Frank is on his way out of town, retracing his steps with heart beating to an erratic tune: sometimes calm, sometimes mad. After all, he feels he’s late for a very important Kate.
He begins a soliloquy:
I am marred and reduced drinking the vile
shrunken of soul in this life sans style
I must break fast serial gruel days
taste once more the beauty of special K’s.
Hoping my steed can back spin the black sun
to those heady days of laughter and fun
in her chamber, she drew and triggered joy
sex-shooting me to happiness bare-faced
I was rapt in love, all sadness displaced
what madness mis-stacked my daft arse over tit
downcast my soul to a duelling pit?
Tho, whilst a glimmer of hope’s light winks yet
there’ll be no more dull feasting on regret
entreat her to my yellow mummery forgive
that we should fire our hearts a view to live
whatever energies I still possess
will swap kissing bullets for her caress
yet a present of half-baked ash and dust
make crossing sea and continent a must.
These inner thoughts made Frank vulnerable in his demi-stupor as he wandered across an opening between the gulch’s walls. Ploughing heedlessly through the stream, he couldn’t hear his latest detractor.
He didn’t even hear the gunshot, but he certainly felt its effect. The searing pain assailed his flesh and he fell sickening into the water and lay motionless, in shock.
Tis irony to see my life’s water
merge with such ease, a future to slaughter
mingling nature’s progress with my demise
babbling truth washes away sordid lies
overrunning ambition touching nought
this peace a sudden friendly grips all thought
More thoughts of a future with Kate, away from such dismal fortune flooded his throbbing brain. Determined to stay aware, Frank bit his tongue. A stream of consciousness spoke to him.
Here, in this bleeding stream, there’s no ghost of
a chance to be happy tho’ no nature
flow perchance to be aghast: twopains,
one of metal, the other of mettle: the
sun, having peeked has abandoned me to
shadow yet darkness I must keep in abeyance.
Resist the smart little fellow’s quick drawn tape
he’ll not yet measure my cold feet and nape…
As Frank flickered between sleep and waking, a figure filled in the gaps and made his vision all dark, In the left hand, the figure held a weapon, pointing to where Frank lay, still easily smoking from its pleasure.
At last, he’s in the prime position
half-drowned, full-downed, no more opposition
with heart desiring a new physician
No tailored strips, I dream of Arden’s wood
where this chamber will spin and do no good
Just then another shot rang, impolitely, and pounded into floundering flesh, intent on taking its part of a wager that involved extracting breath from its loanee. A final payment had been demanded, regardless of the loss of blood.