My Condolences

Nobody was sad to see him die but me. My dad wasn't a great man. He beat ma, he shot people, stole cattle, robbed trains and anything else an outlaw did. I should hate the man, but I can't. I look up to him. All the stories he would tell me about duels and shoot outs. How he shot a hundred men but never got shot. I loved it. He was always good to me.

Just the preacher, sheriff and I stood at the grave. The preacher said some words about dad being in a better place. I know he didn't believe it. He came out of duty, a duty given to him by God. Ain't no preacher or lawman ever cared for him. Sheriff just came to make sure he was dead.

Off in the distance about a dozen horses can be heard galloping. Getting closer with every passing moment. I don't move, I haven't finished paying my respects. The preacher is nervous, looking for a place to run off and hide. The Sheriff keeps his hand on his gun. Still we don't move as the horses come into sight, each with a rider filled with ill intent.

Now in sight, and circling the grave I can see there's eight horses. The riders all cackling like they had gone mad. Seeming to want nothing other than to desecrate my pa's grave. Eventually one ride throws up his hand and the others come to a stop. He slides off his horse. The man is tall and slender. He smells of chewing tobacco and cow dung.

"We just wanted to make sure this no-good back stabbing piece of shit was really dead. You must be the worthless, son of a whore bastard child he ran off to raise. You know the cockeyed drunk was married to my sister? He just ran off with your mammy like he ain't have a good woman."

I move to swing on the man. Pa always told me not to take guns everywhere. Don't start a pointless shootout he would say. So, I didn't bring my guns. "Stop," the Sheriff says gritting his teeth and grabbing my arm.

"You can let the dog go. I wouldn't lay a hand on him. One of my friends might fill him full of holes, but I would never lay a hand on him," he cackled getting back on his horse. "Well, he dead, and the son ain't got no spine. That's all we needed to know. Say hello to your mother."

They did a few more laps around the grave before riding off. The sheriff promised me I would feel better about not acting out here. But I don't. He was wrong. This day would never feel better.