Thursday, April 11, 2013

Yet Another Gunfight, as Gunfight Week Continues

This is an excerpt from a gunfight between a little green man and some gambler from my novel The Devil Draws Two. Miles O'Malley is filling in as town marshal in Tombstone, Arizona

...Before I could figure out what to do, Elbert was standing next to him. "Is it customary to replace the card with another one concealed underneath the table? Most peculiar game."

The three men who spoke no English drew down on the riverboat gambler from New Orleans. It took a few seconds longer for me to grasp the situation. "Hold on boys," I warned.

Livingston's face turned a deep shade of crimson. He grabbed one of his gloves off his belt and smacked Elbert across the head. "No one a-cuzes Jonathan T. Livingston of bein' a cheat. Suh, ah do not care if you are indeed the devil himself, ah demand satisfaction."

"Irrational? Sexual attraction?" Elbert asked.

"Elbert, I don't think you quite understand," I explained. "He wishes to fight you. Have a shootout."

"Weah ah come from, gentlemen –" he paused and looked over Elbert for a moment, "and ah use tha term loosely – fight a duel, not a bahbaric shootout."

I nodded approval. "Like they do back east. Okay with you, Elbert?"

"Acceptable," he agreed.

"Let's do it." I led the group toward the door. Our exit was blocked as Sheriff John Behan stood in the way. He sort of flinched at the sight of Elbert. "Was wondering what happened to you," I said.

Elbert pointed at Behan. "This is the one who ran away."

"I didn't run away. I get sick when I'm closed up." Then he returned to the situation at hand. "What's that doing in the cantina?" Behan asked.

"Elbert here's gonna shoot it out with Riverboat, like they do back east, duel style. Heck, I’m actually glad you’re here. You ought to count 'em off. I don't like Riverboat too much. You'd be fairer."

"Fairer? I don't like this here Elbert. Gives me the creepies, all green and all," Behan protested.

"Sheriff Jackass is acceptable," Elbert announced.

The Mexicans, who didn't speak English, all roared. Behan's face grew three shades redder. "Sheriff Jackass?"

"I'll explain later," I offered.

Behan calmed down a little. "Well, let's get on with it."

"Suh?" Livingston pointed to the lack of a gun belt.

"Oh." Behan unbuckled his and handed it to the gambler. "Use mine."

I looked over at Elbert. "What about you?"

Elbert waved his hand. A familiar metal disk appeared.

"I don't know about this," Behan cautioned. "He already killed Old Man Gantry."

"Suh, I have no fear of any devil weapons, foe ah have truth an righteousness on ma side," Livingston declared. Then he stepped out to the middle of the street, cocked the pistol and held it tight against his chest. "Ahm ready."

I showed Elbert how to take a position with his back against Livingston. Then everyone cleared the street. I gestured to Behan.

"Ready. Now I'll call off ten paces, then you boys turn and fire." Behan adjusted his hat and cleared his throat. "One... two... three... four... five... six... seven... eight... nine," he swallowed, "ten."

Elbert showed incredible reflexes. He spun around much faster than his larger opponent, quickly raised his disk, then a blue flash left a six-inch hole where Livingston's chest had been. The gambler's pistol discharged on the way down, knocking out a window at the hotel. There was a moment of silence, then people rushed out into the street. Behan retrieved his gun from the corpse. I ushered Elbert back inside the cantina. We each drank a beer in silence.

"Must leave now," Elbert said. Then he belched. "Good drink."

"Well, come back anytime, Elbert. You're always welcome in Tombstone," I said. I escorted Elbert back to his space vehicle. Behan sort of followed along. The other townsfolk showed no interest at all in going near it. We all shook hands.

"Goodbye Sheriff Jackass. Goodbye Miles O’Malley, Town of Tombstone." Elbert climbed inside and the hatch closed. Then, with no sound at all, the big sphere rose up into the air and shot off into the afternoon sky. In two seconds it was completely out of sight.

I asked "Figure he'll be back?"

"Nope, I'd go to St. Louis." Behan started sauntering back toward the county jail. "Trouble with you, O’Malley, is you're too dang stupid to know better than to get inside something like that. You could of gotten killed. They could eat human beings for all you knew."

I countered with, "Can't wait to tell the guys at the Epitaph how you ran away. Wyatt'll love it."

Wyatt and Virgil never really seemed to believe the story of the little green man and the duel, even though others confirmed it. I was never again asked to fill in as marshal. Of course, that may have been on account I cut some guy real bad during a shave and got fired from my barbering job. I left town not long after it happened

1 comment:

  1. LOL, fun one. I could really hear Livingston's accent and the alien... hehe. Thanks for sharing!

    I think my favorite gun fight ever really isn't a gun fight so much as it was ended by a gun. Indian Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc. I bet you know which one I'm talking about. Big bad ass guy with swords doing cool sword like stuff... pissed off (and sick) Indy pulls out his gun and ends it right there.