These tiny ficlets were a response to the winter challenge on the Lancer Writers group on Yahoo: to write ficlets of just 55 words each. These five ficlets add up to one (still very tiny!) story.

 

Lessons

 

"The barrel's cut short."

"Clears the holster faster."

"I see that you've cut the holster down, too."

"Not as much holster to clear."

"No sights.  I don't know how you manage without any sights!  You never miss."

Johnny laughs.  "Well, brother, let's just say I allus go off half-cocked an' I shoot from the hip."

 

 

~L~A~N~C~E~R~

 

 

"Tighter."

"Surely it's tight enough?"

"Nope.  Breathe in and pull the buckle in another notch."

"It's too tight, now."

"Boston, that gun of your'n's gonna be flappin' about worse'n a saloon gal's tongue.  One more notch. and tie that holster down."

Scott obeys.  "Well," he says, high-voiced, "I only hope Murdoch's not expecting any grandchildren!"

 

 

~L~A~N~C~E~R~

 

 

"Remember how pretty that saloon gal was?"

"Yes."

"She had real nice apples."  Johnny's hands make cupping motions at his chest.

"What does that have to do with shooting?"

"Pretend you're stroking those apples, brother, and you'll be puttin' just the right pressure on that trigger.  You don't want her to go off too soon!"

 

 

~L~A~N~C~E~R~

 

 

"Not bad, Boston.  You hit near-on most of them cans."

"I'm too slow."

"You ain't a gunfighter.  You ain't so bad, considerin'."

"I'm not as fast as you, though."

"No-one's as fast as me."

"I hope that saloon girl doesn't have cause to say that of you, little brother!"

"Naw.  I'm only sudden with guns."

 

 

~L~A~N~C~E~R~

 

 

"What do you think you're doing?"

"He has ta learn, Murdoch, if he's stayin' out here."

"He needs to learn to rope cows and put up fences, to tame horses and drive cattle.  Why do you have to teach him how to use a gun?"

Johnny looks puzzled.  "It's what I do best, Old Man."

 

~end~