Andrew Hilbert

by Horror Sleaze Trash on March 11, 2014

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Andrew Hilbert lives in Austin, TX. His chapbook, Toilet Stories From Outer Space, can be purchased on his website: http://hilbertheckler.blogspot.com

 

THE PEACE SADDLE

 

Ffffwip p’tut-p’tut, ffffffffwip p’tut-p’tut

The folks of Goldtown pointed and laughed at Old Charlie as he rode in on the saddle they’d sent as a peace offering to their warring neighbor town of Damnsville.

He rode into Goldtown triumphant. His eyes fixed straight ahead – cold, mean, accepting of fate.

He smiled and waved as if their jeering didn’t bother him one bit.

Fffffffwip p’tut-p’tut, ffffffffffffffwip p’tut-p’tut

“Them’s damned idiots in Damnsville bought it! Can you believe that? They rode into town thinking they’d be peace! Bunch of cross-eyed, hairless, dumb asses!”

“Heh-heh,” Old Charlie smiled and coughed, “heh-heh, fuckers.”

 

****

Old Charlie and the town council sat around the Puttering Quiver with whiskey in their glasses and cigars on their lips. The room was smoky and although it was full, it was quiet. Damnsville, their town, had been at war for longer than anyone could even remember. There was no beginning to the killing, it just was. It was as obvious as the universe: the beginning ain’t that important. The important is that it’s there and had always been there and will be there as long as anyone at that table was alive.

And just like the universe, this war’d kill you and not give a damn.

“Gotta do something ‘bout them son’bitches out in Goldtown,” Turlock, the youngest council member there, said. He spit some tobacco and took another puff of his cigar.

“This is all we ever meet about, ain’t we got real problems to discuss? Ain’t the people elected us for real problem solving like, where in the hell did all these buzzards come from an’ where in the hell did the comfort ladies we sent for get lost along the way? China ain’t as far as the book learners say, y’know,” Peter said.

“Those problems work themselves out,” Old Charlie said. He got up from the table and hitched up his pants. “My boot is dirty. See that? That’s mud and manure. I s’pose I could leave it there and let it grow and smell but then my boots’d have no traction. I’d slip on dry ground, see what I’m saying?”

The council nodded their heads but their eyes betrayed a vacancy of their minds.

“What I’m saying is that there’ll always be comfort ladies whether they be the ones we send for or they just wander in over after they hear how much gold we think we’ll get next year. But Goldtown is mud. You gotta keep scraping them off your boot lest you slip and trip and break your dick. You get what I’m saying now? You break your dick and those comfort ladies can’t do anything with it.”

“Ahhhh…” the council said.

“That’s what I like about you Old Charlie,” Turlock said, “You think with your head. We’re damn lucky to have a sheriff like you!”

The saloon doors burst open. A boy came through them dragging a wooden crate behind him.

“Hey! I knows that kid! He was my family til his family up and moved to Goddamn Goldtown! Let’s cut his ears off!” Turlock said.

“He’s but a boy.” Old Charlie shoved Turlock back down to his chair. “You can’t cut the messengers ears off anyways. Then they can’t hear the message you need to send back.”

“Always thinking two steps ahead of me,” Turlock said to himself. “I’ll never be half the sheriff you half-are.”

The boy was covered in sweat and his shirt was threadbare. He was caked in mud.

“What’s the deal here, boy?” Old Charlie asked. “Goldtown ain’t but ten miles away.”

“Shut up and open the package,” the boy said. “I don’t talk to no damnies!” He spit at Old Charlie’s boots.

“Just like the snooty sons of bitches that birthed him. The shit don’t fall too far from the asshole,” Turlock said.

Old Charlie waved his hand in the air to tell everyone to shut up.

“He ain’t but a boy, full of all the dumb pride that comes with being a boy.” He turned back to the boy. “What’s in that crate of yours?”

“As much as my daddy protested, Sheriff Schiefer said it was time for peace so he had the finest wood worker and the best saddle maker in all the territories fashion up a peace offering. I don’t know why. My daddy said there was a reason he left Damnsville far behind but I guess the sheriff is the sheriff for an altogether just as wise reason.”

Old Charlie turned to the council at the table and nodded his head with a smile.

“Pour this kid a drink. He speaks with assuredness. We should honor that at least.”

Peter brought the boy a glass. The boy refused.

“I don’t drink the piss water y’all call whiskey.”

Turlock got up from his seat and drew his gun.

“I’m tired of all the damned backtalk coming out of that prepubescent turd’s mouth!”

Old Charlie didn’t turn to face Turlock. Speaking was enough.

“Turlock, you set yourself down. This boy brings peace. You can’t welcome peace with a loaded gun.”

A smile came upon the boy’s face, the biggest shit-eating grin anyone had ever seen.

“If y’all truly want peace with your superiors over in Goldtown, Old Charlie here has to ride his best horse into town next week on this saddle. Then and only then will we know that peace is desired between both our towns and this war with no beginning and no end will finally end,” the boy said.

“Well, this boy surely can talk,” Peter said. “Probably end up one day as a politician. A fat and fine mayor or something. Maybe even president!”

“We’ll mull this over, boy,” Charlie said. “You’ll get your answer in a week.”

The boy tipped his hat at the council, spit damn close to Old Charlie’s boots again, turned and left.

Old Charlie turned to the council.

“Turlock and Peter, get this fucking thing opened. It better be a gold plated saddle or something.”

