I chuckled and put the container in my pocket, “Thanks. I’ll use these when I leave here.”

The next bottle patiently waited in front of me, the outer rim glistening from the condensation of the hot air. The slender neck tapered off to a fat body, perfect for my hand to get a nice, firm grip. On the front was the iconic blue star of the brand, the words “Dusty Trail” underneath it in black font. Something in my mind was telling me that, even though I regularly drank these, that this particular bottle would be the best I’ve ever had.

Not wanting to spoil the moment, I carefully grabbed the bottle and held it at my lips, basking in its sensitive, yet floral aroma. As I brought the bottle back to take a sip, the sound of nearby gunfire suddenly rang in the saloon. I froze in place, waiting to hear if more bullets would be fired. Instead, I heard another voice yelling out, this time at a much further distance, “Suzanne, I know you’re in there. Come on out, or else the next shot will go straight into your head.”

I let out a heavy sigh, “Goddamn it. Who do I have to gun down to have a cold beer in peace around here?” Eager to drink the one in my hand, I threw my head back and brought the bottle up, allowing it to pour straight into my mouth like an alcoholic waterfall. I closed my eyes and awaited my drink to fall into my mouth. But it never happened. I opened one eye to look at my bottle, to see why nothing was happening; not even a drop touched my tongue.

I was able to see right through the bottle, even seeing the ceiling light hanging above. Expecting to see a green filter, I was able to see the glass chandelier glimmering in its crystalline glory. I slowly brought my head and the bottle back down, realizing that the bottom of the bottom was gone. I took another deep breath, trying to keep my composure as I calmly placed the broken bottle on the counter.

“Hey, barkeep,” I politely called out. “Did you see what happened to my drink?”

“I believe that stray bullet just a moment ago came past you and hit your glass. Would you like another?”

“Not yet… I have something I need to take care of.”

Whoever shot at me had the balls to shoot out my drink. Shooting at me to kill was one thing; that was something I could respect. But when you make me put my drink down, that’s when I lose my mind.

I slowly got up from my seat and fixed my clothes, making sure everything was neat and proper. I brushed my hand against my thigh, and felt my revolver hugging me in its holster. Knowing it was on me, allowed myself to let loose.

In a burst of rage I grabbed my bar stool with one hand and flung it towards the entrance to the saloon. Before the stool even started being pulled down by gravity, I reached down and pulled my revolver out, aiming it at the stool.

The few beams of sunlight inside the saloon seemed to converge on the silver body of my gun, highlighting its long barrel, six-chamber spinning cylinder, and mahogany leather grip. I didn’t even bother aiming down its sights, just sticking my arm out with the revolver in hand.

“Sayonara, fucker.”

I pulled the trigger. A loud blast rang in the saloon. At first glance, a person would have thought that I just wanted a shot shooting at a stool. However, to a true gunslinger, they’d figure out what I did.

The bullet came flying out, and ricocheted off of the stool, making a hard left. The bullet traveled through the air and pierced the wall of the saloon. Just a second later, there was a loud scream of a man in the distance. Confident with the results, I put my revolver back in the holster and grabbed a new stool, sitting at the bar counter. I threw my hand up and snapped my fingers.

“I’m ready for that beer now”

Copyright © 2019 by Luka Tatsujo

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