It’s high noon in the wild west. Dust is blowing in the breeze and the sun is pounding down. A tumbleweed bounces across the sand. The sound of a dog barking in the distance breaks the silence of the day. Standing in the sun is a cowboy. Brown high-top boots with old black worn pants tucked into them. Long and slender, the cowboy stands with his hands by his side and his poncho moving with the breeze. The worn and weathered face of the cowboy spits a toothpick from his mouth as he looks out across the sand. The cowboy is known around these parts only as Handy.
Handy stands and waits for his partner in the hot sun. In the distance, the cowboy can see a short figure quickly approaching. With a rush of dust and wind Handy’s partner comes sliding up to him on his heels. A soft utterance from Handy, “What took you so long?”
Senshi replies, “I had business to take care of.”
Senshi, dressed in his armor and helmet sparkling red and gold in the sun, is a short man from Japan. His profession before joining Handy was as a warrior protecting the land. Senshi is a samurai who traveled west after his village was destroyed by an earthquake many years ago. Now Handy and Senshi travel side by side across the west, moving swiftly through any problem that may arise. Handy looks at Senshi with a distressed look on his face.
Handy begins to talk, “Senshi, my old friend, you know we have been through a lot. You have been there by my side through many fights and across many miles. You know I don’t ask for much my friend, but I need to ask you for a favor today.”
Senshi replies after looking back at Handy. “What is it that you require of me?”
“It’s my horse. He’s been stolen by those rascals the Green Gang. They tore through town the other night.”
“So where did this Green Gang go?” Replies Senshi.
“Where they are now I don’t know, but they rode south. If we leave now, we will only be one day behind them.”
Senshi looks south with an intent glare, the shadow of his helmet covering his eyes. He turns back to Handy. “Okay, let’s go get your horse back.”
An explosion of fiery awesomeness erupts behind Handy and Sheshi as they take off running south. Quick as the wind they travel. The sun begins to sink as our heroes slide to a halt at the first town they come through. “The town of Big Box,” quietly gurgles out from Handy. “If there was gonna be a town with trouble in it, this would be the place.” This town is known for its vast amount of traffic. Everyone passes through Big Box at some point.
Senshi and Handy walk side by side through the small town. Pacing slowly but steadily toward the saloon. Before they reach the front steps, out from the shadows of the alley, a bear trots out behind Handy and Senshi into the middle of the street. The bear is much larger than both Handy and Senshi. The bear turns to face the newcomers to the town with a glassy stare. From a low, growly voice he says “What are you two doing in my town? Newcomers aren’t too welcome in these parts.”
Handy turns to the bear who is now rearing up onto his hind legs. “We’re looking for some folks. Recon they probably passed through here this mornin’.”
“What makes you think I would tell you who passed through here?” growls the bear.
“Because we are still asking nicely,” says Senshi as he glares at the bear with a smirk.
“We’re looking for the Green Gang. You know of ’em’? They rode off with my horse and I intend on gettin’ him back.”
“Yeah I know of them, but there’s no way I’m telling you where they went off to.”
With a swift motion, Senshi rushes the bear and chops him in the head. Just as quickly, Handy is moving behind the bear and with style he flips backward, kicking the bear in the bum. With a loud growl, the bear goes to bat at Handy, but Senshi is quick to block the large paw. This is when Handy is able to uppercut the bear right in the face with enough force to lift the bear from his paws and land him square on his back. Handy and Senshi then both walk up to either side of the bear’s head, blocking the orange glow of the sun from his face.
“Now we’re not going to ask nicely again, so where did this Gang of rascals run off to with my friend’s horse?”
The bear looks at Senshi and then Handy. With a sigh of defeat the bear murmurs, “They stopped this morning to water the horses and then they continued south. They were going to the next town where the auction is.”
The two look at each other, then they look south. “We better get a move on, that auction starts in an hour. Thanks for your help Mr. Bear, hope the next time my partner and I come through this town you have a better attitude toward seeing a couple of nice folks like us.”
With a rush of wind and dust, the two set off again, running through the sand. Approaching the top of a cliff the two come to the edge and look down on the auction town. At the near end of town, there is a brown wooden fence holding many types of animals. Cows, pigs, chickens, horses, and even a giraffe, are all standing in the pen, with Handy’s horse standing tied up on the nearest fence. On the other side of the fence, standing between the cliff and the pen, there is an army of men covered in green and stiff in stature, all waiting for the auction to begin.
Handy looks through the crowd and scans the pen. He spots his horse and with excitement says, “There he is, my horse. Let’s go wrangle him up and get on outta here.”
Senshi replies quickly, “My friend I would love to, but I do believe that army of men would be rather disappointed if you took off with the horse they were trying to sell.”
“Then we will have to handle those men before we get to ride out of here.”
With a large leap, Handy and Senshi fly off the cliff’s edge. With roaring thunder and bolts of lightning, the two hurl toward the Green Gang. Both men fly through the air, yelling as they rush toward the herd of enemies. Then, just before the heroes touch down a loud shout breaks through the sky. “Randy come down and get ready for dinner sweetie.”
With no hesitation, the little boy looks up and yells, “Okay momma be down in a sec.” Putting his action figures on his toy chest and getting up he whispers to them, “After dinner, we’ll get your horse back Handy.” Then, turning to the door, Randy runs out of the room kicking the fence of Lincoln Logs and knocking a few of the green army men over on his way out. Randy rushes down the stairs while starting to tell his momma about the adventures he was having with Handy and Senshi. He was telling her about the stolen horse and the gang of evil army men.
As Randy washes his hands, standing on a stool at the kitchen sink, he joyously tells her about the mean bear in the town. Momma interrupts saying, “Do you have your little sister’s teddy bear again? I thought I told you to give that back to her.”
Randy grabs a hand towel from the counter and says back, “Okay momma, I’ll give it back to her after dinner.”
“Okay Randy, now you come over here and sit down. Your daddy will be in from the field any second now.”
Randy sits down and starts to think about how Handy will defeat the Green Gang. He imagines Senshi chopping five guys at once and Handy roping three guys together. Then Daddy opens the door and steps in. He looks at the table. Momma is setting dinner on a mat in the center of the table. Sister is sitting on a booster seat on one side, and Randy is in his chair on the other. Pappa smiles as he looks at his family. His four-year-old son, his two-year-old daughter, and his beautiful wife all look back at him and smile. Pappa takes off his hat and his boots and sits down at the table across from Momma to enjoy dinner. Pappa then looks at Randy after grace and says, “What adventures did you and Handy have today?”
Biography: I am Anthony Evans. I am looking to graduate from Aims in the spring of 2023 with an AA.
I started my project as an assignment for a creative writing class but then enjoyed it so much that I took the assignment and built upon it. I was inspired by other short stories that were viewed in class and by the idea that a story can be interesting and engaging while still being short enough to read in a few minutes. Personally, I am not much of a reader. That’s why I think short stories stood out to me so much. You can get a lot out of a short period of time. My actual story just came from a creative thought I had about wanting to see the world through younger, more imaginative eyes. Thank you for your time.