Saddle Up Saloon

“Ya mean ya ain’t got nuthin’ lined up fer this week? Dang, Kid! We best skedaddle an’ git ta the Saloon ASAP.”

“Jeez, Pal, ya don’t need ta call me a sap, I feel bad enough as it is. Cain’t believe I let Shorty down. Dropped the ball. Screwed up.”

“Enough idioms!”

“Pal! Stop callin’ me names already! I ain’t a idiot. Jist…”

“Jist drop it Kid. Ya say ya ain’t been by the saloon much lately. Did ya leave it locked up?”

“Heck no, it’s open 24/7 ‘member? I left Ornery Ernie ta serve folks ‘at might come by. Last I saw ‘im he was singin’ along ta Willie’s Whiskey River.”

“Oh, fer karaoke? How’d he do with the lyrics?”

“R’fused ta change one line, said tamperin’ with a Willie Nelson song’d be a crim’nal act.”

“Reckon so. Whoa. Stop. They’s a few hosses tied up out front Kid.”

“Yep. There’s ol’ Burt, so Frankie must be in there. Ernie’s mule’s out back with Pepe LeGume’s burro a Canadian affairs.”

“Hmff, LeGume. They’s some hosses here I don’t rec’nize. Thet’s a fine bay on the end.”

“That’s Blackjack. You can look over my horse but speak soft, let him know you’re there. He can’t see.”

“Howdy Ma’am. Reckon we’ll jist follow ya back inside, see whut’s goin’ on. I’m Pal, this here’s Kid.”

“Danni. Danni Gordon.”

“Name sounds f’miliar. S’pose ya’ve met these other characters.”

“I like her horse!”

“Bet’cha do, Frankie. Whyn’tcha try tradin’ her bay fer Burt? Then ya could be the blind leadin’ the blind.”

“Funny, Pal, but you’d only be half right, as I at least have my left eye.”

“I see. Frankie, have ya been keepin’ an eye on Ernie? He seems a little drunk there behind the bar.”

“Oh, he’s alright, he’s only half drunk. Danni here’s got him into Whiskey Ditches, and they’re half water. Water’s good for ya.”

“Uh-huh. Who’s thet settin’ aside a Danni?”

“Hard to keep an eye on that one. Little squirrely; seems a might short on postage.”

“Jist wunnerin’ if she should be heading home, ya know? Oh, here she comes. Ma’am.”

“Charmed, I’m sure. Matilda Windsor. You may call me Matty.”

“Oh, yep. You was here fer karaoke. Done yersef real proud. Kinda surprised ta see ya still here. Ain’t some’un s’pectin’ ya ta be comin’ home?”

“That ‘some’un’ is likely chasing me around Twitter, poor thing. I shall get where I’m going in due time. Karaoke was so entertaining, I thought I’d see what you publicans have planned next.”

“Kid, ya wanna tell the nice lady what ya have planned fer the ev’nin’s ennertainment?”

“Well, I, uh…”

“Sharts? Mademoiselle Gordon, I too am an expert on sharts, but do not know why you eenseest dey be old.”

“Pepe LeGume, you numb-nut has-bean, she’s a archaeologist. Shards. Pieces a pottery an’ artey-facts.”

“Hope yew ain’t lookin’ fer skel’tons aroun’ the Ranch, there Missy. Ain’t nobody got nuthin’ ta hide ‘roun here.”

“Aw, Jeez. Kid, fix Ernie anuther Whiskey Ditch, hold the whiskey. Take over b’hind the bar.”

“I like her horse!”

“Frankie, shush. No more highballs for you!”

“Pal, would you ever stop yammering about my eyeball? You don’t know who these two are, do you?”

“Who? Danni and Matty?”

Who? Danni and Matty? Yes, Danni and Matty! They ain’t round the Ranch regular yahoo characters like you and Kid.”

“Or you and Ernie and Pepe?”

“Touché, touchy grouch. No. They are real characters.”

“Ya mean they ain’t fictional like us?”

“They’re fictional characters. But they each have their own novel!”

“Well, what’re they doin’ here?”

“Same as any of us. Taking a break, getting away from their writers. Lookin’ ta be entertained.”

“Alright, folks, might’s well tell ya. Kid got side-tracked an’ ain’t got no ennertainment lined up.”

“That’s it! Matilda Windsor is coming home.”

“No, wait Meez Matty, Mademoiselle Weensor. Dees steenks, eeet ees true—”

“Funny you should say thet, Pepe.”

“Pal. Pleaze. What da world needs now ees common scents. Eet steenks, dat Keed messed up, but just serve a prompt. I am trying to get a sense of dees saloon. Dere have been teengs for da ear, and dere have been attempts to reach out to doze weed good taste— why not serve up someteeng olfactory?”

“Ah, jeez, is this one a them puns, er is it yer secon’ languidge sitcha-ashun?

“Ees a call for common scents, Pal. You serve savory libations for the palate, no? Serve up a prompt dat appeals to da nose.”

It’s not a bad idea, Cowpoke. Heck, there’s lots of material wafting off of Ernie alone. I could tell you what a dig smells like. Or Ike’s roses. Or his grandmother’s spaghetti.

“Kid? What d’ya think?”

“I think next week folks should plan on a poetry slim—”

“Don’tcha mean slam?”

Slim, ‘cause it should be short. I’ll git more on that later. But fer t’night, tell ‘bout a smell in 9, 59, or 99 words. Could be a good smell, could be a bad smell, but jist describe it or what it evokes fer you. BOTS, fiction, poetry, whatever.”

“Oui! Dees makes scents! Share your responses in the comment section.”


Warm smells— morning sun, stirred by bacon and coffee. (9 words by A. Kidd)


These characters are here at the saloon without the knowledge or permission of their writers. Danni Gordon, the main character of a work in progress by Charli Mills, may be familiar to you from 99 word scenes presented in the Carrot Ranch challenges. Matilda ‘Matty’ Windsor has also shown up for 99 word scenes, and is the title character in Anne Goodwin’s upcoming novel, Matilda Windsor is Coming Home. A host of characters from that novel showed up at the Saloon a few weeks ago to unwind and vent about their writer.


If asked, Pal & Kid will deny that they spill from the pen of D. Avery. They claim to be free ranging characters who live and work at Carrot Ranch and now serve up something fresh every Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up for a wild ride as a saloon guest, contact D. Avery at .


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