Cody finds himself a little out of his normal environment
Cody groaned when the sound of the vacuum cleaner roared outside his bedroom door. Dragged into consciousness he pulled his pillow over his head and attempted to go return to his dream. But his mother continued with her household chores and eventually he gave in and got out of bed.
“Happy birthday, son,” his mother gave Cody a kiss on his sleepy face as he left his bedroom on the way to the bathroom.
“Thanks, Ma,” he mumbled.
“Go get some breakfast. Your Nan sent you a present, it’s on the kitchen table.”
The young man stared at himself in the bathroom mirror and stuck out his tongue. Last night he’d celebrated both his twenty first birthday at the same time as receiving his Karate black belt. He had been on top of the world but the after affects of all the celebrations were kicking in and he was wishing he hadn’t drank those last few shots.
In the kitchen he fixed himself a black coffee. He reached for the parcel and greeting card from his Nan. On opening the box, he laughed out loud. The gift was a Stetson hat and a Sheriff’s tin star badge.
He picked up his phone and called her immediately to thank her. Although these days she lived in another state, Nan had lived with them for years when he’d been small. They’d been really close and when she left to live over east, she’d bought him a cowboy hat and sheriff’s badge for his tenth birthday. How he’d loved that hat and wore it every day for at least a couple of years. It became a bit of a joke in the family., all of them calling him cowboy Cody. He’d forgotten all about it until he saw the beautiful, soft leather hat which he adjusted to fit perfectly. Hitching up his jeans, he fastened the tin star on his denim shirt, gave a bit of a swagger and went to search for his new boots.
Cody sat on his bed and pulled on the boots which were red leather with a bit of a heel. He stood up, feeling taller than his five foot six. The effects of the previous night’s excesses suddenly returned and he began to feel sick. He stretched out on the bed, boots and all. The Stetson slipped over one eye and he closed his eyes.
“Get out the way, you damned fool!” The man gave Cody a shove as he continued to beat the shit out of a skinny, toothless man.
Cody backed out of the bar’s swing doors just in time to avoid being mowed down by a crowd of men throwing punches haphazardly. Their language was ripe, using words he hadn’t even heard before as they spilled out onto the dusty road. He slipped inside the darkness of the saloon. The piano player played on, disregarding the brawl taking place all around him.
The barmaid, her ample breasts flowing out of the tight bodice, looked up as Cody approached the bar. “Ha, here he is! About bloody time. Do I have to arrest this lot on my own? Where’ve you been?”
“Are you talking to me?” Cody looked around the long room.
“Gawd’s sake. Who else would I be addressing?” The young woman gave him a scathing look. “Are you the best they could send to sort this bloody town out? “she snorted
Cody’s heart raced as he tried to make sense of what was happening and ducked as a whisky glass, followed by the bottle, whizzed by his ear.
“Go on then, Sheriff, arrest the bastards.” The barmaid, named Ruby, urged.
Cody closed his eyes tight. He knew he was dreaming, so as in all his dreams he took charge, grew a little taller and grabbed one brawler who seemed to be the ringleader and effortlessly brought him down on to the sawdust covered floor.
With the man’s arm painfully twisted up his back he was marched down the main street, past the saddlery and the General Store. Cody ignored the looks he and his prisoner were getting until they reached the Sheriff’s office.
“Deputy, throw him in the lockup.”
“A man with a very pronounced limp came from behind the desk, “Sure thing, Sheriff.” He then took a closer look at the captive. His face paled and eyes widened. He looked at Cody and asked, “You sure you want me to lock this man up, Sheriff?”
“I’m sure. He won’t be on his own for long. Lock him up!”
Cody felt good about his first arrest as he made his way back to the saloon. He thought this town had been waiting for a man like him to restore order. The mayhem and the fighting had calmed down, although a few men still lay in the dust. Ruby was cleaning up the breakages, righting the chairs and tables when Sheriff Cody walked in. He had a feeling she was looking at him with a little more respect than earlier.
“What’ll it be?” She asked. “It’s on the house,”
Cody had watched enough Western movies to know to ask for whisky. He dragged up a barstool and knocked back the glass Ruby poured.
She asked, “How did you know to arrest Breaker Cassidy? Somebody tip you off?”
“No. Why, he somebody special?”
“It don’t matter.” She dismissed his question, then asked where he was staying.
“You got rooms here? “Cody glanced up the stairs.
