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Thread: Wanna buy a Horse?-Part 1

  1. #1
    The Druid
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    Wanna buy a Horse?-Part 1

    THE QUEEN'S HORSEMEN


    This is how it happened. Joey called Allie and asked him to pick up some puppy chow from the feed store on the way out to the house. Allie asked Joey what kind and Joey said the kind you feed a puppy and Allie understood. This is the way they spoke. Now Allie knew Joey was looking for a horse for his wife. When they left Astoria section of Queens, New York, Joey promised Carmen a steed. Of course Joey promised many things to Carmen over the years for her devotion and understanding about this witness protection garbage, and forcing her to live among these rubes in the small town of Jamul (pronounced ha-mool), in the east county of San Diego, but his memory often slipped. Not Allie's. As he was standing in line at the Jamul Feed Store Allie noticed a slightly obese woman, okay fat, hang a 'For Sale' sign on the bulletin board, "Horse for sale...$50." Allie shifted nervously before the counterman until the woman departed. A couple entered the barn and the husband immediately scanned the board, turned to his wife and exclaimed, "Hey Honey, look at this!" Allie saw the man's hand in slo-mo extend itself toward the board. Allie's mind flashed back to the corner of 50th Street and Tenth Avenue when he told the guy to keep his hands up and the stupid prick wanted to be a hero and save his lousy 199 bucks. When Allie saw his hand move he whacked him over the head; took his money and walked across the street to the Druids Tavern. He ordered a vodka rocks with a twist and thought himself lucky he got to the bar just in time for the end of happy hour. I would not say the man in the barn was particularly deft of movement for, in the blink of an eye, Allie tore down the sign; shoved it in his pocket; and pushed his way past the couple who were merely interested in the antique clock for sale.

    Joey read the notice for the $50 dollar horse three times. He could not believe his luck and then he was dubious.

    "You sure no one else saw this?" he quizzed Allie.

    "I swear on my mother's grave Joey. I watched the lady come in and hang it. And then when one of the local rubes started to read it and before he knew the what for, I grabbed it and was gone!"

    Allie smiled, which was not a pretty sight with his teeth somewhat missing from certain spots. His buddies in Queens used to call him summer teeth...some are here, some are there. But that is another story. The important thing was for Allie and Joey to get to the woman with the $50 horse as quick as possible for how many steeds sell for $50? Joey had a feeling that went something like this:

    "Allie."

    " Yeah?"

    "I got a feeling about this."

    "Yeah?"

    "Yeah."

    Now rather than continue with this conversation that could quite possibly proceed in the same vein for hours, a summation is in order. Joey told Allie if they could buy the horse for a mere $50, then there was also the possibility they could obtain the horse for nothing. If Allie would just let Joey do the talking, for as Joey said, he knew how to handle these rubes. To which Allie answered, "Yeah."

    Victor and Manuel sat at the bar at the Greek Sombrero Restaurant sipping a Corona and munching on chips and salsa. A stranger walked in the bar and asked for a menu. Victor nudged Manuel, "This looks like a guy who would order it." Manuel said he didn't think so and Victor put a buck on the bar which was matched by Manuel and the two Mexicans waited until finally the stranger spoke.

    "I would like a cheese quesadilla."

    The stranger could not understand why the Mexican gentlemen across the bar started howling like coyotes, but a gringo would not understand south of the border humor and how a quesadilla already infers it has cheese. To Victor and Manuel this was quite comedic and besides it passed the time. When the stranger departed and the Mexicans were left alone, Victor turned to Manuel, "Hey compadre, how you like your quesadilla?"

    "Hold the cheese."

    This sent the two amigos into another fit of laughter as Joey, Allie and a few of the town locals entered the bar. The clientele referred to Joey as "Brooklyn", but, when Allie was not around, he was dubbed, "the Loon." The bar was a semi-circle with the locals congregated on the eastern side or as Victor referred to it, the Mexican side of the Rio Grande. The conversations were loud and boisterous, mostly fishing and hunting stories as well as scamming on one another. Being somewhat new to town Joey and Allie sat on the western side of the bar. Joey knew Victor and Manuel were Vacqueros in the rodeo and thus were horsemen. Victor was in conversation with Tim about the Yellowtails he had caught off the Coronado Islands a week ago and how they were thinking of heading down to Bahia de Los Angeles in a couple of weeks when Joey couldn't control himself anymore and belted out toward Victor;

    "I got that horse I was after."

    "You don't say. Where did you find it?"

    Joey gave Allie a poke in the ribs and then continued,

    "Up in Deerhorn Valley."

    "You get a good deal?" Victor inquired.

    "You guys gotta hear this," Joey informed the patrons.

    "You guys ever hear of a horse for sale for $50?"

