We Hangmen at High Noon

The splintered saloon doors creak on their hinges as they slowly swing open. With a slow purposeful stride, The lean stranger enters the bar and stops a few steps in. His eyes scan the room slowly as he finishes rolling his smoke. With a final lick of his rolling paper, he lights a match, striking it across the rough stubble on his jaw. Dressed in black from head to toe, the only thing that stands out on his shadow like form is the silver star pinned to his chest. His spurs chime like the bells of Hell as he slowly walks to the bartender.

"The list, Sam."

The bartender, seemingly a bit nervous, scrambles to the end of the bar to retrieve the paper. He returns and hands the list to the shadow lawman. After a long pull from his cigarette, he raises the list to his face. Smoke bellows out from around the edges as the stranger begins to speak.

"I am Marshal Cain. I am looking for the best of the best. I don't care if you are in some kind of trouble. I don't care if your Momma needs new shoes, or your kin were eaten by coyotes. If you ain't on my wanted list, and providing you live through the indoctrination, you can live long enough to be a Hangman. We live for the hunt and we kill for the law. We are the dirty hands of our fine clean government."

Cain lowers the paper and begins folding it as he speaks.

"High noon tomorrow. Devils' Gulch cemetery. First round will be Reece Griffin and Curly Joe Franks. Winner fills a spot, loser fills a hole. The rest of you make sure to be there in case somebody backs out. Now go home. Kiss your loved ones goodbye. Either way, you are leaving on a horse or a bullet."

Cain puts the list in his pocket and takes one more long draw on his smoke before turning to the bar and putting it out in a half empty shot glass. He strolls back out the saloon doors and pulls himself onto his horse. The sound of his spurs still reverberating through the saloon.

Curly Joe slams his sausage like fingers down on the poker table. His tall form stands up as he beats on his barrel chest like a gorilla. He lets out a laugh and points at Reece.

"They won't have to dig a very big hole for your scrawny little butt tomorrow! Eat a good breakfast. It is gonna' be your last!"

His friends at the table begin laughing and cheering him on. Tommy Two Aces leans over to Reece and slides a shot to him.

"He will be lucky to shove that fat finger of his through his pistol. From the looks of it, he aught to put some bacon fat on the grip. He might find it faster that way. The name's Tommy. Thought I'd introduce myself since we will be riding together as Hangmen."


The End

32 comments about this exercise Feed