High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin’)

Six yards away, his hand poised by his holster, the sheriff tipped his hat ever so slightly downwards.

“Yer late.”

The bandit snarled, arms crossed across his chest. “Eng’neer stopped somewhere Midwest for some coal.”

“I’m sure.”

The bandit spat at the cactus beside him. “Yer a dead man walkin’, you know. Dead man walkin’.”

“I know.”

Looking up at the big canvass painted in bold red letters, the bandit scratched his head. “Y’all havin’ a party for me or what? Didn’t know y’all missed me so much.”

“We didn’t. It’s a weddin’.”

“A weddin’?” the bandit laughed. “Jus’ in time then. Who’s the broad?”

“Sally Cooper.”

“Oh, that chick was fine, piece o’ work, if you ask me. Damn straight, the day I get off, the day Sally Cooper marries.”

The sheriff glared at him behind his hat. “Yer not invited.”

“Says who?”

“Closed weddin’. Friends and fam’ly only.”

“Oh,” the bandit laughed again. “Friends, eh? Well, I was friends with Sally Cooper. Jesus, I remember this day, fall wasn’t it , Sally and I were a little drunk, she was a little frisky — ”


“Yer not invited,” the sheriff said blowing smoke off his gun. “Gues’ list’s all done now.” He turned and walked towards the chapel, hands in pocket, the barely breathing body of the bandit drying in the desert.


This is the 100 Songs Project, a 100-day writing challenge based on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs. Every day, I write a short poem, prose piece, or play based on, reacting to, rejecting, accepting, or doing something related to one of the songs in the top 100 list.

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