(In which your humble Monkey narrator takes a creative writing prompt and tries to turn it into fiction in about ten minutes give or take. In the case of this prompt, it was 25 minutes. The prompt was “Wild West, treasure and misguided decisions.” We try to keep it brief because the thought of writing for too long is can be intimidating and overwhelming. Thanks and good night everyone.)
There didn’t seem to be anything but bad decisions to make in this godforsaken town.
It was me, Tex and Santa Fe, each of us holding a six shooter, each of us with one bullet left. I was pointing my gun at Tex, he was pointing his at Santa Fe, and Santa Fe had me lined up in his sights.
“Look,” I said, spitting a wad of tobacco on the ground. “One of us is liar, one of us is a murderer and one of us is a thief.”
Tex growled back. “I ain’t no liar and I ain’t no thief.”
I glanced at him, one eyebrow slightly raised. “So then you’re the murderer?”
Santa Fe chimed in. “Unless he’s the liar. In which case he could be lying about not being the thief.”
Texas snapped back. “I ain’t no liar.”
Santa Fe looked bemused. “Again,” he said. “Lest I repeat myself. Denials don’t mean much if you’re the liar in the first place.”
My head started to throb. My arm was getting tired from holding the gun in the cocked position, and all this thinking wasn’t helping anything. “So,” I began, “if he’s not the liar, than he is the murderer.”
“Correct,” said Santa Fe. “In which case, we should kill him before he kills us like he did Billy Slim.”
I glanced down at the floor of the cave, where the empty treasure chest sat mocking me with its gaping, open mouth. The body of Billy Slim was on the ground next to it, a fresh bullet hole still leaking blood from his forehead.
I looked back up at Santa Fe, his gun still cocked, his eyes still narrow. He gave me an almost imperceptible nod, as if to say “Never you mind about this gun pointed at your head, partner. It’s me and you against the world.”
I decided it was time to take a chance. I didn’t really like Texas. I had never liked Texas. I didn’t like his mustache. Or his red plaid shirts. Or the way he dismounted his horse. Or the way he cooked beans. There was something about him that just rubbed me raw.
I squeezed the trigger and the boom from the pistol thundered off the walls of the cave. Texas took the slug square in the chest and staggered forward. Santa Fe deftly stepped to one side as Texas dropped to the ground.
I looked back over at Santa Fe, expecting to see the gun return to the holster in his belt. It was still pointed right at me. With his spare hand, he reached into the pocket of his trousers and pulled out a gold coin.
Santa Fe grunted. “Wrong move, Honcho. Guess Texas was telling the truth after all.”
He fired and I felt a bright hot bolt of lead crash into my forehead.
The world went bright white for a split second then faded to a dull gray.
“Damn,” I whispered.
And the world went black.