almosthonorable: (baleful)
Ben Wade ([personal profile] almosthonorable) wrote2010-10-29 03:35 pm

[[ milliways : conversations with dead people ]]

The bar is dimmer than usual, and much quieter.

Eerie, because the end of the universe is never without sound or movement; now, the place is so still, he can count the dust motes in what little light glows overhead.

Ben's hand hovers over the Peacemaker at his hip, and it's not until he glances down that he realizes his holster is as empty as the room.

"You don't need that, anyway."

His eyes narrow, sharp-suspicious, dark with intent.

At a nearby table, Ben's father smiles, his teeth yellow and brown with decay.

"It's good to see you, Benny. Sit down, I'll buy you a drink."

"And I'll shoot you over it," Ben says, his voice as flat as Kansas. "It'll be just like old times."

Clifford chuckles, dry leaves against weathered wood.

"You don't have a gun, son."

Ben's expression doesn't change.

"I'm sure I can find one here somewhere. Miss Bar can be awful obliging."

Clifford sits back in his chair, the wood creaking in the silence.

"You'll never forgive me for that, will you?"

"What, for gettin' yourself killed?" Ben shakes his head. "I count it as a blessing."

"That's my boy." Clifford's mouth twists into a smirk, his dead eyes dancing to a private joke. "Grew up into a fearsome outlaw. Twenty-six robberies under your belt, costin' the Southern Pacific almost half a million dollars, and you're only a no-account son of a bitch who gets good men killed for no reason. Like that rancher, Evans -- he left behind a family."

Ben's palm itches from sheer want; the familiar weight of the Colt in his hand is as comforting as it is surprising.

Jaw tight and heart black, he doesn't so much as blink before he brings up the Hand of God.

But before he pulls the trigger, his father's gone.

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