Rattlesnakes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Westerns  |  House: Booksie Classic
The Rattlesnake Gang's one bad day.

Submitted: August 14, 2019

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Submitted: August 14, 2019

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In 1870, in an isolated small town just outside Bandera, Texas, four rough looking guys which made up the Rattlesnake Gang, were crouching behind a wooden building talking amongst themselves. They all wore black duster coats and bended cowboy hats. The leader of the group was obvious, he talked the most.

“One more time and you idiots better pay attention. Me and Joe bust open the doors and go in first.” The other three guys nodded. “We’ll shake up the people in the front. If there’s any customers in there, hit ‘em until they’re on the ground.”

The other three guys nodded again. One of them had long blond hair and half of his face had a nasty third-degree burn. He peered around the corner and looked at the bank, “Wh-wh-what about the guards, Cade?”

“No guards. Just hit the people there. They ain’t expecting any of us.” Cade grabbed the blonde man and shoved him back behind the building. “If this job goes to hell because of you, I’m shooting your balls off you understand?” The blonde man looked at him and nodded. “Okay once we get the place under control, one of you guys will get the key to the safes. Elias and Colter will open the door to the backroom and get the money. Then—”

Elias interrupted him, “I-I-I wanna do the-the gun pointing in-in the front.”

“What?”

“I w-w-w-wanna—”

“Alright fine. You and I will stay in the front. Colter and Joe will handle the money in the back.” Cade looked at Colter and Joe who were crouching down beside him minding their own business. Colter had big black mutton chops and Joe had a scar over his right eyebrow. “Sound good?” The two nodded. “Alright. Once Colter and Joe are done with the money, depending on what the deputies will have cooking for us in the front, we can hightail it out of there with stolen horses. I spotted two out in front.”

Cade exchanged looks with Elias, Joe and Colter. Joe spoke up, “Fine by me.” He had a Mexican accent. Colter and Elias both agreed.

“Ready up boys. Ride or die.” Cade covered his face with a black bandana and pulled out two Colt .45 revolvers. The other three also covered themselves. Joe pulled out a double-barreled shotgun, Elias a single shot revolver and Colter had a rifle repeater. The gang of four quickly hobbled their way to the entrance of the bank. It was dark and late enough that there was no one walking around the dusty main road. They approached the entrance, two on each side and were readying themselves. Cade moved first and gave the wooden door a good powerful kick, flinging the door open in a loud slam! The bank was nearly empty. Only one elderly man and a woman. Joe followed Cade from behind and went ahead and gave the old man a quick smack with the butt of his shotgun, staggering him to the ground. During that time, Cade pointed both his revolvers at the bank teller, “You know what we want. Throw it over.” Colter had already dealt with the woman, who was cowering on the ground in fear. Elias was behind them all and checking to see if anyone had noticed them from the outside.

The bank teller who was scared out of his mind threw up the keys through the gate that blocked anyone from entering the backroom. Joe caught it and proceeded to open the gate door. “Eli? You there?”

Elias ran up behind Cade, “Right h-h-h-here.”

“Deal with the teller. I got the other two.” Cade pointed his guns at the woman and old man who were on the floor whimpering. One barrel for each of them. Joe got through the gate and entered the backroom with Colter following him in. Elias ran up to the bank teller and forcibly grabbed his arm and pulled him towards the main room. He kicked his feet from under him and told him to stay down and keep quiet while he pointed his revolver at him.

In the backroom, Joe and Colter were dealing with the two small safes. “That all?” Joe said. He pulled out a piece of cloth from his pocket and read out a series of numbers. Colter sheathed his rifle and started to slowly crack open the safes. Joe stared at Colter’s hands, “Your hands could use a little work there, Colt.” Colter grunted at him. Joe pushed him to the side and handed him the piece of cloth. “I’m a bit faster. Read out the numbers.” He graciously opened the first safe and stuffed the several stacks of hundred-dollar bills into his jacket pocket with great hesitation.

