Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Blackthorne Episode 132

image from


Cinemagenic 132


“Someday we’ll remember so much that we’ll build

the biggest goddamn steam shovel in history, and

dig the biggest grave of all time and shove war into

it and cover it up.”--Ray Bradbury.

1(sound cue) snare drum and guitar.

2(overhead drone shot) Buck riding hell for leather,

thick dust kicked up in his galloping.

3(sound cue) the mare’s hooves, deep breathing,

and the snap of the reins against its flanks.

4(drone shot descending) toward the rider, until

they fill the frame.

5(cut to a medium wide shot) at ground level, as

Buck gallops toward the camera, overtakes it

and runs past.

6(cut to slow motion) the big man leaning forward,

as the mare’s muscles rippled.

7(cut to normal traveling shot) The mare was a 

sprinter. After five miles she began to cave in. Buck 

let her slow to a canter. He turned northeast running 

down the dark shoulders of ridges, through shadow-

laced arroyos, long dewy grass and tall sage. He rode 

for 45 minutes and then reined up at the edge of some 

timber. It was still early and damp, and the sun was 

without heat. Buck stayed in the saddle.

8(sound cue)  violins and cello over harmonica.

9(medium close up) Buck could see no one was

following him. Posses did not form themselves, and

with the deputy dead and the sheriff wounded, chaos

swirled in the streets. He pushed his hat back onto his

back, the leather strap tight under his chin. He

smoothed his sweaty hair, and stretched his tense


10(medium wide shot) He pulled his black hat back on

and loped north. He kept to the thick timber, staying off

the main road. 

11(medium close up) He stopped every few minutes 

and scanned his back trail. He didn’t see a sign of 

anyone. Sonofabitch, he thought, Not even Bronson 

had sent out riders. He had poked a hornet’s nest, and 

folks had to deal with their stings.

12(sound cue) violin fiddling with banjo.

13(medium wide travel shot) He rode up a steep

hogback, picking his way around a stand of swelled-

butt jack pine, sitting tall in the stolen saddle,

and he and the mare could still feel the chill of 

the morning in their lungs. He stopped in a

tiny glen, and dismounted. The stock of his

Sharps stuck up out of the rifle scabbard like

a hand brake on a wagon, like a rudder on a

boat. Watching the mare munch a hasty

breakfast of sweet grass, he suddenly felt

hunger wrapped in anger, and anguish masked

with adrenalin. He took a long piss, and steam

rose off the stream and the puddle in the dust.

14(close-up) His face.

15(sound cue) His inner monologue, playing out

in voice over, as the camera captures the halcyon

moments in the glen--flitting birds warbling and

choking tree branches, butterflies winging in

swarming squadrons over multicolor thatches

of wild flowers, a pair of squirrels chattering at

him from halfway up a pine, and the thick sweet

scent of pine needles in the air.

Could I be more fucked? I doubt it. Antlered Buck

is burned down, and with it the demise of horses

and dreams. Death has rode roughshod, and He

is not done with me yet. Salina will be beside 

herself with worry. Joe Hop is not going to cut me 

any more slack. I have stolen a horse, and had 

another shot out from underneath me. I broke out 

of jail just as a U.S. Marshal is expected. Bronson 

holds the aces. He avoided a meeting with me. I 

shot up his saloon, and I don’t know if Joe Hop 

determined the assholes who attacked us at the 

ranch were actually sent by Bronson. My Appaloosa 

stallion is beyond reach, and some motherfucker 

shot my dog. Christ in a wheel-barrow.

16(medium wide shot) He swung up into the saddle,

stood up in the stirrups, and raised clenched fists

to the heavens. Settling into the leather, he patted

the mare’s neck, nudged her with his knees, and

galloped straight into the sun, down into a deep


17(sound cue) castanets and coronet.

18(cut to overhead drone shot) rising slowly up from

the rider, higher and higher, until Buck was just an ant

riding a beetle, scurrying out of sight. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at d'Verse Poet's Pub OLN


Sanaa Rizvi said...

This one deserves a standing ovation, Glenn! Stunningly atmospheric, I love; "He turned northeast running down the dark shoulders of ridges, through shadow-laced arroyos, long dewy grass and tall sage. He rode for 45 minutes and then reined up at the edge of some timber. It was still early and damp,".. the inner monologue of Buck helps gain insight of his thought process. 💖💖

Oh, and you ROCKED tonight! Such a pleasure to hear you read your poem!

JadeLi said...

You're so right, Glenn, Buck is f*cked every which way --- but! he's still alive and still free. There is something to be said for that. I kept expecting him to be hit by a sharpshooter's bullet, but God is still on his side, even if he's been tested worse than Jonah. I really really can't wait until the next chapter!

The poem you read live tonight shook me up something fierce. When I think of those officers or whoever they were doing what they did to you injured soldiers it makes my blood boil. Those guys were never hugged as children and never had a pet to hug either. Well-suited to carry out the evil deeds of the overlords. The descriptions of the wounds of you and the other wounded also tore me apart.

So sorry to hear your wife had a heart attack. Wishing for complete healing for her. Glad to hear you are doing better now also.

Kim M. Russell said...

The poem you read last night was an epic war poem, Glenn, but Blackthorne is truly epic - episode 132! The title had me worried, as did the Bradbury quote, so I was relieved that the opening shot was of Buck’ riding hell for leather’. The opening shots are so vivid, I pictured them clearly, a bit like Steinbeck’s scene setting, and you built the tension right up to the point when Buck could see no one was following him. Although I don’t like violence, it’s good thing for him that the deputy is dead and the sheriff is wounded. I love the almost-rhyming phrase ‘hunger wrapped in anger’, so potent I could feel it – apart from the fact that I haven’t eaten breakfast yet. 😊 That can’t be the end, surely, Buck galloping into the sun!

On another note, please give your wife my best wishes for a speedy recover.

Ingrid said...

I could hear the music at the end as Buck rode into the sunset: 'Christ in a wheel-barrow.' he may be down, but he's certainly not out, I feel.

Is the poem you read last night available on this blog?

Alexandra said...

Really good one.

Glenn Buttkus said...

Ingrid: The poem was HERO'S HAVEN. My blog goes back to 2007. Just fill in the title in the search line, and it should come up for you. Thanks for your interest.

robkistner said...

Excellent mood and atmosphere herein Glenn. This entire saga has been your master work bro — strong characters, continued cohesive plot, engaging action... and it holds the interest. Your read of your “Hero’s Haven” yesterday was punch-to-the-gut sobering, and clench-the-fist frustrating. The military has always been a hard edged reality. After 3 years in Reserve Officer Training, the lottery spared me from going ‘in country’, for which I have always been grateful. But I lost friends, bodily and mentally in that fucking war. In an overview one can only see that segment of American history as a mixed bag of by-and-large tragedy, and some small social wins. This current period is farcical horror show — but hopefully getting better. That’s the thing about the old west, it was not an easy life, but good and evil was a bit more obvious, and evil a bit more contained... there is a comfort in that. Anyway, your writing continues strong. BTW, I too lost touch with Tess, but I, like you, really enjoyed being part of that writing community. Embrace your health my friend.

brudberg said...

I really hope that this is not the end... it could be that it's better to leave and found his fortune elsewhere.... it seems like everything has gone wrong.