by Eve

Disclaimer: I don’t own the Magnificent Seven characters though I wish I did. I make no profit from the writing but the pure enjoyment of spending a few hours with them.

I had an idea! Always a bad start. I wrote all the names on one piece of paper then on another. I tore up the second one, put the names into a hat and picked them out. This is the result.

So I do Ben and Jerry’s sometimes. It doesn’t do me any harm and I can quit any time. It’s not like it’s hard Ice-cream and I never inject or snort it or anything like that - that’ll fry your brain, that will.

My friends got me started. They gave me some at a party one night. Told me it’d make me feel good. Well since then I have been taking it only when I need to write. I can quit at any time but it’s easy to get – parties, from a van in the street or a cart at the railway station. It’s easy to get hold of. People sell it in the shops now. It’s not a banned substance, you know. I think the Government should let you get it on prescription. I can quit any time. Three tubs a day isn’t a lot, besides it helps me write and I can quit any time I want!

Comments please, though I don’t really care as I laughed so much writing it.

Chris had woken up early so headed over to the church and continued making repairs. Today it was the church doors. They had been hanging off their hinges for too long now. Winter is coming and pretty soon people would want to sit in the church draught free, so he set about fixing them.

‘Mornin’ Chris!’ Ezra greeted Chris. He had also been up early like always, doing a quick patrol round town to make sure everything was in place. Funny thing though, something did seem out of place and he couldn’t quite put his finger on it. He stared up the steps at his friend who was concentrating on lining up the doors properly.

‘Mornin’ Ez!’ replied Chris. ‘Everything OK round town?’ Even as he said it, it felt wrong. He looked back at the man before him. He was dressed in a fine suit and necktie. His waistcoat was a dark shade of green today. Sometimes it was blue, sometimes red but today it was the green one. That wasn’t what was bothering him.

‘Yep s’all fine!’ replied Ezra, ‘You OK Chris?’

‘Yep just doin’ the Lord’s work’ he answered.

Ezra had that feeling again. It was like he’d heard those words before but couldn’t quite remember who’d said them. He turned his horse, Peso, and headed off in the direction of the livery. Peso was also not at ease. He too felt something was out of place – if only he could put his hoof on it!

Yosemite stared wide-eyed at the young man in dapper clothes who led this familiar horse into the livery so early in the day. Yosemite had just woken up. He rubbed his eyes as the man handed the reins to him muttering, ‘Feed and water him, will ya?’ then turned and left.

? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Vin came out of the Sheriffs office, dime novel in hand, intent on its pages. So engrossed was he that he almost ran straight into his mentor, JD.

‘Whoa there, young fella, what’ya readin’? asked JD. As he said it he had a glimpse at a memory from some distant deep recess of looking at a similar book.

‘It’s a story about Bat Masterson. Wow JD! I mean the things that man did! Do you know he once…….’ Vin began. JD switched off as Vin retold the story he had been reading but it seemed strangely familiar somehow, yet he was sure he’d not read any dime novels before. He took off his hat and scratched his head as they walked towards the hotel for breakfast.

He shook the thought out of his mind as he walked, remembering last night. Ah last night, spent in the bosom of Miss Sarah. She’d taught him a few things he didn’t know before. A curious expression flooded his face.

‘What’s wrong, JD?’ asked Vin who’d stopped telling the story and looked at JD.

‘Aw nothin’’ said JD as they entered the hotel.

? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Buck rode into town. He’d been out all night and was dogged tired. Little Elk’s baby had not wanted to come into the world the easy way and he had sat up all night with her. The baby girl had been born just before dawn. Little Elk’s husband had insisted he stay for a celebration breakfast. He had really wanted to get back to town but the joy of a new child in the world had given him renewed strength and energy and he had wanted to be polite, so had stayed a while longer. Now all he wanted was his bed. He tipped his hat at Chris, surprised, though not knowing why, to see him up at the church mending the door. Must be really tired, he thought and headed for bed.

? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Josiah was in the bar practising a one handed shuffle. The cards in his hand refused to obey his will today and spurted out in all directions.

‘Now that is a strange thing. These cards cannot be the same ones I was playing with last night.’ he said.

