hymns in the wind

clayton leaned the heavy rifle against the boulder and took a drink of warm water from the old canteen. he smoothed the dirt on the ground with his hand and took care to brush away all the larger stones. there was a rustling in the sage thickets a few yards away and he paused to listen. “damned jackrabbits.” he thought to himself. clayton bigsby had spent enough time in the harsh desert country to know the difference between the rustlings of a white tailed jackrabbit and a western prairie hare. clayton had positioned himself between two large rocky ledges that overlooked the vast expanse of the inhospitable desert. hunkered down behind the large boulder, he had a clear shot through the massive walls of the granite cliffs. he gently cleared his throat…“the sun that bids us rest is wakin’, our brethren 'neath the western sky, an’ hour by hour fresh lips are making, thy wondrous doings heard on high.” clayton passed the hours by softly singing the old hymns to the banded gila monsters and the occasional white faced ibis that cared to stop and listen. mertle mcgentry had sent him a letter via pony express in the late september of 1892. the letter would have him believe that mertle’s love was for another man, a rancher by the name of pete dawkins. the letter went on to say that he might as well stay out in the western areas as far as she was concerned. “what a joke” he thought. “do they really think i’m that damned stupid?” clayton knew better, he never trusted this new “pony express” mail cowshit and was bound and determined to set things right with the lyin' bastard who wrote that letter. the vibrations of an approaching horse set off an idle canyon swallow and clayton instinctively put his hand to the ground. “she’s runnin’ at full gallop.” he picked the winchester back up and shouldered the rifle, resting the weight of the barrel on the large rock. he softly drew back the hammer with a heavy click. the mailman pulled up to the mailbox and he scanned the yard with anticipation and a wide smile. “eat lead you dirty lyin’ bastard!” clayton yelled as he jumped out from behind the large oakleaf hydrangea bush, releasing the small stone from his “billy the kid” slingshot. the mailman pulled off just in time as the pebble bounced down the cobblestone drive. “maybe tomorrow clayton!” he yelled out, laughing to the next mailbox. clayton walked back over to the hydrangea bush and sat down. “the sun that bids us rest is wakin’, our brethren 'neath the western sky…"

1 comment:

Perfect Virgo said...

Jackrabbits and mailmen are all fair game. Oakleaf hydrangea indeed!