A defunct suburban holdout, condemned to demolition, which had thrived as our greatest embodiment of the American Dream, was continually terrorized by a roguish group of little cowboys.
Crimes of the little cowboys include, and are not limited to the following:
Approaches to exterminating the little cowboys include, and are not limited to the following:
shooting them from a great distance;
poisoning the water supply.
We used metal walls to blot out the sun. We raised them high. Hell, it took the little bastards out of the picture two blessed weeks. Any time a cowboy awoke (and no cowboy wakes up at a regular time), he rubbed his eyes, saw it was still dark, and closed his eyes again.
It was the girls who unfortunately saved them. It started with one. It took just one suburban girl to fall in love with a cowboy. And this then roused the other girls. This, their first exposure to love, which consequently disappeared all our girls to the realm of the cowboys.
Some have suggested the cowboys have burrowed small holes, not unlike legions of termites. I have used a telescope. And I have seen into the sides of these hills. I see no evidence of cave dwellings. It’s the sewers. I think they’re living right under us, smelling us, sniffing us, watching our every move.
We in fear everyday we are living. The inevitable Rule of the Cowboy.
I have dreams of their lassos, circling and circling in the sky, then coming down and squeezing around my neck. Then they drag me, kicking and gagging, into the hills and away from my beautiful front home with a garage, a putting green and a koi pond.
I imagine them to look like weevils in cowboy hats as the dig up from the sewers and claim us from the bottom up. They will kill the men. We, naturally, are the little cowboys’ biggest threat. They will kill their own fathers and the fathers of the girls they have stolen.
And my wife, what if she, unaware, continues to dote upon the little cowboy? Who am I to her then, if I survive? If I am wrong and they don’t beat by brains in with a stone? I will be nothing but a stranger. And I will poke about at the outer walls of what was once my own home.
This is what kept me up at night, not so much the manner of how the cowboys would kill me, but of how much they would come to enjoy my life, when they’ve come and taken it.
But, consider, why aren’t the cowboys reproducing already? At first I thought, well the little cowboys are still, as of yet, incapable of reproduction. They, as boys, disappeared from us ten years ago, that would make them… And this is where it falls apart. And besides, I have watched them (as I’ve as yet yet waited for my replacement). And they are fully capable of the act, at reckless frequency. No, the boys are surely men, but it’s something wrong. It’s when we poisoned their water or kept them in night. We made them go dry. The cowboys are incapable of reproduction.
In this respect, we have outfoxed the little cowboys. Even I, at thirty-eight years of youth, am still capable of reproduction. They will not drag their fathers away but keep them in their attics. They will not allow us to come out except at rare times to invigorate the population.
For now, they are finishing up stealing the last of our newborns. We have made attempts at hiding them away, but for the cowboys’ all-seeing eye…. I suspect that it’s tor survival that they sneak into our bedrooms and replace our children with socks.
I cannot fault them, the tiny cowboys, for their doings are akin to my own, how I won my wife, how I slipped into her home unnoticed and tried on her father’s glasses.
Carson Everson is thrilled to be a part of Deep Overstock’s Westerns Journal. He likes to consider himself the last great DIY bookseller in the last frontier of the west. He runs a small honor-system bookstore on the edge of his property. The bookstore resembles a birdhouse on a pole. Take a book, leave a quarter. That’s all I ask.