by Donnie Darko
Just an old story I wrote years ago, uploading it to here. This has not been revised!
|My tale begins just as the day ends. Nonsense chanting combined with incoherent chatter makes it hard to think. This saloon is the heart of the town. If I were to give this country a metaphor, it would be that of this tavern. Loud, unruly, and full of fools chasing dreams like they were shadows cast upon the floorboards. I couldn't be any more uncomfortable.
My seat at the bar was a tactical one at that. Keeping my head down, the brim of my Stetson kept away unwanted glares. I raise my glass of amber fluid above my nose. Gazing into the prism-like glass allowed me to survey the room around me without objection. My eyes could see it all. From the bulging bosom of the harlot next to me, the cheater at the card table with a deck up his sleeve, even the big shot twirling his revolver with a drunken look on his face that was asking for a fight. I could see it all, but not myself no matter where I looked. My eyes grew tired of searching. It seemed that my thirst would go unquenched this evening. I didn't even touch my spirit. Didn't believe in them. I only brought it so I could sit there and not look out of place. I decided to give up. Without hesitation, I take to my feet, preparing to retire for the night. My hand slides upwards out of my pocket. I manage to flick a few generous dollar notes onto the bartop before I feel my wrist being grasped with a force that makes the entire roll scatter.
'I've been wachin ya all night.' His breath stank. The unwelcome swagger of his step was that of a drunkard. 'That theres ma favourite bottle o Bourbon you been drainin. Way I sees it, you better cough up for a new one or we gonna have to settle this outside.' He smelled of Gin and cheap perfume. Seemed like his tongue does more than just talking big. My lips fail to hide an ever growing smirk. I grab my drink an hold it within his gaze. With similar aggression, my wrist flicks the contents into his eyes. He stumbles backwards and falls onto a tabletop. The room erupts in an awkward laughter, everyone but the group of gamblers with sour faces who's game was now ruined.
'Eleven o'clock. Town clock. We'll settle this. A duel will put you in your place, unless you're a coward?'
The clock strikes 8
How this town treats you depends on how big your wallet is. If you can't buy your way out of a problem, you let your gun do the talking. Common practice here is to get measured and leave a deposit at the Morgue before heading into the main square. Maybe I should explain..
This town has three major businesses that keeps the money flowing. The Saloon, Watchmaker and Coffin maker. My friend Colton owns the latter. You could say we have a very "lucrative" relationship, ever since he invited me into his store the first night I arrived. He was kind enough to let me stay there, I have my own room in the back where the coffins are kept. He gives me a place to live, I keep the business going. Fair trade. I couldn't sleep a wink. I could only sit there wide awake in my room.
The clock strikes 11
The time came. A familiar face swaggered from the saloon just in time. Two more faces followed. Damn crook! He brought his lackeys to give him the upper hand. It seems that Colton will have even more business that expected, and I'll sleep happily after a few glasses. They didn't waste any time. All three pulled out their pistols and fired almost in sync with each other, they would have missed anyway even if they were sober. In the time it takes to blink, I'd already closed the distance and pulled out my knife. One, two, three, then four. The first falls stone dead. The other two fall limp as they hold their necks, blood spurts out like a fountain.
The corpse wagon, which was grimly named, had arrived at the perfect moment. It's covered top would prevent prying eyes or the fatally injured attempting an ill advised stop the getaway. Without a word spoken, Colton had disembarked from the drivers seat to the rear of the wagon. His burly shoulders made short work of the body removal. Soon the three men were out of public sight and writhing in pain in the back of the corpse wagon. I wait for the streets to clear before slipping into the wagon myself. A bloodied hand pulled desperately at my collar to pull me to the ground. My face soon became submerged in a sea of red. I made short work of him. He fell onto his side in a tumble, a half sized bottle of Bourbon has rolled out from the inside of his coat. I became overrun with rage and pleasure. A feeling no human could explain or understand.
As the clock strikes 12...
And so I drank. I forget how the night ended, I had over indulged on this intoxicating elixir of life. Upon arrival, Colton found my sleeping body among the now dead outlaws. It was he who finally put an end to my night. After all, I had earned my bed for the rest of the week.
My soft, silken casket.