The bartender poured the stranger another drink. He shook his head as the cowboy slammed it down and motioned for another as he tossed a gold coin on the bar.
“You sure?” he asked as he picked up the coin and bit it.
“Yep, dead sure.” the cowboy replied.
After a few hours the bartender noticed the cowboy nodding off, yet fighting to stay awake.
“If you want you can have a room upstairs to get some shut eye,” the bartender said. “No charge. After all the money you’ve spent it’s the least I can do.”
“Sure, why not?” The cowboy tossed another coin on the bar and the bartender gave him a key.
“Third door on the right, he said. “’night, see you in the morning.”
Staggering the cowboy made it up the stairs and into his room. Collapsing on the bed he closed his eyes being sure to hang a leg off the edge to keep the room from spinning.
“When are you going to learn you can never get away Ben?” the familiar female voice asked.
“Drop dead,” the cowboy replied.
“I already am Ben,” was the reply. “But you know that all too well now, don’t you sugar?”
Ben turned his head and looked at the young woman sitting on the chest of drawers. Looked as pretty as always; as pretty as the day she was hung. “It wasn’t my fault,” he began.
“Saying it doesn’t make it so Ben,” she replied. “You could have stopped them… maybe even helped me escape. I mean, you told me that we’d always be together.”
“I tried to tell them… I tried to talk them out of it.”
The woman leapt across the room and landed on Ben’s chest. Grabbing him by the collar she looked him in the eyes and whispered. “You could have told them I wasn’t a witch.” She kissed him lightly, smiled, and slid off him to sit on the bed.
“But you are!”
“You could have lied,” she replied. “Lying never bothered you before.”
“Go to hell!” he snapped back.
“Not yet, Ben,” she replied with smile. “Not yet. See you soon sugar.”
Ben watched the witch as she slowly disappeared.
“Go to hell,” he mumbled as his eyes closed and sleep began to overtake him. “Go to hell…”
The next morning they found the room empty. The cowboy was gone. His horse was gone. So were the gold coins. No one had heard or saw him leave.
Coming later this week.