Wednesday Words – Bert & Jasper
There weren’t any juicy stories in the Burlingame Police Blotter this week, so I decided to try something different. I’ve always been a huge fan of westerns, so I wanted to write a short western story. Below is my first attempt. I learned, while writing it, that I’m not very good at writing westerns. Well in this style anyway. I have a fun western audio drama coming up that I think will be better than this. Anyway, it was just a first try. Enjoy. THe 100 Word Police Blotter stories will return someday!
Bert & Jasper
By Grant Baciocco
Bert Perkins looked at his horse and the horse, Jasper, looked back at him. He took a step towards the horse, the horse took a step back. They’d been at this for ten minutes. Bert looked towards the horizon. There was no way he would catch up to the posse at this rate. His chances of being able to split the reward money for helping catch Kurt Wembly were fading as the dust on the horizon that was kicked up by the posse riding out of town.
“Jasper, NOW is not the time.” Bert whispered through grit teeth. He was well aware that nosy eyes were peeking out of windows all along main street. He could almost hear Marla Grindle snickering beneath her hideous green bonnet of hers. He’d be the whispered talk of the Saturday night barn dance for sure.
Jasper snorted and shook his mane. His deep black eyes looked back at Bert without emotion. The sign outside Doc Cocharan’s office squeaked as it was blown by a small wind.
Bert spit into the dust on Main Street. Shaking his head, he fished into his shirt pocket and pulled out a sugar cube. He held it in an outstretched hand towards the horse. Jasper snorted and lifted his ears. Bert took half a step forward. Jasper simultaneously took a half step backwards and stretched his neck out and swiped the sugar cube from Bert’s hand.
Bert threw his hat down in the dirt. “Jasper! That is it! I’m telling you, you mangy horse, this is is your last chance. You either catch me up to that posse or I’m gonna put you out to pasture the hard way.”
Jasper knew a threat when he heard it. He bowed his head and dutifully stepped forward three steps to line the saddle up evenly with where Bert stood.
Bert snuffed. “Now that’s more like it.” Bert put one hand on the saddle horn as he put a foot in the stirrup. With his other hand he grabbed the reign. That was what Jasper was waiting for and the moment he felt Bert begin to pull himself up into the saddle the horse took off. Bert’s backwards momentum at the horse’s sudden jolt forward locked his boot into the stirrup. Reaching to free his foot, his hand caught in the reigns.
Bert finally caught up to the posse two miles out of Bentwood Flatts, having ridden the the entire time with his head inches from the prairie floor. His throat sore from screaming at the horse every obscenity he could think of, and a few made up just for the occasion. Jasper slowed as he reached the other horses, trotting to a stop. The rest of the posse stifled snickers as Carl Munroe hopped off his horse and helped Bert get untangled.
Bert stood up and dusted himself off. He thanked Carl and turned back to Jasper. Jasper looked back almost sheepishly.
Bert took a step towards Jasper. Jasper took a step away.