Meanwhile, right in front of the bank stood two guards. An older gentleman with a rifle in hand and a younger man with the same rifle. They stood there staring at the bank and talking to each other.

“Should we go in Sheriff?”

“Give ‘em a little time. Let ‘em feel safe for a bit.”

“But what about the people inside?”

“Don’t worry about ‘em. The woman in there, Sarah? Knew her since she was little.”

“That doesn’t really explain why we’re –”

“It means, stay put. We’ll catch ‘em red-handed. Cade and his boys are dumb as rocks.”

“No I trust you Sheriff. I just think we can catch them even more red-handed if we went in there right now.”

“Didn’t you just hear what I said boy?”

“Y-yea I heard you I just think that….”

“They ain’t getting away!”

“No, no I know but…..”

As the sheriff and his deputy were arguing, the bank doors slammed open and the bank teller came out running and screaming. Cade was arguing with Elias inside the bank, “Goddamnit Eli! Weren’t you just watching him?” He waved one of his revolvers at his face.

“I-I-I-I-I wasn’t p-p-p-aying a-a-tt—”

“You idiot!”

Colter and Joe just finished up the backroom and came back into the main room where they saw Cade and Elias arguing. “We done here. What are you two on about?” Joe asked.

Cade wiped his forehead with one of his revolvers, “Just……Let’s go. We’ve been here for too long already. Elias—” He pointed his revolver at Elias again, “Not a goddamn word from you.”

The gang rushed outside the building and were met with the sheriff and deputy who were also still arguing and complaining about going into the bank. Cade and the gang locked eyes with the sheriff who noticed them exit the bank. The gang, the sheriff and the deputy all lifted their weapons in one smooth motion and pointed them at each other.

“Cade? Still stealin’?”

“Still stealin’ sheriff.”

“You ain’t gonna hand yourself over huh?” The sheriff was pointing his rifle right at Cade’s head.

“Not a chance sheriff.”

“This is only gonna end one way then, Cade.”

“I prefer it that way Sheriff.”

As they were talking, a rattlesnake that was coiled beside the bank’s entrance, started to rattle. Elias recognized the sound and tried to warn Cade. “C-c-c-c-cade?”

“Elias, what did I say?” Cade was still pointing both his revolvers at the guards.

“But-but the s-s-s-s-snake!”

“Shut your mouth E—” The rattlesnake at that moment reared back and struck Cade right above his ankle and Cade let out a painful scream. Right when he screamed, the gang shifted their attention at Cade for a split second and were all shot down by the guards who were more than ready to exploit the distraction and pull the trigger. Elias, Colter and Joe were all dead before they hit the ground with small holes in each of their heads. Cade was crouched down groaning in pain and clutching his leg. The rattlesnake had already slithered away.

“Nice shots there, deputy. Not bad at all.” The guards walked over to the crippled Cade and the sheriff crouched down next to him. “The Rattlesnake Gang taken down by a rattlesnake. Ain’t getting better than that.” He started laughing, snorted and spat on the injured Cade who was gasping for air at this point. “See deputy? Told you we’ll catch ‘em red-handed.”

“Whaddya gonna do wit this one Sheriff?”

“Ah, let ‘em die the way God intended.” The sheriff checked the pockets of Colter and Joe and took back the bank’s money. He tossed a money stack over at the deputy. “This one’s for you.”

“But this is the bank’s?”

“Be grateful, son. That’s your pay for today. Ya did good.” They both walked back to the sheriff’s station. The sheriff turned to the deputy and said, “Ya know somethin’? That’s the fourth gang we stopped in two weeks.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah. Parking our horses next to the bank is such a stupid trick.”

“I know.”

They both started laughing as the sun started to rise from behind them. The sun’s rays glistened off the blood of the Rattlesnake Gang. Cade had stopped breathing.

 


© Copyright 2020 Manolo. All rights reserved.

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