Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ruffled Pages and a Six Gun

A book went missing at my library today. Then this happened.

Everything went quiet when the Marshall walked into the dusty, yellow light of the bar. The piano player stopped in the middle of Camptown Races, and the serving girls froze, glasses halfway to tables. The only sound that could be heard was a faint crinkle, so like leaves in autumn. 

The Marshall was a tall man, and his hat made him seem even taller. The dirt and dust of a hard trail clung to him, standing out against his sun stained skin. A Colt Peacemaker hung at his side in a holster that shined despite the grime. His brows hung low in a perpetual squint, and a prominent nose made all his other features seem cramped around it.

He scanned the place in that flinty way lawmen do, before settling on a lonesome shape nursing a shot at the bar. Everyone felt the weight of that gaze except the book, who calmly sipped his whiskey. After a few moments of contemplation, the lawman's chin tilted up, and his eyes narrowed from cracks to mere creases.

"You Bad Faith Actions: Liability and Damages?" his voice rang out, loud in the sudden stillness.

"So what if I am?" the shape responded, turning to reveal the maroon corner of his binder.

"I hear there's a bounty for a book by that name," the Marshall responded, "and I'm hear to collect."

The book said nothing, a nothing punctuated by the sound of the empty shot glass ringing on the bar. The Marshall's hand had strayed to his belt at the sound, and he said, "We can do this easy or hard, but the Stoll brothers didn't specify dead or alive." A pause. "I don't much care either way."

"I died a long time ago," Bad Faith said, in a low voice like rustling pages, "but the bitch of it is, I keep on living." He quickly dropped to the floor, raising a scattergun he'd kept concealed under the bar. "I can't say the same for you though," he growled, pulling the trigger on the hand cannon.

All hell broke loose.

No comments:

Post a Comment