A Meeting Gone Wrong


eruption – salad – fire – career – assume
roller skate – draw – promise – full moon – sweet

“Lester, I’ll have a tumbler of wine. Bring a water for Mr. Willow,” said Mr. Salad as he sat down across from the criminal. Besides Lester the barkeep, Mr. Salad and Mr. Willow were the only occupants of the saloon; it was the middle of the night and their meeting was being held in secret. The barkeep brought the drinks to the table then returned to his place behind the high mahogany counter. Mr. Salad dropped his bowler hat beside the glass and then brought the wine to his lips. Mr. Willow mirrored the mayor as best he could, grabbing his cup of water with both hands as the chains still around his wrists limited his movements.

“Well,” Mr. Salad said, “you’ve been bold, and here we are. Where’s the body?”
“I’m here to negotiate my sentence.” Mr. Willow replied.
“Your sentence.”
“I don’t wish to be hanged. I’ll tell you where the girl is if you can promise I won’t be hanged.”
“Mr. Willow, in all my career, I’ve never spared a murderer. I assume you can know why. I would not have help my position as long as I have if I had.”
“Sheriff wants his girl back. You’ll have to reduce it to life imprisonment.”
“The sheriff is being detained to give us the time to obtain information that would allow a proper burial,” Mr. Salad said.
“The information will not be free,” Mr. Willow said.
Mr. Salad paused, drank, then looked to Lester. The barkeep disappeared into the back room. “You’ll have to be transported to San Quentin tonight.”
“Dolly’s location can be given immediately, but I need your word.”
“Well, you have it,” the mayor said with a sigh.

Then the saloon doors burst open. The light of the full moon poured in. A haggard, disheveled Sheriff Caster entered and kicked tables aside. He struck Mr. Salad hard across the face to draw his pistol from his belt. Then he fired once into Mr. Willow’s forehead; a small eruption of blood came forth. And through his tears, the sight was sweet to Mr. Caster. (Roller skate.)

About the author

Benny Greeno

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