With help from The Neon Gang.
| Dear Saint Nick,
Figgered this is a way to pratiss my letters. Josiah tole me bout ya, and how ya visit childeren on Christmas Eve, to give them gifts and such. That's awfull nice of you. Sure wish ya coulda found me when Is jist a little feller. Is good lots more of the time back then.
Not that I'm all bad now ya understand. That murder charge aint the truth. Is framed fer that killing by Eli Joe. Ya probly don't know that black snake. He's bad to the bone. Dead too.
Reason I'm scribbling this to ya is this, Nick. Chris and me, that's Chris Larabee - the nice looking blond feller who always wears black clothes even when its hot nuff to melt the hairs off a dog well, we've been bout as good as a kuple a men can be, helping take care of this here town. And, well, I was hopin you might see yer way clear to bring Chris a little something special this yeer. I was thinking maybee some nice tan pants and green or maybee a blue shirt. I'm getting awfull tired of all that black.
Don't feel right asking fer any thing fer me, but if ya could drop by the other fellers I'd be greatfull to ya. Josiah could use some purty windas fer his church.
Nathan needs some better doctoring tools seein as he has to use the ones he's got now on us all the time.
JD could use a new hat. Buck done finally ruined that Bowler he had. Shot it so full of holes it caint keep the rein out.
Bucklin needs to find a good woman, but I guess ya caint bring him one of them. But if ya, can, we'd all sure appreciate it. Not a one of us find himself some friendly ladies with him around.
Inez, well, she's look real nice with a new dress. And Mary needs a new newspaper making machine. That one she's got like to bite her hand off now and again. Aint sure bout Billy, but a fishing pole might be good. He sure like to fish.
Miz Nettie needs a new milk cow. And Casey, well, she wants JD. Maybe if you spoke to him bout marrying the girl he might listen.
Guess that just leaves Ezra. Aint sure what he wants beesides cash. Guess that would do fer him. Nuff sos he can buy his self a saloon, if that aint too much fer ya.
Ah hell, got to ask ya. Think ya could help me clear my name? I swear to ya I didnt kill the man they say I did. And I have been awful good this past year.
Vin Tanner, Four Corners, Arizona Terratory
Author's Note: This story first appeared in the Mag 7 zine, Let's Ride #7, published by Neon RainBow Press, Cinda Gillilan and Jody Norman, editors. When we all decided to post the stories that have appeared in the issues of Let's Ride that are more than two years old, we opted to use a generic pen name because, while Vin Tanner is the primary author of this story, he had so much help from the other folks writing for the press that it just made sense to consider the story to be written by the Neon RainBow Press Collective! Resistance was futile. So, thanks to the whole Neon Gang Sierra Chaves, Dana Ely, Michelle Fortado, Patricia Grace, Erica Michaels, Nina Talbot, Kasey Tucker, and Lorin and Mary Fallon Zane. Story lasted edited 7-24-2006. Art by Shiloh (firstname.lastname@example.org)