Cowboy or coward
by M. L. Larsen
The wild west isn't without gunfights. Every cowboy knows that. Except Bill Warren. He avoided violence like ducks avoids gunfire during duck season. He was more a coward than a cowboy and he knew it. Every time there were a bloody gunfight in the town, he ran away and hide himself in the bar. The latest gunfight was between the mad Brothers Brown - stinky farmers with long beards who were fighting over their dead father's farm. It was like watching a braindead version of King Lear starring hillbillies. The bar's owner Ted Smith wasn't upset or scared when there were gunfights. He was a old man and he had seen his fair share of violence over the years. He was used to it. He saw Bill hiding under one of the round tables like a scared chicken.
"What's up Bill?" He said. "Hiding from bullets again?"
"You're not funny Ted." Said Bill with fear and frustration in his voice.
"I wasn't trying be to funny."
"I am so goddawn tried of this fucking town. Not one day goes past without some gun-crazy fucker shooting at one. "
"They don't shoot after you. Why do you fear them?"
"I know that, Ted. But in the last two weeks some folks got killed by random bullets while minding their own business."
"Oh yes. Wasn't the undertaker among the dead?"
"Yes. Mr. Bones. He was always busy with the dead. He was insane."
"A dead undertaker. How ironic."
"Would you like to have a brandy?" A small glass on the house? "
"Yes. I like brandy."
"Then stop hiding like a sissy boy and come up here."
Bill was looking around. There was no sign of trouble. The only sound was the silly conversation between the Browns. They were "talking" to each other.
"Come on Bill." Said Ted. "Are you a cowboy or a coward?"
"A cowboy..." said a silent Bill.
"Good boy! A good cowboy!"
Bill went over to Ted with a thirst after brandy. He sat down and yell:
Ted went slient. A loose bullet went through his head. He was dead. His blood painted a confused Bill red on the face. He said:
He went quickly back to his hiding place shaky with fear and confusion. He could hear bullets flying by outside like angry bees. As the gunfight between the Browns went on, Bill were still hiding. Now he was a coward again. But at least he was alive.