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Last weeks FFF- Hunger Strike


Garth looked across his desk discerningly at the young kid. Sure, this guy was in his twenties. He had been trained. But he was fresh meat. And Garth, twice his age, hated anything new. He leaned back in his chair, scratched his three day old stubble, and continued trying to size the newbie up. 

The kid was almost six feet tall, skinny as the day is long, and way too eager. Garth wondered if maybe he could run him out of here. If scaring this kid away wasn’t for the best. Lost in thought, the excited young man came over to his desk.

“Hello, sir. I’m Evan,” he said.

Garth gritted his teeth as he searched for the stomach to speak.

“I know that. Boss lady says that you’re to ride with me. Now, I don’t like partners. I don’t like young guys. And I don’t like you. But I do my job. So, I’ll show you the ropes. But don’t get too attached. Understand?”

“Yes, sir.”

“And stop calling me sir. It makes my skin crawl. Call me Garth.”

Evan nodded.

The computer on Garth’s desk beeped. He fought with the mouse, trying to click on the incoming message. It was touchy, and he couldn’t land it just right. Frustrated, he picked up the mouse to throw it.

“Here,” Evan said.

He took the mouse from Garth’s surprised hand and opened the email.

“You ever touch me again, you might just lose an arm,” Garth said.

Evan swallowed hard and nodded once more.

Garth turned his attention to the message.

Time Breach

May, 14 1872

Known Criminal with Suspected Mob Ties

Jerry “The Canary” Mastrone

Approach with caution.

Suspect is to be taken into custody alive.

“All right, squirt. Saddle up,” Garth said.

“1872. Sounds like a year you might like.”

“Don’t be cute,” Garth said.

They visited the wardrobe department and were outfitted with authentic clothing of the time. They mounted pistols on their hips, but pocketed their modern day weapons in their shoulder holsters.

Next, they went to the camber. Inside the metallic room, they took their positions against the wall. A count down sounded. Evan began to sweat. His breathing raced. Garth rolled his eyes.

“You have time traveled before, right?” Garth asked.

“Yeah, of course. I mean, it was in the simulator. But how different could this be?” Evan asked.

Garth just laughed and closed his eyes.

3… 2… 1

A blinding light filled the room, accompanied by a deafening noise. Evan felt his insides twist and pull. He wanted to throw up, but he couldn’t tell where his mouth was. He couldn’t move. His body felt like it was everywhere and nowhere.

The light ceased. They were in a field. Evan fell to his knees and heaved.

Garth continued to laugh, and slapped him on the back.

Once Evan found his footing, they were on their way.

“That was rough,” Evan said.

“It gets easier.”

“How many times have you jumped?”

“You loose track after a while,” Garth said.

“Ever go forward in time?” Evan asked.

“Not interested. There’s nothing there for me,” Garth said.

The field led to a road, and the road led to a town in the distance. Surveying the small country block, Garth decided to walk past the saloon, and head straight to the sheriff’s office. Evan appeared confused, but kept his words to himself.

The door to the sheriff’s office stood open in an attempt to capitalize on the subtle breeze. Garth entered first with Evan behind him.

“You gentlemen are new in town. What can I do you for?” the Sheriff asked, not getting up from his desk.

“We’re looking for someone. Was wondering if he might be around these parts,” Garth said.

“Is that right? What’s this fella’s name?” the sheriff asked.

“He’s probably using an alias,” Garth said.

“What’s he done?” the Sheriff asked.

“He’s got information that we need,” Evan said.

Garth let out a sigh. He could speak the lingo, but Evan sounded foreign.

The sheriff got wide eyed, and sprinted from his desk, flinging the chair he had been in against the wall. Garth went for his gun, but Evan gave chase. Out the back door, into an alley they ran. Evan caught up to the sheriff and tackled him. They tumbled to the ground, but Evan had him subdued quickly. Gun drawn and out of breath, Garth arrived at the door as Evan was putting the sheriff in handcuffs.

Evan pulled the sheriff to his feet.

“Jerry Mastrone, you’re under arrest.”

They twisted the dial on their belts. After another nauseating bought of light and sound, they were back in the office. They handed the suspect off to awaiting officers, who took him into an interrogation room.

“How’d you know he’d be hiding in the sheriff’s office?” Evan asked.

“Men like that seek power. The old west is an easy place to get it, if you’re corrupt.”

“Is that where you come from?” Evan asked.

“Nothing could be further from it.”

“Then where, or I should say, when-”

Evan was cut off as he saw his wife approach. Her stomach was swollen with child, and her skin glowed.

“Ready to go?” she asked Evan.

“Just about. Garth, this is my wife, Maggie. Maggie, this is my, and don’t hurt me for saying it, partner, Garth.”

“It’s fine. Pleased to meet you, Maggie.”

“It’s nice to meet you, too. Keep my guy safe out there, okay? He’s got a lot depending on it,” she said, rubbing her abdomen.

“I’ll do what I can,” Garth said.

They started off.

“Hey, good work out there today,” Garth said.

“It was all you. They’ll get so much info out of that guy. We’ll be arresting people for decades, through decades. Have a good night. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Garth watched Evan and his wife, hand in hand, as they left the office.

“See ya tomorrow, dad.”

More Time Travel:
A Time to Mind
A Time For Kaiju

More Cowboys:
Two Shots of Whiskey with a Splash of Death
Dark Horse