Flash fiction written for OLWG#69
He wasn’t a big man but he rode a big horse up the centre of muddy ole Main Street to the Jack Saloon. The Jack was crowded that day. The rails were filled to the right of the swinging door and a wagon was stopped to the left. Wrapping the reins around the branch on a struggling greasewood bush next to the Jack, he hitched his mare, Corazon, and pushed through the swinging doors and inside. A hush fell over the bar, but only for a moment. Then the piano took back up, the girls returned to their dancing, and the general roar, that was the Jack, resumed.
He made his way up to the rough plank that served as a bar top and leaned in to be heard over the noise.
“What’ll it be, Mister?” Clancy, the bartender asked.
“Shot and a beer.”
Clancy nodded and turned away, focused on the task at hand. Agnes sidled up to the stranger.
Agnes was a Lady of the line, a dancer, a flirt. Her job was to keep the miners, cowboys, and gunslingers spending money. She kept them buying drinks.
Agnes eyeballed the shiny finish on the pistols that he wore on his waist. She spotted the Bowie knife he wore in the small of his back. She figured him for a gunslinger and a killer, but she had a job to do.
“Well, hello stranger. Buy a girl a drink?”
He looked her over, raised a finger for the bartender and pointed at the girl, indicating to Clancy that he should bring a drink to the lady.
Clancy scurried to comply and Agnes carried on, “You look like a man who can take care of himself,” she touched his shoulder. “What’s your name?”
“You can call me Vegas,” he said to her and threw the shot glass of whisky down his throat.
“That what your Momma called you?” Clancy set a dirty glass of cloudy amber liquid in front of her.
“My Momma called me son,” he said, “but you can call me Vegas, like everybody else.” He pointed to the leaflet tacked up behind the bar. It pictured a desperado, of sorts, with a ten-gallon hat pulled low over his eyes. Above the picture, WANTED Dead or Alive was printed in large type; Les Vegas is sought for thievin’ murderin’ cheatin’ and rustlin’, and it continued by promising a $500.00 reward offered.
This week’s prompts were:
- splitting up a bag of potato chips
- you can call me ‘Vegas’
- tied to the branch of a creosote bush