their bodies shook with the dirty, uncontrollable orgasms that only total degradation could fuel. In the end, each pigbitch had been exactly the same. Fighting it, at first. Then succumbing to the depravity like a dog in heat. And finally, craving the rough, brutal sex. Sex that would be the only type of love she'd ever know before falling prey to the blade or the elements. Each white pigbitch had performed as long as they could. After all, stopping meant death. Death by beating, or bullet, or worse, and this chubby blonde had been a real whore. She must have had a lot to live for. He turned his head spat on the ground as he remembered what a quick learner she'd been for a 17 year old. This little gem would be hard to replace. Now, though, she was no fun at all. Dusty and dead, and no fun at all. His mind began to wander as he traced the outline of the circling vultures overhead. The outlaw needed a new plaything.

Stalking Wolf's eyes began to close as he lay beside the quiet corpse. The long night, the hard ride, and pitched battle had left him tired. He needed rest and his bullet wound was aching. Having finished his fun with the full bottle and the white girl, his body began to relax. With his body numbed, and his thirst satiated, he lit a cigarette. A perfect end to a nearly perfect day, he thought. It's not often one gets to invite the Angel of Death to his cold campfire. Tonight was going to be fun. He knew they were coming, but he knew it'd be a while. He smoked in silence and watched the smoke cloud into a stagnant pool over his head. "No air in here", he breathed to himself. "No life in here either. C'mon, boys, in the morning, we dance".

The cheap tequila continued it's effect, and his mind began to focus Bill Callahan's Emily and the letter he had gotten from her two months ago. The postmark was from back east in Virginia.

"How sweet she is, indeed", he said out loud. "A real piece of work, this white woman with a heart blacker than any outlaw's"

The idea brought a laugh from his empty stomach. "And a Finishing School education to boot. Heh. If I ain't careful, she'll make a pigbitch out of me"

He ground the dying butt between his calloused fingers and broke open the paper, allowing the flecks of tobacco to scatter onto the dust. With a wipe of his heel, the evidence he had been here was erased.

The paint horse he'd caught behind Callahan's barn flared its nostrils and sniffed as Stalking Wolf rose and walked towards it.

"What are you smelling, eh? You think your owner is coming for you, do you, boy?" The horse eyed the slowly moving figure through the dusk, and pointed his ears in the direction of the half-breed.

"No, my friend. No one is coming for you. You're just like everything else around here. I caught you, and you're mine. Besides, there ain't nothing you need back at that ranch anyway." Stalking Wolf removed the crumpled letters from the inside of his quilt vest, and dropped his eyes to the paper.

"Her whisperings caused that idiot Callahan to call in this Gunslinger. With that Death Angel here, I'd finally have an excuse for gutting old, dirty Bill. She's a smart, smart woman, that Emily. I've been doing his business for too long and only getting scraps. Here in these letters, friend, it appears she feels the same way too. Well, the time is up for doing what I'm told. Not for Big Bill, and rest assured, not for his blonde daughter. Time for that educated wench to be taught a thing or two from me."

Stalking Wolf ran his hands though the paint's mane and looked into its eyes. There was no fear there. He smiled into the dark eyes of the horse. "That's alright, friend. After all, we've just met. You'll know me a little better in a few days, and you'll not look at me like that."

One more slug from the bottle, and the liquor was gone. Stalking Wolf tucked the tattered letters back into his vest and moved around the horse towards the canyon wall. He sat in the dirt and rested his back against the sandy canyon wall. From here, he knew that no one could see him from the entrance. He'd be safe enough here until daybreak.

Sleep came quietly to him there as the stars came out. He had business to conduct with a white woman in the morning and he dreamt of that. As the outlaw and his plaything each found their rest, the buzzing of the green flies seemed to hum a lullaby through the canyon.... "when you dance with the Devil"...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(15)
» Feisty Repartee links with: Blog Western Chapter Five
» Thunder And Roses links with: Blog Western - Chapter Five
» .:.WitNit.:. links with: Gunslinger Chapter 5: Twist!
» Fistful of Fortnights links with: Meanwhile, On Planet Earth.
» The Boiling Point links with: Weekend Blog Updates
» Moogies World links with: Blog Western - Part V
» suburban blight links with: Blog Western Rides Again!
» Just Breathe links with: Home again
» Velociworld links with: I'VE BEEN REMISS...
» Feisty Repartee links with: Blog Western Chapter Six
» Moogies World links with: Chapter VI is UP!!!
» suburban blight links with: HOT DAMN!
» Velociworld links with: THE GUNSLINGER, CHAPTER 7
» Velociworld links with: THE GUNSLINGER, CHAPTER 7
» Feisty Repartee links with: Blog Western Chapter Seven
» Bad Bad Juju links with: THE GUNSLINGER
» Bad Bad Juju links with: THE GUNSLINGER
» Cadillac Tight links with: Weekend reading

The flow continues....

.... the sins are coming hot and fast... dripping with sweat, pus, and blood... it's a sight to behold.... in the latest two installments, the bloodbath Greed wrought... has been met with continuing carnage.. this time, courtesy of Sloth.... incredible stuff.. the next sin is likely to leave you dripping in yet another bodily fluid... then again, maybe not... sweat, blood, and pus might just get the job done...

... this has been a real pleasure so far... in reading each of the four chapters, the Blog Western has borne the hallmark of the bloggers well... each of them, with their different styles and views, has told the same story... and yet you can easily identify the creative differences of each writer... as a lover of language, let me tell you.. this is great, great stuff...

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Emily's Angel..

... damn, people, where does all the time go?... due to crazy circumstances and overwhelming laziness, I have not pointed you rubberneckers to the latest artistic development zinging its way across the blogosphere... The Blog Western.. it is off and running... the baby has legs courtesy of Dax Montana, and a new direction via Miss Moogie... it's shaping up to be a corker..

... Angel has got it going on... chicks dig scars, right?... and ole Angel, he's got a few... Emily is already blushing... the little rosebud... heh heh... it's a good, good sign....

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.. From a Dream..

.. and now for something completely different... a noir tale of loss.... oh, and sex...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(16)
» She Who Will Be Obeyed! links with: Dreams
» Moogies World links with: Rainy Daze
» Mamamontezz's Mental Rumpus Room links with: Call for Submissions
» Fistful of Fortnights links with: The Selfish Meme.