Cash lifted her pistol and let off a series of shots. The target she was aiming for gave a handful of dull thuds in response, lighting up to display her accuracy. Or rather, lack thereof. Cash lowered her gun, the tip of it smoking just slightly, her face impassive and drawn. She pulled off her eyepatch and threw it to the ground where it rested on the bright astroturf. The healing skin of her wound was tight as she took in a sharp breath.
"Problem, friend Cash?" Tate's lumbering steps were muffled in against the ground as he approached.
Cash felt her cheeks flush in embarrassment and she quickly stooped to pick up the eyepatch, snapping it back into place. Tate observed her with a gentle stare, his hands holding a potted plant he had rescued from the inside of Boss's estate.
"Boss isn't going to like you relocating all of her ficus, Buddy." She offered up a paltry smile.
"Plant says needs air, I take for walk."
Cash couldn't help but smile genuinely at that.
"Eye, hurt?" He pointed to the right side of her face.
"Eye, gone," she sighed.
Tate set down the plant and moved in front of her. "On my planet, scars on female..." He gestured without speaking for a moment. "Good. Mean strong."
Cash chuckled. "Yeah, it ain't the scar that I'm minding."
Tate turned and looked at the target and then back to her. "There are...fake eyes?" he offered.
"Yeaaaaaah." She loaded a new clip into her pistol and leveled it, sending off another disappointing series of shots. "But they won't help with this. Those just double the information my good eye is getting so that my brain thinks it's seeing outta two and looks pretty for everyone else. It wouldn't give me the depth I need to be well...my ol' gunslingin' self."
Tate considered this for a moment. "You like baby," he said simply.
Cash's brow twisted in confusion. "I don't know what you mean by that, buddy."
Tate's frill shook slightly as he searched for the right words. "Baby knows everything it need to learn but must start at...beginning."
Cash's expression softened. "I suppose I am baby."
"Baby get frustrated, baby cry, is alright." Tate nodded solemnly.
"You know an awful lot about babies for someone not interested in them." Cash punched him jovially on the shoulder.
"I have...sister's children." Tate offered with a motion of his hand. "Many many sister's children."
Cash's mouth twitched into a sympathetic smile. "You miss them?"
Tate let out a sound half sigh half keen. "Yes."
There was a mutual silence as the two friends enjoyed the quiet morning for a moment.
"You cannot shoot gun like old Cash." Tate finally broke the stillness with his low rumble. "You must shoot like new Cash."
"I don't know if new Cash shoots guns." Cash loaded another clip and raised her pistol.
"One eye doing work for two." Tate reminded "It take time to grow strong."
"Like baby." Cash smiled as she fired. A few bullets hit their mark but most went astray.
"Like baby," Tate nodded solemnly.
Cash motioned toward a set of lawn chairs. Tate lifted the potted plant and followed. Soon they were reclining in the afternoon sun, eyes closed.
YOU ARE READING
Gunslingers & GalaxiesScience Fiction
[Editors' Choice] Cash Guthrie can hide no longer. The notorious gunslinger and her band of alien misfits plan to rob the biggest Casino in town. It's not about the money for Cash though, it's about Boss and the love they once shared. ______________...