Short Story: The Walkin’ Gunslinger

A man was walking through a seemingly innocent town. Sounds of the town were in forms of windows and doors closing, as the day was setting down behind the mountains. At this time of the evenin’, only saloon doors opened more than once; swinging as people leaning against bars drowned themselves in drink.

The man was looking for a certain type of people. People that pertained to a certain destiny, if you will. And you will. See, the reader of this here manifest needs to understand that a particular kind have a time and a place. A certain crossroad in their lives.

The walkin’ man had a black felt hat on his head, which hid his features surprisingly well. Accompanying the hat was a black cotton cloak, the blackest leather boots, clinking with the sound of spurs. A silver-adorned pistol was swinging on his hip, resting in a leathery holster.

As the spurs clinked, the gun swung, and the man walked, a particular destiny appeared in front of him. Quietly, the man’s steps turned only to whispers, each step slightly disturbing the air around him. He had found another man sleeping on a horseless carriage. The other man had clearly been intoxicated, or still was, judging by the empty bottle of moonshine perched next to him. And he was to be judged.

“Matthew, come down from thine perch and converse with me.” Said a voice from the darkness. It might have been the voice of the walkin’ man.

“Wha?” The intoxicated man on the carriage managed to respond, barely.

“Matthew, I implore you, come to me while you still can.” The same strange voice from the darkness responded politely. Though it had the cadence of a command, the sound was calming – soft – even still.

“Now who in the Seven fuckin’ Hells are you, Mister?” The drunken man slurred back. Flies and other bugs swarmed in the night air. Though they avoided the walkin’ man like the plague.

“That is not of importance at this time. What is important is your family. Tell me Matthew, when was the last time you have seen your family? When was the last time your eyes gazed upon your beautiful children, your beautiful wife, Agnes?” The walkin’ man stopped for a while. The night was a cold one, and steam was rising from the nostrils of the drunken man. “This is also a matter of duty, Matthew. When have you last gone to work? When have you last made an honest dollar in this town? Have you forsaken your family, while you spend your money on whores and games in saloons? Will you repent and change your ways?”

“I’d rather go’ta Hell.” The man still laying on the carriage answered sharply; as sharply as he could.

“As you wish.”

The movement was instant, and over faster than the blink of an eye. The walkin’ man brought the revolver back to rest in it’s rightful holster. The hammer was resting on familiar steel, like a judge’s gavel on wood. Where there once had been a man, was now only the small indentation he had left when he had been lying on the carriage. The bottle of moonshine fell off the carriage, breaking in the process. The remains of the jug’s contents were gathered hastily by the ground.

The walkin’ man started walking again. The spurs clinked, the gun swung, and the man walked. The next town, and the next destiny, was already waiting for him.

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