Thursday, July 06, 2006

Things are good

Yep, things are going very well around here, Last Gladiator Standing is chugging along, I just saw the worst movie ever made (worse than Glitter, Fantastic Four and Cheaper by the Dozen II all mashed together into some sort of demonic bad movie amalgam), and I have saved the galaxy a few times already this year and she seems to be doing OK without my help for the moment. I had a quiet moment in my LGS trailer and I kicked my feet up on my desk. This would be a moment where I would lean back and smoke a stogie – that is if I smoked stogies. As many of you know, one of the most important weapons in an Intergalactic Gladiator’s arsenal is his health, and I’m not going to ruin mine by reveling in some cigar. Kids, be smart don’t start.

Instead, I stretched out and leaned my cowboy hat over my face. I looked at the sweatband and saw that it was stained with salt and dirt from my various heroic deeds. Yes, even on space cowboy hats you’re unable to keep the bands clean.

I allowed myself an audible chuckle because I’m not even a cowboy, I’m from Chicago. Aside from a few years in the early nineties when everybody loved country music and bought hats to wear to Whiskey River, the Windy City remained mostly cowboy hatless. I shifted the hat in front of my eyes again and I thought about my hat….

* * *

Laramie Outpost on planet Stetson IV was a quiet little town. There was a spaceport just over the hills and a train ran through once a day, but the people in the area were mostly prospectors looking for the big lode or ranchers. Of course the town had its town folk, a couple dusty saloons, a general store, and a few other things that a frontier town should have. Laramie Outpost was a quiet town. Quiet until Jango James and his gang roared through. They drank the saloons dry, shot up the town, and generally drove the people of the town into a life of fear. Marshal Hawks tried his best to keep order, but he was just one man and everyone else was too scared to help.

One day, a stranger rode into town, a visitor from a far off planet who came to visit his friend Marshal Hawks, but who would get more than he ever bargained for.

With the sun beating down and a hot breeze crossing the dusty streets, the stranger entered the town in time to see some of the honest citizens scatter. Shades were drawn and bolts were bolted. The stranger didn’t know why, but it wasn’t his concern.

In front of him, a figure stepped from out of the alley. “I don’t know what you’re doing here, fella,” he said with a growl. “but you best just turn around and head back out. This is my town.”

“I didn’t see your name on the sign,” the stranger pointed back towards the town line. “Maybe Yellow Buzzard was written under it or something.”

“Smart mouth for a dead man,” the man snarled and unhooked the strap around his pistols. “You may be walking into the town on yer leather boots, but you’ll be riding out in a pine box.”

“We don’t have to do this,” the stranger replied. “I’m just here to visit on old friend, he’s the marshal around these parts.”

“And that’s supposed to impress me, dog?” he smirked. “The law ain’t much around here.”


“Diablo. Diablo Lobo,” the man said.


“That’s my name,” Lobo said. “I like my victims to know who shot them.”

“I said that we don’t have to do this,” the stranger answered. “How about we head into the saloon and I get you a drink?”

“How about I shoot you then go get a drink with your money instead?”

Quick as half a blink, Lobo drew his pistol. Before he could bring it to bear on the stranger, a shot knocked it out of his hand. With a howl, Lobo drew the pistol out of his left holster, but it too was launched from his hand with a blast.

“Son of a mule!” the gunman howled and pulled a third weapon out from behind his back, but once again it was shot from his grasp.

“Had enough yet?” the stranger asked. Smoke wafted from his own pistol. “Or do you have a few more guns in there that you want shot out of your hands?”

“You haven’t seen the last of me!” Lobo warned, rubbing the back of his hand.

After Lobo ran off, the stranger walked into the nearest saloon.

“A beer please, barkeep.”

The bartender poured a frosty mug and slid it to the stranger. “What brings you here?”

“Here to see an old friend,” the stranger replied.

“I saw what happened out there,” the bartender launched a thumb towards the door. “You may have bought yourself a pack of trouble, mister.”

“Nothing I can’t handle,” came the cool reply.

“I didn’t catch your name, mister,” the bartender pried.

“I didn’t give it,” the stranger replied. “It’s Jon.”


A Army Of (Cl)One said...

I bet that town hasn't seen that many hand injuries since "Handsom Stranger" came to town. He also told a mean Knock Knock joke. So lets see if you can match him.

Professor Xavier said...

I've been sitting here trying to think of some way to accurate convey that cool whistling from that Clint Eastwood movie, but I just can't figure out how to type it. Maybe if I could read music I could type the notes. Ah well.

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Whistle whistle
Wah wah wahhhhh....

Professor Xavier said...

Not bad Jon, not bad.