Thursday, February 27, 2014

Kid Grimm

image borrowed from bing

Kid Grimm

“If I’m going to kill you, you’ll be awake,
you’ll be facing me, & you’ll be armed.”
--Malcolm Reynolds

Kid Grimm, 
Reginald to his mother,
was a short drink of water;
it left him with a hair-trigger temper
& big knuckled hands that loved
to hover over the twin Colt Peacemakers
strapped down to each leg.

Like a lot of pistolero punks
scattered across the Southwest,
he was a handsome lad,
with long curly blond hair
& piercing green eyes;

at first fresh off the farm,
still having the faint odor of cow dung
on his expensive tooled leather boots,
& perhaps the odd hay blade tucked
up within his rolled pants cuffs;

but that gave way to dandy duds,
starched striped shirts, long gaudy
scarves cinched up with a gold skull,
black suit, with a tailed jacket, gray
silk vest, & silver cufflinks.

He began practicing with his father’s
Navy Colt when he was ten, spending 
his allowance on ammunition,
firing thousands of rounds, forever
standing out in the barnyard blasting
at brown bottles, jars, & jugs--
assassinating them all. 

He became a bona fide gunfighter
before he was 15, killed his first man
out in the street with the whole town watching;

he had a pine stick, they say, that he called
his death stick, and it had 30 notches carved
into it, with room for 30 more.

He did love the ladies,
& the whores all over town
loved him, loved his looks
& his fat wad of cash.

One night the year before
he shot a miner in the groin
for disrespecting Miss Annie,
one of his favorites.

He enjoyed gambling, 
had a real passion for it; 
poker was his game,
until the night it became
his unraveling,

when Claude Haven sat himself down
at one of the beer-stained green felt
covered tables directly across
from the Kid, slapping a fat pile
of greenbacks alongside a tall stack
of twenty dollar gold pieces. 

The Kid’s jade eyes lit up,
shining with mescal & arrogance.
He drew for an inside straight,
but the cards betrayed him.
He was all in, 500 bucks in the pot,
so he put on the glower & the bluff--
but old Claude had a full house,
aces over tens.

The Kid exploded, howling
like a wasp-stung bear,
as his big hands dove down
for the waiting Colts, dangling
from his waist like twin silver cocks;

it seems that Haven was prepared,
he had one of those terrible tiny
one-shot derringers, spring-loaded
under his coat sleeve, just above his right wrist.

The French pop gun made its small noise,
and the hot slug parted
the Kid’s eyebrows, burrowing
like a tick of lightning knuckle-deep
into his brain, so

before the Colt twins could bark death,
death itself leaped ravenously upon him,
taking his youth, devouring the light.

Claude Haven played the Big Man
for about a month until two half-breeds
backshot him in alley in Tombstone.

I wonder what he said to the Kid
when they met up in the town
of Glory?

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB

Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?


Brian Miller said...

see the opening stanza was worth it....great description...and using vernacular as well////shot the dude in the groin...see you have me cringing right there...but that he would defend her has a bit more character development in story man...bitter sweet end for him the whirlwind, reap the pain....

Claudia said...

oh heck...killing his first man with 15...a tough life..and if you play with the fire it will devour you... goodness...yes..i wonder what he said...maybe they're still fighting on..

Björn said...

wow what a story.. a gun for hire.. scary with those 15 notches.. but I guess the end was due.. the clock was tickin'

Anonymous said...

Glenn this was very entertaining and full of character. Loved the whole thing. >KB

Anonymous said...

You transported me to the wild west. You have a gift for description!

Beachanny said...

Yep, that's pert near the way we'd tell that story here - 'course we'd drag it out some and miss those clever descriptions like "twin silver cocks" playing with that cock word again - 'cause you know he (like all these Texans) sure thought those guns made him a man. Heroes and heretics die like that all the time, ev'ry night in FortWorth.

Good stuff, Glenn. Well said.

vb holmes said...

Great graphic descriptions, and a well-developed plot to boot. Good job.

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic creation! I was transported right out of my Sussex bedroom into somewhere totally different. Well told, indeed.

jo-hanna said...

Yes, I thought you might be good at this, with your background, and I wasn't wrong: a cinematic frame or three here. Vivid.

Ronald Shields said...

Great character, the Kid was bad but I like 'em with an edge...die young, stay pretty.

Anonymous said...

The Kid was preparing his whole life for it to end up the way it did.

I like the ironic twist at the end :)

Ken Higginson said...

I've been to Tombstone. This is a great story - well written - nicely ended. Half-breeds is a perfect descriptor for the murderers! Thanks for sharing.

RMP said...

entrancing. I could feel his end coming and couldn't quite decide how I felt about it. really nice character development.

Abhra said...

So much visuals and wonderful description - made my thoughts run - no less a film there, smiles. Great piece.

Anonymous said...

Somehow I knew that this prompt was going to be right up your alley and you didn't disappoint. Vivid, descriptive, bad dude but ok in my books, sticking up for Miss Annie.

lynndiane said...

You really know how to portray those blazing young guns of the wild west!

Atreyee said...

What a life for the Kid!Ah well,at least he went out blazing;-)Great descriptions-loved the story and enjoyed reading:-)

lucychili said...

this prompt is bringing out some great yarns =)
great textures

Anonymous said...

well drawn, vivid, a bit of dark humor, a moral, and a lingering question. entertaining and perfectly composed for the prompt - I'd say, exhibit A ~

Manicddaily said...

Hey Glenn, a character all right. Loved the short drink of water. k.

Mystic_Mom said...

Glenn you rocked this! Love LOVE the ending - can't wait to hear your thoughts on what they did say to one another. This was totally and utterly cool.