The widow sipped rum

Thunder growled at a soft little town. The streets; its people; were at the mercy of bleak ebony skies. Horses and street hounds made themselves heard. But, their sounds were without an audience. Still more thunder and still more rain.

A stallion, built to last such nights made its way down an empty street. Not a soul to see its eyes glowing and penetrating the night. It walked undeterred in the company of rain as all else sought refuge. It was the vehicle of a woman in white. A hat and leather jacket draped her white dress. A colt stood in its holster strapped to her waist.

Her stallion made its way to some light in the distance, offering some resistance to what was going to be a long night. A bar in godless country, in the middle of a godforsaken night, was no place for a woman in white. Yet, she stepped off her horse and left him in the company of unholier looking friends. She walked in.

Drenched and dirty, she was in the company of men. All wore stained shirts that were equally damp. All else stopped. They watched as she made her way to a barstool. Her movements were bereft of grace, instead, she carried a swagger afforded to only men twice her size.

As she sat on her stool, she canvassed her surroundings and met the eyes of gazing men as they hastily went back to business. The colt was free of its holster and placed on top of the bar.

A man with a thick mustache wearing a pale white shirt folded all the way up to bulging shoulders and a waistcoat that had lost its battle to a mountaining belly made his way to take her order.

“You, drink?”, he growled. She looked at him and not so much as wore a grin. “A Jack Daniel with nothing but ice” she growled back.

“Not many maidens walk in here. You know in the company of savages.” “And those that drink anything but Christ’s wine, are asking for hurt.”

“Well, no maiden walked in here, tonight, old boy.”
He looked and growled some more and went to fetch the lady her drink. She stared at her colt.

“Dear, I wasn’t expecting you here tonight” spoke an old voice. She turned back and let out a dry smile. The old voice belonged to an old man wearing a baggy green suit and more rings than fingers.

He sat beside her. “My regular, John” he announced and heard an “Alright” in response. “Darling, Jack usually has me fetch you first before we head here. He always buys the drinks that, young man.”

She said nothing. Drinks arrived. “Is he waiting in the lodge?” he asked now sounding concerned and fearful.

She took a deep breath and all her rum needed replacement.

“We would come here to see the ships leave the bay. After the rains, the sun transforms old country to the paradise, I remember” she spoke.

“Well it does get better, doesn’t it?” “Jack with the horses?”, now looking back and expecting the door to open.

“Jack and I grew up together. He was just a boy and much like boys do, he dreamed us whole adventures and trouble.”

She giggled. “I dreamed his dreams.” Now she stared directly at the old man. The swagger was gone. She was back doing those woman things that savages expected woman do. The skies were not the only ones raining down.

“My dear, where is Jack? What has come of him?” he asked as his hand clenched hers.

“I came here alone.” “Jack, his clothes, his smell, his beer and all else, never made it here”, she proclaimed.

The old man stood up and but continued to clench the woman in white.

“There is no us, no more. You shall drink with only me, tonight”, and with that, she gestured at the barman for a refill.

The colt carried only four bullets. The other two had found a new home. None could provide pain as fierce as a scorned heart. So pure, so raw and therefore, so scorned. The widow sipped rum that night.

Picture by Santiago Martin (Unsplash)

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