Disclaimer: Original Characters of The Magnificent Seven are owned by MGM and Trilogy. No infringment is intended. No profit is being made from this activity.
It was a typical Saturday night at the saloon. A boisterous crowd had settled in for the evening. Ezra was in his element. Pay day for the cowhands always produced some well-deserved remuneration from any evening of draw poker. The rest of the seven sprawled at they're usual table, with the exception of Josiah. He had finished another day working on some new pews for the church, so a cold beer from the bar took precedence over greeting his friends. Once downed, and a refill in hand he joined his friends.
"It's your patrol so I'm not swapping again for you!" JD argued.
Buck happily ignored this exclamation. "Works out great. You doin' my Sunday morning patrol leaves me with your afternoon run. A Sunday afternoon stroll 'round town protecting the ladies would sit just right."
"No! No! No! No!"
Buck swung an arm up over JDs shoulders. "Now JD, you gotta' work on more convincing arguments."
JD looked for assistance from his friends around the table. Josiah and Nathan both leaned back in their chairs, attempting to stay as far out of this argument as they could get. Vin was also leaning back in his chair, but apparently dozing rather that deliberately avoiding the issue. JD threw a quick look at Chris, but his only contribution was a sharp "Just make sure one of you does it."
The saloon was getting crowded. Chris was becoming annoyed at the jostling and closeness.
Damn, he'd been hanging around Vin too much.
He looked to his friend who appeared to be completely at his ease in these close quarters. He'd expected Vin to have headed outside by now. Just then Vin's eyes opened to just slits of blue, disturbed by the close observation. Satisfied the observer didn't intend to disturb him, the eyes closed again.
A loud burst from Buck declared the rearrangement of the patrol to be settled. JD attempted to turn to Chris to include their leader in this decision. Chris decided his contribution to the argument should be withdrawal, so he abruptly stood up with a quiet "headin' out back."
Out back was the outhouse. This wasn't Chris's preferred choice as most of this outhouse's patrons originated in the saloon. Taking a deep breath he pushed the wooden door open and stepped into the dim fetid little box, shoving the door closed behind him. He finished his business as quickly as he could. It was only early evening, so the day's heat had yet to dissipate from the small enclosure. His cloths re-arranged, he reached quickly for the door to pull it open. It wouldn't budge. A quick look revealed an old iron latch that had fallen closed. With a quick relieved breath, he twisted the catch open .
God help him if had to stay in here a moment longer.
He pulled on the door again, only to find it still wouldn't open. He was beginning to get annoyed.
God damn, falling apart outhouse!
Grabbing the latch he twisted it again, only to have the rusted piece of metal drop into his hand. An angry burst of "Shit!" echoed from the old timber structure. The occupant of the neighboring structure wasn't the least concerned. He drunkenly stumbled his way out of his little building, assuming the sound was a merely a description of his surrounds.
Inside the saloon, the evening continued. JD had lost his argument with Buck, resigned to the early patrol yet again. Vin was now sitting forward at the table, Inez having just replenished the round of beers. He cast a quick eye to Chris's vacant chair and Chris's full beer. Buck caught the glance. "You drink that, it'd better be you're last for the night 'cause you'll be running!" Vin looked to the back entrance of the saloon - what was the chance Chris was going to step through the door.
If Vin had been aware of Chris's predicament he would have downed Chris's beer. Hell, he would have ordered another round on Chris as well. Instead he decided that one free beer wasn't worth an evening cut short to avoid the Larabee wrath.
Chris tugged on the door, but the old catch on the outside just wouldn't budge. Curses filled the air as he attempted to beat and kick the door open.
Trapped in a goddamn outhouse! This isn't happening!
The tight space gave him no leverage to force the door open. He didn't dare step back too far and risk falling towards the rank opening at the back of the little box.
One piece of crap piece of metal locking the piece of crap outhouse door.
He would not call for help. Chris Larabee would not be rescue from a locked outhouse. He could escape, save himself without anyone knowing. He fell back on a lifelong survival skill ; he reached for his gun. He considered carefully the events likely to take place.
I shoot the lock. Door opens. I'm free. The boys will check on the shots so I'll tell them I shot at a rattler. No good, rattlers aren't out after dark. I shot at a prowler. Yeah right a prowler around the outhouses. I fired accidentally. That's almost as bad as being found locked in an outhouse! Coyote can into town. No, Vin'll try to track it. No tracks .so something that flies.
The atmosphere in the little building was getting too much.
T'Hell with 'em. If I say it was a rattler then it was a rattler.
The decision made, he reached for his gun.
Vin quietly rose from the table and headed for the back of the saloon. Chris should have returned by now. His instincts warned him there was a problem. He eased out of the back door and moved towards the outhouses, gun in hand.
A shot broke the night, blasting timber and metal shards out from the old outhouse door. Vin pulled back into the shadows at the back of the saloon, startled by the unexpected location of a shooter, and now concerned for Chris. To his amazement, the door burst open and Chris stepped out into the evening air. Vin watched carefully as his friend heaved great breaths of fresh air. Satisfied there was no threat, and realizing what had just happened, Vin moved into the light. Chris was startled at the sudden laughter.
"Ya shot the outhouse!" was followed by hysterical laughter from his friend.
The others soon appeared, brought by the sound of a shot. Chris quickly raced out his 'rattle snake' story to ease everyone's concern. Nathan rushed forward, concerned that Vin was on the ground, apparently struggling to sit up. "Were you bitten?"
Vin's attempts to speak were quickly overridden by Chris as he explained that Vin was fine, attempting to get everyone back inside the saloon. He reached forward to grab Vin by the arm and pull him to his feet. He was greeted with a muffled "But Sheriff, Sheriff, the outhouse drew first" followed by another cackle of laughter. Dragging Vin close, he glared at the tracker, grinding out "You talk You die." This received a muffled laugh and a quiet "Fastest outhouse in the west." The glare was getting nowhere, and now Buck was looking at them, waiting for some sort of explanation for an hysterical tracker. Chris decided the only solution was distraction. "Lets get a beer."
"Yeah" Vin agreed. "Chris's buying."
This moved everyone inside even quicker than Chris had been hoping for. But the cost of six beers was better than the truth. At the rear door, Vin paused exclaiming, "the shootout at the outhouse!" He received a shove in the back from Chris, propelling him through the door and up to the bar. It looked like it was going to take more than six beers...
Comments to: email@example.com