A Random "Western" Tale

by: Ero Seinen (Neckties)

Chapter One

Why, Yes, I Do Feel Lucky

A lone man cloaked in a duster, a worn cowboy hat stumbles into a mining settlement in the Californian desert. His face covered by a bandana, his deep emerald eyes were that of a man who tread through Hell and back. He makes his way to the saloon, stumbling through the double doors which slides open. Curious scanning eyes wandered towards the stranger's direction, a few conversations hushed as he sat down at the bar. The mechanical automaton behind the counter looks at the traveler and before he could ask anything the stranger grumbled his request.

"Cold milk and lots of it."

"I'm sorry, sir, we're out of milk. One of the workers here forgot to buy it when she was out and about," replied the bartender. "How about something else?"

"I'll take water then," sighed the stranger.

The bartender wheels into the room in the back and emerges with a metallic cup filled with water and a chunk of ice chipped off the block, "We just got some new ice this morning, please excuse the slight saltiness."

The stranger sighs and removes his hat, revealing his muddy brown hair, speckled with sand and dust and patted down from the sweat of his head. Removing the bandana, reveals the dirty face man who hasn't shaved in days, his whiskers prickly, his skin has fine layer dirt. A few small scars could be seen on his eyebrow, one on his lip, and another more prominent scar on the left side of his face, going from his jawline for to his neck.

A local man walks up to the stranger his footsteps were different, one was heavier, the floor creaks harder as he stepped with his right leg, taking a seat next to the traveler, the local man's eyes shutters, then focuses on the outsider, "that's a mighty nasty looking scar, what's that from? Fightin' with the bandito? The law? El Chupacabra?" The conversations around the saloon continues.

"It's from getting in a tussle with a few fellas in Nevada," the stranger takes a sip from his cup after answering.

"What brings you 'round here now? River's no good, ain't no gold in it, not even fool's gold, 'less yer lookin' for a job at the mines, but it ain't promises, the veins are almost depleted, they say," chuckled the local to try and hide the concerns of the well-being of the town.

"I was following the love of my life here, but it appears that I've arrived here first," sighed the stranger.

"Ain't no women been through here, so I reckon you did get here first," laughed the local upon hearing the stranger's reason, "anywho, people 'round here call me Champ, on the count that I do all the legwork in this town." laughed the local man as he knocks on his right knee. Clang clang.

"I was given the name Adriel." the stranger said as he looked up to the ceiling, then towards the double doors. The horses neighed and whined loudly outside, a strong gust of wind dances through the settlement. Thunder crackled in the distance and the gusts turns into a squall. "Well, she's here, I guess I ought to go greet her, pleasure meetin' ya, Champ."

Adriel puts on his hat and covers his face with the bandana again and heads out into the darkening world. Dark gray clouds rolled in from the East, the wind seemed to swirl around the man as he walked towards the edge of the settlement, following a patted dirt road for a short time. The wind picks up, whistling in his ear. Light tremors in the earth is felt beneath his boots. "Hello, love, it seems like I got here before you did." Suddenly, a loud shriek rang from the distance. Dust clouds kicked up on the horizon, rapidly speeding towards the man and the settlement behind him. The afternoon sunlight quickly fades within the dust. The ground beneath the man softens and he sinks slowly into the dirt. "I hate this part..." He vanishes into the Earth and the weather dissipates with him.

A gorgeous woman, long beautiful copper hair, fair pale skin that's free of blemishes and freckles, kneels down at the spot where Adriel sank, "dearest, Adriel, how cruel God is to have separate us again." She smiles and gets up, humming a soft tune as she made her way towards the mining settlement.