Disclaimer:- I make no profit. This was done for fun.
This takes place before Johnny’s return to Lancer. He is sixteen and a rising gunfighter of some fame.
He wrapped the blanket around himself, the silence of early evening almost suffocating him. It always got real cold at night in the desert, he knew. He flinched and his hand automatically went to his hip, as a lone coyote screeched in the darkness and breathing out, he smiled but his eyes told a different story. They weren’t the innocent eyes of a normal sixteen year old. No, they were the eyes of a gunfighter who trusted no one, and, who was trusted, by no one.
All that was left of the sun’s dying rays was the slight hint of orange, on the horizon. He’d watched as the sky had painted a myriad of colors ranging from oranges, pinks and, blue, to an even darker shade of blue, that turned into an inky blackness, filling him with a certain kind of dread. It was then the stars filled the night sky, but they brought him no solace, as they too, seemed as empty as him.
He hated the nights; hated how they sucked him into their own particular brand of darkness. On his horse, and moving, with the warm sun on his face, he could imagine a different life. A life he might’ve had, if his son of a bitch gringo father hadn’t rejected him, like some worthless dog. His hate kept him alive during the day, but that same hate consumed him at night.
In the light of day, he at least felt safe; safe in the knowledge if he could see his enemy, he could deal with him, but at night he was even more aware of how alone he was; how vulnerable he was, and, yes, how scared he was.
He curled into a tight ball hugging himself. ‘Sixteen, and already a known gunfighter!’ Sometimes, it was as if he was a wanted man; hunted by men, like him but older men, who sought out his fame; who wanted to kill the growing legend that was Madrid. In the quiet of the night, he felt haunted by the ghosts of the men he’d killed, to simply survive.
If he’d known the wearing of a pistol on his hip, would’ve caused him so much pain, he would ‘ve turned tail and ran from it, as far as he could. Now though his very survival made him wear it at all times, even when he was sleeping it wasn’t far. Not now that his very life depended on it…
He smiled, but only with his mouth, “No use in complainin’, Madrid. This is your life now, deal with it.”
He snuggled deeper into his bedroll and closed his eyes, knowing that another nightmarish night would soon begin.