Introductory Note From the Author
A few weeks before I began writing this story, I was listening to the radio and an old folk song called “Lily of the West” came on. In the song, some men fight over a pretty girl who is colloquially called “The Lily of the West” because of her delicate beauty. This irritated me because it implied this girl’s only notable traits were her beauty and delicacy. The song did get me thinking, however, about what title I would want if I lived in a Wild West-style world, and after much deliberation, the answer I came up with was “The Onion of the West.” The following story is a result of that thought.
I. Hardy as They Come
He laughs, just like all the others, just as I expect him to.
“The Onion of the West
?” he cackles. “What sort of podunk name is that
, boy?” I shrug.
“That’s just what they call me,” I reply, sliding my hands into my pockets. I rock back and forth on my heels. The sun glints off my gun holster. “I don’t make the titles ’round these parts. I’m just the sheriff in Heaven’s Bounty.”
“Ooh, I bet you is,” he sneers, slipping his thumbs into his belt loops. As he does so, his holster glints, too. He smirks. “Ain’t you a little young to be playin’ sheriff, son?” I continue to rock back and forth on my heels. His smirk slips away. After a long moment of silence, he spits onto the ground, leaving a black tobacco stain on the dirt of Main Street.
“Folks call me Dirty Dog Akimbo,” he growls, “But we’re so far out in the middle of nowhere, I reckon you ain’t got wind of me yet, ain’t ya.”
“And why do they call you Dirty Dog Akimbo?” I say all polite-like.
“’Cuz I play dirtier than a dog in mud, that’s why,” he spits angrily, “an’ you best keep that in mind when I stuff your chest full of bullets, boy!” I shrug again. He blusters. “Well, then, ain’t ya gonna tell me why they call you ‘The Onion of the West
?’” I stop rocking on my heels.Continue reading →