May 6, 2021 western place

A Home

Beyond the sun-bleached fence, cacti pulp steams. Spent rifle shells - six of them - sit in the recently disturbed dust. A lean-to stable has a thirsty mule and two ponies. The ponies spit and hiss. They are dusty, and still saddled up.

A mud-brick building with half-open wooden shutter-windows in every wall. The internals lie in shadow impenetrable whilst you are outside. Two men with rifles are within, watching you. They move slowly and quietly, stepping over gagged hostages and corpses alike. Each has a revolver stuck in their belt.

In the exposed rafters - like a wooden ribcage, hanging down low - is hidden a small jewellery box. It has a lock which does not work. Inside the box is a map, detailing where $1000 of stolen gold has been buried.

Of the family of eight, two are dead. Five have been tied up. One is unaccounted for. They hide in a water bucket with their fathers pistol. They are trying to muster what reserves eight years on this hard earth have given them.

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A Tomb A mound of earth, grown over with grass. With a shovel, you could reveal the stones beneath the earth. With a pick, you could remove the stones, to
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