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One Shot.


One Shot

A Tale From The Old American West.

Written By: Von Kambro



My nose was plugged. I couldn’t stand the stench coming from the can of food I just opened. It was so pungent that I could feel the aroma drift through my cowering nostril hairs whenever I let go in order to suck in more oxygen, but what can a guy do when he’s forced into a retreat? I haven’t got a lot of options anymore.

I stare at the can as it begins to bubble while it sits above the orange glow of the fire. The flickering flames lull me into a partial hypnosis. The moments of my recent situations run through my mind and I realize I ain’t got nobody to blame but myself.

My father was right: ‘Life is nothing but choices. ‘Make the wrong ones and you’ll be sittin by yourself tryin’ to figure out what the hell went wrong in yer life.’

Yep. You get one shot to do it right.

One shot.

I wonder how it happened. How did I end up here in the mountains, on the run from the law? I can hear the posse-they aren’t so far away, but I’m so damn hungry I don’t care if they catch me right now at least it’ll be over, but I’ve got to keep running. It’s like a game to me.

I don’t care if they think they can win, I know I’m not gonna lose.

Two days ago I was sipping wine and dancing with a beautiful Seniorita. I thought she was mine, but apparently some other cowpoke had the same idea. He was trying to get me to shoot him, but I didn’t fire a shot. We went outside and threw some punches at one another.

We were snockered up so bad that the swings we took at one another made more contact with the air than with our bodies, but everytime we took a swing, we’d look back at the pretty dark haired girl we were fighting for.

Her face was slender, her eyes were deep, deep brown-as black as night actually. Her hair was black, long and curly and dangled nearly down to her waist. When she smiled it gave a man reason to forget what his name was. She wasn’t tall, but she was a robust little thing. Pretty.

I don’t even know that fella’s name. He just tapped me on the shoulder and told me to stop dancing with his girl. I kept going, She was nice and warm, and smelled real nice. Well, he just stood there and waited until we stopped dancing, and as soon as the next round of music began playing he stepped right in front of me and grabbed my Rosalita’s hand and tugged her out onto the floor.

I wanted to pop that ugly goat right in his chops, but I waited and watched, and drank.

The more I watched, the more I drank. The more I drank, the madder I got.

This scrawny, beady eyed galoot couldn’t even dance. He was trying to hold his bottle of whisky and drink from it while holding her with his stickly little arm. He was ugly. He even had an eye-patch.

I don’t know why he tried, but he was keeping his good eye on me, and not her.

When he was done gargling his whiskey he tossed the bottle at me, but he was so diluted with the stuff, the bottle didn’t even make it half way. He lobbed it up into the air and smashed on top of some dudes head, but it didn’t fase him. He looked at me as drank from my dirty glass. I pointed at the hairless jackal that was dancing with Rosalita. When this hombre’ stood up he was nothing less than three-hundred pounds, his head nearly touched ceiling. He was bigger than me and the one eyed jack.

He wasn’t looking to say hello, and I sure hell wanted to say good-bye.

I tossed my drink down my open mouth and tipped my hat to him. I started walking toward the door, but the moment my foot stepped outside something clutched my shoulder and I felt my bone crack. I dropped to the ground and rolled to one side and I could see that 300 pound hombre looking down at me. He didn’t blink as he stared at me, but I remember he told me this:

“I’m sick of watching you two girls.”

I don’t recall too much after that, but I know the alcohol was talking back to him because I do recall my words to him.

“You ain’t so purty yerself.”

There was some yelling from that one-eyed jack, Rosalita was screaming, and there were some gunshots, but I know I wasn’t hit. Rosalita had knelt down and was crying as she spoke something in Spanish to the man that had his last dance with her.

I got on a horse, somebody’s horse, because mine ran off. That damn thing never could stand the sound of gun shots. I rode that for legged beauty up into the hills and waited for the sunrise. I was able to watch as Rosalita and the Giant shoulder crushing goon pointed up in my direction.

I knew I was being blamed for something, but I couldn’t defend myself. I was trying to think who shot who while watching the girl I thought was mine sell me out and hug the hombre’ that broke my shoulder with one hand.

I wanted to go down there and bust’em up. I reached for my gun and readied myself to ride down there and go out in a blaze of glory, but..dammit! My gun was gone. I stood up and patted myself real good, but I had no gun. I got a real warm, queasy feeling in my stomach. They set me up.

The one-eyed jack is dead, but somehow I escaped alive. No gun, but alive.

I jumped on my horse and we galloped away from that hell-hole of a place. A place that seemed like heaven for me is now a place closer to hell. I’ve been ridin’ for awhile. My butt has got blisters, my stomach is in knots, and my eyes are burning.

Choices…Just Like my daddy said.

I know I’ve made some bad choices because my life is proof of that, but it’s too late to make good ones. All I can do is keep running and keep hiding.

My life isn’t about choices anymore. It’s about taking chances and living on hope that I can live to see another day, and to dance with a girl that I can trust.

The End.

One Shot.

A cowboy reflects on his life and his father's words of advice after a wild night of drinking and dancing. "One Shot" is a tongue cheek description for a short story that's built on a double entendre of those words. There's one shot, One drink, one girl, and others that are used to tell the story of cowboy that decides to make a choice that doesn't follow his father's wisdom.

  • Author: Von Kambro
  • Published: 2016-10-22 01:05:08
  • Words: 1121
One Shot. One Shot.