Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Cowboy Dinner

There’s a knock on your door. When you open it, you find a cowboy—complete with the hat, boots, spurs, six-shooter, the accent, everything—standing on your front step. He claims he has no idea who he is or what he’s doing there. Write this scene, as you try to sort out his (and your) confusion.
Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

A Cowboy Dinner
       Dust caked. Reek of manure.  Cowboy hat dirty and worn. And devastatingly handsome. The sight of the cowboy on my doorstep left me staring, mouth flapping open like a fish.
He pulled down his hat in a nod.
“Ev'ning m'am.”
“Evening—err—hello,” I replied, suddenly aware that I was only wearing a thin silk robe.  His dark eyes lingered on me, hinting that he had noticed the same.  Wrapping my arms around my chest, I continued, “Can I help you?”
“I'd much 'preciate that,” he said.  “See, I don't rightly know where I am.  Or who I am, matter o'fact.”
“Is this a joke?  Who put you up to this?”
“M'am, I wouldn't jest 'bout this,” he said, an edge of irritation creeping into his voice.  It was then that I noticed his pistol, peeking out of the holster on his waist.  I moved to slam the door, when his leather boot wedged it open.
“Wait,” he said, his hands gripping the door and pushing it open.  “I need assistance.  Ye don't know what it's like, not knowin' nothing.  Nothing 'bout who you are.  Help me. Please.”
I let the door fall open and he strode inside, glancing around my house with a look of wonder.  
“Oh, now that'd be wonderful,” he said, his back to me.  He examined the bookshelf, his fingers sliding across the spines of the books.  “Lot 'o books here.”
“Read much?”
He moved from the bookshelf to the fireplace, his hand closing on the cold metal of a fire poker.
“Ye should try readin' the paper sometime.  Maybe then ye'd know 'bout the--”
“Cowboy killer?” I said, my face twisting into a smile.
“Ain't that nice?  The misses done heard 'bout me.”
“Oh, I know all about you and your little cowboy games. How you like to prey on defenseless women; tying them up and branding them with a fire poker, before you kill them.”
His eyes narrowed dangerously.
“But see, you should really make sure the woman's defenseless before you attack.”
I pulled the trigger, loosing a tranquilizer dart.  His hand went to his neck, eyes wide with shock, before sliding to the ground with a thud. Crossing the room, I leaned over his body, stroking his cheek.
“And you really should make sure that woman isn't more twisted than you.”
I met my husband's eyes across the table and smiled. He winked, before turning his attention to his steak.  His knife dragged across the china as he cut a piece.  Eyes closed, he moaned at the taste.
“Honey, you've outdone yourself!  You'll have to tell me where you wrangled up something so delectable!”
I couldn't help the giggle that slid from my throat.  He grasped my hand, his laughter matching my own.  I moved the centerpiece—a blood and dirt caked cowboy hat—to lean over and kiss him.  Twenty  years and still going strong.  They did always say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.


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