Friday, March 10, 2006
Tales from the Frontier
The posse gathered at twilight, on the outskirts of town, to consider the alien invasion and what was to be done.
"I say we keel haul 'em!" Forbes shifted his weight from one foot to the other.
"But we ain't pirates, we're cowpokes!" Gaines spoke with authority, being eldest.
"And I's a B-boy!" Fingers added. He looked ridiculous with his "colours" tucked up underneath his ten gallon hat.
Squint, the one-eyed calf wrangler, cleared his throat, causing the rest of the group to fall silent. He barely looked up from the teal pullover he had been knitting for the better part of the summer,
"I says we dice 'em, and preserve 'em in Mason jars."
The sun was slipping behind the western horizon. Come night, the aliens would be out again in force, methodically dismantling the clapboard structures of the town in search of materials with which to repair their spacecraft.
"Good idea, Squint"
"Yeah, nice thinkin"
"My old lady's got some empty jars in the cellar."
"What we need's a Cuisinart or somethin."
"Not a blender! We's don't want alien puree, just some nice chunks to add to soups 'n stuff."
"Ok, so's we need a chopper of some kind."
"How about Hank's riding mower?"
The gang fell silent again, as if deep in collective thought. The only sound came from the rhythmic "click-clack" of Squint's sewing needles. They said he could even knit in his sleep.
"So it's the mower then."
"Who'll ride the thing?"
"I nominate Fingers."
"Why me?--it was Gaines' idear."
"That's why youse gonna ride it."
"It's settled then," Squint re-wound the extraneous wool onto his ball of yarn, folded the pullover and placed it in his satchel. "Fingers'll ride Hanks mower over the aliens, and the rest of us will stick 'em in Mason jars with a little herbs and vinegar. Shouldn't take long. Trick is taking them by surprise."
Suddenly, the air was pierced by a high pitch whining, causing the assembled cowboys to clamp their hands over their ears. A group of thin, glowing humanoids materialized not twenty feet from the posse and started a slow, shambling advance towards the group.
"Dang! Teleportation. We didn't thinka that!"
"Quick boys! There's no time to loose--retreat to the old Milkbone factory. Maybe we can outflank 'em!"
"We're sitting ducks out here in the open!"
"I could really use some chewin' tabacca 'bout now."
"Hey, maybe they're peaceful!"
That's when the time machine arrived....