Image credit goes to Santa Fe Ghost and History Tours
Green note: this here’s for SS2 and FF. It’s one of the silliest things you’ll ever read. Its trifling existence is predicated on the avoidance of pressing on with a writing project involving an idea so good that I’ve become scared of it. Makes perfect sense…
It all went down at Persy’s Place. The regulars had been enjoying their usual late Saturday breakfasts and lunches that blended and didn’t end until happy hour. And at Persy’s, happy hour was set at 5pm and folks didn’t tamper with it, unless there was some dire need to start it up a tad early, but it was never late.
This particular Saturday, at 2:43pm, in the middle of some’s breakfasts and others’ lunches, a short man in a black fedora and trench coat busted in through the side door on the blaring rays of a hot Eldorado day. Everyone stopped chewing and watched the man.
The first thing he did was to set down a giant black briefcase that’d been tiring his right arm. Then he leaned back against the door, his chest heaving for lack of air and his eyes looking this way and that until they adjusted to the atmospheric light of Persy’s.
When his eyes found the bar, he yanked his briefcase up off the floor and made a beeline for the bartender, slapped some money down and ordered a shot of whiskey. Folks gasped and a buzz commenced.
The bartender stopped his glass-polishing and regarded the stranger. “Mighty early, ain’t it, mister?”
“Not today, it’s not,” the man said, “And please be quick about it.”
“See here now, happy hour technically don’t start ‘til 5.”
“Listen, sir, I’ll be on my way soon as I get that shot.”
“You ain’t no alcoholic is ya?”
“Look, I need the fortitude, I think I’m being followed, I picked up the wrong briefcase and—”
“Save it, brother, I gotcha covered,” the bartender said. He poured the man his shot and pushed it toward him, winked and said real low, “Sometimes I sneak me a little pick-me-up, too.”
No sooner than the man had downed his shot, the front door blasted open and the patrons sprang back in their seats as six, black-masked marauders rushed in. Their capes fluttering back behind them made them look like crows landing in a corn field.
The man dropped his shot glass and reached for the briefcase. One of the marauders shot the man’s hand and he snatched it to his chest and held it there, blood oozing onto his white shirt.
The patrons held their breath as the gears turned in the man’s head, torn as he was on risking his other hand trying to pick up the case and run with it or just plain running for his life. He chose the latter and ran for the side door with half the marauders after him.
The other half lunged for the briefcase and ended up shooting the lock off it, and there it was, the gleaming consignment of gold they’d been hired to collect for Narsis, master of the dark country.
Amidst the marauders’ cries of triumph came a round of gunshots from outside. The patrons jumped, some screamed, certain that the shots signaled the demise of the poor fedora man, and the swift return of the absent marauders confirmed it in their minds.
Two of the marauders quickly secured the case for travel and in the doing, a handful of the patrons were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the shining bars of gold. They oohed and ahhed as all six marauders made for the door in the same manner as they’d arrived, their capes flapping like skyward-sweeping crows mocking the landlocked with their caws.
Just as they’d reached the door it exploded inward knocking the first two marauders back and mowing down the others like Dominoes, and four gigantic Texas Rangers swept into Persy’s dressed in white hats, boots, dusters, and gloves.
The patrons watched the Rangers tear the marauders to pieces like great white gryphons and regain the treasure of gold that rightfully belonged to Eiron, king of the domain of light.
Three of the Rangers heaved two marauder bodies each around their thick necks and their commander took up the black briefcase. Then they marched in step toward the front door apologizing to the patrons who nodded impatiently.
Just as the patrons started to take stock of all that had happened, the front door was flung open again, and the white Rangers, now mostly red with marauder blood, backed into Persy’s as if they were on slow re-wind.
Some of the still-curious folks waited to see what was driving the Rangers back, but most of them were looking for a chance to leave uneventfully. Their food was an hour cold, it was too early for happy hour, and the predominant thought was to get out and redeem the Saturday.
The third Ranger was all in and the back of the commander could now be seen, then his arms, one of which still had the briefcase full of gold dangling from it. When he’d backed all the way in, the snarling chops of an enormous orange tiger came into view, its fangs dripping with drool. The patrons that had stood to leave, sat back down.
The tiger advanced low to the floor on monstrous paws, the great bones of its shoulders shifting stealthily, slowly, slowly until it sprang for the commander’s neck. The other three Rangers instantly ditched the dead marauders from their shoulders and went for their guns but couldn’t get a clear shot into the spinning ball of white flailing and orange mauling.
Once there was no life left in the commander, the tiger, desiring to take his kill to a secluded spot, dragged the commander’s body this way and that in frustration.
The bartender hollered from behind the bar, “Someone open a door for crissakes!”
“I got it,” Joe Beasley said since he was nearest the side door. He jumped up, propped the door open and hurried back to his table.
The tiger went toward the light with his kill and the three remaining Rangers, all in shock, picked up the dead marauders and the briefcase and followed after the tiger like zombies, mumbling apologies.
Joe got up, shut the door and just stood there wondering what to do.
“Well,” the bartender said, “It ain’t but 4:08pm, but I reckon an early happy hour is warranted.” He looked about the room, at the state of the patrons and hollered, “All drinks half-price!”
Anyone who was planning to leave shrugged, figured the day was shot anyway, and bellied up to the bar.
The bartender yelled, “Someone bolt the doors!” and flew into action.
“I got it,” Joe said.
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