Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Bad Sheriff

by Thomas

“I’ll put my badge on and go out there,” the sheriff said, looking for his gun. “Those outlaws will see justice yet.” Outside, the sound of guns blazing could be heard as the whooping band of cut throats rode their restless hoses up and down the main street of the little town. The sheriff went to the cabinet above his desk for a last minute gulp of whiskey and a little boy who was hiding in the cabinet fell out on top of him and onto the desk.

“What are you doing in there, son?” said the sheriff. The little boy, who was wearing a blue nightgown and nothing else, was crying. He had fallen hard on the desk and poked himself with an unsharpened pencil.

“D-d-d-don’t g-g-go out there sher-r-r-iff,” the boy whimpered.

The sheriff got up and put on his gun, pretending to forget about the whiskey for a second. “Son, someone’s got to stop those bad men, and that someone is going to be me. I’m the sheriff in this here town, and it’s my duty.”

The boy, rubbing his bottom where the pencil had poked him, stood up. He was very small, maybe eight or nine years old. “You’ll get killed, sheriff,” the boy said.

“Ain’t nothing to be done about it, boy, if that’s what’s gotta be, then I’ll meet my fate like a man.”

“But you have no legs,” the boy said. Sure enough, the sheriff had no legs. He hadn’t really forgotten, but since the town was usually quiet and he got the job without any mention of his physical disability, he hadn’t paid much attention to the fact lately. He suddenly felt very worried, his thoughts darting chaotically to the obvious conclusion. His face must have betrayed his thoughts as the boy, watching him, tried to comfort him in a childish way.

“Don’t worry sheriff. I’ll get those bad guys for you. I’m not afraid,” and before the sheriff could stop him, the boy was putting on his gun, which was very awkward on his little body. The sheriff reached out to stop him, but the boy simply took a step backward from the desk and the sheriff fell flat on his face.

“Now look here, boy, this is no time for stupid kiddie stuff – gimmie that gun,” his arms writhed, one pulling his trunk forward and the other reaching for the gun. The sheriff, his flustered emotions giving way to real anger, rose up on his rump and gravely intoned, “Confound it boy, that gun is a loaded weapon and it is dangerous. You git yer little butt over here and give that gun right this minute!” He wavered between frustrated wrath and the instinct to steel himself in an effort to command the boy with age and reason.

Meanwhile, the boy in his enthusiasm had forgotten about his fall. He reached over with a light, quick movement and plucked the star from the sheriff’s breast. The sheriff began to cuss and scoot towards him, but the boy easily dodged him and pinned the star on his blue nightshirt.

The boy was just about to go out the front door into the ruckus on the street when a woman came in from an adjoining room. She was followed by two men.

“There you are, Richie! Mamma has been looking all over for you!” In a motion that defied her busty girth, the woman grabbed the boy by the ear and yanked him back into the room, the boy emitting a loud quack as she deftly hustled the pistol from its holster and away from the child. “Aaaawwwh,” the boy cried. The woman made the boy take off the holster and badge.

“What is the meaning of this?” she said sternly. No one in the room was quite certain to whom she was speaking. She had gone flush and her hair, piled high and tight on her head, waved like a bushel of grain. She suddenly aimed herself at the sheriff on the ground, “You – you’re the sheriff here, right?”

“Yes m’am, I am,” the sheriff started from the floor, the three adults now leering down on him. “That is...”

“What sorry excuse for an adult are you, anyway?” the woman yelled. “Are you drunk or something? You weren’t going to send a mere child out into the street with those raging animals out there, were you?” One of the men pulled the sheriff up onto a chair while the other poked around the desk and found the whiskey bottle open, its meager contents dribbling a stain on the floor. They glared at him, the child hiding behind his mother.

“You’re nothing but a lily livered bastard,” one man spoke.

“I was just goin’ out to do my duty when this boy,” he paused, now looking at the boy hoping for sympathy, “ya see – he fell out of this here cabinet and…”

“Mommymommymommy!!!” the boy clung to his mother, sobbing incoherently. “The bad man made me do it. He was poking me…” the boy pointed to the hole in his nightgown.

“Why, you yellow pervert!” said the larger man. The woman took a step forward and struck him in the face. “Of all the cowardly, base and depraved acts a man could do – imagine! Forcing a child to...to...do a man’s job…”

The woman, still holding the gun, commanded the men to hold the sheriff while she took care of the other men on the street. She stepped out, dragging the half naked boy by her side. Shots were heard. Some more – the woman’s voice rising in indignation. Then everything was quiet. The woman stepped back into the room and put the empty gun in her purse for evidence.

The two men dragged the sheriff down town to a federal court where he was found guilty of gross negligence in the line of duty, child abuse, psychological torture of a minor and attempted pedophilia. He was thrown in prison with the last bad guy who had escaped the woman’s bullets and other hardened criminals. None of the convicts would even associate with him because of the disgusting nature of his crimes.

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