We could be anyone, is all I’m saying

April 9, 2007 at 9:51 am | Posted in fiction | 25 Comments

Slackening the reins and relaxing my spurs off his muscular hide, I eased Randolph to a slow trot as we slipped under the dusty, battered sign proclaiming “Welcome to Blogville – The Most Self-Absorbed Place on Earth!” Stray bulletholes pocked its rough surface. The sign, suspended by chains to an arch fixed to the town wall, creaked in the fluffy breeze, a breeze undoubtedly stirred up by another plethora of links being fired out into the ether by Damien Mulley.

Randolph was panting from our trek, so I climbed down and guided him by the reins, his big neck straining towards the smell of water from the trough in the town centre. My canteen had dried up just past Tombstone, and my throat was coated in prairie grit. I eyed the saloon across the square. A cool beer would go down fine right about now.

My clothes were brown and dusty and my ridiculously oversize Stetson was caked with dried sweat. I patted Randolph’s solid square head as we passed the ramshackle mish-mash of dilapidated storefronts, their bedraggled appearance belying the state-of-the-art technology and high-speed wireless connections within. The poor beast was exhausted, having carried me since before dawn. We’d had to leave Petulance in a hurry.

Randolph growled impatiently, straining at the reins to get to the trough. I gave him a biscuit from his saddle holster and released the reins. He bounded towards the stagnant pool, panting with excitement. He was a good dog.

I adjusted my buckskin chaps at the crotch and stopped for a moment, applying some strawberry-flavoured lip balm to my chapped lips. The desert sun can play havoc with your complexion. The town square lay ahead, wide open, silent even though it was almost noon. Second-storey window faces ducked behind twitching curtains as I passed. I reached inside my poncho for a toothpick. Dang, all out. I fixed a grizzled expression on my face and narrowed my eyes to slits. That would have to do for now.

Hearing the quiet crunch of concealed footsteps to the left, I kept my gaze on the saloon ahead, but hovered a hand over my holster, and the cool reassurance of Zeke, my revolver.

“Ain’t seen you ’round these parts before.”

A lone tumbleweed of anonymous spam comments, the unwanted detritus of Blogville, rolled past in the quickening breeze. A rattlesnake sizzled and ticked in the midday sun. I turned slowly to face my greeter. My trigger finger twitched. From somewhere close, music filled with dramatic tension began to play, so I knew this meeting was a crucial part of my visit here.

I turned to lay eyes on a woman. Flame-red hair, emerald eyes sparkling even though she stood in the shade. Skin as pale as an albino cow who’s been locked in a cave since birth. Irish, no doubt.

“Are you The Praetor?” she asked.

I relaxed, my hand dropping away from my revolver. “I am indeed, howsagoin’ like?” I replied, my voice appropriately low and menacing, but travelling so well that I’d never need to repeat myself. Just as you’d expect a cowboy-like character to sound. In Blogville, anyone can be anyone, I remembered.

“Come,” she said, taking my hand and urging me towards the saloon with an enticing flash of petticoat. “We haven’t got long. The Swearing Lady‘s being held captive by The People’s Republic of Cork, the red commie bastards.”

“Is that not The People’s Republic of China you’re thinking of?” I asked.

“Hmmm…okay. Yeah, that will do for now. Sure, that’s what I meant.”

I stopped in the middle of the square, an objection forming –

“Don’t. There’s no time to explain.” she said, putting a finger to my lips. It came away sticky.

“Mmmm, strawberry. Yum.” she said, sucking the tip of her finger. She was a flirt and no mistake. I’d have to keep my eye on this one.

I followed her up the steps of the saloon, casting a quick glance back at Randolph, still slurping his fill at the trough. Turning, pulling my hat low, I pushed through the swinging double-doors to do what I came here to do.


The next chapter is here.



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  1. Will you stop being so bloody funny, you are showing the rest of us up. Very impressed you managed to describe me so accurately 🙂

  2. Class X3.

  3. But …

    Theorem: FMC != AB

    Proof: 20


    … is all I’m saying

  4. Flirty: Ah! now I feel bad about using an albino cow to describe your skin. I’ll think of something attractive.

    Damien: Cheers!

