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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2050376-Sawdust-Parker
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Western · #2050376
A Western (sort of kind of) Any kind of help/ opinions would be a great help.
Hal broke through the doors of the saloon like a man pushing a wagon. With one leg bent and his left eye swollen shut, no one wanted to stop the scraggly looking man. The skinny bartender roughly swallowed as Hal hoisted himself on the creaky bar stool. “Give me a glass,“he demanded

The bartender glanced Hal up and down. The Thin man’s face held a sour expression. “Money?” the bartender asked in disbelief. He peered under Hal’s dirty hat and met his dull blue eyes. “No one drinks for free,” smiled the slender man.

Hal flopped his hand on the bar counter. There was a dusty scratchy piece of red stained cloth wound around the center of his hand. It was a bloody mess. He dragged his arm off the counter, and revealed a shiny bright silver dollar. The slender man placed a cloudy glass on the bar, and asked what he would like to drink. “I didn’t ask for a drink just the glass.” The bartender pondered in bewilderment, but then shrugged and walked off.

Hal hacked a hard dry cough. The room was filled with Cigar smoke. Most people were too involved in there games, or women to notice him. A few cheers rose up as one of the tables had a lucky winner. A short and stout man sat down at the piano, and started to plunk out a crude tune. It was simple and offbeat, but it was true. There was very little Hal loved, but the piano he did love. It reminded him of his Pa.

He could still see the man in his mind. His Pa was tall and stern he was neither happy nor sad. He had a serious look about him, but never an ounce of malice. “You can always turn back son. Changing your course is just a matter of not looking back. His Pa’s voice was always warm and sincere.

The music played on as a group of people started to cheer. Hal looked back to see what all the commotion was about. There was a young saloon girl twirling in a vibrant beautiful blue dress. It matched her eyes. Hal turned back and smiled to himself. That dress had to be the prettiest thing in this city. The only thing that could match it was the girl.

His smile quickly dropped when he heard the saloon doors split apart. The sound of squealing floor boards told him what was coming.
One hard step followed slowly by a hallow limp. It was most likely from a man who had been shot. The next pair was two loud leather thumps, from a man who was too fat. “Hal Parker!” spat a desperate winded voice. “You’re going pay for those lives you took! Now we got you with no horse and no gun.” The man paused for breath. “You’re coming with us back to Cheyanne to hang for the murder of the young boy: Tomas Williams and deputy Corban Riggs.” The fat man handed his wounded partner his stage coach gun and collapsed to one knee in exhaustion. The broad shouldered burly man took the gun, and slowly limped his way to the bar.

Hal sat quietly not making a move; his mind was vaulting from thought to thought. He had run from the law for a long time. He had done some good things, but also some bad things, and some things that there weren’t words for. Now he was at the end. He felt wounded on the inside. Was it sorrow he felt? Was it regret? He thought back to the blue dress. He thought back to the Piano music. He could see his Pa’s bright blue stone eyes. He could hear his voice. “You can always turn back son. Changing your course is just a matter of not looking back.”

Hal felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up to see the large man. “It’s time. You’re a tough son of a bitch Hal, but aint no one above the law.” Hal let out a long winded sigh in disbelief and with a wily crooked tooth grin thought. Damn shame…. that girl is going to get blood on that dress.

Faster than a hiccup, Hal broke the glass over the counter and ran it across the big man’s neck. The man pawed at his neck and let off a gurgling gasp. A fountain of red erupted out from under his hands. The wounded lawman dropped to his knees gave off a wet sputtering cough and died.

A saloon girl screamed. Hal fell to his bad knee pulling the dead man’s six-shooter from his hip on the way down. Hal rolled his hand across the hammer repeatedly firing four shots of hot bright lead. The fat law man toppled on the floor with several holes in his chest. A think pool of blood grew from under him. Hal steadied himself up with the stage coach gun on floor. He only limped two or three paces before some of the card players started to draw on him. Hal gave the shot gun a squeeze. The burly iron let off howling fiery blast that blew the cards, the table, and some of the player’s legs straight to hell. The kick from the bulky blast was so great that it knocked Hal out the door hat and all.

He stumbled and rolled into a muddy mess on the ground. Hal eyed the oversized iron more respectively. Using the wooden stalk of the gun, he pulled himself up again. He limped his way over to a horse. The horse neighed in resentment, but a tight pull on the reigns, and a sharp gouge from Hal’s spurs told the beast who was in charge. As he started to ride, a wounded card player emerged from the saloon doors. He had a gun in his hand and profanity on his lips. Two bullets ripped strait through the man’s face leaving him in a twisted bloody wet mess on the ground.

The pistol was empty. Hal threw the gun at the already dead man in protest. He rode off West with the hot sun beating down on him. With a stage coach gun in his hand and hell in his eyes; he didn’t know where his rode would take him. His Pa’s voice echoed in his thoughts. “You can always turn back son. Changing your course is just a matter of not looking back.” One day he'd make everything right. Some day he would pay his dues, but not today.
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