A Chinese Curse
For the hundredth time, William Stuckey knew he had made a mistake when he stepped into the Brown Cactus Saloon and found his childhood sweetheart, Linda Lovelorn, who had purported to await his arrival with weepy sighs and heaving bosoms on the lap of a foul-teethed rustler. Her eyes were lidded with opium and sores grew on her lips. “A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do,” was her excuse.
William galloped out of town, abandoning a fantasy he had left a long time ago, in his mind. He knocked over a Chinaman, spilling the bundle of railroad spikes upon his stooped shoulders. Tears blinded his eyes, and the hot wind swept away the Chinaman’s words as the world dissolved into dust.
“…cursed…ride the vortex…into the past…must pay…”
When he came to, he was starving and in a foul mood. Fuck the West. No woman was worth this. It was time to head back East. But first… vittles. He saw a rider in the distance.
He shot his rifle, but decapitated the horse instead, showering its rider with gore.