    Sneezy: Look college boy, some of us ain’t been around none of that book-learnin’ for a while. The only maths I do these days is Triggernometry. Hooha.

  5. Trust me if you saw my skin that is a compliment 🙂

  6. In that case, I’ve added you into the story properly, with a new line and a link and everything.

    *plays cool guitar riff*

  7. Triggernometry – ha ha! You crack me sideways!

    But you got it anyway, didn’t ya? Admit it. Come out of the wardrobe now.

  8. Sneezy, I did get it and I think it’s disgraceful. She should be made to give a public explanation.

  9. Public execution? Gots me a good hangin’ tree if ‘n’ ya wants it, pardner. I do believe it’s empty right now.

    Right. Have to get ready. Off racing soon. Get back in the wardrobe if you want.

  10. “Welcome to Blogville – The Most Self-Absorbed Place on Earth!”

    So, does this mean I’ll be in yer story soon? Ahem.

    Hope this is an ongoing tale of high adventures, action and superheroes.
    Beautifully written, as always.

  11. Good for you Mr Sneeze. I’m not jealous at all sitting here at work.

    GG, there’s always room for a foxy Aussie living in Japan. As long as you don’t mind sharing a train carriage with an outlaw and a herd of sheep, you’ll love it.

  12. Randolph? What was he, a French Poodle?

  13. Your life is in danger and you’re worrying about what kind of dog your potential saviour might be riding? Christ on a housecat, Sweary.

  14. Huzzah! Man, I love trains! And sexy outlaws who have to resort to wearing chaps coz no trousers exist that are big enough to house their big lads.

    Erm, or am I the only one who thought of it that way?

  15. Yarf. I haven’t seen enough of this protagonist to be able to judge the size of his lad, but since it’s me who’s writing it, it’s bound to be an impressive specimen. Overcompensating for the raw deal I got in real life, you see.

  16. How come you get a dog and Christ has to resort to housecats?

    You’ve got some God complex, amigo.

  17. I pushed through the swinging double-doors to do what I came here to do.

    “is it alright if I just use the restroom?”

    Now that would be an anti-climax, much like the time I shagged Drew Barrymore, well I was great.

  18. Er….chaps? crotch? chapstick? lips? crotch AGAIN! Do you see where I’m going here?

  19. Was Randolph named after Randolph Scott?

    I know its not really relevant. I was just wondering is all.

  20. Did the sign give a population for Blogsville or just a kilobytage to download the store-fronts? Will the inside of the bar open in a new window? How can I download myself a drink and a surly attitude?

    (See in extra work I do feel its important to fully explore one’s ancillary acting role. I do a good limp, and a realistic squint, and if you’re looking for an extra bar-room floozy I’ve got my own push-up corsetry. Oh please sir, it’s been so long since I worked, see, and the wee ones, they’re so hungry and all that stuff about me begging for a role on Prime Suspect, well just don’t listen to any of their lies, and if you could just slip me in as a an angry girl that’s been done wrong, I’ll do all I can to help aid Sweary’s release. Am I going to have to know bunches of html though? Cos then I’m out.)

  21. Sweary: Like that guy said “OMnipotent? Hey, screw you man, you’re nipotent!”

    Knudsen: See, now that the first bit’s done, that’s it. I tend to lose interest. I can’t imagine what would happen after that, so I don’t bother.

    It’s always really bothered me that Drew Barrymore had her tits reduced. What on earth was she thinking? Lunacy.

    Devin: Hence the post title. An oddball, no?

    Eddie: Actually, Randolph was the first name that popped into my head when I sketched this thing out. I meant to change it but no appropriate names came to mind, so it stuck.

    Sam: Splendid. If I were ever to write another bit, I might steal these titbits and pass them off as my own. And I’ve no doubt there’s be a place for an axe-wielding Scottish queen. Will you be on the side of good or evil though? There’s the rub.

  22. I’d make a fine axe-wielding Scottish queen thankyou lad.

  23. Don’t you be making me picture you in a kilt.

  24. I miss a few days and I dunno what the fuck is going on.

  25. […] the Twoth April 24, 2007 at 3:50 pm | In fiction | Go here for Chapter the […]

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