The Boy Named Sue

by on September 15th, 2010
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In the quiet town of Even there was a group of so called bandits, who by default marked their own deaths when they entered into a town with guns holstered upon their hips and grins as wide as their bellies.

Their smell was nothing extraordinary, just a group of farm-boys trying to act like bastards. One with a piece of straw extended from his lips like it was some prized trophy.

Their horses were unshod, they were the poor kind, but they broke the no gun-law that was in just about every town and county from here to San Fran’.

The sons of whores tied up their horses and dismounted, and entered into the town of Even, the sun was bright and the floor cold with sudden acknowledgement and regret as fear finally set in upon them when they realized the small town of Even also had access to their own firearms and shotguns.

There were six of these so-called bastards, and only one of them really was what he said he was.
His eyes, not like the boy’s eyes. He had seen his own death, and his mother’s death.

The boys trailed five paces behind the man. They hesitated as the men of the town came out with their flintlocks, ready to castrate the law themselves if need be, but the man continued forward ignoring the town, he carried a Colt Single Action Army revolver, a Peacemaker as some called it, the best handgun in the world.

The Peacemaker wasn’t coming for peace this day, neither for war.

On his head he carried a simple hat, it had a wide brim and a soft tint to it. His clothes were that of a cow-hide jacket, expensive, and not originally belonging to him.

The kids that were tagged along with him only carried farm pistols, in other words, old Civil War guns that their pappies neglected along with their memories of old friends dyin’.

Their clothes, It doesn’t matter, all you need to know is is that no matter how long a man keeps himself going, his stench follows him, the same applied to the boys.

I don’t ever recall the man asking anyone for forgiveness, and I don’t really expect he would, and likewise I don’t expect he would with a name like Sue.

The lawbringer came out and at a quick trot was before Sue and looked him in the eye, centering in deep into the core of him.

” What’s your business here?” The Sheriff spoke abruptly and with authority, he put his hand up against Sues chest.

“Its my own business…” Sue replied with a bite and entered into the saloon. It was an old saloon on a road of dirt and mud and blood in the humble town of Even.

He entered and took in the smell of cigars and smiled. The man was here, and he was there with him.

A man at a round table dealt a card of stud, and he knew it was him, he withdrew an old picture that his Ma’ had gave him before he took off down this deadened road, and took one final glance at it and then locked eyes with the man and he approached.

There was a scar down across his eye and that was all well and good, same as the photo.
The man’s hair was grey and withered, but the man was no small man, he was big and rough edged and he knew it.

Sues hands suddenly drew into fists and his blood ran cold like a hard liquor and he smiled deftly at the old man, he drew himself up at the table and looked into the man’s eyes and said, “My name is Sue, how do you do?”

“I’m fine, how do you do?”

Sue spoke with fire on his tongue and a cold heart, “My name’s Sue, and now your gonna die.”

Sue brought his fist up hard, and the boys behind him flinched and drew backwards against the walls of the place, their farmer blood coming out of ‘em.

Sue smashed his fist into the face of the man and rocked him from his seat, hitting him square between the eyes.

Sue grinned, feeling his sudden power inside of him, but with an anger and power he did not know the old man had, the man raised back up with a knife and slashed it upwards, missing his throat by no more of a straw’s width and removed part of his ear.
Sue kicked the man hard in the knee, dropping him down like a bag of nails and grabbed the side of a chair next to him, and smashed it across his face, the chair’s two front legs broke and scattered.

The powerful, but old man raised himself up, ramming his shoulder into Sues stomach hard and fast, taking them both outside into the open where the people were still gathered and waiting.

Their fists connected with each others bodies and they gouged and bit and kneed each other until they could stand it no more.

A beer was smashed near them and the beer flowed out and the smell intoxicated them like a fine whore.

Sue had fought tougher men, tougher than this before in the War, but it didn’t matter much now, it was an old time. In a fit of rage the old man bit down into his arm drawing blood and some flesh along with it, Sue howled and smashed his fist into his face over and over.

The olden man shoved him aside like a simple weight and laughed quietly and then swore violently as he reached in his mouth and pulled out a sharp piece of one of his teeth. He reached for his gun and tried pulling it up, but Sue stood there above him with his revolver pulled, and looked him down in the eyes.

The man smiled at Sue and said, “Son, the world is rough, and if the man is going to make it, he has to be a tough bastard.” He paused as he spat out some blood and then looked back up at Sue, “And I knew that I wouldn’t always be there to help you along… So, I gave you a name that I knew would make you a bastard yourself.”

“What kind of joke is that to play on someone? On your own son?” Sue spat back with acid and fire.

“You just fought like an animal, and I know you hate me, I gave you that right when I gave that name of yours, just kill me, I won’t blame you, but before you do, you better thank me, because I’m the one that gave you that punch, and that kick, and that gun and the fire in your eyes.” He laugh again almost mockingly, “‘Cause I’m the son of a bitch that named you Sue.” The old man spread his arms out dropping his gun down and held them up in the air.

Sue looked him hard in the face and felt his knees start to quiver and the ice upon his heart start to melt, but he turned away and hardened his heart. “Remember this day then, and carry it with you until you die, that a boy named Sue beat your silly ass… Pa.”‘

Sue began his walk, and as he walked down the mud trodden road, the farm boys did not follow him like a pack of hungry dogs, but instead stared at him as if he were a Greek god of myth.

But as Sue walked past the group of townspeople, they parted before him like the Red Sea, he made it perhaps twenty paces before he heard the gunshot.

He turned around, pulling his peacemaker up with a casual grace and aimed hard down the sights and fired at the one person that would try to kill him in this moment. He fired and he watched the head of his Pa snap back and blood shoot out into the mud and dust, and only after he had shot did he realize what had just transpired.

His eyes became soaked with tears and he felt his knees suddenly begin to wobble but it was not from grief, he looked down at his belly and saw the exit wound of his father’s bullet, and he sank down into the mud with his knees and he sat there on his haunches.

Looking across the way at his father, while his father looked back at him, his Pa was still sitting upright even though the bullet had ended his life and snapped his head back.

They looked at each other; and Sues eyes suddenly felt unpleasant and watery and dry, same with his mouth and he coughed and hacked up his own blood, and he could feel the pain at the back of his skull, and felt death surmounting, and there in that moment, he thought: “If I ever have a boy, I think I’ll name him… Bill, or George…”

Their lives transpired and ended together as father, and son.


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