Travelling Devil

By: IronicPills

Some people have a knack for finding strange things. Strange things always seem to find Zane Legends.

Certainly, Zane had ended up in a very strange situation as always. Somehow, this adventurer had found himself wandering through the middle of a storm. He was dressed for travelling; cloak, brimmed hat and comfortable boots but the wind bit through the fabric of the cloak. The hat was lost somewhere to the darkness and the boots were becoming more uncomfortable each passing moment as Zane continued to walk towards town.

The good ol’ Legends wasn’t going to be pushed around by a storm. Once he reached the local tavern, he could forget this dreadful walk in the rain. His mind wandered to food, keeping focus on that rather than his feet being soaked.

“Mmm warm beef stew..” he exclaimed to no one but himself.

After ten more minutes of trekking through muddy terrain, Zane paused and looked up at the wooden sign before him.

“Casin Town.” He mumbled. “Great sausages! I finally made it! Now I can get to that tavern and-”

Before the legendary adventurer could finish his sentence, a loud scream came from a nearby building. Then gunshots. Zane’s head turned towards the sounds. To his dissatisfaction, the gunshots happened to come from the tavern which was emptying of people.

With a sigh, the lanky man had decided to pursue the problem. He wasn’t going to let some warm beef stew not be eaten tonight.

Zane’s hand slide to his holster, withdrawing an engraved Colt revolver. The chamber was loaded already so Zane had no worry; his only concern was adding more to the ongoing noise and causing harm to anyone. Adrenaline rushed through his veins as the gun sat in his hand. Despite being comfortable with such a weapon, it always shook him up about the consequences.

Regardless, he wanted out of the rain.

Before Zane could even approach the tavern with the loaded revolver, a group of men burst out, tackling each other to the mudded road. No guns were firing but the men were obviously in a brawl. Still approaching, the men took notice of the cloaked, lanky adventurer.

“Oi! You punk! What’a doin’ ‘ere?” The accent was thick on this one.

Zane, still holding his gun tight and not willing to place it back in its holster, answered with a stone face.

“I’m here on some important business. Might I ask, what are you doing?”

“Beatin’ up dis here thievin’ gamble’” Zane couldn’t tell if it was the accent or if the man was in a drunken stupor.

“You know, as a man of lawful intentions, I shouldn’t let you do-”

“You one of ‘em gamble’ friends?” The drunken man questioned.

Zane let out a muttered ‘sausages’. The last thing he wanted to deal with today was drunks in the rain. The rain mostly, but just the drunkards in general.

“I ask that you leave this poor man alone, let me deal with him.”

If he was calling himself a man of lawful intentions, he should at least act like some sort of one. A sheriff or deputy.

“Why should we?” The drunk now had attracted the crowd of his friends. Good. The focus wasn’t on the beaten up gambler anymore.

“If you don’t leave him alone, I’m afraid I’ll have to shoot you and your friends.” Zane threatened. It was an empty threat. The adventurer wouldn’t harm anyone, wounded, yes, but not actually kill.

This led to the group approaching Zane. The hand with the gun raised up and without any hesitation to his word nor actions, the finger squeezed on the trigger. Click. Bang. One shot went off.

It only took the one bullet when the drunks realized that they were dealing with potential danger. The angry drunkard that Zane was arguing with before turned to his friends, then to the guy now hunched over grabbing his bleeding leg and back to Zane.

The revolver still in front of him, soaked from rain and an expression as emotionless as a killer, Zane looked like the devil himself. Nothing was spoken from the drunkard to the adventurer. The drunken group grabbed their friend and as quick as they could, made off into the windy and stormy night.

The revolver was placed into the holster as quick as it was withdrawn. Zane made a quick pace to the gambler who lay in the mud. They were breathing at least. With whatever strength the adrenaline gave Zane, he picked up the gambler, dragging them back towards the tavern.

“I’m fine.I can walk.” The voice was a surprise to Zane.

“I- uh, are you sure?” The gambler proceeded to shrug off of Zane. They were limping from what Zane saw but were standing just fine.

“Who are you? Why’d you save me?” The gambler asked.

As some point, Zane would’ve boasted about him being Zane Legends but the rain and wind had drained him of energy. All he wanted was the hot beef stew and a nice pint of ale.

“I”m Zane. Lawful intentions-”

“Yeah, yeah, I heard you before. Figured it was lawful intentions. Y’know, you didn’t need to save me, could’ve just left me.”

“Huh? Wh-”

“Didn’t you hear them, I’m a dirty thieving gambler, apparently.”

“I wouldn’t think that.”

“What would you think of me then?”

Zane had a little smile on his face, “Someone to sit down and share a beef stew with.”

The gambler let out of a huff. May have been a laugh. Zane couldn’t tell.

“You’re buying me dinner? How sweet.” The gambler tipped their hat as the two of them approached the tavern. “I’ll allow that. I usually don’t let men buy me food.”

Zane paused before entering the tavern. The gambler turned and looked at him.

“What’re waiting for?”

“You didn’t introduce yourself.”

The gambler let out a soft laugh and replied, “I’ll tell you my story over some stew, lawful cowboy.” Then, the gambler entered the tavern which was void of usual tavern noise.

Zane, curious about this character, followed them. Another strange story that he could not wait to hear over food. Food which he had been waiting for ever since he got to town.

That beef stew was going to be an enjoyable meal for Zane Legends.

Genre: Western
Setting: In a storm
Character: Gambler