Now it's YOUR turn. You have until NEXT Wednesday.
The assignment was to write a mood piece about the picture below, foregoing the usual flash fiction edict of "always have a surprise ending."
This is much much hard then it would appear to be. I struggled.
In the end my offering to you is something that was not at all what I thought it would be, and I'm not at all certain if that's bad or good. It just is.
"Tumble Down Mountain"
I gotta get away from Tumble Down Mountain. I just gotta go. It's not far to the next town, to the next bar, to the next whore. It's not far. Be there in 2 hours. My god, my head hurts and I'm stiff all over. I need a horse and a drink and a lay, in that order, in the worst way.
But there's no damned horses anywhere. Where'd they all go? Tarnation, they was here just this morning. I recall the little paint pony tied up at the door, waiting patient while the preacher read me scripture trying to save my soul again. There was others out back in the corral. I know it.
Oh, wait, I recollect now, something bad happened.
God, that seems like a long time ago already, but if I think on it it must have been just this morning. Injuns came through here yelling hellfire and shrieking like a passel of jackals. Them Injuns come out around Tumble Down Mountain, in the cut where the dogs go to chase wild hogs. They was 20 or 30 of them, naked on their ponies, bright and shining, firece as the noon sun.
Feathers in their hair, as I recall, and blackened faces. What a sight. Scared me half dead. They was hoppin' mad about something, all right.
Was it just this morning? Seems like so much longer ago. Like a bad dream.
The Injuns musta taken the horses. Doesn't that just figure.
Hellshitferdamn, how'm I gonna get to town for a drink to stop this shaking, this weak ghosty feelin' in my head?
Where's Sam, and Rufe, and Bose? They should be here for dinner by now, anyhow.
Aw hell, that's right, the tommyhawks. That coppery smell of blood reminded me. How could I forget the tommyhawks and arrows? Damn, my head is all wispy.
I think poor Sam was in the cowshed, and it's fulla smoke and cinders now. Rufe I guess was out tendin' to the kitchen yard. I heard a wet kind of whack back out that way and heard him scream bloody murder. I haven't looked out there yet to see what became of him. And Bose I think was workin' to gentle a new pony that was brought in from the hills just yesterday. Pretty thing, with a black face and white ass and tiny steppin' hoofs. A regular injun-carpet.
I remember now. All them boys out there when the tribe came racin' through, hacking and yelling and shootin their bows. Scared me half to death, and I'll bet they did the rest of 'em right in.
My head hurts, and I'm stiff all over with blood from this here arrow in my leg. Can't walk to town nohow, but I could ride.
If only there was a horse out front instead of that strange velocipede, and someone to help me mount, I'd be long gone by now.