Saturday, October 26, 2013


The two met in a saloon. She was a small, black haired woman, twenty if that. From the way she held the glass and swallowed the cold whiskey without even a flinch, he knew she was very familiar with it.

He didn't ask to take a seat; he just pulled up a chair. She sat at a round wooden table by one of the windows. It was late afternoon, and the townspeople could be seen hustling just outside. She gazed out the yellow tinted windows, as if she looked for someone.

He waved his arm up, popped two fingers out, and the drinks were ordered. She was already on her way to drunk. He could tell as she turned her head. The tainted daylight seized her face, and her eyes flickered under their heavy lids. They were more brown than the dirt floor the chairs sat on.

The drinks arrived in two dirty shot glasses. He toasted her and drank down the whiskey- it was smooth. It had been a long time since he had tasted such a flavor.

She watched him grasp the glass, lift his arm and drink. He appeared old with blonde haired, and unshaven - a hardened trapper from his look. She picked up the glass and smiled thanks. She let the liquor taste her tongue, and slide down her throat. Taking a deep breath, she opened her eyes. He ordered two more.

There they sat. Neither said a word.

Day dragged to dusk, and dusk dragged to night. The saloon started to bustle with regulars and strangers all trying to buy a moment from their loneliness. Some walked by the two, not a work spoken, others nodded tipping their hat at the lady. One man called to the man by name. He smiled. She was in such a stupor, she didn't hear the voices. She was tired of listening to those voices anyway.

One glass let to another, and the glasses let to bottles. With each drink the glasses got cleaner, and their eyes clouded over. She no longer saw an old wind torn face, and he no longer saw a woman child. It was getting late.

He did his best to stand up, teetering a bit as he placed a thick brown hat upon his head. The hat fit perfectly, even his hair seemed to part just for the hat. It had a beaded band, and the tied leather straps fell just far enough to touch his chest.

She watched him stand there, maneuvering to putting his overcoat on. They both took a deep breath.

He reached his hand out- it was large, something she hadn't noticed before. From the wrinkles on his face, and the pain in his ice blue eyes, she knew he would be strong enough. She held out her hand and grasped his so softly, that if his eyes didn't see her take it, he'd have never known.

She wiggled from the wood chair she'd begun to call home. It was as comfortable as a bed, and whiskey warmed her like a lover.

He moved his arm around her back, placing a tattered jacket upon her shoulders like it was white lace. She put her arms into the sleeves and around his waist. He was warm. More warm than the hours of liquor they had drunk. He steadied her steps as they walked out of the saloon and into the darkness.

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