Charlie took a seat at the table while Turlock and Peter took hammers to the wooden box. Charlie poured himself some whiskey and lit another cigar. He kicked his feet up on the table and watched.

Once all the hay was moved out of the way, it was there. Sure, the saddle was gold plated just as Old Charlie had hoped but there was something else.

“Looks like a wooden cucumber!” Peter said. “How the hell you s’posed to sit on that with that thing bouncing around?”

Turlock slapped Peter across the face.

“You fuckin’ imbecile! You’re not s’posed to sit around it. You’re s’posed to sit on it.”

“I ain’t ever seen a seat like this,” Peter said.

The saddle sat on the ground. It was gold plated and the seat was made of fine leather. Any rider would know this was made by a master craftsman. But in the middle of all that artistry, was a bouncy wooden cylinder connected to the saddle by a creaking bed spring.

“What’d you s’pose this means?” Peter asked Old Charlie.

“It means I drop my pants and ride this thing into town.”

“You can’t be serious. This is war, Sheriff!” Turlock said.

Old Charlie closed his eyes and shook his head.

“Do you know how old I am? I’ve been coughing my lungs out for the better part of the past ten years. I’ve had two sons killed in this war that I don’t even know why we continue fighting. They killed my dog last time. I don’t have anything left but my orphan grandson.”

Turlock slammed his fist into the table.

“This ain’t a peace saddle, this is a fuck you saddle! When you ride it, they’s fucking you!”

“I’m no cretin,” Old Charlie said, “but this is the only way. We can end this once and for all.”

“I reckon Old Charlie’s drawn hisself up a good plan,” Peter said.

“Here’s what we’ll do,” Charlie said.

The men sat back down at the table.

 

***

“Pop-pop,” Timmy said as Old Charlie entered the house, “Where have you been?”

“Now, Timmy, you know it ain’t right asking all manner of questions to an elder.”

“Pop-pop,” Timmy said.

“Yes, what is it?”

Old Charlie started taking off his boots. They were caked in mud. He’d need to clean them before he rode the peace saddle into Goldtown.

“Why do we keep fighting Goldtown?”

“Because they hate us.”

“But why do they hate us?”

“Because we hate them.”

“But, Pop-pop, why?”

Old Charlie lit candles around the kitchen and took a seat next to Timmy.

“Listen, sometimes it’s just that simple. They hate us, so we hate them. We hate them, so they hate us. There ain’t an efficient way to look back and figure out who started this mess. This mess is just what we were born in and who are we to change the place the good Lord saw fit to put us?”

“I’m hungry,” Timmy said.

“It’s as if you ain’t even listening to me. It’s dark out. You’ll eat tomorrow. Now go to bed.”

 

***

“All the dynamite strapped on around Sweet Bess?”

Old Charlie looked as good as a corpse in a coffin. His face was clean shaven, his mustache greased up. He wore a dancing suit, good for keeping the ladies interested, and his boots were shining clean.

“All set, boss,” Turlock said and handed him a match. “Remember, you’re aiming for the sheriff.”

Old Charlie unbuckled his belt and took off his pants. He was fit for a casket from the waist up and fit for a whore house down.

“You’ll take care of little Timmy, won’t you?”

Turlock nodded.

“Sure will.”

Old Charlie hopped on the saddle.

Ffffffffffffffffwip

He wriggled a bit until he was as comfortable as he could be and struck his spur to the Sweet Bess’s ribs. They were off.

Fffffffffwip p’tut, p’tut, fffffffffffffffffffwip p’tut p’tut

The folks of Goldtown pointed and laughed at Old Charlie as he rode in on the saddle they’d sent as a peace offering to their warring neighbor town of Damnsville.

He rode into Goldtown triumphant. His eyes fixed straight ahead – cold, mean, accepting of fate.

He smiled and waved as if their jeering didn’t bother him one bit.

Fffffffwip p’tut-p’tut, ffffffffffffffwip p’tut-p’tut

“Them’s damned idiots in Damnsville bought it! Can you believe that? They rode into town thinking they’d be peace! Bunch of cross-eyed, hairless, dumb asses!”

“Heh-heh,” Old Charlie smiled and coughed, “heh-heh, fuckers.”

He spotted the sheriff clutching his belly and turning red from laughing so hard.

“Sheriff Schiefer,” he said. “Do we have peace?”

Schiefer didn’t answer. He was damn near suffocated.

“Well, I oughta have a smoke then. You want one?” Old Charlie held out his hand but Schiefer couldn’t accept or deny. He was choking on his merriment.

Old Charlie struck his match against his boots, lifted it to his cigarette, and the whole town square blew to Hell. There were body parts all over the place. Schiefer was surely dead and Old Charlie, too, but the boy who’d brought over the peace saddle sat between two severed limbs and stared at the peace saddle.

It was gold and shimmering in the sun. It was made by a master craftsman. It was still completely intact.

Fffffffffwip p’tut p’tut

What was left of Old Charlie’s ass cheeks dangled around the top of the wooden cylinder. The boy stared at them with pure hate. The war would rage on, that was for sure. As long as this boy was there to stare at the peace saddle amongst all those he had known, the war would be on. It might be delayed awhile but it’d be back. It always was.

And no one’d be ever able to answer how it all started but somewhere near the middle of it was a man named Old Charlie and the peace saddle that was intended to fuck him, fucking them.

 

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