Sincere thanks to my inspirational beta, Con.
“I’m lying on the couch, just a few feet away from a roaring fire, impatiently recovering from a couple of cracked ribs and a concussion. I’ve had orders to do nothing more strenuous than think; and with my Old Man and big brother checking on me constantly, that’s all I have done, think I mean.
“In the past half hour it has occurred to me that all the trouble I keep getting into isn’t really my fault, and that the time has come to protest to those who are responsible...that being YOU! Yes you…the good Ladies of Lancer Land! So if I could just have your attention please ladies, I promise this won’t take very long...
“See…you all keep saying you love me. You go on and on about my ‘blue eyes’ and my ‘dazzling smile’. I’m almost fed up of hearing how handsome I am. Some of you even write about other bits of my uh…um… person! It seems some of you have no shame! You’ve even managed to make this worldly cowboy blush!
“You know you girls worry me a little…well actually you worry me a lot!
“Why? Well it’s quite simple really. You ain’t ever happy unless you’ve got me hurting in some way! You clearly have it in for me!
“Now I’m used to being shot at, it goes with the territory so to speak. But there are some things I resent, like being stabbed, whipped, beaten up, and let’s not forget tortured. Not that I'm ever likely to forget that, now am I? I’ll have you know I deeply resent being tortured! Well, wouldn't you?
“There’s only one thing I resent more and that’s being dead! How would you like to wake up one morning and find you have drawn your last breath? Slain on the whim of some merciless woman writer! The readers are just as bad mind you. Egging you on like they do, encouraging these evil deeds. It’s all a bit much, don’t you think?
“See therein lays the problem. Nobody ever stops to ask me what I think, or what I'd like to see happen to me in these stories. So, I’ve decided it’s time I pointed you ladies in the right direction.
“To start with, I’d quite like a little time off to recover, to get over the wrongs done me. These endless adventures really do take their toll on a man, and can I remind you all, that I am only a man! I bleed and I hurt and I actually do feel pain. Speaking of pain, I have nothing against laudanum, ceptin’ for the taste, ugh! So, I’m quite happy to be seen swigging on a bottle of that stuff the next time one of you sees fit to cut a bullet outta me, or attempts to set one of my badly broken bones! You will remember that won’t you ladies?
“Oh and I’d be more than happy to get involved in a romance or two. I don’t seem to have much luck with the ladies, so be sure to write me a happy-ever-after tale once in a while.
“And let me state here and now that I have nothing against love scenes, in fact I’ve really enjoyed the all too few you have written for me so far… feel free to throw some more my way!
“I quite like the comedy capers that some of you ladies write. I’m quite a comedian given the chance…so please give me the chance! Surely you’d prefer to laugh at me, and with me, than to see me get into trouble or danger?
“There must be plenty of story lines that don’t involve me getting hurt. You don’t have to punish me so much or so often. You can’t possibly enjoy seeing me suffer so, or do you?
“Whoa there, now wait a minute. I…I don’t like that gleam in your eye…er… Molly is it? You’re having one of those inspirational moments, ain’t you?
“No, no don’t you go having any more of those ideas; you’re supposed to be concentrating on being nice to me now!
“What you writing there now Molly? Let me see. No! No, I refuse to do that! Nope, no way!
“Are you listening to me? You’re not are you! You’re too busy mangling my poor body! Oh boy… ouch! That’s gonna hurt! Don’t you go forgetting the laudanum! It looks like I’m gonna be needing it!
“What do you mean the doc’s run out? What sort of doctor runs out of laudanum?
“A bad one you say!!! Are you telling me he doesn’t know what he’s doing?
“So he’s not a doctor at all!! You’re just piling on the agony aren’t you?
“I suppose I die in this one??
“What do you mean you haven’t decided yet!? Aw, come on! Put me out of my misery one way or another, please!
“No! No don’t you dare write that there!” /Mournful sigh/ “Now didn’t I tell you not to write those three letters there?!
“Yeah, I know it’s what’s called a cliff hanger but just how long do you plan on leaving me like that?
“Until who comes back?
“The muse? So this uh…muse helps you write?
“Well which way did she go? Tell me and I’ll go get her back!
“So there’s no hurry huh” /Snort/ “No not for you maybe, but then you’re not the one lying there all twisted and bleeding!
“See, this is just the kind of thing I'm talking about. Here is where I again find myself questioning your true feelings for me. You can’t possible love me and do that to me! I rest my case.
“By the way, Scott feels the same way I do! The Scott girls amongst you love putting him through the grinder too. We’ve chewed this over me and him and we’ve decided we are the hapless not to mention helpless victims of fan fiction, from here on in known as ‘The Fictems’!
“You’re all cringing at that I know. Well that’s just too bad because us ‘Fictems’ find ourselves cringing in pain and horror all too often in your stories. All our suffering is down to you and your fertile imaginations.
“Well me and Boston have decided to turn the tables on all the female minds that have tormented us over the years. We’re gonna write a tale that involves each and every one of you...play you at your own game. We already have a title… No Mercy!
Are you worried? You should be! The Lancers brothers are out for revenge!
Johnny Madrid Lancer