This week’s Microcosms I got as my elements of Lawman, Tombstone and Romance which could result in only one thing – cowboy story. So I put on my best ten gallon hat, rode out to the Wild West and found my flash fiction tale Goodbye My Love. You’ll find it below the break. Enjoy!
Goodbye My Love
Dust kisses my boots. The homestead is little more than a hut. Inside two voices, a man and a woman, my knock, loud and angry, startles them both. Good, I want them on edge. “Open up, Benny.”
The woman does what I ask. I hope she is just his entertainment for the night. “Benny ain’t here.”
“Darling, I can hear him. Send him out to play, and I’ll leave you alone.” The door closes, a discussion of whispers before he does what he is told. “Let’s go for a walk, Benny.”
I pull him out of his hut by his forearm. I make sure I leave my mark. We walk away from his horse and mine, no need to scare them. Benny is scared enough for the four of us.
“What are you frightened of, Benny, or should I say Mad Ben the Sheriff Killer? Least that is what your wanted poster calls you. Least they got a good likeness of you. I never look good on mine.” My laugh rolls across the desert. Benny’s attempt barely reaches the edge of his land.
“You going to turn me in, Wild Dog?”
“Hell no, Benny. My reward is far higher than yours.”
“Please, Wild Dog.” He falls to his knees. His face in my shirt, crying. “I was just trying to make a living but he…he…threatened me. It was either him or me. Him or me.” Benny slows to a shot.
“Then it should have been you.” I make sure he doesn’t start again. My six-shooter echoes over the dust.
The dusky sun winks off the rough wooden cross of an unmarked grave. Everyone knows who it belongs to. My pile of desert shrubs, without leaves or flowers adds no colour. “Goodbye, my love.”