“Yeah, sure. It might bring a bit of peace to the joint if you’re staying here. Follow me I’ll show you your room.”
Cody followed Ruby, admiring her shapely rear as they climbed the stairs.
He was lying on the bed, shirtless, thinking about nothing, when Ruby opened the door without knocking. She was carrying a tray of what smelled like beef stew. She stared at him for a few seconds before saying, “You look pretty good without a shirt. You might have potential.”
When the barmaid kicked the door closed behind her and placed the tray of food on a wooden chair he wondered what she was planning on doing. She smiled seductively and joined him on the bed. He was soon under no illusion as to her intentions.
He awoke to the sounds of voices on the street below his bedroom window. Ruby still slept, her tangled red hair spread out on the pillow next to him. He slid out of the bed, careful not to wake her. Barefoot, he walked quietly to the window and looked down to see what the shouting was about.
Three men stood under his window. They were looking up at him, shouting something he couldn’t make out.
He searched for his clothes, dragged them on, and went down into the empty saloon bar.
“Sheriff, I know you’re in there. Come out before we come and get ya.” a deep raspy voice called out.
Cody slid open the bolts on the door and stepped out into what was already a hot day.
“Chuck Cassidy. I hear you got my little brother in the lockup?”
“Yeah, what of it?” Cody looked the bear-like, bearded man in right the eyes. “He was bustin’ the place up and anyway, I hear he’s no stranger to the county jail.”
“Yeah, well, it’s time to let him go, sheriff or else…”
“Or else what?”
“You wouldn’t want to find out.” Chuck spat into the dust. “Why do you think there’s been no law in this town for some time? We don’t need no more nosy sheriffs comin’ here telling us what to do.”
“You’ll find things are going to change around here. So why don’t you boys just go on home and leave your brother to me?” Cody pulled himself up tall, “The circuit judge will be here tomorrow and Breaker will stand up in court and face him.”
The three cowboys laughed as if he’d told a joke before Chuck suddenly drew his gun. They moved threateningly close.
“Where’s your firearm, sheriff? Never seen a lawman without a gun. Or did you leave it in bed with Gloria?” They all laughed and came closer.
Cody didn’t think he’d shoot an unarmed man, but couldn’t be sure and said, “You’re so brave, three against one and all toting firearms. I’m thinking we should sort this out like real men.” He put up his fists.
Chuck smirked. He stared for a while at the skinny upstart standing before him. At last he put his gun back in the holster, undid his gun belt and allowed it to drop onto the ground. He spat out another stream of tobacco juice, which landed on Cody’s best boots.
The sheriff knew he’d have no trouble dispatching this overweight cowboy using the man’s body weight against him, and before Chuck knew what had happened Cody had used his martial arts training and the big man was lying on the street. He then administered a choke hold which slowed the blood supply to the man’s brain and he passed flat out. Drool dribbled from his gaping mouth.
The sheriff heard the sounds of guns being drawn. He raised his eyes and stared at the two comrades.
“You’d better think again, guys.” His voice held an implied threat.
The two men put their guns back and mounted their horses. “We’ll be back. You’ll be sorry you ever set foot in this town,” one of them threatened.
Cody stood on the empty street and watched them go. There were no signs of life yet from Chuck, but the sheriff knew it wouldn’t be long before the man who wanted to see him dead would be on his feet and looking for revenge.
Our hero turned back to the saloon, went up the stairs to a still sleeping Ruby. He slipped his arms around her warm body and caressed her ample breasts. She stirred and turned to face him.
“Hi, Cowboy, wondered where you’d gone. I thought you might have gone home, wherever that might be,” she said, her voice husky with desire.
He kissed her full lips; she sighed deeply and gave herself to him as the morning sunlight filled the room. After the loving, they both slipped back into a contented sleep entwined in each other’s arms…
Cody gave a yawn and stretched out. His body felt completely relaxed and warm. Opening his eyes, he looked around the room, his room. Gone was the shabby furniture of the Western Saloon boarding house.
He stared down at himself lying in his own bed at home. Still fully dressed. The Stetson his Nan had given him lay in his chest where the tin star still shone. His jeans were covered in red dust and his favourite red boots were stained black with tobacco juice.
Written for What a Character. Prompt: Write a story that puts a new spin on a cliched western character trope
(e.g., cowboy, gunslinger, outlaw, bounty hunter, sheriff, frontiersperson, homesteader, native, etc.)