Beatrix Potter “Rock Kiddo” slung off into the moonlight, carried nothing but pistol grips and swung down in the evening time to the local saloon, looked again and caught a glimpse of the Hill Kid himself standing there in a desolate main st. as the moon beams cascaded down through the clouds and illuminated little but his shadow, a cigarette flared red in her face, and eyes peered from under her wide brim hat. A soldier of some kind, deserter, the papers read, and plastered rewards for his capture, a million or more- dead or alive. Roll “The Hill Kid” Papion, his face on every street corner, a household name, a household face, by infamy, if nothing else.
It was here. This moment they had waited for. Chewed his cigar, smoke billowed away into the night, he pulled his coat to one side, cold steel glimmered for a moment at his hip. Beatrix stepped into the street, met him on equal ground, and pulled her coat to one side as well, silver glistened luminescent clock struck five minutes to midnight. Doomsday. Silver bullets for the were-wolverine, where for art thou wolf? A graze would sting, cling to the blood stream and the soldato would be dead before clock struck twelve. They both knew it. The Hill Kid walked halfway to Rock Kiddo, and then- a few steps more… It broke her heart, but Beatrix walked the rest of the way, met him who stands on slants on equal ground, until their brims touched. Under the cover of hats, they stared through their shade into each other, piercingly, suspiciously, tenderly. Probing each other, for a way in, for a way out, and wanting more.
It had been a Bonnie and Clyde affair. It began in passing in the aisles of Samson’s and Delilah’s Apothecary, without drawing, they knew coincidence was a funny master to bring both hitting the same pharmacy for potent potables, tantric tonics and potions both medicinally modern and sacred spirited. They wiped the floor clean.
They stole cherry pies from cooling windowsills and reflected on harmonious synchronicity. They slept upon rooftops gazing at the big game: North Union Bank of Mississippi, TransAmerican Trains, Lincoln Savings, and the jackpot; The Federal Reserve. Beyond the first, they’d all been honey, gravy. It developed from sloppy robbery to high stakes, high class bait and switches, cons only the greats could pull off and weren’t they? Sure there were gun fights, battles with feds and injuns alike, but always, they’d won, they’d run, they’d got away in horse and buggy, bareback or even them new fangled automobiles.
Even in the big city they were revered, they could be heroes. But that all ended at the Reserve. The big jackpot, brought reservations, observations, they’d been catching eye all over town, they grew fat and heady on their success. Beatrix caught and Roll bitten. He got away, but only just. Lived in the wild for many a month, living off of the land, the last of the world’s savings, petered out, or meaningless in the hot Texan sun. Beatrix turned stateside, got a nice badge to go along, on the condition she take in the Hill Kid. It was on her ground, her stakes, she sent a little bird to call him, and so he came. Thought he could convince her to pick up the old game. Though she asked to confront him alone, she knew they were surrounded, in case things went sour, or in case she turned…
Under hat rims, brimming with hate, and fear, and love, and hope. The two stood and stared into each other’s eyes, shadows moving in. They stared. Whispered a word, turned, and fired.