No Strings Attached

The whole crowd was bustling with excitement as the two Cowboys walked in. The death stare they gave each other said it all about their rivalry. Ashton and Brock, once the best of friends, now, never missed a single chance to blow each other’s head off. Shelley who had been the prime reason for their acrimonious enmity stood in one corner.

Shelly covered her eyes with her hands but occasionally kept looking furtively at the herdsmen. Both gave Shelley a pleading glance and then stared hard at each other. They look away and start a rhythmic walk in the opposite directions. The sound of their boots touching the ground often coming before their shoes touch the ground. Their hands softly holding onto the gun in their vest. Just one bullet in each of their guns.

The crowd was going wild. Even though all of them knew where this was going, the excitement, the tension could be felt. Their hands started to sweat.

Even though they had practiced for this very moment for years, there was a tense silence in their heads amidst the noisy crowd. Both knew, they just could not screw this up now. It had become too big already.

Tik…Tok…Tik..Tok.. The same sound meant different things for different people. It was the sound of the willow hitting the ground for the people sitting the closest and who were super interested. It was the sound of the clock for a few whimsical ones who had lost interest in the fight already.

And for Ashton and Brock, it was the sound of their heart thumping. Ashton stops. He turns and shoots. Brock hears the bullet and instantly turns and shoots too. The sounds of the two shots coming after a little bit of lag. (Light travels faster than sound?).

Ashton had wished Shelley a goodbye far too many times. He knew it that this time he wouldn’t have to. He hit. Brock missed.

“What the…?”, screams Brock. Ashton smiles slyly. He had just proved that he won’t be taking orders from Brock anymore. Brock still standing still. Stunned to his core. The situation demands that he falls now.

He lowers his hand and slowly loosens himself to the ground. The crowd grows ecstatic. The unexpected had happened. The experts who claimed to have seen a lot of such fights had just been proven wrong.

Shelley starts to run towards Ashton. She appeared a little confused initially about which way to go. She trod as fast as she could and hugged Ashton tightly.

The crowd was on its feet. A loud applause! Ashton, Shelley, and Brock bow down to the crowd. Their hands rise. They look up. They see strings attached which are pulling them upwards now.

Ashton and Brock are still bowing down. Trying to take in the thunderous applause the crowd laid out for them.

Brock looks angrily at Ashton for changing the storyline impromptu. Ashton simply looks upwards. His hands rise. There are no strings attached now.