    A mad rush ensued as the Mexican side of the bar shifted stools to the Gringo side for it was true among these rubes that indeed they had not heard of a fifty dollar horse and this was a story the town could share for what else was there to do in Jamul on a Friday night? So Joey held court.

    "As God is my judge this is what happened and Allie can back me up on this...right Allie?"

    "Yeah," Allie answered somewhat edgily for he did not like being hemmed in by all these locals, but, if Joey thought it okay, well then, okay.

    "So anyways," Joey continued. "Me and Allie here head up the valley and hit this dirt road which went on and on until we thought we were in Podunk Egypt, when we come to this gate which got two Rottweilers clawing at the chain link to get at us. Well I'm about to scram when this lady comes out of her trailer carrying a shotgun and asks us what the hell we want. I mean this broad makes Hulk Hogan look like a midget. So I tells her I'm here to see about a horse and she starts to smile and says why didn't you say so come on in. Well, I am not about to get out of the truck with Mutt and Jeff ready to go after my throat so I asked the lady about the dogs and she says don't worry they don't bite, to which I say, why not? They got teeth don't they!?"

    Manuel interrupted Joey here,

    "So what kind of horse was it?"

    To which Joey got a little excited and said,

    "What do you mean was...the horse is still alive."

    "I mean," said Manny, "What breed is it?"

    And Joey deferred to Allie,

    "Tell him."

    "It's big," said Allie.

    "Big ain't the word," Joey continued. " He's freaking huge. He got feet out to here!" And with that Joey spread his hands widely apart and the bar patrons surmised the Queen's Horsemen had purchased some kind of draft horse.

    "Let me ask you something," Victor interjected. " Weren't you a little worried about buying a horse for fifty dollars?"

    " I don't mind saying we were a little leery when we saw the horse with a mask on," Joey went on. " But I'm no fool so I had the lady take off the mask and a bunch of flies started swirling around, but the horse seemed to have all his teeth and crap so I let it go. So what do you think Victor...think I done okay?"

    Victor pondered for a moment then offered, "You check his feet?"

    " What for?"

    " To see if he's been shod."

    Joey looked at Allie as if to say this Victor is the dumbest s.o.b. I have ever met but he left his New York attitude in check and answered, "Why would anyone shoot a horse?"

    Victor nudged Manuel who had to turn away for fluid started dripping from his nose he was laughing so hard.

    "Not shot," corrected Victor. "Shod. Did the horse have shoes?"

    " What do I look like...Tom McAn? I got to buy shoes for a horse."

    And the scary part of Joey's retort was he was serious.

    Tim who was deeply impressed by the, for lack of a more charitable word, cunning of the Queen's Horsemen bought drinks all around." Hey Dee," he hailed the bartender, "You got to hear this. Get everyone a drink. So you guys got the horse for fifty bucks?"

    With this said Joey leaned back with a Cheshire cat grin, folded his arms across his chest and deferred to Allie,

    "You tell them."

    Dee placed the beer bottles before the men and momentarily Joey forgot about the horse and remembered his wife was out of town and the house was devoid of feminine entertainment, and offered Dee a night of frolic. Dee counter offered with a suggestion that if he didn't keep his remarks to himself she would geld him where he sat. And she would, so he did. Joey regained his manhood quickly and turned to Allie,

    " Go on tell them. Tell them what we paid for the horse."

    Allie thought it over for a moment for briefly he forgot what they did pay and then it all came back.

    "We didn't pay nothing for the horse."

    " That's right rubes. You heard it right here. We got the horse for nothing."

    Dee, who was an ex- barrel racer and lover of horses, could not hold back.

    "Wait a minute. No one gives away a horse unless...."

    " Unless what?" Joey asked nervously.

    Victor, Manuel and Tim were all shaking their heads back and forth at Dee and Dee got the hint to remain mute. Victor picked up the slack,

    " Unless you can be assured the animal you love is going to a good home."

    "There ain't any doubt about that; the old lady loves horses."

    " So why do you think the lady gave you a free fifty dollar horse?" Manuel asked.

    " She liked us," Joey answered proudly. "And that ain't all. There's more."
    Last edited by JackShea; 01-09-2007 at 10:40 PM. Reason: Too many characters

  2. #2
    The Druid
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    Wanna Buy A Horse-Part 2

    Just then old Red entered the bar and, as is habit, all the patrons turned their heads as though on a swivel and all seemed relieved it was old Red and not some pain in the *** tourist who wants to slide up next to you and be your long lost friend, so there was a chorus of, "Hey Reds!" Red sidled up to the bar with a "What's new?" and everyone started talking at once about how the new boys in town had just got a fifty-dollar horse for nothing. Old Red being born and bred on a ranch in the backcountry said, "You don't say."

    Joey assured him it was true and old Red offered his customary reply and responded, "bull****."

