"Overdream"

a Novella by David R Moenich

  

   Copyright 1993/2017 David R Moenich

 All Rights Reserved

  

Note: Science Fiction/Western

 

CHAPTER 1

It began about ten miles east of “Bloody Newton”, Kansas…1879. Rolling a cigarette with one hand while guiding the stallion with the reins in my other hand according to my intentions, I pulled up sharply to a halt

There was a sound of thunder yet the sky was blue and clear with only scarce, white wisps of clouds above. An intrusion of dust began to fill the air. My horse reared. It was a cattle stampede heading toward us from behind. I struck a match on my saddle horn, lighting the smoke I had rolled.

I reached for one of my canteens, having two from which to choose. One canteen was always full to the brim with whiskey, the other canteen usually half-filled with water.

My priorities concerning such were ill advised yet useful within my appraisal of priorities. I swallowed more than enough courage from the canteen of my discretion. I slapped my steed upon the neck, shouting to him, “Do you know how to run for your life, boy?! Now would be good!” I spurred his haunches. He ran as a gazelle with a lion pride pursuing it. I figured we had about as much of a chance of escaping the crazed bovines as a canary has of escaping noxious and toxic gases inside of a mine when confined to a cage and confronted with and exposed to such.

There was a small ridge, a bluff of sorts, less than a quarter of a mile across the prairie...due east. That's where I was headed, and in a panic I rode. I could practically feel the hot, snorted breath coming from the nostrils of the rogue band of longhorn steers on my tail feathers. My mind raced. Someone once told me upon the imminence of death, a person's life would flash before them...I got nothing but shit...a blank slate of nothingness...no photographs; no memories...no anything. All happening so quickly and abruptly, I reflected on just what I was...or who I was, not wishing to know what I might become.

I was not much, I thought. I was much too self-concerned to punch cows for a living. I fancied myself an outlaw never claiming such a rite. Bedding down with rattlesnakes and scorpions nearby made my interest wane within such a vocation. The image of burning cow flesh with hot irons, and castrating the testicles of animals somehow went against my nature. Bedrolls on the ground, as well as the smell of dung, were for men with grit and conviction...men of, perhaps, a higher caliber of manhood than me had achieved nor wished to achieve.

I lacked an expeditious draw of the iron, however, I remained within grace concerning the complete accuracy of shots fired from my .45 caliber Dragoon revolver. Cowpokes, when blessed, went into town once a week. I preferred to live there. Rodeos held nothing for me, as such were financially unrewarding and overly dangerous. It was the Queens, holding the Diamonds of Aces which intrigued me...cards...Poker...as well as women seemingly equal within their rancid and raucous behavior as I presented myself to be, bluffing a trump held. Bawdy, bold, boisterous, and bitter women drew me into their web as a deadly spider wishing to devour its prey without any resistance from me. To me, extreme femininity seemed a ploy of deception leading toward an uncertain end. Better to realize the chattel you engage with, knowing the outcome. Heartbreak is common; death is our beast...a nemesis never denied. Neither a whore nor her captor sense the pangs of love oppressed. It is the true heart, waffled and extinct which stings.

Arriving safely upon the ridge, I  awaited the arrival of the stampede, hoping to urinate on them as they passed by. The thundering steers approached the bluff,...and stopped. They began walking. I withdrew the Springfield carbine from  my saddle, shouting, "I don't think so...!!!" I smiled as I fired three shots into the air, sending them back into a frenzy of cattle mayhem. Off they went within a panic, though the river ahead should surely halt their endeavors.

The above excerpt is from a Novella...author David R Moenich. Estimated Word Count: 37,000 Words. Estimated Completion Date: December 2017. Serious, established Publishers, interested in this work, please, contact David R Moenich at davidrmj@comcast.net

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