Can a life be redone?
Sashay Sadie, owner of the Snakebite Saloon, stood at the bar, drinking her third Red-Eyed Snake cocktail and looking morose.
“I hate this town,” she said as she thumped down the glass.
Bart Blackjack who was the bartender and resident cardsharp, leaned over the bar.
“I told you I’d take you away, if you’d marry me. San Francisco is a perfect place for us.”
“So I change a footloose life for a ball and chain, I don’t think so! I want a do-over, a new start. Change my looks, my name, my profession and my life, all in one go.”
“How you gonna do that?”
“Don’t know yet.”
“Let me know if you change your mind.”
That night, after closing, Sadie wrote her will, leaving the saloon to Bart. Then she drove her rig down to the raging waters of the Snakehead River. Removing the horse from harness, she pushed it into the river and watched it sink.
Jamming a cowboy hat on her shorn hair, she leaped onto the horse and rode off.
Months later, she read about Bart being arrested for her murder.
“I can’t go back!” she repeated, as she tidied up her shop in Tulsa at closing time.
As she locked up, tears fell. Bart had been amazing, but she’d always known he wasn’t the marrying kind.
“Who knew rebirth would be painful?” she whispered as she climbed the stairs to her room over the shop.
Letting herself in, Sadie grabbed the makings for a Red-Eyed Snake and made it. As she sipped the drink, she heard a click. A pain seared her chest. She was dead before she hit the floor.
A man, a stranger to her, holstered his gun.
“Shame to end such a pretty woman, but it’s what I do for money.”