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A Visit by Little Elf
Johnny Dread
Mountain Goats

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It was quiet in The Tombstone for a Saturday. Doc knew that wouldn’t last - the hands would be in from the oil fields before sundown, and then the place would be hopping. Doc looked at the kid sitting at the end of the bar. A local kid named Washington. Mark Washington. Doc noticed his new hat, and his anxious look. Mark fidgeted noticeably with his beer, casting his eyes at the door from time to time. Doc grabbed two shot glasses from the bar and a cheap bottle of whiskey - his personal favorite - and headed over to the kid.

“Why the long face?” asked Doc, pouring two shots and putting one of them in front of Mark. Mark, still cupping his beer, was about to respond when the tavern doors swung wide. In walked a little lady - easy on the eyes, but all business. A pistol and jet black submachine gun were hanging from her hips. She walked in like she owned the place, straight up to where Mark sat. She sat down next to Mark, grabbed the shot and threw it back. Grimacing, she shoved the glass back towards Doc.

“That’s awful,” she said. “Let’s have another, Doc.”

“Little Elf,” Doc smiled. “Where ya been, little lady?” He poured her another shot.

“Around” replied Elvina. She raised her glass to Doc, and they both downed their shots. Elvina slammed her glass back on the table while she tried to not to cough, motioning for another. Doc just chuckled. All business, good looking, but a ridiculous drinker.

“You here to see this cowboy?” Asked Doc, nodding at Mark. Elvina nodded, still regaining her composure, while Doc poured them both another. “Is he part of your posse now? What’s your name? The Billy Goats?”

“The Mountain Goats!” Elvina wheezed, after taking her third shot. “It’s the goddamn Mountain Goats, Doc.”

“Seems pretty close to me,” mused Doc. He’d never heard of them before he met Elvina, who he liked to call Little Elf. “Why do you call yourselves the Mountain Goats?”

“Because we go wherever we want! We kick ass and take names!” replied Elvina, pushing her shot glass back over to Doc, who filled it obligingly.

“I reckon,” replied Doc. “But it seems like you could have picked a meaner critter for your name. Like the Mountain Lions. Or the Cougars.” He winked at Elvina, who just stared back at him blankly, and then threw back her fourth shot. Someone hollered at Doc from the other end of the bar. “Pardon me folks. You two catch up.” Doc left the bottle. Elvina turned to Mark.

“Where's the Lorry, kid?” she asked, as she poured another shot. She wasn’t much older than Mark, but Elvina acted like a field commander by comparison. Mark gulped audibly. “Did you stop by Evan Hardware yet?”

“Yeah,” replied Mark. “But Elvina, there’s a problem. They got a Lorry on the back lot, but when I said I wanted to buy it, they told me the biggest engine they had to put in it was a 3.2!”

“What?” snapped Elvina. “That doesn’t even make any goddamn sense. You mean they’re selling goddamn Lorries without engines?” Mark nodded his head vigorously, feeling some relief that Elvina was surprised by this too. Elvina took another shot. When her fit of coughing finally subsided, she stood up. “Figure it out, kid,” she muttered. “I’ve gotta get to Sarsfield.”

She waved at Doc and then turned for the door.

“Billy Goats!” Doc hollered. Elvina grinned, flipped off Doc, and walked back out into the scorching afternoon sun. Mark went back to contemplating the bubbles in his beer.
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Posted Mar 19, 2022, 6:18 pm
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