I have been intrigued by flash fiction ever since I learned of it. It’s a snap shot, a moment in the life of some character. It leaves so much up to the reader’s imagination, but if done right, still gives some sense of satisfaction, of being told a story. I have attempted in the past to create flash fiction pieces of various lengths. Depending on the magazine or the contest or the challenge, the length of flash fiction changes, although I do think that as a category, it has to at least be under 1,000 words. This piece, Lil’ Lady, was written from a challenge to stay under 500 words. It is also my only attempt at an “Old West” themed piece. Here it is! I hope you all enjoy it!
When her Pop didn’t come home that night, May knew she would need to saddle up and head out to find him, though if his habits proved true, she knew she wouldn’t need to look far.
“Third time this week,” she grumbled as she mounted her old mare, a chestnut colored Morgan no one else wanted. She patted the Colt Navy revolver. It hung snug in it’s holster off of her hip from a slightly-too-loose leather belt. Her Pop had given the gun to her when she was nine years old, two years after he taught her to shoot it.
May nudged the mare, who slowly meandered her way toward town. Dry Creek was about a mile down the small dirt road, and when May reached the short row of buildings, she headed for the one in the middle – Hank’s Saloon. She dismounted and began to walk toward the swinging doors but jumped back as a man flew past her, head first, landing roughly in the dirt. Two men followed after him.
“Yer gonna give us everythin’ ya got and then some, ya hear?” The taller of the two kicked their victim and asked again, “Ya hear?”
Great. That’s my Pop.
May walked up behind the men, both of which easily overshadowed her fifteen-year-old frame. She tapped the taller one as he took a step back to let his friend get in a good kick.
“Hey, fellas, don’t mean to interrupt, but that drunken fool is my Pop. What’s goin’ on here?”
The shorter, bearded one addressed her with clear annoyance, telling her they won five dollars from her father, only to find out he had no more than a half-dollar on his person.
“Right, well, I don’t have that kind of money on me, but if you let my Pop go, I promise to get it to ya,” she took the Colt Navy out of it’s holster and played with it while speaking, letting them see she could handle it well.
They laughed at her. “Ya think yer gonna scare us lil’ lady? We ain’t scared o’ no woman.” They turned back to her Pop, now curled up into a whimpering mess, who promptly received a kick to the back of his head.
May shrugged and sighed, “Have it your way,” and she shot them both. As she helped her Pop to his feet, the bearded man, still barely conscious, stared down at the gaping wound in his gut and then back up at May, mumbling something, brow furrowed. She looked at him with a smirk and answered the question she saw in his eyes, “My Momma passed when I was three, and Pop didn’t know nothin’ about raisin’ girls.”
© Brianna Boes 2014