For my best friend Lizard Pie on her birthday. (Lloyd is Texas. Wes is Oklahoma.)

Based on this hilarity: en (dot) wikipedia (dot) org/wiki/Red_River_Bridge_War


It wasn't as though they asked for this. Not exactly, anyway. Every state knew that they didn't really like each other, but this was kind of ridiculous. Semantics had escalated into a bridge war. Also known as a war over a bridge.

It was July 23rd, 1931, and Governor Murray was at his right, brandishing a revolver and going on about "them Texans on his bridge". It wasn't really his bridge, but he could pretend it was, and reinforce the psychosis with National Guardsmen. Declaring martial law wasn't the smartest move, thought Wes, but it would piss his brother off, which he was more than willing to do. He took a final drag from his cigarette and flicked the stub into the dirt.

A group of Texans stood at the opposite end of the bridge, just waiting for them to show up. The bridge itself wasn't particularly grandiose, just a decently sized metal beast. The barricades on each side kept any cars and people from crossing and the deserted surface looked odd, considering it was a bridge and all.

Soon, a group from the Texas side began walking across the bridge. Not to be shown up, a group of Oklahoma's Guardsmen began crossing the bridge as well. Wes went with them, if only see his infuriated sibling.

As he expected, Lloyd accompanied the sheriffs and police officers across the bridge. He leaned over the side and spit, and Wes wondered exactly when his brother took up chewing tobacco.

The two groups approached each other with both ease and caution. No one spoke for a moment, then one of the Guardsmen piped up. "...Does anyone know why we're actually here?"

"Beats me."

"No idea."

"I thought y'all knew?"

Wes sighed. Even the citizens thought this was stupid. He noticed Lloyd glaring at him from beneath a mop of messy brunette hair. He nodded. "Lloyd."

"Wes," his brother replied, spitting on the concrete and leaving a nasty, brown colored stain.

"You're gonna ruin the bridge," Wes commented in irritation.

"With a li'l tobacco juice?" Lloyd grinned, and spat again. Wes sighed.

They noted that men from both sides were conversing comfortably with one another. No one knew what this whole thing was about anyway, so fighting didn't matter at the moment.

"Whaddaya say we leave this little matter up to a contest?" Lloyd said loudly, which caught the attention of the men nearby.

"Boring," Wes replied immediately.

Lloyd raised an eyebrow. "You chicken?"

Wes bristled. "I ain't Georgia."

One of the Guardsmen sidled up to Lloyd. "Contest? What kind?"

Wes paused. "How about a shootin' contest? We all got guns here."

"There's an idea!" Lloyd announced, pulling out his revolver. "First one to shoot a fish."

"That's dumb," Wes replied. "You can't see the fish from up here."

The group dissolved into a flurry of talk about the advantages and disadvantages of gun fishing. Eventually, the men decided to show off their talent with the weapons by leaving their marks, or lack of, as it were, on the metal bridge. The bullets made little more than dents, but the sound of gunshots made the people back on land think that perhaps something really was going on.

As it happened, one of the men was the brother of another, and he, being a Mississippi resident who was just visiting, shot his revolver in the water and accidentally hit a fish. And that was the end of that.

By late afternoon, both sides retreated back to their respective states with nothing solved, wondering how Mississippi managed to win the contest.