Wacky Wednesday – “Clayton & Bishop”

16 May

Welcome to Wacky Wednesday!

Listen, I’ll be straight with you – I couldn’t really think of an appropriate alliterative category for Wednesdays. Besides, I needed at least one day to be a catch-all; someplace I could regurgitate whatever kind of writing I wanted and call it a day. Not out of laziness, you understand – that would spit a hefty loog in the very face of the Weeklies – but sometimes creative energy need not be directed. Sometimes you gotta open that cage, let that tiger out, and see what happens, you know? Get a bit wild up ins.

Hence, “Wacky”.

We’ll get our anchors aweigh with a short excerpt from an as-yet-unnamed story I’ve been working on for a while. My other writings have been seared, tossed, and fed to the hungry masses; this one’s still bubblin’ away on that back burner. Let’s dip a finger in and see how she’s coming along:


The noise stopped abruptly, and the air hung in sudden silence. Card players looked up from their hands, women gawked, and the bartender, his rag motionless inside a glass, stared.

Bishop smiled at Clayton, who scowled back. An agonizing moment passed. No one spoke, or moved.

Then, too quickly for the eye to follow, Clayton and Bishop raised their guns and opened fire. The crack of the shots was ear-splitting in the small saloon, and men hit the floor while women screamed and cowered. The mirror behind the bartender exploded, and he dove for cover as bottles shattered, spraying liquor everywhere. Chips of wood flew through the air, tables were turned over, some answering shots were fired blindly through the windows and into the ceiling, and then the gunfire stopped, and the room was plunged suddenly into ringing silence once more.

There were several long moments, in which each person in the bar checked to make sure they hadn’t been hit. Then, another moment passed, in which each person realized nobody had been hit. Then, before anyone had a chance to react, a loud, clear voice rang out through the still room.

“Where’s Santiago?”

Bishop, his pistols pointed forward in his outstretched arms, a sneer on his youthful face, spoke again, louder this time. “Ain’t gonna say it again.”

Beside him the air exploded as Clayton’s Winchester fired, tearing a hole in the filthy wallpaper an inch from the bartender’s nose. The man’s face drained of colour, and there was a clatter as he dropped the gun he had been holding. Clayton’s gravelly voice had no humour in it.

“Nice try, fella.”

“Now folks, this here is real simple,” said Bishop, his pistols scanning the room for other would-be troublemakers. There were none. “You tell us where that yellow-bellied son of a bitch is hidin’, and you can go back to yer cards. I might add,” he said, relishing each word, drawing out his speech slowly and clearly, “that there ain’t exactly a choice about it.”

No one spoke. No one had moved, and most people were still splayed on the grimy floor, hiding behind overturned furniture, among the broken glass, spilled liquid, and scattered poker chips. There was a long silence, and the fear in the air was palpable. Bishop sensed they weren’t going to get anywhere this way, and he was lowering his pistols in exasperation, when a man stood up suddenly from behind a table. Bishop’s guns were immediately up again, and Clayton spun to face the man, his rifle moving from his hip to his cheek.

The man blanched and stumbled over his words as he tried to spurt them out quicker than his tongue could manage. “H-he’s at t-the mm-mission, on the outskirts. Holed up with his g-gang.”

Bishop and Clayton lowered their weapons, and the room relaxed a little. Bishop grinned, and said, “Much obliged, friend.”

Then, without another word, they turned and walked out of the saloon, the doors swinging behind them in the silence.


It was over in a manner of minutes.

It began at the entrance to the mission. The oak doors were rotted through, hanging limply on their rusted hinges. When Bishop put his foot through them they splintered and broke apart just as easy as you could want, and Bishop and Clayton fell upon the unsuspecting Mexicans inside like rabid, frothing dogs. Clayton’s repeater was barking and spitting, and Bishop’s pistols popped angrily, spattering the clay pueblo walls with bright blood. One bandito was caught in the middle of a meal, his spoon hanging ludicrously from his lips as he stood and grabbed for his holster. A round from Clayton’s gun tore a hole through his cheek and whipped him backwards to the floor.

It ended two rooms beyond, where Santiago was pushing the mouth of his revolver into the throat of a terrified, weeping nun, daring them to come closer.

They came closer.

The nun died.

Clayton’s lasso arced through the room and tightened over Santiago’s neck and shoulder, and with a violent yank he was on the floor and Clayton stood over him, binding his hands and feet. It was over.

Bishop stood next to the body of the nun, and saw that she was young, and fair-skinned, and a white-hot anger flared behind his eyes as he drove the steel toe of his boot into Santiago’s stomach, once, twice, punctuating each word as it hissed through his teeth. “Son…of…a…bitch!”

“Enough, Bart.” Clayton’s voice was expressionless.

“I’ll say when he’s goddamn had enough!” Bishop shouted, his voice a note too shrill. His breathing was laborious. Clayton’s eyes narrowed.

Then they were gone.


One Response to “Wacky Wednesday – “Clayton & Bishop””

  1. Your Father May 16, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

    They came closer. The nun died. I love it.


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