Town bartender, Burt Livington was polishing the soft damp whiskey glasses for the day when he noticed a reckoning assault come tumbling through his bar doors. There stood the most lean, hard and mustard faced man he'd ever seen in this town. He stood 7 feet tall almost, built like an Ox, ducking his barrel of a head ever so slightly as he walked through the swing doors. His face was hard as the day breaking sun and his beard as black as coal, he wore a custom 9 shooter 45. caliber revolver on his hip, the likes of which Burt had ever seen. That gun was worth more money than Burt would ever wish to see, such a fine masterpiece, silver gilded ontop of stainless steel metal work and a hairpin trigger. The firing pin cocked even while in his holster, almost as if the fella was looking for a fight.
The man walked slowly up to Burt with steps of thunder ringing on hard wood of the bar floor his pockets jingling with coin and bullets, he has a fearsome shadow casting him from the door behind. He took one last step infront of the counter with exclamation, slamming his foot hard against the dusty floor but soft at the same time, almost with grace. Burt exclaimed, "Can I help ya mister, the bars not open yet but I'd be happy to oblige to some drink if ya insist.". The man only pointed at a large glass bottle sitting lazily on the shelf behind burt, it had elegantly carved vines twisting up and down the tall glass bottle filled with a dark brown still. Shocked, Burt said, "Sir that whiskey is the most expensive and high quality distill i have in this here bar, one shot cost $5.". The man pulled out a wadded up ball of money covered in dirt and sand, grabbed a $5 bill from the wad and lay it on the table with his heavy hand. Burt picked up a recently polished shot glass laying on a wet towel at the back of the counter, turned it up and set it infront of the man, he took the bottle from the shelf and slowly poured the glass to the top before setting the bottle down on the counter.
The wild man stood infront of the bar staring at the shot glass, almost as if he were saying, "Thats all?". The man grabbed up the tiny shot glass with his monsterous fingers, lifted it to his mouth and drank it like spring water, his face remained the same, not a flinch not an emotion. Burt stood there cleaning more glasses and wiping the counter down with a hot rag, he looked up at the strange man asking, "Well mister, do you want another?". The dirty jet black beard on the large man slowly dropped as he opened his mouth, "The whole bottle". Burt said, "Are you serious, that bottles worth $100, minus 5 shots it is $75, the mayor is the only one that drinks it, he had me send out for it special.". The nameless man appeared to not understand, he grabbed all the money he had in the tight pockets on his leather chaps and slammed it on the counter, he grabbed the bottle with speed and started walking towards the door.". Burt called out, "Wait mister I haven't counted all this yet", the man stopped in the middle of the bar and waited for a reply from Burt. Burt counted hastily and counted up $37.52, he called out, mister this isn't enough to pay for the bottle, bring it back here. The man turned slowly toward Burt with the bottle in his hand, a grim shadow casting off his hair and forehead over his eyes and face, opening his mouth the man said "Fair trade". Slowly reaching down to his pistol, he drew it back out of the hulster and lifted it to meet sight with Burt. The hairpin trigger ever so slightly jiggling in its place, the man place his monster finger on the trigger and slightly jerked back his finger as Burt was scrambling in the moment, the gun misfired. There may have never been a bullet in the revolver slot at all. Burt was dumbfounded, as he watch the man for a moment, the man turned again slow and steady he walked towards the door, as he left he slightly bent it to the same side as he had when he came into the bar. Burt stood there, thanking god.
Walking into the desert, Mid Western bright mid-day sun at his back, he walked into the distance, his feet clapping on the sand when he brought a leg forward, he dissapeared in the bright mirage of the sand, never to be seen again. Not as if any one in Sandhill New Mexico ever saw him except, Burt Livington.
© Copyright 2016 Drixous Burnheart. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Historical Fiction
Short Story / Westerns
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