Saturday, September 7, 2013

Stanton Creed, Pt. Three

Sitting around the campfire brought back foggy memories of his days as a cattle rustler, though the atmosphere had changed significantly since his passing. Looking around at the gathered teens, he shook his head. Not a one, save of course for the cold corpse in the sand (which had been drug a bit of a distance from the small party for the sake of Sara’s ability to drink), had put up much of a fight.

That was a good thing, seeing as Stanton hadn’t had a good group to drink with in years.
Filling his shot glass with a glug of spiced rum, Stanton held the bottle out to Jesse, leathery hand grasped tightly around the neck of the bottle. The negro didn’t even look up as he took the bottle, pouring himself a fair amount of rum into a strange red cup before passing the bottle along.
“So,” Stanton rasped, swirling his drink about in his tiny glass errantly, “What brings you all to my neck of the woods?”
“We were partying… it’s the last weekend before the new school year.” Jackie poured slowly into her own shot glass, staring at Stanton with a mixture of hate and curiosity.
“Schooling…” Stanton said, scratching at a weeping boil on his neck with dirty fingernails, “Never got much schooling myself.”
“Surprise, surprise…” Jesse muttered, casting a sidelong glance at the ghoul.
“Hey now, no need to judge a man by something he lacks, it’s his actions that are to be viewed!” Stanton laughed, accepting the bottle of rum from Sara, who had taken a seat to his right. “So let’s see what men we have in this group; everyone, time to drink!”
Stanton threw the shot into his throat, savoring the scalding feel the liquor made on his ancient teeth and parched throat, swallowing the peppery solution with nary a cough. His compatriots were not as hardy as him, it would seem.
Jesse and James seemed to do alright, the latter making a face as he set his cup down in the sand, while the women all had varied reactions. Jackie took her drink with obvious experience, downing it without a thought, while the two sisters coughed and hacked as they fought to swallow their shots through slow sips. Sara had yet to down hers, earning a glare from Stanton.
“Go on girl,” He growled, hand drifting to his rusty pistol, “drink up.”
“Can you really bring him back?” She asked with a watery voice, ignoring her drink.
“What? Yes you daft woman, I done told you our deal! Now drink!” Stanton said with a snarl, pulling his pistol high and placing the muzzle between her eyes, pulling the hammer back with his thumb.
Without a wavering look, she drank down her drink, eyes never leaving Stanton’s black orbs. He slowly lowered the gun, a chuckle leaving his lips.
“That’s better,” He said, twirling his gun with a flick of his wrist before pushing it back into his side holster. He filled his shot glass once more, passing the bottle around for everyone to do the same.
By the fourth shot, the sisters were leaning against each other drunkenly, giggling about something, while Jesse seemed to have become a brooding soul. James was still holding strong, as were Jackie and Sara. Stanton pulled back his face into a wretched grin; he could barely feel the liquors fell effects on his sluggish frame.
Filling up his shot glass with the last bit of rum, Stanton looked excitingly around the circle, hoisting his glass up high in the air. “To Jay,” he said with a feral laugh, “He knew how to take a bullet.”
This earned a choked sob from Sara and a growl from Jesse, but they all downed their shots just the same.

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