Old West Forgotten, Part Four

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Other Worlds Austin presents the Texas premiere of DOE, Wednesday, October 17 (7:30PM) at Flix Brewhouse as the last film in OWA’s 2018 Orbiter Screening Series. Director Justin Foia will be in attendance and will do a Q&A after the film.

Get your tickets HERE.

Facebook Event Page HERE.

In this thriller, a man (Timothy Davis) wakes up with no memory of his past but the ability to speak dozens of languages fluently. After starting a family with his new wife Rachel (Tatyana Ali), he uncovers a startling clue about his former self, and with the aid of his private detective brother-in-law (Mathew St. Patrick) he will race against time to discover his true identity and the clandestine villain (Mira Sorvino) responsible.

Other Worlds Founder and Artistic Director Bears Rebecca Fonté spins a tale of amnesia set in the Old West. Enjoy the conclusion, then reserve your tickets for the Texas premiere of DOE.

Old West Forgotten, Part Four

Read Part One Here.

Read Part Two Here.

Read Part Three Here.

I woke up to the smell of hot coffee. Daisy brought a bowl with some water to wash up and sat on the edge of the bed, still in her night shirt. I knew I could get used to this.

“Messenger came in from Santa Fe this morning,” she said, “he’s over at the saloon.” This would have been the third messenger from the big city since my arrival, and each one made my paranoia diminish. They brought news from other towns, bounty posters for marshals, and my pay. Never once did anyone question I was in fact Sheriff Emmanuel Keller so the more the town believed it, the more I did as well.

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Besides, I was getting to be quite a popular resident in Bishop’s City, thanks to a couple shooting tricks I whipped out on the main street. I could out shoot anyone, and that pretty much kept the town at peace. One man passing through had heard that Bishop’s City was the most civilized town between KC and California. Still, if I intended to take Daisy as my own, that was not going to be popular among the men of Bishop’s City. “Do you want to get married?” I asked her.

“Not if that’s how you are going to propose,” she spit back quickly.

“Sorry. I’ll ask you properly if the messenger has my money, although I’ll probably have to ride to Albuquerque if you want a ring not bought of someone in town.”

“I’d like to tell you to ask my father but I know I’d just be saying that out of habit.”

“We can wait. We don’t have to tell any one about last night. We can pretend it never happened.”

“But what if I want it to happen again?”

“Well, there, that’s a problem.”

She picked up the washcloth, started to wash my face. “Only, I don’t know anything about you.”

This was going to be a hard discussion. “What do you want to know?” I asked.

“What were you like before you were a sheriff?” Daisy probed as she washed my shoulders.

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“Oh, I don’t know. Pretty much the same, I suspect,” I responded.

“Were you a sailor?”

“What? Why would you ask that?”

“I thought only sailors got tattoos,” she stated matter-of-factly.

A tattoo? I couldn’t hide my surprise. “Show me,” I said.

She took the basin off the silver tray and held it up to my back. “Did you forget it was there?” I craned my neck to investigate the tattoo, a series of long inter-circling lines that went around in a square around a single nonsense word “What does it mean?” she asked.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her I had no idea, but what else could I do? “I was really, really drunk one night, and the next morning there it was,” I lied, “I think it was the crew’s joke to memorialize our voyage,” adopting her naval suggestion.

“Does it hurt?” She ran her fingers up and down it.

“No. The lines are vertical height of a mountain on the island,” I continued, “and that’s the name of the island. It’s in the Pacific.”

After she left I stared long at the tray I tried to position behind myself. Here was some clue to who I was maybe. “Ra-fid,” I pronounced to myself, reading the letters backwards, but it didn’t sound like any word I knew.

I dressed and headed over to the saloon but Russell told me the messenger was waiting for me by the jail. On my way I couldn’t avoid O’Rourke in the street by the stables.

“You’ve got a skip in your step, Sheriff,” he said, spitting his tobacco just inches away from my boot. “Maybe I should drop in for a visit on the young Miss Paterson myself, see if I come out stepping like that.”

I decided to ignore him and fight this battle another day. O’Rourke would have to be dealt with, but today I needed to send a message to Santa Fe asking if anyone knew anything about the symbol on my back, of course, not saying it was on my back, and there was a messenger in my office waiting to deliver my question.

“Answer me when I’m speaking to you,” shouted O’Rourke as I passed him. I heard the sound of leather on wood and before I even knew it I had spun around, drawn my gun, and shot the wood-handled pistol out of his palm. His hand was fine but his gun was ruined.  I turned back and walked on.

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“Go near her and I won’t aim next time,” I shouted over my shoulder.

Marshall Tennyson House waited outside the jail for me, having heard at least the gunshot. “That anything I need be concerned with,” he asked. I just laughed and unlocked the jail.

“I thought you would be at the Saloon,” I asked as I poured us each a morning refresher. 

“This ain’t anything for their ears he said,” perking mine up with curiosity. He took a swift drink and slammed it down

“Is it the Night Bandits?” I asked. “Have they hit again?”

“No.” he said, and opened up his satchel. “But we finally found a survivor. From Monroe. That was the second town hit. I’m delivering these posters up and down the territory.” I poured him another drink.

“He could only I.D. one of them.”

“One’s better than nothing,” I said.

He downed his glass again. “Actually, he said it was only one guy. One guy killed his entire town. Of course, he’s probably gone mad.” Marshall House froze, the poster in his hand. He looked closely at me then unrolled the poster. 

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“What is it?” I asked, but House dropped the poster and went for his gun. 

It was over in a flash. The Marshall never got a shot off. I did, right through his head. I walked over and picked the poster up off the floor and unrolled it. WANTED: THE NIGHT BANDIT, $1,000 REWARD and a picture. A picture of me.  

I wasn’t Sheriff Keller.I had killed Sheriff Keller.