Author Topic: The Weird West, or A Tale of Morality in an Immoral World  (Read 3932 times)

Doktor Howl

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Re: The Weird West, or A Tale of Morality in an Immoral World
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2015, 04:12:01 pm »
There's more today.  I have to get a few things done.

LMNO

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Re: The Weird West, or A Tale of Morality in an Immoral World
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2015, 04:15:12 pm »
I agree with the others.  I like the tone of this one.

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Re: The Weird West, or A Tale of Morality in an Immoral World
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2015, 04:16:22 pm »
I agree with the others.  I like the tone of this one.

I had a dream that a few of us were alone in the world, playing cards in a ghost town.  That was the whole dream, but I figured, "Why not make it a nightmare?"

Doktor Howl

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Re: The Weird West, or A Tale of Morality in an Immoral World
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2015, 04:40:19 pm »
In town

The preacher walked into the saloon.  It was empty, save for the bartender himself...A lean man with an old scar crossing his left cheek.  The bartender stared at the preacher, seemingly not even noticing him, while the faint outlines of his ghost - whomever it had been - hovered beside him behind the bar.

"Whiskey," the preacher said.

The bartender put a shotglass and a bottle on the table, and smiled at the preacher.   It was a ghastly sort of smile, utterly devoid of humor or friendship.  "I heard a shot outside, stranger".

"Yes."

"Hit who you were aiming at?"

"Yes."

"Who was it?"

"Your pastor.  He drew on me first."

The lean man chuckled.  "I don't care if he did or not.  I am rid of that fat bastard's sanctimonious crap.  I should have shot him myself, years ago."

"Well then," the preacher said, "I guess I saved you the trouble."

The ghost next to the bartender drifted toward the paino at the end of the bar.  The preacher saw that it was a distinctly female ghost, as it sat at the piano.  The piano began to play, belting out an old song.  The preacher couldn't place it, though he almost-remembered it from his childhood.

"How long before the posse shows up?" The bartender spoke, with that horrible smile.

"What posse?"

"Come now, friend.  I know a man on the run when I see one.  There you sit, the hand of every honest man against you, and you ask me 'what posse'?"

"Your hand, too?"

"I am not an honest man.  I do not care who you are, or what you have done, so long as you can continue to pay for your drinks."

"Well, then, I suppose there's no harm in it.  They are probably less than a day behind me.  I was interested in buying a mule."

"I shall do you better than that, mister.  I have an old nag in the stable.  She's not what she used to be, but she's better than a mule.  If only that she's faster.  I shall give it to you for whatever is in your pockets."

"There isn't enough for a horse in my pockets", the preacher said, pouring himself a second drink. 

"I reckoned as much", the bartender said, "I'll do it anyway."

"Why would you do such a thing?"

"Because I shall simply tell the posse you stole it.  If they catch you, I have the horse and your money."

"But if I get away, you will only have a fraction of the horse's worth."

"That's okay, mister.  The money don't mean much.  See this town?  It's dead.  There ain't hardly anything to spend money on anyways."

"So why are you doing it?"

The ghastly smile got ghastlier.  "Mister, I just like to watch men run."




Doktor Howl

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Re: The Weird West, or A Tale of Morality in an Immoral World
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2015, 04:40:39 pm »
There.  That's the second half of what I had wanted to get done today.

LMNO

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Re: The Weird West, or A Tale of Morality in an Immoral World
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2015, 04:44:05 pm »
Great ending line on that one.

Doktor Howl

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Re: The Weird West, or A Tale of Morality in an Immoral World
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2015, 04:48:18 pm »
Great ending line on that one.

Thanks.  I think I'm getting the mood I wanted.

Cain

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Re: The Weird West, or A Tale of Morality in an Immoral World
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2015, 04:55:00 pm »
"Them things are gonna kill you," Virgil said.

"Oh heavens," Abner said, "That might cost me my eventual, inevitable appointment with The Undertaker and his pet rope."

"Why?" The Kid asked.  "You done something?"

"Does it matter?"  Abner smiled, the smile not reaching his eyes, "Eventually, we will all hang on that rope, for reasons real or imagined, on accusation alone."

Hell, I know that feeling every night I go to work.  As, I imagine, you do too.

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Re: The Weird West, or A Tale of Morality in an Immoral World
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2015, 05:17:27 pm »
"Them things are gonna kill you," Virgil said.

"Oh heavens," Abner said, "That might cost me my eventual, inevitable appointment with The Undertaker and his pet rope."

"Why?" The Kid asked.  "You done something?"

"Does it matter?"  Abner smiled, the smile not reaching his eyes, "Eventually, we will all hang on that rope, for reasons real or imagined, on accusation alone."

Hell, I know that feeling every night I go to work.  As, I imagine, you do too.

Oh, yes.

Reginald Ret

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Re: The Weird West, or A Tale of Morality in an Immoral World
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2015, 07:11:08 pm »
:) I like reading this.
Lord Byron: "Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves."

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The Wizard Joseph

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Re: The Weird West, or A Tale of Morality in an Immoral World
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2015, 12:59:31 am »
 :aaa: <- not sure this has the jaw-drop meaning I intend.

You have built a marvelous vibe on narrative and character depiction alone. I know these are shorts, but for some reason the few scene detailing statements are all you need. This is not just good story telling man it's raw vision.
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

"Ayn Rand never swung a hammer in her life and had serious dominance issues" - The Fountainhead

"World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation."
 - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality :lulz:

Doktor Howl

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Re: The Weird West, or A Tale of Morality in an Immoral World
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2015, 01:55:29 am »
:aaa: <- not sure this has the jaw-drop meaning I intend.

