"Talk!" The loud 'plat' of fist to flesh resounded around the small, candle lite room. "You god-damn sonofabitch!" Another 'plat' echoed across the room. One man, short with nappy red hair, spat blood out of his mouth and groaned with disgust. Three shadows flew with every movement of the candle. The red haired man's mouth hung limply open, a string of red spit glittered in the light, slowly swinging back and forth. The man hovering above the redhead shook the feeling back into his fist. A dark man was seated far behind him, arms crossed. He remained still as the more aggressive man started to yell again. Speaking with increasing speed and increasing urgency, he knelt down to eye level with the tied up redhead. 

"We have you." He paused to take in a deep breath and repeated himself. "We have you. We got you. And we are going to kill you."

"Speak for yourself." the dark man interrupted. He hid his face behind a cupped hand as he lit a cigarettes with a bar match. The dark man coughed twice, harsh, and spit flew onto the wall. The other man shot him a quick, fierce gaze and continued.

"Let me reword that. I AM going to kill you." A darting tongue moistened his lips. "We know no one travels alone anymore or else they'd be dead. Where's the rest of them?" Instead of raising his first once more, the man unholstered a small .22 pistol out of his right pocket and leveled the gun directly against the man's adams apple. The redhead raised his chin high and spit blood once more to the side.

"We're all going to die, brother." He smiled to show a space where his left front tooth should of been. "You're just postponing the inevitable." He lowered his chin once more out of pure exhaustion.  

"That's what I was hoping you'd say." A .22 round flew sideways and collided with the soggy beige wall. Then, in an instantaneous moment, another shot was fired from behind and two men fell into each other in a mess of flesh. The background man then, stood up, and quickly searched both of the dead.

"Assholes." was the only word audible as he plopped both of them on top of each other by a nearby tree, because there is nothing like good bait.


A fleeting wind passed through the door of an off red house, throwing the half open door back and forth between safety and the unforgivable wilderness. Slowly, with calculation and uneasiness, two figures headed towards it. The traveling air brought with it the smell of repugnance, and the lingering factors that the smell of rot brings with it. The deck stairs let out a loud creak as a foot pressed downward. The door played an unorganized dance with the wind, balancing and rocking where it pleased, yet, still locked in by hinges. 

"Look here." A coarse voice cracked through the silence. A dark red dried patch contrasted against the bleach white of the door. One long streak from about half way up the door all the way to the bottom, where a now dried pile formed a few feet across. The Otherman entered first, eyes scanning in and around every direction, pistol held tight.

"I just can't believe people still lived all the way up here before." He lifted various porcelain elephants and other knickknacks that idly wasted people's lives.

The town was named Garden, at least according to the wooden welcome sign that they passed while entering. All it seemed to be was an old gold rush town, deserted as quickly as it had boomed. Then, like most ghosttowns, turned into a tourist trap, having to drive twenty miles up a steep, shitty dirt road to find hicks, inferior houses and fool's gold sold for three times the price it actually costs. Otherman and Cowboy learned all this from the hundred packets and pamphlets littered across the gift shop.

"And people actually bought this shit?" Otherman lifted his pointer finger up and in sarcastic fashion slowly pushed off a ceramic miner, about a foot tall. As the forgotten plaything tumbled elegantly towards it's impending doom, he clasped his hands over his mouth and gasped. When the noise echoed, Cowboy ran around the corner from the other room, rifle up to shoulder.

"Sum' Bitch." He lowered the gun and let out a small chuckle. "I figured you was one of those damn Crawlers, eating my buddy. Fuuuck." He dragged out the word as long as possible then continued searching the house. He would shake his head slightly from side to side slowly while looking around, eventually getting his long white beard to sway with every stride.


"Hm?" Cowboy turned away from the walking sticks priced at $400.00.

"Why are we here exactly? This town basically has no food or supplies."

"You know why we gotta go through this shithole." 

"Doesn't mean we gotta go through here." Otherman shrugged and started to turn, but then with a new thought came a new grin. "You're planning on opening up a Gold Mine, aren't you? Shit, there I am again, just another tool for someone else's hopes and aspirations." Both men let out a light laugh. Cowboy pushed Otherman playfully into the counter, knocking everything on top off.

"But Boy! We could be millionaires! Spend our lives in fancy rooms with the fanciest of whores! I think that's what I want. What'd ya' say?"

Otherman snapped the button of his leather holster, and with practiced speed, let out a few hip rounds directly into the glass holding all the old mining equipment. A loud primordial scream echoed through the room, but it was drowned out by the gunshots, and neither of the men heard. Cowboy, sensing the requirement for unneeded violence, did the same into the cash register. 

"Fuck 'em all!" He yelled with rural gusto, obviously at the entirety of the world.

After both men realized that wasting ammo probably wasn't the safest decision of their part, they found their way into an old bag of jerky held up in a cupboard. Soon after the food, they were seated outside of the replica saloon which made up of one of the four building on the lot. The sun, just starting to break through the grey of the clouds, was on it's way west. Trees surrounded the entire town, isolating their experience even further. The other three buildings were closer together, with the saloon positioned slightly away from them. There was a gift shop, replica saloon, replica house, and of course a replica doctor's office. This consisted entirely of a plank to lay and a few unsharpened tools. Otherman was seated on the front porch with his hiking boots dangling idly over the edge of the deck. Cowboy stood nearby, leaned up again the support beam of the saloon. The sky started transforming into a dark orange, now again behind the clouds. Quickly and with precision, both men set up their small camps on the floorboards. As the ever so inviting unknown of dusk found it's way into their grotto in the mountains, both men sat by lowering candlelight. 

"You know, I'm surprised to say I think I may actually be glad I met you." Cowboy was seated on top of the bar, hat tipped over his face, gaze on the floor. Otherman sat cross legged, like he usually did, on the other side of the saloon, next to the candle. The light seemed to play a game of dodge with the shadows, flying across the room however they pleased. Cowboy continued, "When we ran into each other in Sprig, I almost killed you on the spot. Too many fuckups ran around in that town. Stealin', contests on who got the most kills, human or not, it never mattered. Glad I, we, left."

Otherman smiled a yellow grin, "Yeah, for one of the most civilized places in existence that I know of, there wasn't much law." He shrugged and stared into the light that escaped the candle. 

"Who said civilization had to have law?" Always their conversations seemed to lead into the unanswerable, philosophical problems that humanity has faced since man became man. Since both men knew this, neither spoke after for a very long time. Silence seems to bring one back to their own shortcoming and pasts, no matter where the silence finds itself placed. The rest of the night was filled with casual talk, jokes and the occasional scream. After Cowboy placed a large replica table in front of the large replica door, both of them, instead of sleeping, continued to converse all the way until the red of morning's light. 

The End

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