February 9th, 2020 'Dos Hermanos'

The sun was setting as Jack and I grew weary from scouting. New Austin was a place my brother seemed to love so I did not share my lack of fondness for the barren landscape. Hours of riding and boredom overtook me. I challenged him, and his horse Erebus, to a race. He smiled and complimented Solomon, my new friend, but then jeered he was “inferior to mighty Erebus”. He had a deep connection with that creature and I felt the spark of exhilaration to go hoof to hoof with arrogant Jack. He of course accepted the challenge and soon we were off!

 

Neck and neck. We matched the other’s incredible speed. Dodging boulders and cacti. Left and right. Jack gaining the lead then I then Jack again. The only sound were the thunderous claps of hooves kicking up dirt. White and black blurs lead a stampede of dust over the ridge line. In the distance was a steep drop off the cliff side. The race was now a game of chicken. Who would pull the reins first before plummeting to certain death? I looked over to my brother. He was fixed on the distance, face pinched in unwavering determination. He would not lose. Neither would I. We glided closer and closer to the cliffs edge when finally, at the very last split second, I yanked the reins and had Solomon dig his hindquarter hooves into the earth. We came to a grinding hault. Jack quickly did the same. We were a couple feet from the edge. He smiled at me and told me “That there is a damn good horse.” I agreed and congratulated him on his victory offering my finest bottle of whiskey as payment when we got back.

Then, I looked down and became puzzled. We noticed strange markings in the dirt. Signs of a struggle. Someone was dragged down the trail away from the cliff side. Del Lobos. We dismounted our horses and followed the trail. I could practically smell their stench as we drew closer to their camp. A woman lay tied up by their fire on the south side. We crept down from the north. Jack took out his bow and I my hatchet. He shot an arrow right between the eyes of a dishonorable mongrel and another came to investigate. I met him with my hatchet. With one mighty swing, I severed his neck almost completely from his head. We advanced further surrounding the camp. I flung my hatchet at the next Del Lobo hitting him in the dead center of his chest. Jack, in classic Jack fashion, set the camp ablaze with dynamite. I unholstered both my sawed-offs and unleashed Hell on every fucker I found. We made our way down and I reached the abducted woman first. I cut her from her bindings. Put her on one of their horses and saw that she made it to safety back to camp. A couple pf our brothers rode in and I made sure they got her to safety whilst I rode back to make sure Jack didn’t run into any unexpected trouble.I found him riding towards me in the distance. I noticed he had a Del Lobo gagged and bound to the back of his horse. The SOB face looked like one belonging to a notorious Lobos leader. We rode back up to the cliff side. Jack and I lit up a top dollar cigar and enjoyed the flavor. The Del Lobo squirmed to break free from the ropes. Hombre knew what was coming. I got off my horse as Jack rode down to the cliff base the others followed. I lifted the Del Lobo off my horse and tossed him off the cliff like the sack of garbage he was. Jack burned the remains. On the ride back we mocked his muffled, fading screams as it gave us a deep belly laugh. Looking up at the stars that covered the desert I thought to myself.. maybe this place ain’t so bad after all.

-Joshua Wesson