Old Year – part 1

The end of another year, Burt reflected on all his past adventures as he travelled back from an emotional London trip, visiting the old family. This was the first Christmas he didn’t have a lady companion around for a very long time.

He had tried to get into the festive spirit but there was only one kind that warmed his lonely heart tonight.

Meanwhile at Sindy’s house, she’d woken up especially early to get the sprouts on before Barry came round for Christmas dinner. Everything was prepared, Sindy was very organised and wanted to impress her boyfriend with her culinary skills.

Barry duly arrived bringing gifts and became very excited at the prospect of carving the turkey: he really wanted to impress Sindy with his manly knife skills.

“Oh Barry.” Sindy was certainly impressed ( and maybe even a little scared) as he brandished the sharpened blade before deftly slicing the (slightly dry) breast, brushing away the turkey crumbs until he had quite a few almost whole slices to display.

Barry tried hard to disguise his look of sheer repulsion at Sindy’s slightly brown coloured greens, he wasn’t quite sure what vegetable they were originally but hoped the gravy will help.

Meanwhile in another part of town, Max and Barbie were breaking up, tensions were fraught and emotions were heightened by the pre luncheon alcohol consumption.

He didn’t get her the gift she had been hinting heavily at the last month and she was too spoilt and selfish (apparently!)

Christmas was over

Just before the old year ended there was one last chance to grab a bit of happiness and that was at the New Years Eve party.

Barry sang in the shower as he splashed on his new Christmas aftershave, it wasn’t quite ‘The best a man can get’ or even the one that ‘Drives women wild’, not the ‘Mark of a Man’ because Barry is a man who doesn’t have to try too hard.

The party was swinging

Music and dancing as the revellers toasted each other and the New Year.

Barry’s brother Neville surprised everyone by bringing his saxophone for some mellow jazz.

An impromptu accompaniment from Tom’s acoustic guitar; he always had a few adoring groupies, being very popular with the alternative ladies.

Not to be outdone, Burt got his horn out, he couldn’t resist showing what a real man could do.

Catching the eye (and ear) of a lonely love sick lady who was a teeny bit drunk already, steamy suggestive glances were exchanged.

As the evening progressed more toasts where made, Ken and his Hair salon girls turned up late, better late than never Barry toasted, even though he didn’t particularly like Ken, it was New Years after all!

The room stopped chattering as Stacey loudly marched in with a serious drum roll as the clock struck 12 to jubilant shouts and whoops from the excited revellers.

“Happy New Year!” Burt was the first to grab the two willowy girls for a big bear hug and copious kisses, always an opportunist, he was being greedy.

Mindy ( Sindy’s best friend) had her date all sorted, she hadn’t let him out of sight all evening as the rumour Barbie was single was scary enough to take drastic precautions.

“Happy New Year!” Barry and Sindy toasted each other, then the rest of the room as the drunken happiness spread to everyone for the first of January had begun.

Stacey kept on banging that drum as she marched off first footing down the road, her Scottish tradition to spread luck and prosperity as well as a few more drinkies on route (this party was nearly dry!)

To be continued in – New Year – part 2

©Juliette Dodd 2020


A Fistful of Dollies

Big Gun Barry was in love, his wild and roaming heart had been skilfully lassoed by the charms of Big Chief Howling Wolf’s twin daughters ( Big Gun Barry wasn’t fussed which sister he married to tell the whole truth y’all!)

After many a Pow Wow and quite a lot of liquid fire water persuasion followed by some serious sessions on the peace pipe, Big Gun Barry had agreed to become a Brave; the only way the Chief would let him marry his beloved daughter(s)

Once the initiation period was over the wedding ceremony would commence, in three moons time – on the condition of a large dowry payment of course; daughters were a precious commodity.

Big Gun Barry was, as usual, broke.

Pretty Pocaharder was eager for the sacred matrimonial ceremony, Pocalonger couldn’t wait for the nuptials.

Big Gun Barry was beside himself with frustration, he needed some mega bucks and fast.

Time to seek out his old partner.

The man with one name ~ BURT

The deadliest and quietest gunslinger in the West.

