Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Entry #9

Pete’s Moon
by Mr. Schprock


The campfire burned low and the ponies were hobbled for the night. The two cowboys lay back on their bedrolls looking up at the unsettled sky, idly watching a fierce, bright moon strain hard against a cover of tight, curdled clouds.

“This night puts me to mind of when old Pete died,” said the older man.

“He shot hisself, didn’t he, Reb?” asked the other.

“It was his gun what done it, with his finger on the trigger.”

“Why do you suppose he done that?”

“I reckon that old moon told him to,” replied Reb.

“Shucks,” chuckled the younger man, but then he noticed Reb no longer lay there. He sat up straight as a plank and looked all around him.

“Reb!” he called out. “Where you gone off to, Reb?”

The night wore on and the moon traveled high, its brilliance barely contained by the imprisoning clouds. Buck grew more and more skittish not finding Reb anywhere, his frantic halloaing answered only by the insolent bark of coyotes.

Finally, past midnight, the moon broke through the clouds and bore right down on poor Buck. Durn thing is brighter than the sun! he thought. And bigger, too.

Two days later Reb rode into town with Buck, stiff as a new boot, draped over his pony’s back. Reb had tied Buck’s hat to one of the panniers. Buck’s spurs gleamed dully as his feet bounced in rhythm to the pony’s sway. In his right hand, Buck held his pistol tight.

21 comments:

Jim said...

A little bit of the supernatural in a cowboy tale, mayhap? Nice use of descriptives.

Joni said...

My dear Mr. Schprock -
I love it. Great dialogue, terrific mystery. Again, I love it. Very well done. I applaud you.

anne frasier said...

hehe! very nice, mr. schprock! fantastic dialogue and nice narrative!

Bernita said...

Murderous old bastard!
Good imagery.
I though the clouds looked curdled too.

Linda Fort-Bolton said...

I like bloody westerns. Good Work.

mr. schprock said...

"A little bit of the supernatural in a cowboy tale, mayhap?"

Yes, I was thinking "The Twilight Zone" meets "Rawhide."

Thanks for the nice words everybody!

Bonnie Cehovet said...

I don't care for "cowboy" stories in general, but this certainly held my interest!

robert rohloff said...

I thought for moment that they were up on Brokeback Mountain. (Just kidding) A very good read.

Scott said...

Once again you amaze me Mr. Schprock. I love your authentic dialog, and your foray into the mystical.

fringes said...

"stiff as a new boot"

My favorite fragment. It's like: Dang, he's dead. But, ooh! New shoes!

Maybe after the contest is over, you can reveal the whole mystery to us. I'm dying to know what really happened under the full moon.

mr. schprock said...

"Maybe after the contest is over, you can reveal the whole mystery to us. I'm dying to know what really happened under the full moon."

What would you say to Reb being an agent of Death? I rather like it.

"Dang, he's dead. But, ooh! New shoes!"

Good one, Flood! Me laugh long time.

k lawson Gilbert said...

Nice flow...consistent voice.
But, what happened to Buck?????

anna said...

I hope the 3rd time is the winner.
keep getting bumped off! eek

your guys sure talk the talk
great take on the photo
love the image of the new boots
thoroughly enjoyed

Writing Blind said...

This is a good story, although I'm curious to find out what really happened. That's what makes a great story and a great mystery though, when you leave us wanting more.

Bhaswati said...

Great imagery, the promise of a mystery unfolding, and terrific play of words. Great writing, all in all!

Southern Writer said...

Loved this. It reminds me of Lonesome Dove. The prose and dialogue are perfect. I wish there were a lot more of it.

Shadowrite said...

Setting, scene, characters -- all of it gelled. And what an ending! Wonderful.

Nicholas Abbot said...

I like the imagery of the moon straining hard at the clouds. Not only is it poetic, it also fits Jason's picture very well.

Flood said...

I said it before, but I love your dialogue so much, I actually have to speak it.

Nancy said...

I really, really liked the dialogue.

jason evans said...

Kind of a chilling moment. I could be wrong, but I imagine it wasn't the real Reb the first time. Great image at the end.

High marks for pacing, entertainment, and storytelling.