Jun 1, 2013

This is not the OK coral - Writer's Weekly spring 2013 submission - all audiences

Hey guys and gals.

This was the first time I participated in this writing contest and I had loads of fun doing it. The wait for the results is now over and I promised myself I would post the story on my blog as soon as the 'votes' were in. I didn't win anything, but hey, I had fun and that's what's most important about these things. Having fun doing them. I've already registered for the summer edition, so you'll be seeing more of these coming up as time goes by.
Contest date for summer is July 13th, I'll have to keep that weekend 'free' and to myself. Good thing is that I'm in a different time zone, so I get the email with the topic at 7 pm. That means I have all evening to focus on the topic and I don't have to worry about getting the shopping done, cooking dinner and whatever else needs to be done during the day, that could keep me from getting started on the contest.

Anyways, enough of my rambling already.
Here's the topic:

She sat in her favorite spot on the porch of the weathered beach house, the salty air sticking to her skin, the oncoming storm blowing sand across her bare feet. The crisp envelope bent beneath her fingers as she laid it on her lap, and reached for the pen in her dress pocket...

Enjoy the read!!

This is not the O.K. Corral.

There he was, sitting at the edge of the field, looking out at the wasteland beyond the barrier. It still amazed him to see how abruptly nature could change. How suddenly fertile lands turned to barren, dry and useless stretches of dirt. To him, it didn’t look like dirt, even though he knew it was. It looked much more like sand and he knew it would feel the same should he take off his boots and test it. He didn’t take off his boots though, and he didn’t set a foot beyond the barrier.
They knew he came out here at times. He didn’t mind, he had other places to go if he wanted to be alone. Now, he just needed a moment to himself. A moment to prepare.
One last time, he checked the envelope in his pocket. One last time, he pulled it out and checked the contents. One last time, he double-checked himself. There was no room for error today, failure was not an option. He had worked too hard, too long to fail. If he failed now, he would be letting himself down in the first place.

Six months today.
It was almost like a birthday, but he didn’t feel like celebrating.
Not yet.
The cake would come later. It wouldn’t be a tasty one though. It would taste of tension, stress and fear. It would taste of blood, or bile, or both. It would taste of sweat, the salty taste of sweat, almost as salty as tears. Or the ocean. He missed the ocean. Hadn’t seen it in … How long had it been? He couldn’t even remember. It had probably been several years since he had last seen the ocean.
He made a promise to himself then and there. Once he was done here, he would get in his car and drive until he reached the ocean. He didn’t care which way he went and he didn’t care which ocean he reached, all he cared about was getting there, hearing it, feeling it, tasting it. If he closed his eyes, he could easily picture it, picture him, her. He shook his head. No time for that now. He lowered his eyes to the papers in his hands, reading the words he had written on them.
Everything was there.
Everything he needed.
Everything they needed.

With a satisfied grunt, he returned them to the envelope, closed it and reached for the pen in his pocket, scribbling his signature across the seal. A smile played on his face when he thought of hot wax and a ring, but then his mind came back to his own century and he slipped the envelope into the small backpack, dropping the pen in with it. He slung it onto his back and turned away from the wannabe beach.

The horse waited where he had left it and he whistled softly. It raised its head, ears pricked, but continued to grind down the bite of grass it had taken, before setting in motion.

“Good boy.”
He heaved himself into the saddle and pulled gently on the reins.
“Are you ready?”
The horse’s ears went straight forward.
“Let’s go home.”

The big horse leapt forward, almost throwing him off, but he leaned closer and tightened his legs, holding on with more conviction.
It only took minutes to reach the house and he sat up, digging his heels down before they reached the gate.

“Easy now.”

He guided the horse to the stable and jumped down, leaving it to the youngsters to take care of it.
He went to the house, entering through the kitchen door.

“Hey, Luis,” he greeted, “where’s your brother?”

“What’s it to you? You’re dealing with me, hombre.”

“Not today, Luis.” he replied, “Where is he?”

Luis glared at him, but his icy blue gaze remained unyielding.

Without wasting another word on Luis, he crossed the kitchen and took the stairs, hearing them whine in complaint at his swift ascension.
“Jorge.” he called at the top.

“What do you want?”

“I need to talk to you.” he said, entering the large study.

“No, you don’t. Unless you’re ready to kill for me, you’re dealing with my brother, little man.”

“I have my reasons.”

“But you won’t tell me what they are.”

“I’ll tell you now if you want.”

“Sure, little man,” Jorge replied sarcastically, “tell me why you come to me asking for work, but then refuse to do the work I give you.”

“It’s really simple.” he said, nonchalantly reaching into his pocket.

Suddenly, the quiet day exploded into chaos when dozens of men in combat gear poured into the house, smashing through doors and windows to gain quick and easy access. Jorge’s eyes went wide in shock at the violent intrusion into his home, but when he looked back at his ‘little man’, they went wider still. The shiny, silver badge clasped in his left hand stalled his breath; the small, powerful gun aimed at his head, nearly stalled his heart.

“I’m a Federal Agent, that’s why.”


“You’re under arrest. Put your hands on your head and turn around.”
Men in combat gear approached and he shrugged the backpack off.
“Everything you need is in here, six months worth of it.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“If anyone asks, you don’t know where I went.”

“Where are you going?”

“To the beach. I need a vacation.”

He walked away, his job finally done.
Now, the beach awaited.
Everything else could go to hell for a while.

Did you enjoy that?
Please let me know in the comments.
Thank you!

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