    Now Victor knew the conversation would end with Red saying "bull****" for, when Red said bull****, it usually was, so Victor, whom Red respected, stood by the Queen's Horsemen and assured Red it was indeed true and that Joey was about to enlighten the group with more information. And when Victor gave Red a little poke in Red's side, Red got redder and said, "What the hell you poking me for? " When Red glanced sideways at Victor, Tim, and Manuel he noticed they were shaking their heads back and forth and winking at him. When he was about to say, "what's the matter with you damn fools", Joey spoke.

    "Hey Red...you're a horseman. What's it cost to feed a horse?" he inquired.

    Well now the conversation was more to Red's liking; someone seeking advice on ranching, which Red was more then willing to offer whether asked or not, so Red replied;

    " Well, you figure your average horse is going to eat say a bale a week or more. Myself, I give my horses a flake in the morning and again at night. Now you got some folks who figure they know alls about horses..." and saying this he glared at Manuel... "and they feed their horses but once a day and drink beer the rest of the day but I say to those types, "You try eating once a day," but these know- it- alls don't listen. So you figure if you're going to buy hay from that crook across the road at the feed store, it's going to cost about $8.95 a bale for his prickly alfalfa. So figure you spend $13.45 a week if you feed it right. That figures out to be about...let's see...about $700 a year. That of course doesn't figure in the bran you should be giving the horse, so add about another $200 and that ought to be about right."

    " So," said Joey, " You figure $900 dollars. So I multiply that by two and $1800 ought to do it?"

    " Hold on there partner," Manuel interrupted. "Why are you multiplying by two?"

    Joey leaned back and said to Allie, "You tell them."

    Allie was in the process of gouging himself on the free tortilla chips and salsa and when he opened his mouth it appeared he was bleeding from the lip and he more or less sprayed the bar patrons with half munched chips as he said, "We got two free horses!"

    Joey pounded the bar in bemusement; " You heard it right here rubes...two horses for the price of none. And one is a thoroughbred!"

    " Yeah right," Dee said, which is pretty much all Dee ever said except for now. " And what does this thoroughbred look like?"

    "Pretty much like the other horse except it's gray," Joey educated the rubes.

    "Let me see if I got this right." Tim interjected. " Dee, get everyone a beer. So you got a second horse about, more or less 17 hands high..."

    "What's a hand?" Joey demanded to know.

    "It's how you measure the height of a horse," said Manuel.

    "Oh," Said Joey.

    Victor added, "So how big are the legs?"

    "Huge!" Joey proudly informed them and signified the size by holding up his two hands and spreading them apart and the bar patrons surmised the Queen's Horsemen must have gotten an elephant, but they remained mute for as, I previously stated, nothing much happens in Jamul and this was getting better.

    "Sounds like a bunch of bull**** to me," Red offered without being asked.

    Now Joey was a little nervous and started to wonder whether this was a good deal or not and with all sincerity turned to Victor and asked,

    "You think I got screwed?"

    " How can you get screwed when you didn't pay anything?"

    Joey breathed a sigh of relief and then Red interjected,

    "Unless of course you get vet problems. That could run you a pretty penny."

    And now Joey really gloated and once again Joey tried to defer to Allie to tell them but Allie told Joey to screw off I'm trying to eat here. Joey was forced to relate to the rubes the beauty of this whole deal.

    "Not only did the old lady give us two free horses, she promised to pay the vet bills for a year!"

    " Now hold on here," said Red. "Are you fixing to tell us this lady is going to pay vet bills for a year?"

    Joey nudged Allie, " Don't you love these guys when they say 'fixing' to do something? What a bunch of schmucks! That's what I'm telling you Red...a year of free medical."

    Once again the naysayer, Red, interjected; " Who is this woman and where does she live?"

    Joey thought for a moment then informed the gang; " Well, right now she lives on the end of Deerhorn Valley, but she is moving to Oregon the end of the month."

    "Say." said Tim. "Doesn't Lyin' Lizze live at the end of the valley?" A chorus of coughing ensued and Joey was not quite sure what the rube said but before he could ask Tim to repeat his observation Manuel said,

    " So something goes wrong with the horses and the old lady mails you a check from Oregon for the vet?"

    Joey putting on his best western accent replied, " You got it pardner!"

    Manuel turned to his compadre Victor and said, " How you like your quesadilla compadre?"

    To which Victor answered, "I think amigo, I would like mine with cheese today."

    Joey knew those two laughing Mexicans were making sport of him though he could not pinpoint exactly what the joke was and was about to rise from his stool to give them the what-for when the phone rang and Dee hollered, "Tim! Telephone!"

    " Who is it?" Tim asked.

    " How the hell do I know?" Dee responded. "I ain't your secretary. Sounds like your wife."

