Coyotes and Whores
Fiction by Raymond Walker
and specified artists.
Billy The Kid came for tea.
I know he’s a ruthless gunslinger, but would a little deodorant have been
asking too much? He was small and skinny. His pants drooped because of
the big black revolver stuck in his belt. I suppose he has to be prepared, but,
truthfully, it made him look a little pathetic.
He didn’t look us in the face when he talked. Always a sideways, sneaking
kind of glance that made you feel like you were were being spied on. His
eyes were squinty, but they were a pretty blue. Smooth cheeks. I don’t think
he shaves yet. Didn’t take off his bowler or muddy boots. Left tracks across
my floor and our new rug. Took me hours to get the stains out.
He took the Windsor chair, the one facing the French doors and scraped the
paint on the wall when he tipped it back on its two legs. The butt of his gun
put nicks in the maple. He drank his tea in noisy gulps and filled up his cup
twice without asking if anyone else wanted a refill.
Didn’t talk much at all, mostly ‘yups’ or ‘nopes’.
He had a whiny voice. Told a rambling story finally about being on the trail
with his friends, sleeping under the stars and shooting at coyotes. When they
got into town his friends got the clap from the same whore. The clap. That’s
what he called it. Venereal disease of course. And every second word he
used was a curse and don’t think for a minute I’m exaggerating!
It’s not that we’re prudes. We pride ourselves on being able to talk about
anything at our get-togethers. And I mean anything. No topic is off limits.
But coyotes and whores? I don’t know. We laughed, but we couldn’t see the
Mary told us again how little Jason came out of the bathroom with feminine
pads stuck all over his pajamas. We laughed so hard we cried. She can be
so funny! He just stared out the window, stony-faced. But he laughed when
Nancy updated us on her husband’s enlarged prostrate. We just stared at
him. He had a nervous woman’s tee-heeing laugh. You could tell it
The only time he got really interested in our conversation was when Jen
described how Samson, her Pomeranian, got attacked at her daughter’s
birthday party. The children were screaming and the little dog - you
remember how cute he is - was still trying to chase the raccoon even
though his stomach was ripped open. The Kid didn’t say anything, but you
could see his eyes light up. It gave me the creeps.
Janine insisted on giving him a ride to the bus stop in her new SUV. What
will her husband say! White leather seats? The rear of his pants was filthy!
I’m going to have get the cushion on my chair professionally cleaned.
He looked like a little kid there in the passenger seat even with his silly hat.
I suppose Janine thought she was being generous. She can be so annoying
sometimes! She had her mouth pursed in her superior way when she drove
Raymond Walker has a B.A. in English Literature from UBC. He worked for a
number of decades and won some awards as a reporter, photographer and
editor for various newspapers in western Canada. He is now living in
Vancouver and concentrating on writing fiction which is what he really wanted
to do before getting sidetracked by a journalism career. He has had short
stories published in Descant and Spinetingler magazine as well as creative
non-fiction in The Globe and Mail.
Next: "The Door" by Patrice M. Charles.
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