A Pair of Guns


Here was the prompt:

A bad dude in a cowboy hat is walking into a saloon in a bad Western movie.  He is looking dangerous and mad.  Tell what happens.  Create a happy ending.

He shuffled down the dry, scorched road that ran through the center of the frontier town.  The black and weathered cowboy hat on his head looked nearly gray from the influence of time and dust.  His spurs jangled and he walked with the slow bow legged gait of a man who has spent a lifetime in the saddle.  He veered from his path and strode through a pair of swinging half doors and into the grim saloon.

“One whisky,” he snarled at the bartender who was busy polishing a cloudy glass.

The menacing look on the customers face had caused a hush to come over the room since the moment he had walked in. The startled bartender fumbled with the glass he had been polishing causing it to pop out of his hands and shatter at his feet behind the bar. “Y-y-yes sir, one whisky coming up,” he stammered.

A man who had been sitting alone at a dingy table in the corner of the room rose slowly to his feet. With a gravelly voice that sounded louder than it should have in the dead silent room, he uttered, “you mangy old son of a gun.”

The stranger in the black hat wheeled around to face the man who had dared to speak in this way. His hand was already at his hip reaching for the massive revolver that hung from his belt.  He was too slow.  The man who had spoken was already upon him pulling him into a smothering embrace. “Herbert, you blind old fool, you don’t even know your big brother when he is standing in the same room.”

“Pete? Is that really you,” he managed to gasp as the bear hug forced the air from his lungs.

A fist landed in the middle of his chest with a force that would have brought most men to their knees. “Who the hell else do you think it is? Who else in the world besides you has a piece like this?”

With that he pulled out a massive silver revolver with an ornately carved horn grip. “Dad only made two, and I can see the other riding on your hip there.”

The man in the black hat pulled out his piece and placed it beside the other man’s.  The two weapons had clearly been made by the same hand as companion pieces.  The delicate carving of a rose and a skull were carved as mirror images of each other along the length of the handle.  A tear welled up in the eye of the man in the black hat, but it did not fall. “I gave up looking for you six years ago after ma and I got a telegram that said you had been killed when your mine in California went bust.”

“Well, I obviously aint been killed, and that mine, I can tell you,  is damn far from bust.”

“Big Brother, sounds like we have a lot to catch up on.  You will be very interested to hear about some, business opportunities, I have been finding around Carson City.  Some very trusting folks up around those parts.”

The two men walked out of the saloon and into the blazing sun.


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