Shamefully Written by
Wade J. McMahan
Boldly I boarded my bronco, Bad-ear, and bounded across the Brazos bound for Rio Bravo where I barged through the batwing doors of “Big Buckaroo’s B&B, Barroom, Barbershop, and Brothel.”
Back of the bar, Black Bart, the bellicose bully, bad boy, braggart, and budding ballerina brokered baccarat bets; a broad, bronzed, brawny, bearded bastard with bulging biceps. Bravely bellying up to the bar, I balanced my butt on a beer barrel, and barked at a bald, bullet-headed barkeep to bring me a Budweiser.
Friendly Fannie Franklin flounced forward flaunting a fetching, fashionable, fanciful, flowery, flowing, fuchsia frock. “Felicitations friend,” Fannie offered flippantly, her eyelashes flapping flirtatiously.
“Ditto,” I drawled drooling, while furthermore fantasizing fucking Fannie furiously.
“Back off Bub,” Black Bart bellowed. “Frankly, the fantastical femme fatale Fannie Franklin is my fiancé.”
Bucking the brooding Black Bart boded bad blood. Forgetting Fannie Franklin’s favors, I faced forward. “Buy you a Bud, Bart?” I blustered.
“Not a Bud on a bet, Bub,” Black Bart snapped. “This town ain’t big enough for the two of us.”
“This town ain’t big enough for the one of you,” I re-snapped.
He gave me a funny look. “I don’t get it,” he said.
“It’s simple division,” I rejoined.
“How do you figure?” he continued.
“Two minus two equals none,” I continued too.
He had had the same thought I had had. “Makes sense,” he admitted.
“I’m good at math,” I retorted.
“Let’s go. Step outside into the street,” he ordered.
“I don’t need to piss,” I countermanded.
“We’re going to have a shootout,” he clarified.
“Shoot out where?” I inquired.
“In the street,” he nodded.
“Oh,” I nodded back.
Fannie Franklin followed while Black Bart and I banged through the barroom door into the broad daylight, and bounded into the center of the broad street, both of us backing away and braced for battle.
“Go for your gun,” he said.
“I don’t have to,” I said, pointing to my holster. “It’s right here.”
“Draw,” he said.
“Eek!” Fanny screamed.
Sweat beaded my brow and blurred my bifocals as I drew my six-shooter, fanned the hammer to shoot, and fired.
I lied—it was a seven-shooter. Each of my seven forty-five caliber cartridges held twelve buckshot pellets. It didn’t matter. I missed Bart eighty-four times. I’m good at math. My aim sucks. Luckily, it was my lucky day.
Black Bart drew his gun and fired a single bullet that swished past my head, traveling on to ricochet off the blacksmith’s anvil, zooming along the boardwalk to clip the Mayor’s mustache, bouncing off the sign over the undertaker’s shop, turning it to zip across the street notching the Sheriff’s ear, then rebounding upon striking and setting afire a gaslight sending it whistling back down the street knocking the whip out of the stagecoach driver’s fist, then pinging off a horseshoe hanging above the livery stable door, binging off the bingo parlor, reversing its trajectory so it buzzed back past my head again, and sped down the center of the street where it encountered Bart’s single long eyebrow.
Black Bart dropped into the street like a beer mug on a Tuesday morning. Laying flat on his back, his feet began kicking up dust like a lizard hopping over a toadstool in the rain.
A terrified townswoman tiptoeing along the boardwalk screamed and dropped her milk pail into the street where it rolled to a stop beside Bart. He had had it and kicked the bucket.
“Yay!” the crowd roared.
“My hero,” Fannie sighed, her eyelashes fluttering fervently. “Won’t you stay here with me?”
Hitching up my gunbelt around my waist, I walked to the hitching post and loosed my appaloosa cayuse. Tipping my hat, I willfully winked wistfully. “No. I can’t stay. The West needs heroic heroes who do heroic things, and I must dutifully do my duty. Farewell, Fannie Franklin. My name is Tex Gunn, and I ride alone.”
I mounted Bad-ear and left on a Wednesday.