The cigarette trees run red with candied blood. Peppermint vultures circle overhead. There’s nary a cloud in the sky, government handouts litter the ground, and empty freight trains run unchecked up and down the mountain.
I unholster my sidearm, which is loaded, unfortunately, with rounds of saltwater taffy. The hardest part of being a railroad bull around here is that we have no authority, our legs are made of wood, and we are all blind. These freeloaders think they can do whatever they like just because our prisons are made of cinnamon and glue.
A trail of footprints leads toward the hot gin springs. They taste acid, like socialism. Seems someone hanged ol’ Henry Ford up in a tree for inventing work. The doing of one Dangerous Dan, I suspect. Known for carrying a gumdrop pistol and a sword made of lax social mores, stealing rhubarb pies all over town. And so the chase–
The swoosh of a marshmallow net going over my head. The voices of a dozen hobos, all speaking in limerick. I try to chew through the net, but the prognosis is oatmeal-raisin. They take my gun and my clothes. I can’t help but feel that Roosevelt’s New Deal was a terrible misstep.
I awake, alone in what feels like a vast, soggy plane of sourdough. I’ve lost my gun and my badge, no more a lawman. Now free. I can sense the hot sun all over my skin.
It feels like maple syrup.