The Stranger (part 2)

The horse with the bullet-hole decals yawned and rolled over onto his back. The old-timer was surprised that the stranger stepped closer and gave the horse a good belly rub, as if it were merely a gigantic dog. The horse rose finally, shook its head and stared meaningfully at the old timer as if to say ‘Wot?’

The stranger, meanwhile hopped up onto the horse, bareback.

‘shirt’s off I see,’ said the old timer to the cowboy. ‘You’ll get skin cancer you keep that up.’

‘Maybe so,’ said the stranger. ‘But it’s better than the alternative.’

With that, he rode off into the sunset without another word.

The old timer watched the cloud of dust slowly dissipate, and stood back and waited. Slowly, the dust cloud reformed, and the stranger reappeared.

‘Here’s your hat,’ said the old timer, handing the stranger his headwear. ‘Noticed a few moles as you left too–‘

‘They’re bastards this time of year, eating all the greens.’

‘On your back,’ continued the old timer.

‘Oh, they’re just the beauty spots I got.’

It took a moment for the penny to drop, before the old timer responded thus: ‘From the same place you got the bullet holes.’

‘How’d you guess?’

‘Lucky I suppose. You know beauty spots are really for the face don’t you?’

‘Oh, I got some for there too,’ replied the stranger. ‘They fell off. It’s the heat.’

‘Why on your back?’

‘It was a bonus two-for-one pack, and I thought, what the hell?!’

The old timer nodded sagely. Here was a man whose point of view was more-or less looking down a periscope: bent in two separate ways. The question was, though, which ways?

Author: gotheek

Sometime writer, full time human.