‘What’s the problem, Josiah?’ asked Nathan from the corner. He liked sitting in the corner, with his back to the wall. Like to see everything going on, at least I think I do, he thought. He stood up, hitched his gunbelt, checking the shining guns and wandered over to where Josiah was sitting.

Joining him at the card table, he watched as Josiah collected the cards from where they fell and try the one-handed shuffle again. He was right, the cards flew all over the place. Nathan smiled. ‘Yer losin’ yer touch, Josiah.’ he said, but this was odd, he’d seen Josiah, or someone, do that shuffle so often, so well. A frown creased his face. The two men sat and stared at each other.

‘Somethin’ ain’t right!’ they said in chorus.

? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Just then Mary ran into the saloon. She looked from one face to the other then back again. Not expecting to see these two here she was stunned for a moment. There was no time to ask what was going on.

‘There’s trouble.’ she said, ‘there’s a gang of outlaws over at the store and they’re robbing Mr Wilkes.

Nathan stood up, the chair crashing to the floor behind him. Josiah checked the small pistol up his sleeve, almost surprised to see it there, but it was loaded and ready to fire.

‘Wait, Josiah!’ said Nathan, ‘We can’t go out there without a plan. Get the others.’

Josiah went out the back of the saloon and soon all seven were there.

Nathan found himself in the middle of his friends issuing orders. Being the fastest draw, he would confront the men in the street as they were leaving the store. JD said, ‘I’ll go high on the roof of the bank and cover you there.’

‘Buck!’ said Nathan, ‘You’d better get ready for some patients. There may be some bloodshed out there. I just hope it won’t be any of us.’

‘Sure.’ said Buck but he wondered, suddenly, how he would manage at the sight of lots of blood. He sure could use a drink right now.

‘I will be praying for us all.’ said Chris. He too was worried. Worried that he might not remember the words of the prayers all of a sudden.

Vin said, ‘I have a suspicion that those gentlemen have not heard that we are here to protect our humble municipality.’ The words came out but he was not sure where from.

? ? ? ? ? ? ?

In the end, things didn’t go as agreed. Chris waited, watching from the saloon, while the others got into place. Vin went high as expected. This was better. Nathan headed in a circuitous route up to the clinic and got ready at the top of the stairs, rifle pointed at the store. Buck, JD and Josiah used the back alleys and positioned themselves round the town.

‘Don’t worry Mary,’ said Chris, ‘it’ll be alright now. You can depend on us’

Mary had watched the scene in the saloon, unsure if she was losing her mind. As the scene opened before her and everyone took their places she felt more confident in the peacekeeper’s ability to sort out the robbers.

Chris left the saloon as he saw the first of the robbers coming out of the store. ‘Can I help you?’ he asked.

The first one made the mistake of going for his gun. Chris was too fast for him and shot him before it had cleared leather. As his comrades poured out through the store door, there was a hail of bullets from them. Chris dived for cover as Vin shot down, catching the second man in the thigh.

Nathan’s skills will be needed today, he thought, a little more comfortable now.

Buck managed to wing the next out the door. A gun was thown out the door and JD pointed his gun at the fourth who exited after it gingerly with his hands up. ‘Ah’m comin’ out. Don’t shoot!’

JD ran over and kicked the gun away.

? ? ? ? ? ? ?

That afternoon, Vin and Chris were sitting outside the saloon, quietly watching the world go by.

‘Had a funny feelin’ this mornin’ Chris.’ said Vin. ‘Things didn’t feel right.’

‘You bin eatin’ yer own cookin’ again?’ asked Chris smiling.

Vin laughed back. ‘No. Things jest didn’t feel right.’

‘I know. I felt it too.’

‘Ya think she’s bin workin’ too hard?’ said Vin after a while.


‘Eve!’ Vin turned to look at Chris.

‘Ya reckon that’s what it was?’ Chris looked back.

‘Either that or she’s bin hittin’ the Ben and Jerry’s a bit hard.’

‘Could be a combination of both.’ said Ezra as he stepped out of the saloon. ‘I saw her with four tubs yesterday and she was coming from her office.’

‘Reckon I’ll get Mary to send her an email to get her to slow down a bit.’ said Chris finally.

JD was just passing by. He turned and said, ‘What’s an email?’

(of the tub!)

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