Exclusive Membership

by Carole

Main Characters: Ezra, Vin, JD

Disclaimer: The Magnificent Seven and its characters are the property of MGM, Trilogy Entertainment, and the Mirisch Corporation.

Standing just inside the front door to Chris’s ranch, Ezra heaved a quiet but heartfelt sigh as he read the words on the 8 ½ by 11 sheet of paper one last time before folding and sliding it back into its envelope.

Membership Rejected. Even as he placed the envelope into his coat pocket, those two words continued to reverberate through his mind.

Admission into the St. James Exclusive Gentlemen’s Club, an establishment that catered to the upper class, providing a sanctum where a man could eat, socialize with friends, gamble, or simply escape for an evening, had been something Ezra had dreamed of.

Despite its archaic and elitist rules, including that of denying membership to anyone of the feminine persuasion, it had been a place of which Maude approved - for ulterior motives, no doubt, Ezra mused – so she had introduced him to a friend of a member and the process had begun.

“Uncle Ezra! Uncle Ezra! We didn’t know you was here!”

Despite his melancholy, Ezra couldn’t help but laugh as he was almost bowled over by two excited little boys.

“Vin, JD,” he greeted. “How was school today?”

“I drawed Milagro,” JD exclaimed, running from the room only to return a few seconds later to wave a color-filled paper in Ezra’s face.

Ezra took a step back, unable to focus on the art project two inches from his nose.

“I made Peso,” Vin added, moving to retrieve his own artwork, and then holding up his picture for Ezra’s perusal.

“Ah, yes, a most remarkable likeness of the magnificent steeds.” When he was met with silence and two inquisitive looks, he amended his words first to, “Your depictions are amazingly reminiscent of the animals in question,” and then to a simple, “Wonderful job.”

“Do you want to play with us, Uncle Ezra,” Vin asked shyly. “We don’t have any homework to do tonight.”

“Of course, I do,” Ezra reassured the seven-year-old. He smiled as the boys set their pictures aside, then took his hands, Vin on one side, JD on the other.

“What game do you wanna play?” JD asked.

“Might I interest you gentlemen in a game of chance?” he offered, his gold tooth shining as he beamed down at them.

“Go Fish!” Vin and JD chose in unison, the boys scampering off together to retrieve the aforementioned deck of cards.

Ezra shook his head, feeling all of his regret fade away. In actuality, he had no need of an exclusive Gentlemen’s Club. He was already a member of the finest club in existence: Vin and JD’s extended family.