Twyla Jane

The Magnificent Seven belong to Mirisch, CBS, MGM and Trilogy and were used without prior permission. Disclaimer is and always has been and always will be I don't own `em wish I did. Haven't made a plug nickel off `em either.
My answer to Enola’s July CZ Challenge: would like to see stories where a physical change of some kind happens to one or more of the Seven, how he and the others react to it. Any change you want, as long as it's physical -- some kind of disability, sense removal, becoming another gender or another age -- anything! All I ask is, please, no death stories. If it's temporary or permanent, that's up to you. Any universe. 7/9/02

The shots rang out only after Vin Tanner had landed awkwardly in the dirt. He couldn’t quite take a breath let only muster enough energy to spit out the dry soil that found its way into his mouth. A buzzing sound filled his ears as he fought back the urge to cough while struggling to remain calm as numbness gave way to pain that blossomed in his chest and spread outward. The searing agony that surged towards his extremities threatened to steal what little air he had left. It was until hand gently brushed against his face that Vin realized he wasn’t alone.

“Mr. Tanner?”

Unable able to answer Ezra, Vin did the only the he was capable of he slowly blinked opened his eyes. More than a little disconcerted to find the urbane gambler had poured already the contents of their saddlebags atop the arid ground and was leaning over him. Standish leaned heavily into him using both arms to press several of the fine linen shirts purchased in Cedar Ridge to staunch the steady flow of blood.


How much time had passed, Vin wasn’t sure but the next he knew Ezra was tightly binding the make shift bandages snuggly around his chest.

“Welcome back…”

Vin opened his mouth to speak but the southerner raised two fingers to his lips waiting until the tracker had relaxed before continuing.

“Don’t, you have neither the energy nor the air to spare for even your sparse style of conversation… besides it seems that we are in bit of a bind… our pursuers only moments ago made their attentions clear apparently they are after the price on your head…”

Gunfire erupted nearby.

The world grayed and Ezra words warbled as Vin made an ill-advised attempt to sit up, pain exploded through his side and chest causing his tenuous hold on consciousness to falter and dim. 


An insistent tapping on his cheek woke Tanner from his stupor.

“Vin…” Standish was squatted in front of his when his eyes fluttered open. “That was unwise move and unless you want to depart from the conscious realm again I insist you remain prone and make further effort to rise…” His glassy gaze locked on the gambler’s serious visage before weakly nodding.

“Good…” A grim smile flickered across Ezra’s face as he reached out and pulled the worn wool blanket higher on the tracker’s prone form before he stood up. 

Vin’s sluggish mind took a moment to register just what Ezra Standish was wearing… his buffalo hide coat.

“Time to play rabbit…” The gambler drawled out as he ran his hand over his face chin to brow. The odd motion at first puzzled Vin then plain bewildered him as the sweeping movement seemed to alter Standish’s appearance and as he dragged that same hand through his hair it became longer and curlier until the tracker realized he was looking at a mirror image of himself pulling on his old comfortable slouch hat.

“I shall return post haste…” Vin stared at someone who could have been his twin spoke back to him in that easy southerner tone. The bizarre episode ended with ‘Standish’ disappearing over a rocky crag.


His mouth felt dry as the desert and as Vin tried to work some moisture back into his mouth a small groan slipped out. A chair creaked followed by footsteps treading across the clinic’s wood flooring. The mattress gave way on his left when Buck sat down and gently supported the back of his head. The cool tin cup that pressed against his lips was tilted and eased his thirst.

“How ya feelin’?”
“Fine…” Vin managed to croak out, able to breathe easier than he could remember. “Ez?”

“In the bathhouse… as he says… trying to rid himself of the odor and vermin afflicting him since putting on that hide coat of yours… been in there going on two hours this time…”  

“This time?”

“Yep… Ole Ez brought ya back yesterday… scared us all ‘cause ya had more blood on ya than in ya… and him looking the quite the sight dressed in yer clothes…after he knew you were gonna be alright he slipped into the bathhouse and soaked fer over an hour… JD and I went and fished him out… ” Buck prattled on for a moment only stopping when he heard a quiet question.

“There wasn’t anything different  ‘bout him?” Vin fished for an answer to the bewildering memories.

 “Other than the ‘pervading’ odor… uh no… why?” Buck shrugged as the easy smile started to slip from his face as he waited for a weary Vin to respond.

“No reason…” Vin allowed himself to sag back into the pillow as he wondered if it had all been a dream.