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DF Lewis
Saturday, 25 August 2007
The Man With No Name

Collaboration with MF Korn      






The cowboy slouched into the saloon, his tremendous girth waddling through the swinging doors.  His name--hidden from his peers--was Billygoat.  He traded under a different one. 



       He kissed the hot syrup neck with a slavering joy and told the bar-tender to deliver some more. He used to be the skinniest runt.  But wagonloads of beans and fixins, salt pork and jerky took care of that.         Everyone in the place looked over, some of the boys smirking.  He looked around, not caring.  The bar was festooned with dancin' gals, some better whores than others.



     "Hey, Tenderfoot, what's your poison?" said a gangster from a different side-step.



     Billygoat tapped his holster meaningfully; there was more shot in Laramie, he mimed, than the deepest gunsling backyard of any Prohibition era, bar none.



     The person who spoke to him had a strange mellifluous voice, as if it were an echo in a canyon.  His face was even stranger as well, the dark features, and odd oblong look to it.  He had dapper clothes, a real dandy, but the suit of clothes that hung on his skeleton frame was ill-fitting and no longer the well cut suit it once was.  There was a stentorian breathing



pattern, and a strange accent augmented the overall demeanor of the guy. He wasn't standing up straight, and Billygoat didn't like to be hassled by no city folk that didn't belong in those parts anyhow.  Hell, Billygoat thought, I hadn't even whetted my damned whistle before someone starts up on me.  He wondered, does this dandied dude have some truck with me?



     “I have juices that real thinking heads have a-plenty in their soft centres,” the dapper dandleprat announced, fondling his own finger as if it were a trigger.



     Billygoat couldn’t help but notice that a creature, of sorts, quite out of keeping with any traditional take on reality, had by now scuttled into the bar and squatted, preening itself, on the dandleprat’s shoulder.  Its body was tantamount to an arm’s length of  loose-limbed neck, with a single-spout snout, and resting between a pair of scrawny sack-like humps.  As the dandleprat stroked the creature, it spat a curd of see-through cream straight into Billygoat’s chump chops.



     "What in the hell?----" Billygoat said, trying to spit out the foreign matter.



     "Come here, my precious," said the diminutive.  "He does that sometimes.  Don't be alarmed, kind sir."



     On any given outlaw day, Billygoat woulda shot the man straightaways in the brain.  In the back, front, side.  But something kinda nice cleared his sinuses and pleasure sunk into Billygoat’s bulbous lard head, underneath a ten gallon duster hat.  He ended up swallowing the rest.  He looked around, dizzy.  The boys didn't see that, he reckoned.  Or I'da had ta kill a man.



     The creature winked at him, or was that his imagination?



     "Sir,” said the creature’s keeper. “My name is Winkencrump.  I'm a mortician.  Or at least I had a funeral parlor in Tuscon, but I want to set up a little business here in Laramie.  And what is your name, kind sir?"



     "Billy.  Goat.  My gang calls me that.  Born a two-midwives in hell itself.  A lot a folk is afaid o' me."  Something infinitely pleasureable sprang a fount in his cranium.  He couldn't seem to think about things. About watchin' his back.  About who's comin' after him with a knife, in his blind spot.  Outlaw thinking which was usually on his mind was clearin' out.



     "You feel strange, right?"



     The barkeep had been eyeing this strange diphthong of a man since he came in with his creature.



     "Mister, you'd better buy a drink or you is flat outa here...And there ain't nothin' like that allowed in my saloon.”



     One of the dancing whores tried to pet the creature.



     Billygoat sucked at a bottle of pother he’d garnered ‘stead of syrup.  He’d have to teach them a thing or two.  He’d have no truck with impostors from otherworldly gunslug wastes such as Cagney used to forest with his jugular twangs.  Only necks could be sliced at both ends and still live the half-life of a worm.  Camels, too, but they didn’t come out west till Wyatt Earp croaked.  And again that was never to be between the book-boards of  THIS dust-covered reality.



     The creature, meantime, was enticingly off the shoulder, snuggling now upon the buxoms of a well-heeled whore.  Its soft-boned helmet nuzzled into the deep chasm of her fleshy soul. It seethed with the breaking news of love as her painted claws ripped, in passion, its upholstered humps.  Loose covers were unwound turbans.  And slickness was the melting sorrow that exuded from conjoined pores.



     Billygoat took the dandleprat outside and said they had to see the sherrif about a bank raid.  It was as if they now both realised they were meant to meet here, today, now, then, forever.  Conspiracy was not even close enough a description.  And, with the creeping creature crumbling behind them like a spent whimper, they unwound their snickering steeds from the saloon’s biting-board and trotted towards the House of the Blinking Star.



