*Author’s note: It’s been almost two years since I did any creative writing. If you’ve got any feedback, fire away. If not, enjoy.
The candle light bounced off the room, casting its timid glow across the dusty surfaces. The dim pallor flickered and glinted wildly across the broken glass on the floor. It jumped to life in the eyes of the two people sitting around the shoddy wooden table.
The man on the right considered his partner. He looked upon the figure across him, as the light caressed the folds and creases in the leathery countenance. His eyes narrowed and he sighed heavily as he observed the heavy stubble across the chin. A large, once-white hat was perched on the head, sloughed back at an unusual angle. The green eyes stood out from the browned and dirty skin that held them. He blinked. His eyes diverted to the cave walls, barely able to observe the texture of pick, and shovel, scars in the red dirt.
Outside the bright sunlight lashed the red mountains, and harsh auburn soil. Gnarled brown trees provided scant cover from the daystar. Two horses, lashed under the largest grove, waited in the canyon. The walls corralled the canyon floor to a box shape, and leaped up skyward. They rose with sharp purpose, and marked their height with striations of minerals and multi-colored dirt. Artists had been fond of these hills, when they could speak to the colors and hues for inspiration.
A dirty figure emerged from the hole in the canyon wall. His dark brown hat covered his face in shade. His plain clothes showed a rough texture. Laid across the fibers was a fine coating of dust, muting the dull colors. He snorted, and spit as he saddled up his horse. With an expression grim as the devils of hell, he rode out of the canyon. A thousand thoughts bounced around the crevices and corners of his mind, as they hurried back towards civilization. With each passing gallop, he drifted further away from the desert canyons, and plains. Hundreds of trips allowed the horse to navigate the way, without input from the rider. His mind was free to wander the plains.
He pushed the last thought out of his mind as the horse came to a stop in front of a small wooden building. Men were standing around, staring. He gently prodded the horse to move forward. The animal had made the normal trip, but today was not normal. The pair moved away from the safety of the usual stop, and rode up the street. He stopped the equine beast at the saloon, and hitched it to the post. The dark interior of the bar was an easy adjustment for his eyes. He scanned the room, back and forth.
A woman stood at the top of a staircase along the back wall. Her skin was clean, and adorned in fine silk. Her gaze met his, and she smirked. A small, quick hand gesture bid the dusty man to enter, and climb the stairs. She retreated to her office, and took the chair. The huge desk in the center of the room eclipsed he slight frame. As the man in his dusty coat walked in, her eyes lit with excitement. Before she could utter and excited question, he raised his hand.
“Money.” The word echoed from his lungs. He observed the woman, bursting with energy. His interest, however, was not in the quivering jaw, and bitten lip behind the desk.
A small bag of coins flew from her hand, as she spoke, “You could have steady work here. Stay.” Her tone was not pleading, but not commanding either. She watched the man count his money, and hoped he would consider her words.
He dropped the coins in his pocket, and scoffed. He walked to the door, and paused. Turning, he offered some advice to the matron, “You’re going to lose this war you started, and you’re going to lose this planet.” He left the saloon, and spurred his horse towards the spaceport. He boarded his ship heavier in gold, but a bullet lighter.