Friday, April 24, 2009

chapter 0 - the clock on the wall

to begin at the beginning click here

a dust storm had come up somewhere on the planet and the early morning sun was struggling to get through the settling motes.

two bad guys were waiting for the train. their names were hank and reese, or maybe they were ali and mehmed, or ike and mike. or sergei and sir guy.

they had brand new six-shooters, a little too big for them, holstered on their right hips.

two other bad guys were supposed to join them. they hadn't shown up yet

they waited. hank, or maybe he was ali or ike or sergei, was whittling a stick with a knife so small it was almost invisible in his hand. his buddy just sat with his hands on his knees.

"i hope you fellows aren't up to any no good, with those six-shooters. my husband and little boy are going to be arriving on the train and i don't want any ruckus."

ali looked up. a respectable looking young woman was sitting on a bench in the shadow of the station clock, she was small. with a big purse on her lap. her face was hidden by a large blue bonnet.

ike looked over at mike before replying. "well, ma'am, we're waiting on a feller. we hope there won't be any unpleasantness but there may well be a touch of unpleasantness,"

"you should say fellow, not feller. learn to pronounce your words correctly."

"yes, ma'am. i thought i was scoring some points saying things like 'a touch of unpleasantness' and 'there may well be' but i stand corrected. thank you."

sir guy interjected. "you know, ma'am, the usage 'ma'am' itself is not entirely correct. strictly speaking, it should be 'madam'. would you like us to address you as 'madam'? also, 'ruckus' is not the most elegant usage."

sergei chuckled pleasantly, "don't mind him, ma'am, he hasn't had his breakfast yet. he gets a little out of sorts and persnickity sometimes."

the young woman got up and approached the two villains. 'perhaps, while you are waiting, you might improve yourselves by reading the words of the prophet."

"thank you," hank answered. "we would appreciate that very much."

she opened the handbag and reached into it. "or would you prefer the words of comrade lenin, or mr gurdjieff"

"it's all the same, ma'am, as long as its good wisdom"

the young woman took her hand out of the bag with a tiny pistol in it, pressed it between hank/ali/ike/sergei's eyes and pulled the trigger.

before reese/mehmed/mike/sir guy reacted - he kept his hands on his knees - she turned and shot him through his right eye.

the station clock read 9:59.

where were the two other bad guys? there was nobody else in the station.

alternate ending

next chapter

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