“Well ya must have read the Bible to ask a question like that one” said the mustachioed Gestapo of the west, grabbing shriveled stems from his tinderbox and sprinkling them on the waning fire. His bandito questioner sat flaccid, holding his own legs in a figure eight for support.
“Ya I’ve read it. Never understood much though. But that one I like, that sounds like the type of..”
“The meek shall inherit the earth, yea?”
“Ya, that’s us right?”
“Ain’t nothin meek about the sons of bitches you killed at Laramie, is there?”
The student paused apprehensively as the last spindling fingers of sunlight absconded behind the desert hills.
“No I spose not. But I wouldn’t have had to do it if I weren’t the type of folk that book’s talkin about, would I?”
“Let me tell you something about this meek-man’s earth we’ve been talkin about. There was a kid back in Waco that used to come by my bar every other night or so. He’d be caked all over in mud and sweat, miserable even to the godforsaken drunk fuckups that called themselves regulars. Some people thought he was an orphan—the kid was barely old enough to jerk off much less live out on his own. But everytime anybody got close to him he smiled nice enough, shook hands, and didn’t say a word. But then again, nobody ever really seemed to ask.”
“One day he stumbled into the bar with a pitchfork dug into his ankle, dragging the thing with a bloody hand and limping along so that his tendons wouldn’t separate from the rest of his leg. He was hollerin up a storm, shoutin about some bastards outside of town hunting witches. It was the first time any of us ever heard the kid talk”
“He said ‘I been huntin an’ doin God’s good work and these fuckin Mexican bastards took me for a ghost’”
“He went on about how they asked him about his home in Waco and what he was doing out so late. He told him he ain’t got a home, told him this was where he slept. Said he was a beggar and a hunter and ain’t nobody of any consequence to the Mexican militia or whoever the hell they were”
“Of course the Mexicans barely spoke any English, they just were shoutin and hopin he might say something to set them off. They didn’t need a reason, they just needed some target practice”
“Poor bastard had barely gotten a word out of his mouth before the Mexicans started stompin him, kicking him all over the plains. Eventually one of em grabbed a pitchfork and jabbed it into his Achilles. Then they just walked away. Left the bastard to die out there in the desert. Kid must’ve had some strength to force himself all the way back into town. There wasn’t even much blood left pourin out by the time he got to the bar. Kid could barely walk at that point he’d lost so much of it.”
“It just so happened that night our biggest drunk had entered the bar in a fit. He’d lost some money on poker and just came from hittin his wife all over the place bout some argument over the kids or something. I never really got a true story out of the man, he was all piss and vinegar. On nights like these he wasn’t in no mood to be bothered though. Wouldn’t let nobody touch the jukebox and just drained whiskey after whiskey, cursin his family. Made the whole scene rotten, but he always paid and I sure as hell wasn’t gonna kick the guy out and put him back on his wife”
“He didn’t take so kindly to the kid’s hollerin though. Said it was too loud. He was on his fifth or sixth whiskey at that point, just poundin em back like they was water.”
“You got any guesses as to what he did?”
Twilight’s silvery fingernails scratched the genocidal earth. The boy sat quietly.
“He pulled out a revolver and shot the kid in between the eyes. Splattered his skull all across the fireplace and threw the rest of him out back for the coyotes”
“Now you tell me, anything meek about that?”