You have built a marvelous vibe on narrative and character depiction alone. I know these are shorts, but for some reason the few scene detailing statements are all you need. This is not just good story telling man it's raw vision.

I haven't felt the need to write fiction in a long time.  Months, now.  So my batteries are fresh, and personal issues are driving the train.

Plus, as I said, this was born as a very vivid dream that works better as a nightmare.

The Wizard Joseph

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Re: The Weird West, or A Tale of Morality in an Immoral World
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2015, 03:26:03 pm »
:aaa: <- not sure this has the jaw-drop meaning I intend.

You have built a marvelous vibe on narrative and character depiction alone. I know these are shorts, but for some reason the few scene detailing statements are all you need. This is not just good story telling man it's raw vision.

I haven't felt the need to write fiction in a long time.  Months, now.  So my batteries are fresh, and personal issues are driving the train.

Plus, as I said, this was born as a very vivid dream that works better as a nightmare.

Dreams are some of the best stuff to seed a story with. I suspect that the glimpse of the unconscious mind in a dream really is only the tip of a bigger iceberg than most would believe. I remember few sleep dreams, but I can walk and daydream at the same time, like all the time.

This is hollow and dry and amazing. I also like the absence of any direct PD reference, not that those are at all bad. It tells me you're digging a fresh vein for yourself.
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

"Ayn Rand never swung a hammer in her life and had serious dominance issues" - The Fountainhead

"World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation."
 - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality :lulz:

Doktor Howl

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Re: The Weird West, or A Tale of Morality in an Immoral World
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2015, 07:41:53 pm »
For reasons to ticklish to tell, there won't be a chapter today.  I mean, it's already written in my head, but I don't have time at the moment to type it out.

Will get back on it tomorrow, probably from my home system.

 :lulz:

Doktor Howl

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Re: The Weird West, or A Tale of Morality in an Immoral World
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2015, 02:42:55 pm »
Chapter 2

The Desert, South of Town

The Preacher inspected the nag's hoof.  Sure enough, it had an old crack in it.  He'd seen this game before...Hire out a crippled horse to a man in a hurry, then when it pulls up lame an hour later, the guy abandons it and it - being trained to do so - returns to the stable to wait for the next sucker.

Well, not today.  The preacher drew his pistol and shot the crippled horse between the eyes.  It dropped like it had been poleaxed.  The preacher grunted in satisfaction...The poor beast never felt a thing.

He started walking.


In Town

The bartender stood with is his derby in his hands, moving his fingers around the brim nervously.  "It's like I said, isn't it?  He shot Pastor Williams, then stole my horse and rode off."

The four horsemen stared at him.

"But the joke's on him, ha ha," the bartender babbled, "that horse is lame.  He can't have gone far."

"Why do you keep a lame horse, mister?"  The Kid said, leaning back in his saddle and stretching.

"Sentimentality, young sir," the bartender began, "I've had that horse for a long..."

"He 'sellls' it to travellers", Virgil said, "Then it wanders back to him when the rider quits it in disgust."

"Well, that hardly seems like fair dealing." The Kid responded, "You might even call it cheating.  Or even horse-thieving."

"Which is a hanging offense", Hank drawled.

"Now wait just a minute," the bartender said, "I got robbed.  He stole that horse.  You can check my cashbox...There ain't near enough money in it for me having sold a horse."

"Do it," said Hank.  The Kid hopped off of his horse and went inside the bar.  A moment later, he came out.  "He has ten dollars in his cashbox."

"Not enough for a horse, like I said", the bartender gasped.

"He coulda hid it somewhere else", The Kid opined.

"Gentlemen", Abner said in his thick accent, "This has nothing to do with the job.  We need to go."

"Count yourself lucky, thief", Virgil said, "But don't think we won't be keeping an eye on you."

The four horsemen wheeled their horses and rode South, in the direction the preacher had travelled.  The bartender sighed in relief, and went back into his bar.  Maybe it's time for a change, he thought, Someplace new, and far, far away.  Presently, he went to bed.

Later that night

The bartender woke from a terrible dream, wheezing as if he'd run a marathon.  The ghost of the piano player sat in the armchair across from the bed, as always...But tonight, there was something strange about her.  She seemed bulky.  She was wearing boots.  She wasn't his ghost, in fact, she was..."

"Remember me?" The preacher smiled unpleasantly.

"How'd you get here?"

"Oh, after I shot that swayback you sold me, I just doubled back.  They'd have caught me, otherwise."

"Listen, mister..."

"Nothing to listen to," the preacher said, drawing his pistol, "I ain't even mad at you for the trick you pulled.  I saw it coming, I was just hoping I was wrong."

"Listen, listen, I don't..."

"Shut up.  I AM mad at you for subjecting that poor animal to the rocky deserts on a bad hoof, everytime you felt like cheating someone."

"Where's my ghost.  Wait, where's my ghost?"

"You'll see her soon enough", the preacher said, and tossed a pair of coins in the air.

The bartender's looked up at the coins.  The preacher shot him in the throat, and caught the coins on the way down.  He walked over to the bed, and placed one coin on each of the bartender's staring eyes.

Musing on how hard it was to stay on the straight and narrow, the preacher walked out of the room and down the stairs.  The ghost of his faith followed him, snickering all the way.

To be continued.