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|Cowboys, Indians and Black Bart (standard:other, 2327 words)|
|Author: msterry||Added: Apr 25 2006||Views/Reads: 1989/1169||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Coming of age story set in the 50's|
Cowboys, Indians and Black Bart I spread the slick red branches of the manzanita bush wide, peering across the clearing trying to find my enemy. Bang!, I shot my trusty six shooter, bang!, bang!. The rich sulfur smell of burst caps drifted through the fort stinging my eyes and burning my nose with the acrid stench. It was late afternoon, the sunlight bounced off the plywood roof of our home-made fort causing my eyes to water as I tried to catch a glimpse of Black Bart, one of California's most notorious bank robbers. The canteen I'd placed on the roof let out a puff of steam as I opened it to take a swallow. Inside the fort my friend Dave poked his BB gun between the cracks of layered board; Frank, my next door neighbor, was across the clearing. I could see the tip of his black cowboy hat just above the tallest branch of the nearest manzanita bush. It was my first day of Kindergarten and Frank and I walked together to school. We were assigned to Mrs. Archer's class. At recess time, Frank and I huddled together watching as some kids ran to the swing-set and other kids raced to the sandbox. Frank and I headed toward a group of tricycles when a boy stopped in front of us. He was slightly taller than I with grey-blue eyes. His hair was so blonde it was nearly white. “Hi, my name is Dave, wanna play ‘Cowboys and Indians'?” he said. “There are some bushes over by the jungle gym that we could use as our forts.” Both Frank and I immediately said yes and the three of us went off together. Now six years later we're still playing “Cowboys and Indians” we just don't play near the jungle gym any more we've found a better place to play. We gathered the material together to erect a fort. Dave had brought some two by fours he'd found near his home; new houses were being built just across the canyon. Frank rescued an old grey navy wool blanket that his mother was going to throw away. When we unfolded it my nose began to twitch--causing me to sneeze--it reeked of dog but none of us cared it would cover the floor of our makeshift hut and the earthy smell of mildew and dirt would soon mask the smell. My contribution was a couple of pieces of scrap plywood I'd found in the garage: one was two foot by three feet and the other slightly larger. The wood was warped and splintered. I snuck them out the side gate one morning while Mom was in the kitchen washing the breakfast dishes. I hid them on the side of the house until Frank could help me carry them to the canyon. With the aid of an overgrown manzanita bush we erected the best fort imaginable. Our fort was at the base of ravine that led down toward the ocean. Some days the breeze that came off the ocean made the leaves of the manzanita bushes rustle drowning out the sound of traffic nearby. The fort was deep enough into the canyon to block the view of any houses, we were inside a totally new world, a world where Indians snuck up on the fort to massacre the white man or the Hole in the Wall gang would try to rob the local bank. “Rocky!” yelled a voice. “Rocky, Mom says it's time to come home!” I could hear my sister calling from above. “Rocky! Roxanne Marie Sullivan! Mom said if you don't come home right now you'll be on restriction!” Just when the action was getting good now I have to go home. I was just about to sneak around the back of the fort and kill Frank. “Hey guys, gotta go, my sister's calling me.” Frank poked his head up from behind a nearby creosote bush. “Okay Rocky, we'll finish this tomorrow.” Frank had drawn a black handlebar mustache on his face, the ends curling up his cheek looking like a bull's-eye. Today he was Black Bart, the toughest hombre in the west. I was Matt Dillon, Sheriff of Dodge City and Dave was Chester, my deputy. I could see a bright spot of light on the side of the fort as the sun glinted off my shiny silver star. My chaps scuffed the ground as I trudged up the path to my waiting sister. I got the chaps, my cap pistol and my silver star for my birthday last month. Dad knew that I wanted that cap pistol more than anything. “Rocky, what‘s the deal with you?” said Gwen. “Don't you know you're a Click here to read the rest of this story (177 more lines)
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