Daily Archives: July 25, 2016

Daily Discussion With BQB – What Will the World Be Like in 50 Years?

The year is 2066.  Will there be great new inventions that would astound us early century primitives, or will war and/or disasters plague the world so it devolves into some kind of Mad Max type world?

Discuss.

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Undead Man’s Hand -Chapter 20

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A.W. Merrick sat behind his desk, studying a copy of the latest edition of the Deadwood Dispatch.

“Marvelous, A.W.” he muttered to himself. “Simply marvelous. Writing of this high quality can’t go unnoticed forever. You’ll be the toast of New York City in no time.”

The esteemed newsman reached into his desk drawer and pulled out a box. Among his many talents, A.W. was an accomplished photographer and he had a collection of numerous portraits he’d taken of high society ladies from all over the country. After all, he’d served as a traveling correspondent for numerous publications before deciding to make a go of it himself in Deadwood.

The ladies had allowed themselves to be photographed for A.W.’s articles but so proud of his work was he that he kept the photographs. And occasionally, when he was feeling particularly proud of himself, he used them for…other purposes.

“Oh A.W.” the newsman said in a squeaky girlish voice as he held up one of the photographs. “You’re such an excellent writer. Let me show you my ankle.”

“What?” A.W. asked. “Madam, how inappropriate!”

“But I must have you!” A.W. cried, once again doing an impression of a lovelorn female. “I’ll never know ecstasy until the hands of a master wordsmith such as yourself are all up under my corset!”

“My goodness,” A.W. said. “Well, if you insist…”

A.W. retrieved another photograph from the box, then went into a second female’s voice.

Suddenly, the act was becoming quite complicated.

“Hands off, you shameless hussy! A.W. is my man!”

And then it just got worse from there.

“I saw him first!”

“No! He’s mine!”

“A.W. you must get under my bustle posthaste!”

“No A.W. you promised to get under my bustle!”

The newsman interjected with his own voice. “Ladies, ladies please! There’s plenty of A.W. to go around.”

A.W. unzipped his pants and was about to do some exploring when a knock on the door to the Dispatch’s office startled him so much that he bumped his elbow into his box and spilled the photographs all over the floor.

“Mr. Merrick?” came Bullock’s voice from outside.

“Just a second!” A.W. shouted in his girlish voice. Upon realizing his mistake, he coughed heartily and repeated in a deeper voice, “Just a second.”

A.W. scrambled to pick up all the photographs and return them to the box. He hid it in his desk then zipped up. Unfortunately for his manhood, he zipped up just a bit too fast and caught himself in his zipper. He put his fist on his mouth and bit into it to stifle his instinct to scream, then extricated himself and attempted a re-zip. It was successful the second time around.

The newsman walked to the door and unlocked it to find Bullock waiting for him.

“I come at a bad time?” Bullock asked.

“No, no, not at all,” A.W. said. “Just brushing up on my interview techniques. What can I do for you?”

“Mr. Merrick,” Bullock said. “I’ve decided to take you up on that job.”

“Have you now?” Merrick asked as he showed Bullock to a seat across from his desk.

“Yes,” Bullock replied. “I figure I can do anything if it’s just for a year. I could use the money and it looks like your town could use some law.”

“It could,” Merrick said as he sat behind his desk. “It certainly could. Here’s the thing, Seth…may I call you Seth?”

“Sure,” Bullock said.

“After our meeting yesterday, my colleagues in town government had the good sense to admonish me for being much too overeager in my entreaty for your services.”

“Come again?” Bullock asked.

“I offered you the job before I thought it through,” Merrick said. “Seth, this town is the seventh circle of hell. So enamored with your heroics was I that it did not occur to me to fully spell out the dangers of the position out to you.”

“It’s a shit hole all right,” Bullock said. “But I’ve handled plenty of drunks and killers before.”

Merrick folded his hands and rested them on the desk. “I’m sure that you have but there’s one citizen of our town who is rather…tenacious.”

“Tenacious?” Bullock asked.

“Malevolent,” Merrick said.

“Do you have a dictionary I could borrow?” Bullock asked.

Merrick sighed. “There’s a man in this town who is so rotten to his very core that he’d never be allowed into hell, not because he doesn’t deserve to be there but because the devil would be afraid that he’d take it over.”

“That bad huh?” Bullock asked.

“Worse,” Merrick answered.

“Who is he?” Bullock asked.

Merrick threw his hands up. “I’d rather not say. He and I have an agreement. I never publish anything about his business. He allows me to keep breathing.”

Bullock scoffed.

“I regret offering you this position, Seth,” Merrick said. “I really do. And now my conscience urges me to implore you to turn it down.

“I don’t understand,” Bullock said. “Do I have the job or not?”

“You do,” Merrick said. “I hope you don’t still want it.”

“I want it,” Bullock said.

Merrick winced. “Damn it. Very well.”

The newsman fumbled through his desk drawer until he produced a shiny silver Sheriff’s star. He stood up. Bullock followed.

Merrick searched through a bookshelf until he found a leather bound bible. He pinned the star to Bullock’s shirt.

“Raise your right hand.”

Bullock did so, then placed his left hand on the bible.

“Do you, Seth Bullock, solemnly swear to uphold the laws of Deadwood, or rather seeing as we don’t have any, promise to maintain a general sense of law, order and decency in the community?”

“I do,” Bullock replied.

“Then by the power vested in me by the Deadwood Town Council, I hereby appoint you to the position of Sheriff with a term to last no longer than one year from this date,” Merrick said. “May God have mercy on my soul and there are no words to express my deepest apologies to you.”

Bullock raised a surprised eyebrow. “Honestly. How bad could this fella be?”

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