“Beautiful mornin’ Ladies.” Always the perfect gentleman, Burt doffed his hat to the respectable towns women of this busy trading outpost called Stiff Men’s Creek.

Half way between the plains and the Mountains and not too far from the desert, this far flung ramshackle town was always full of roaming settlers, prospectors and sometimes even outlaws!

Barry had to drop his rootin’ tooting’ cowboy name and take on a new tribal one (it was part of his initiation)

He wasn’t very happy to be re-Christened ‘Little Gecko,’ it just didn’t have the same connotations but it was the first animal to be seen at the naming ceremony, so be it.

“If that’s what you want?” Burt was a bit surprised at how far Barry would go to get a bride (or two).

“Yeah, but I still need to make some big dollars quick, any ideas Burt?”

“We’ll have to go back to Bounty hunting ‘cos I know you hate mining.”

The God fearing Church going ladies were chatting loudly about the gallery of villains on all the ‘Wanted’ posters, so very ugly, what awful crimes and how they should find redemption if they only saw the light and mended their thieving ways.

“Why, I do believe you’re not a real Injun?” One lady questioned Barry who was busy trying to find the bottom of the bottle.

He just growled his annoyance, he wasn’t a happy Barry!

‘What is the New World coming to?’ thought Burt, as he saw so many females on the posters, Pear Heart, Della Rose, he was sure he’d had a dalliance with at least one of these naughty ladies.

‘Belle Starr!’ Burt whistled at the $750 reward, she sure looked familiar!

“She’d sort our finances out a treat.” He quietly folded up her poster for later viewing.

In his despondent stupor Barry wasn’t convinced, he had a double dowry to find; Burt thought he was just being a little bit greedy.

“This is more like it, $100,000 for ‘The Butcher’, what a nasty piece of work, I’ve heard all the terrible tales about him.” Barry needed big funds and quickly.

He longingly thought of affording a third bride to rub his feet while the twins were tending his other areas.

Naughty Barry!

“Good afternoon Miss.” Greeted Burt as the very prim but very pretty School Teacher walked past; Barry was too lost in his own personal bourbon fuelled fantasy to notice.

The school house was right next to the Church, although mostly empty as this town had no children at present.

As he sat drinking coffee and studying the poster it suddenly clicked, Burt was sure he knew the teacher’s friend, she looked a little too familiar but he just couldn’t place where from.

He now recalled she used to have dark haired, although that was a very bad picture of her and it was a while ago back in Frisco.

Meanwhile in a secluded stable behind the school house, the stealthy figure of Murray Steel was silently saddling up a fresh steed.

( Tongue twister, the faster the better)

Murray was her willing slave, he adored his Mistress more than words could say, he would do anything she asked.

Love is the only motive.

Dressed in matching jeans and shirts, her real identity heavily shielded, this mysterious and deadly female was on a mission to rob the next stage coach before it even reached Stiff Men’s Creek.

Gold and plenty of it, the only real commodity way out in the wild West; you could buy a thousand acres, you could buy a whole town, no one messes with the highest payer.

“Be careful Belle.” Murray called as she galloped off through the sparse trees.

He would take the rap for her, thats how much he loved that wicked, wicked lady.

Burt turned a blind eye at the School house stables when a very fast horse and rider swiftly dismounted inside the gloom, he wasn’t a vindictive man and Belle had been mighty kind to him when they were ‘friends.’

A short while later that same day, two very respectable Church going Ladies walked along the empty one street town towards the deserted school house.

“Careful Belinda, I hear footsteps.” Alerted the School teacher to her companion.

They began loudly singing hymns to cover the chink chink of gold coins.

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me….”

“Good day to ya.” Greeted the rough handed cowboys.

“May the good Lord be with you boys.”

“I once was lost but now I’m found….”

“..was blind but now I see….”

And the school house door slammed shut.

….To be continued…..

©Juliette Dodd 2019

Casino Nights

Friday evening and Barry was taking his girlfriend Sindy for a night out at The Ritzy, the Mecca of entertainment in this town with something for everyone, a veritable hub of non stop excitement; meeting place of the beautiful and glamorous people.