    Meekly Tim implored Dee, "Come on Dee, tell her I'm not here."

    To which Dee said, " I don't lie for nobody."

    And a voice on the other end of the phone must have heard Tim so Dee informed him,

    " She says she knows you're here cause she is sitting out in the parking lot on her cellular phone and you better get your *** on home!"

    As Tim was about to puff up his chest and inform his cronies no woman tells him what to do, Tim's wife laid rubber out of the parking lot spraying the bar's windows with gravel and Tim was forced to admit his 'Old Lady' was a little ticked.

    Tim tucked his tail and excused himself and exited post-haste, barbs and catcalls about his manhood as his escort. The Vacqueros by now were feeling the effects of their day of revelry and, as is the habit of Corona Cronies, bragging becomes the Aria of the day. So when Victor placed his arm around Manuel's shoulder and began his tale, Manual's mind searched for a response before the story was half over.

    Victor began. "You know old amigo, I bought a piece of land south of San Quetien that's so big I hop in my Chebby pickup at 6 in the morning and it takes me to 6 at night to reach the other side."

    To which Manuel answered with compassion by also placing his arm about Victor's shoulder. "I know what you mean old friend. I had a chebby pickup like that once too!"

    And again the Mexicans started howling in glee and the gringos figured they were just drunk. The clock kept ticking and now it was approaching time for the local gang to leave and let the night crowd take over. There was just one unanswered question that needed to be addressed and Dee took it upon herself to resolve the case of the $50 horse, (which of course were now horses).

    " Looky here." she said to Joey. " You said your wife was a horseperson. Has she seen these horses yet?"

    Now even Allie could not refrain from responding,

    "That's the beauty of the whole thing. You tell her Joey."

    Joey could not hold back his pride and ordered drinks all around and leaned in toward Dee and related,

    " There ain't a thing she don't know about horses. Hell, she run all over New York when she was a kid working out horses for them rich people. And this is the beauty of the situation Dee. The little woman is back in Queens right now. This is all going to be a surprise!"

    That being said, the Queen's Horsemen shook hands and the conversation ended after Dee added,

    "Oh my God."

    THE END

  3. #3
    X (or) Y=X and Y=-X Jean-Baptiste's Avatar
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    Now, Jack, thank you for giving me something so great to occupy my time while I'm avoiding writing some essays. I really enjoyed reading this story. I only intended to glance through the forums for a bit this evening, but your story caught my eye, and I'm glad it did. The speech patterns of your characters are excellent, really superb. I'd like to compare them to some famous author's characters' speech, but I can't think of anywhere I've seen anything quite like this dialogue.

    Quote Originally Posted by JackShea View Post
    Joey had a feeling that went something like this:

    "Allie."

    " Yeah?"

    "I got a feeling about this."

    "Yeah?"

    "Yeah."
    This made my day! And the rest was exactly of the same suit.

    Alright. That said, I have to admit that the outcome of the story went right over my head. I thought I had things sorted out, but I'm actually quite confused about what has really happened--and the ending made me sure that I had missed something. I'm sure I've missed something. I don't want to say your story doesn't make any sense; I'm sure I didn't read it right. I'll read it again. You've obviously put enough thought into crafting this piece that it's not the fault of the story at all that I didn't get it. Regardless of my lack of comprehension (I hope you won't take that in any way signifying that I think there's something wrong) I really enjoyed the reading. Your style is very refreshing. Your characters definitely came alive for me, and I felt like I was made to invest interest and simpathy (I don't mean pity) in them. I'll read it again!
    These fragments I have shored against my ruins

    James Joyce, the pirate. Why don't you write books people can read? -Nora Barnacle

    Insupportable claim: Reading my stories will make you a better person. Do your best to prove me right. http://www.online-literature.com/for...ad.php?t=20367

  4. #4
    quelling seasong's Avatar
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    I'm with Jean-Baptiste. I really loved the characters and the dialog and mannerisms were engaging but the ending flew right over my head. I read the ending twice trying to figure out what I missed, but maybe you could clarify a bit.
    The only other thing is when you say "but they remained mute for as, I previously stated, nothing much happens in Jamul and this was getting better" I think you should leave out the "as I previously stated." We've read it and it's just extra words.
    This is really original, I'm really impressed with it.
    Lost in silence.

    The general ramblings and mutterings of a starving artist:http://www.online-literature.com/for...p?userid=27522

  5. #5
    The Druid
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    Advice Taken

    Dear Jean-Baptiste and Seasong: When two people give you the same advice or insight it behoves one to take it. I shall, after my many other chores today, take a look at the ending. This was an easy and fun story to write for much of the conversations I just repeated from what I heard. Embellished some but for the most part true as are the characters...Thank you both...Jack

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