Eight of Diamonds: 'Inheritance/Lucy'
I cursed silently. Then a little louder. Then I finally broke out with a scream that they heard back in town.
"Mister... you really need to relax." The nurse sighed. "If you keep squirming, it's gonna hurt more."
"Right." She poured me a double of Red Jack, and I slammed it down with a sigh.
"Thanks." I reclined again, staring at my broken leg.
"Don't mention it." I had been here three days, and she had barely said anything to me besides the occasional admonition.
"You know..." My tongue finally loosened, by pressure and by drink. "I'd have felt better... if the doc had left his shotgun with you."
"It's only good to 20 yards."
"You've used it?"
"Plenty of times." A long pause.
"So what do you have?" She smiled, almost sadly - or was that pity? Condescension? My head was still foggy. And then she pulled it out... "Smythe Thirty-Five. A real Shooting Iron... the seven-shot model, isn't it?"
"The Jackpot, yeah." She smiled in a cold way, and slipped it away again.
"You a good shot?"
"Better than someone that feels safe with a shotgun."
"...really?" I loosed the vest. She turned... and then turned pale.
"Nine hells..." She stumbled, falling against the wall. "And you want me to... to PROTECT you?"
"Can't use `er properly like this. Not in pain, not weak. It'll finish me." Silence.
"I thought those things made you..."
"Gods on earth?" I laughed. "Nah. Not the Eight of Diamonds. It'll make you fast... make you strong. Hell, you can even shoot around corners once you've got the hang of it... but it tears you up after." I shook my head. "I'm too old for `er."
Almost five minutes passed before I handed the Gun to her.
"Her name's Lucy. We'll start trainin' you as soon as I can get on crutches."
The wind was blowing hot, hotter than Hell. I had felt that wind before. I swore beneath my breath. "Kid?"
"Yeah?" The nurse looked at me, a little concerned.
"Here." I handed her Lucy, and I could see her jaw falling open to protest. "It's time, kid. I'm done."
"What do you mean, you're done? I thought you took me on so-"
"So I could pass her on." I nodded. "The Eight of Diamonds. Inheritance. She needed to be passed to someone... isn't fitting for her to be taken." I slogged from the saddle, pulling my iron out, and limped a few steps. "Come back this way after you get to Dodge. If I make it, I'll need a ride back... and if not... my boots are probably worth a sawback." I laughed.
"I don't get it, Linus." I flinched. I had told her to call me Bones.
"Best you don't. Now run along, Sally. Run back to Dodge and rest up. There's nothing more I can teach you... just take care of yourself." I hobbled forward as best as I could, into the swirling dust. Thirty paces out, I saw him, casket on his back, stovepipe hat shot through five times. Grinning. Always grinning.
I didn't have a chance this time. No Card in my hand. I made a good try, but... every Slinger runs out of luck sooner or later. My luck just should have run out a long time ago.
The last thing I saw was the horses. She hadn't left. Hell, she was even closer than when I had started. Never been more proud of anyone in my life.
Dodge City. The Not-A-Citystate. It might as well have been. It had the walls, the towering buildings - one of them was six stories tall! - and the people.
At the moment, there was only one person I really wanted to see. Well... two. But only one I had to see.
I walked into the Blue Moon Saloon, finding it more or less as the old timer had described it. Too loud, too smoky, and too dim. I coughed, as I took a seat at the bar.
"Miss." The barback gave me a nod, his finely-waxed mustache bobbing. "Something I can get you?"
"Jack, straight. And you can tell me when Lou is going to be in."
"Now through last call." He slipped me the jigger, laughing in the way that bartenders do when they think you're being silly, or naive. "So what do you want with ol' Lou, eh?"
"Bones is dead." The jovial man's face fell. Where it had been red and ruddy before, it went pale as a sheet, almost... translucent? Ghostly. He fell back against a stool, staring off into space. Staring right through me.
I drank the shot, and helped myself to a second, waiting for him to come up. When he did, he had pulled out a huge slugtosser from beneath the counter - a pig-iron shotgun that he fired into the air twice.
"BAR'S CLOSED FOR BEREAVEMENT!" He screamed, tears flowing down his face. "TAKE IT ACROSS THE STREET! FAMILY ONLY `TIL SUNDAY!" I would never have thought that anything could silence the bar, but that did it.
It was almost twenty minutes until he found his tongue again, long after the last nervous harlot had left, clicking her tongue.
"Tell me how my brother went."
|Spades:||2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - J - Q - K - A|
|Hearts:||2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - J - Q - K - A|
|Clubs:||2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - J - Q - K - A|
|Diamonds:||2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - J - Q - K - A|
|Jokers:||Red Joker - Black Joker|
| Introduction - The World - Gameplay - Stories of the world |
On the Attainment, Ownership and Passing of The Cards
Variant Rule: Hands