“Oooh Barry Bingo night is next Wednesday, I can’t wait.”

“Not my thing Sind, you take your granny.” Barry had actually never been so he didn’t know what the sheer ultimate thrill of ‘Eyes down for a full house’ could offer.

“Yes, she loves a good National game with big prizes.”

“Casino night tomorrow though, wanna come?”

“No you can’t go, not after last week.” A couple were arguing loudly in the foyer.

“It’ll be different this time Babe, I promise I’ll get you another TV when I win.”

Sindy looked questioningly at Barry.

“I’ve never been to a real casino, whats it like?”

“Put your best dress on and come and see.” Barry knew that would tempt her, Sindy loved dressing up.

“Alright, tomorrow at 7 0’clock, I’ll meet you in the foyer.” She was already mentally going through her wardrobe for the perfect outfit.

Saturday evening at 6.50 p.m, Barry was early and dressed to kill. He’d been to many Casinos while in Her Majestys service and he loved the high stakes and the adrenalin rush ( he really should have tried Bingo first though)

Sindy’s bus was late making Sindy late too, she rushed up the street and panting appeared slightly flushed in the foyer and straight into the arms of the very smart and handsome Barry.

“I hope we didn’t miss anything?” Sindy had no idea what to expect at ‘The Casino’

Just as they chatted a large man barged past and marched straight towards the Casino doorway.

Barry and Sindy watched as this stranger greeted the owner Darius, followed by a suspicious whispered conversation.

“Come on Sindy, lets get some chips.”

“But Barry, I’ve had my tea.”

Inside the plush Casino suite, Barry was accosted by a familiar face.

“Hey big boy, where did you disappear to?’ Barbie jested, she’d had her room keys returned by the concierge.

Barry had a clear conscience but still didn’t want any trouble.

Sindy was nudging him and whispering “Who’s that?”

“This lady lost her room keys and I found then and sent them back.” A semi truth is better than a lie.

“Oh yes, …anyone could have got into my room, I’m so glad you found them first Barry.”

Barry quickly changed the subject by explaining the game on the table to his lovely girlfriend.

They watched first as the burly ginger haired man from the foyer rolled the dice and seemed to win with every throw.

Sindy still wasn’t sure how this game worked but watching the red haired man throw high scores again and again was mesmerising, she really wanted a turn.

Barbie was getting closer and closer to the winner and it wasn’t long before he’d cleared out the table.

Sindy was most impressed, ‘It’s all bravado’, she thought, ‘And nothing like Bingo!’

Collecting his huge winnings, the mystery man quickly made his way out of the door, opening the table to all the other eager players.

Barry was itching to have a go.

Barry wasn’t very lucky tonight and within a few throws he’d lost half his weeks wages.

“Don’t worry, I have some pocket money to play with.” Sindy reassured him.

Poor Barry was brassic and it was only 8’o’clock.

Suddenly another contender entered the room, although he seemed strangely familiar. Barry and Sindy watched him sauter over to the table egged on by Darius, hovering in the background.

Out came a large wad of notes and the dice were thrown again and again.

No way, every time a winner, it was almost unbelievable!

There was something about this new man, Barry just couldn’t put his finger on what though.

The Moustached stranger cleared the table and quickly cashed in his winnings, to the amazement of the room; goodness, that was more than Barry earned in six months!

The table was bustling with eager punters trying to better the last chaps good luck, he’d made it look so easy, but the dice were cruel and left everyone broke.

Out of the corner of his eye Barry half recognised a familiar figure, the same build, the same jacket but ….how odd, he’d not seen this man before?

Deep in conversation with dodgy Darius and holding a rather large amount of crispy five pound notes, he hovered in the shadows.

“Hey Sindy do you see that man?”

“Yes, why?”

“Does he look familiar?”

“I’m not sure but that jacket is all the rage and everyone seems to be wearing one.”

“Lets go Sindy, I’ve no money left and I’ve a feeling there’s something afoot here.”

“Did you say chips Barry? It’s still open if we hurry.”

To be continued…

©Juliette Dodd 2019