Friday, July 18, 2014

The First Page of a Slow Western

The saloon-bar doors swung slowly in the random wind - letting nobody in and letting nobody out, unless it was a ghost slowly chasing the scent of alcohol or even more slowly fleeing the enticement of card-sharpers.

A six-shooter sat on one of the barroom tables amid the left-over rings from glasses once holding ancient shots of whiskey. Nobody was there, but the weapon slowly spun - as reflected in the half-empty bottles behind the bar counter, sluggish glints tracing a line of optics stored on a shelf, stored there because in this bar they poured shots of drink straight from the bottles, unmeasured and uneked out. Blow the optics! Give me honest pourings for healthy gulps!

I looked towards the grimy window, having heard the snicker of my heavy horse that I had left loosely tethered to the tethering-pole, alongside a couple of other ungroomed steeds, each with an empty water-bottle and, from it, the screwtop plug slowly swinging in that increasingly slow randomness of wind.

Where were their owners? Why were the two cowboys not in the bar? Where was the barman? Indeed, where was I? In which chair, in which direction, was I now sitting, in lugubrious pose?

The six-shooter continued slowly to twirl, imperceptibly less slow, perhaps, with no evidence of what or whom had spun it and what or whom was still spinning it. I heard the barrel click round just one notch ... and I gazed at the trigger that was unbearably slow in being squeezed by an invisible finger - in this game of unrushed roulette.

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