     The dandy mortician’s horse was rather strange:  It had a covering of goldfish scales instead of regular horse hide.  The creature sort of floated besides the man as the strange trio of Billygoat, Winkencrump and sidekick kicked up dry dust on the midway. 



     “Here’s my new funeral parlor, The House of the Blinking Star.  I kind of would like to show you around.”  They dismounted.  The goldfish-scaled horse folded into a cube the size of a breadbox. 



     “How’d that happen?”, asked Billygoat, still numb from the fat neck wattle up. 



     “It would take a long time to explain.  Come on in.  Let’s talk about your bank robbery you would like to plan.”  They walked in after Winkencrump waved a wry skeletal paw at the smooth futuristic finish of the door, which made the door not open like normal, but wink, blink and dilate.



     “Shucks, mister, you sure got some fancy place here...”.



     The creature floated through the door backwards on its back, three feet off the ground.  The floor was that of a sort of living carpet which fanned like a field of wheat.  It made Billygoat feel real nice.



     The walls were splayed gossamer and ephemeral laser-melts showing vast vistas of unplumbed galactic space.



     Gangster films  and staroperas, however, got on Billygoat’s gruff. 



      REAL reality was wild west, whilst wraparounds of imagination seemd to steam them back and forth between quite different grips of genre.  He had to get a handle on why they were there.  The sad creature bleated at his feet, pangs of something akin to wistfulness gazing up from its sightless snout.  Winkencrump gave it a kick, which ricocheted around the flinching walls and even made the horsescales outside wince with ringing. 



      “Hey, Goat, why you’re too fat for ramraids,” said the mincing mortician.



      “All the better to head-butt any bank safe worth its salt,” rejoindered the now thoughtful cowboy.  Billygoat, indeed, was no pasteboard gringo.  He had emotions, even possessing depths that would outclass a right old rodeo of cross-currents and wild motives.  Indeed, he needed to ride his own mind as if its bucking would never stop, except by force of death in some derring-do.



      “The bank’s doors, Goat, are not as wide as those swing ones at the saloon.  And, what is more, they’ll know who you are even with your Lone Ranger mask on!” 



      Billygoat sobbed to himself, whilst stroking the crumpled neck-creature as a diversionary tactic.  He’d never make the bestest bandit, even in slices.  At least hardly no-one knew his name.  No name, no shame.



      “This little device will get your robbery going.  It melts any substance on your planet with one press of the substrate indention.”



                        “Subtrace wha-a-t?”



                        “Er, trigger or button.”



                        “Oh, let me see that thing.” 



      Winkencrump floated it across the surreal room of the futuristic funeral parlor.  Caskets of laser netting floating halfway up the walls, if they were walls.  Bodies of alien creatures all apparently deceased lay within these caskets.  One of these caskets appeared to be the size of a grand piano.  It was empty, too.  Billygoat didn’t do no wonderin’ about who that was for.  He just thought that green slivery aliens all spindly and blotched grey, and spidermonkey purple rodentoids laying prone in laser caskets were something to look at for a second or two.  He knew he never would understand about no creatures like that.  He was a wonderin’ if this here Winkencrump might be old Satan hisself.



      Billygoat pointed the device away from himself but unbeknownst to him he was pointing the weapon at his own fathead.



      “Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzttttttttttt! Popppp!”   The room of wispy natty strangeness lit up like a supernova for a second, and then cleared abruptly. 



      All that was left of Billygoat were his boots and a fused skeleton, in melting cauterized energy.  Little sensors in the wall cleansed the air.



      The stench went away.  Winkencrump smiled and pointed a device at the ectoplasmic blob of Billygoat.  It floated straight into the casket neat as those devices do.



      But scenarios fought the last battle.  Wild West versus Space Opera versus Gangster versus Surreal Arthouse.  And dust-laden Dodge City, if not Laramie, stood thankfully firm.



      Meanwhile, the creature took matters into its own hands and rode the bucking goldfish bronco straight at the bank’s vault doors, its six-shooters firing like it was intent on killing the whole crew. The set was only a frontage.  And the creature died a pulsating death in a spasm of premature ejaculation.



      The cowboy smiled.  He had seen the crumpled wink of a one-spout snout and felt tides of muscle within himself move the fat and lard into deeper ribs of gung-ho machismo.  The Man With No Name.



      “Billygoat, I love thee,” the creature whimpered at the end.



                        It must mean him.



 And even cowboy heroes cry.




Posted by weirdtongue at 2:55 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 25 August 2007 2:57 PM EDT
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