Boom Sticks

I ain't have the money. There wasn't no way I was going to get the money before the deadline, so I did what I had to do. I cleaned my guns and loaded my horse up with everything I'd need to run away. I planned to shoot it out, but if I ended up on the losing end I was going to make a run for it. They wouldn't chase me too far, I only needed to make it to the next town.

I arrived at the bandits' hideout. Nobody was keeping watch, if they were, they weren't using lanterns tonight which would be madness. I slide behind a big stone and duck down. I blow out my lantern so I wouldn't give away my location. I strike a match and light the first stick of dynamite. I fling it at the run-down farm house. As the first explosion rocks the ground around me and muffles my hearing, I fling another. I don't give them any time to react. I just keep slinging them not waiting for a response, not looking at the results. My hearing is gone so I just throw them whenever I feel the earth shake.

I think about all the people that let this happen. Other farmers who paid their protection fee. Three sheriffs that got run out of town without a fight. Everyone who just got walked over by these clowns. I got nothing to lose. They killed my cattle to send a message and then expected me to have the money. Nobody buys dead steer but the butcher and he can only buy so much.

Finally, out of dynamite I peek out from behind the stone. The house lays in a pile on the ground with only a few walls still standing. I didn't think it would be that easy, but life is full of surprises. I make my way over and start surveying the bodies. Jay "bad eye" Barlett is the first I come to, I almost didn't recognize him with his pants around his ankles. Makes sense, since right beneath him is Janie "Wilfire" Baning. A little digging and I come across Curtis Long, no nickname on him. The one person I'm missing is Lucky Jack Holden.

I feel a burning sensation slice across my shoulder. I instantly drop to the ground. Just a flesh wound, but I got shot. Lucky is living up to his name I see. I can't beat a gang, but I can beat one man in a shootout.

"Get your dirty ass out here and fight me fair," Lucky yells out.

I ain't got no intentions of fighting him fair. Those bastards have never been in a fair fight their entire lives. I let him keep yelling and kicking at rubble. The moment he turns around I fire my revolver at his back until it's empty. I watch him fall to the ground and know that it's over. My life as a farmer is done, but at least I can turn in these bounties and live a nice life.

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