Finish that Thought gives us a starting sentence and only 24 hours to turn in a piece of flash fiction. There’s a special challenge that we can accept, and for this week it was a romantic element or a carousel.
“I practically died.” He paused a moment, stooping to recover his hat.
“Mighty kind of you to stop this here stage coach and help a feller out. Least I can do is tell you the tale to kill the miles to town.” Slinging his wayward hat round his neck by the drawstring, the cowboy pulled himself up.
“My pardners and I were headed this way in to town, looking to live it up a bit after our time out prospecting. We’d been plenty lucky,” he said, giving them a cheerful grin that was lacking a few teeth, “And that there gold was plum burning a hole right through our pockets. We thought our run of luck was continuing, when we saw a passel of broncs jest up ahead of us. I was all fer ignoring them for I could just about taste the grub in the cantina, but the boys convinced me it’d be worth it.”
“Worth it my ass!” He spat on the ground then continued. “Gunsmoke – my damn fool hoss – got the bit between his teeth, and afore I knew it had pitched me to the canyon bed. Tarnation, but did it sting! That there herd wheeled and turned right past me almost endlessly it seemed. I musta banged a rock but good when I came off, as I swore sure as shooting I even did see a unicorn galloping past. Them lowlife no-good mates of mine just ran off, leaving me spittin’ and a squallin’ in the dust. I can still here their sniggering ringing in my ears. They’ve prob’ly gone and spent my cut of the haul already, lower than a rattler’s belly the lot of them! Some folk’s are greedier than Ole Scratch hisself.”
The music wound down and the horses rose and fell slower then came to a stop.
“Want some of my fairy floss to cheer you up?” she asked the boy in the cowboy outfit.
“That’s dad-gumned kind of you little Missy, right neighbourly like.” He reached out and took a pink tuft before tipping his hat to her.
“Much obliged. If’n you’re ever passing through Santa Fe, look me up – Two Gun Paul.”