Bad Mood Elmer’s Last Ride

“He’s coming this way!” shrieked a frightened villager.  The words echoed down the dusty street and townsfolk fled inside saloons and shops.  Ladies lifted their dresses, gentlemen held their caps and moved as fast as the could to vacate the street; Bad Mood Elmer was in town.

A horse and rider rounded a corner and rode down the center of the now empty path.  Bad Mood Elmer trotted his trusted steed slowly, deliberately, through the small town of Intuition.  He stared into store windows, a wry smile on his face sent waves of terror through the townspeople.  His reputation preceded him.  A short temper and a quick draw, Bad Mood came to town with a trail of bodies belonging to gamblers and bandits that crossed him in his wake.  The rumors said his horse would have been taller, but it was still a frightening site.

Bad Mood had made an enemy of every law abiding citizen of the frontier.  Every badge, every bounty hunter, every good person wanted to see him meet an end fitting his reputation.  In the town of Intuition, no one wanted to see the end of Bad Mood Elmer more than Reba Allen. Reba had her own reasons for seeking his downfall, but no amount of whiskey or money would make her share that secret.

As Bad Mood led his horse toward Intuition Bank and Trust, Reba seized her moment.  She had taken refuge in a barber shop and as she stepped to the door a chorus of “don’t go out there” and “let him go about business” rang out.

“I know what needs doing,” Reba stated as she pushed the swinging doors open.

She walked to the middle of the street.  She carried no six-shooter, no blade, no weapon of any sort.  She had herself, and that had taken her pretty far already.  She stood still and waited for Bad Mood to meet her.

The two locked eyes and engaged in an unblinking stare down.  He kept that dumb grin on his face which only served to boil Reba’s blood.  Sensing a showdown, the townsfolk poured out of their safe houses and onto the building decks to view the pending event.

Reba smiled as the crowd gathered.  Things were moving exactly as she wanted.

“I’m goin’ ta’ have to ask you to move aside, ma’am,” Bad Mood said.

“I’ve been waiting for you, Bad Mood Elmer, so I’ll not be moving aside anytime soon,” Reba said.

“I’ll give you three seconds to move aside,” Bad Mood threatened.

“Ayam Azab,” Reba said.  The horse neighed.

“You know my horse’s name, good for you,” Bad Mood started reaching for his firearm.

“You’ve been telling people it is the name of one the four horses of the Apocalypse,” Reba started.

Bad Mood shifted in his saddle.

“It means Doom Chicken.  You ride a horse called Doom Chicken,” Reba said.

A few members of the crowd started to chuckle.  Like a wave, the laughter moved through the audience.

“I think it best if you leave town, ye the master of Doom Chicken.  If you don’t, we’ll tell the rest of the frontier and you’re pretty much done being an intimidating figure,” Reba’s threat landed.

Bad Mood huffed and circled Doom Chicken back, galloping out of town faster than the horse and rider had moved in quite some time.  The crowd cheered and Reba’s smile grew wider.  As the applause of the crowd died down, she made way to the telegraph station.  Doom Chicken was soon known throughout the frontier.


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