knowing is half the battle

“Don’t these things usually happen at noon?”

“I’m a busy man, I like to get my killing done early so I get be about the rest of my business.”

Johnson considered the gunslinger’s words, considered saying something sarcastic in reply, considered the man’s guns, slung low across his hips, considered the man’s reputation too, and then decided he didn’t have anything to say after all.  Instead, he offered him another drink, “How about another shot… on the house, of course?”

“That’d be just fine.”

Dave knew he could get one or two more out of the bartender for free, and then he’d call it a night.  It’s important to get a good night’s sleep before any duel at dawn.  Drinking whiskey the night before, and watching the locals tremble around him, usually helped calm his nerves and get a good night sleep.  It wasn’t working that night, though.  Something was off.  Something was amiss.

“Who was foolish enough to challenge you?”

Normally Dave would have replied without hesitation.  That’s the way things usually went: punk kids trying to make a name for themselves calling him out and then going to early graves.  But, this time, he had done the challenging, and something didn’t sit right in his mind about that.

“Some doctor I was playing cards with insulted me, so I challenged him.”

“How did he insult you?”

Dave glared across the bar.  He didn’t like how freely the man was asking questions he had no business asking.  Another alarm went off in his mind.  Things had gone too far though.  He certainly couldn’t cry off, his reputation was all he had left.

“He called me ‘Huckleberry.'”

Johnson’s eye went wide, catching the light from the flickering oil lamps at either side of the bar.  Dave saw laughter dancing in the whites and his hands dipped for his guns before he regained control.  It wasn’t laughter directed at him in the bar tender’s eyes.  It was just humor at the situation.  Dave was definitely missing something.

“This doctor,” the bar tender asked, his head tilted to one side, “wasn’t by any chance, Doc Holiday?”

“Yeah.  He’s a dentist or something like that.”

Johnson walked away quickly, so as not to laugh directly into the gunslinger’s face.


Word Count: 376

If I tell you that isn’t where I thought the story was going when I started it, would you believe me?  I swear it wasn’t.  I had no idea Doc Holiday was going to show up until about halfway through, and then, as always, the words carried me where they wanted to go and I was helpless to do anything but follow along.  And, yes, this is another silly response to another Inspiration Monday Writing Prompt:


The Rules

There are none. Read the prompts, get inspired, write something. No word count minimum or maximum. You don’t have to include the exact prompt in your piece, and you can interpret the prompt(s) any way you like.


No really; I need rules!

Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.

The Prompts:


13 thoughts on “knowing is half the battle

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