Whiskey For My Men

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PHOTO PROMPT Ā© G.L. MacMillan

Whiskey For My Men

“Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses,” a sleeve against his mouth Max swallowed the fire and reached for his guitar. The usual camp noises were muffled: a rustling of bedrolls and saddles, the horses chewing on the day’s events, a soft bellow from a calf. The bottle passed wordlessly from man to man, their shared grief masked by the slow burn of whiskey and the soulful guitar notes.

The kid had been as green as his mount, the cattle had turned in a collective panic and the roan had shied and lost her footing.

Someone would have to tell his Mama and there wasn’t enough whiskey in the world.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

For more flash fiction and Friday Fictioneers go here.

I borrowed the line “whiskey for my men, beer for my horses” from “Beer For My Horses” a song recorded by American country music artists Toby Keith and Willie Nelson. It was composed by Keith and Scotty Emerick.
For a better taste of cowboy life and the American West – “faster horses, younger women, older whiskey” here’s a song performed by Tom T. Hall.

48 Comments Add yours

  1. Melanie says:

    Maybe with enough whiskey the blows will hurt less. Hope his mama goes easy on him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is lovely. I really like the western genre and am a big fan of Elmore Leonard’s pulp magazine work – his racism and sexism diminishes as the years pass – a sort of social record in itself.
    I think you’ve captured the campfire scene and the occasion beautifully. Bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Patrick,
      That sounds like interesting reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed this story so much. As I read it, I was able to visualize the scene of the men by the camp fire passing around their whiskey to ease and to blur the pain of what had to be said later. Super Great story …. !!!! šŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Isadora,
      I think setting was paramount in this flash campfire story.
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The setting up of a scene is a skill I’m continuing to work on. In 100 words, it’s extremely difficult. It’s the reason why I’m enjoying the challenges from Rochelle. Reading stories such as yours give me insight on how to develop that. Thank you for that. šŸ˜Ž

        Liked by 1 person

  4. ansumani says:

    No amount of whiskey will be enough for these men. Beautifully crafted story !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No amount of beer will comfort the horse either. šŸ™‚

      Like

    2. Thanks. I think the mother will need some too.

      Like

  5. A great take on the prompt. These guys will need to drink a lot to face the grief of the mother who will have to hear this sad news.

    Like

    1. Thanks Alicia. Somehow I see Max doing the telling. He seems to understand what people need in the moment.

      Like

  6. Jill says:

    You got this one, Girl!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jill. I could use a little whiskey this week myself.

      Like

  7. I wonder how they choose who has to tell her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dawn,
      I’m sure it will be Max and maybe the kid’s Mom is a widow who needs help around her ranch. šŸ˜‰
      There’s more to Max’s story.
      Tracey

      Like

      1. Max is my American Hobo and he branched out into singing and cattle drives I guess. My WIP is stagnant at the moment but I shall follow Max’s lead.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Sandra says:

    Congratulations on evolving a western take on the prompt. And the description of the night-time noises was superb. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sandy. It’s difficult to fully convey setting in 100 words but it works here.
      Tracey

      Like

  9. Dear Tracey,

    Setting and emotion blended beautifully in your novel of a hundred words. Beautifully written.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Rochelle. I treasure your comments.
      Tracey

      Like

  10. Such a tragic tale well written. You set the tone so well, I really enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. mjlstories says:

    Your western stories have a quality of authenticity and insight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve got deep Western roots M.J. and my Dad was a gifted story teller.
      Thank you,
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

  12. For some men (people), there isn’t enough whiskey in the world… Good one!

    Like

  13. What a wonderful story with such a tragic ending. You obviously have taken after your dad in story telling. šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Dale says:

    Great story… and one that must’ve been repeated over and over in the ole west…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. micklively says:

    Trampled to death can’t be a good way to go.
    Good piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. rgayer55 says:

    This reminds me of an old, old folk song my mother used to sing about a young cowboy trampled in a stampede. I feel for the one who has to tell his Mama. Pass the bottle.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Cool… great take on the challenge!!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. ceayr says:

    Excellent tale, well crafted.
    I enjoyed this very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. ceayr says:

    PS Elmore Leonard is a marvellous writer.
    Actually, was, he is dead now.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Very sad. Feels very true-to-life to the real West.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Perry. I’m channeling my father to achieve the authenticity.
      Tracey

      Like

  21. gahlearner says:

    Max swallowed the fire–that draws you right in and keeps you til the end. Great story, sad and vivid. I look forward to reading more about Max.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I think the setting was critical in this short fiction.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. wildbilbo says:

    Loved this. Silently passing the bottle, the shared grief… Great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you KT. I always appreciate your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Margaret says:

    Fantastic scene-setting, and wonderful characters. I could feel the grief.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Great old West story with the sadness of the loss of life on the trail, Tracey. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This actually one of my all time favorite stories. Thanks you

      Liked by 1 person

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