by Abby Gayle
Lil' Jim gets a visitor...
"Are you sure, Sissy?" Lil' Jim asked.
"Yessir, I'm sure. He's takin' the ol' express train. He'll be here at low noon," Sissy reported.
"When's low noon?"
"Oh, sorry, I meant high noon. He'll be here at high noon," Sissy corrected herself.
"And I'll be ready!" Lil' Jim declared.
Lil' Jim checked his watch. It was only an hour until his opponent's arrival. He had to be prepared for the obvious showdown. He heard a creak behind him and spun around, wipping his gun out of its holster.
"Don't shoot!" the guy said, covering his face with his arm, "It's me, yer Mav'rick."
"Mav'rick, huh? Yer new here, ain't ya?"
"No, you appointed me yer deputy last week," Maverick said.
"Did I? I suppose I did. I'm expecting company in an hour or so, so I have to get ready."
"Yessir. I'm leavin' now."
After Maverick left, Lil' Jim pushed his gun back to where he held it, then drew it back out. Over and over he practiced until he heard some commotion from outside. He checked his watch and, sure enough, it was noon.
"I s'pose you didn't come for a friendly visit, did ya?" Lil' Jim called as he pushed open the door.
"You can call me 'Timmy the Kid', and I came to settle once and fer all who's got the faster draw.
"You came a long way to fail!" Lil' Jim shouted.
"I don't think I'll be doin' any of this 'failing' you speak of!" Timmy retorted.
"Well, we could settle this in a showdown. You get yer gun, and I get mine. Sissy can judge, and then you'll have yer loss once again!"
Timmy just nodded.
Lil' Jim and Timmy the Kid went out into the town square and backed off from each other. Lil' Jim stared into Timmy's eyes and could see his nervousness. Jim had long lost his fear way back in his first showdown.
"Ready, set, draw!" Sissy shouted. Immediately, the two pulled out their guns.
"Shoot!" Sissy shouted again.
Taking it as an order, Timmy the Kid, who had never been in one of these competitions before, pulled the trigger. Lil' Jim defended himself with a shot from his own squirt gun.
"No, no, that's not what I meant!" Sissy shouted, but it was too late.
With squirts from others joining in on the fun, water went everywhere. Lil' Jim and Timmy decided it was a tie.
"Come on, kids," their mother called, "Time for cake!"
"Yummy!" Timmy called before tossing his water gun and cowboy hat to the ground. Jimmy, Sissy, and Rick followed closely behind.
Inside the house, four cakes sat on the table. Each cake had four candles, and each cake appeared to be a different flavor. All four of the kids sat down at the table.
"We come here to celebrate these quadruples' fourth birthday…" their dad began.
"These candles are pretty," Sissy said.
"Yeah," Timmy agreed, "Sixteen candles make a lovely light."