Ripe Old Age
An Alias Smith and Jones fanfic
WARNING: This story is made up completely of nonsensical…eh, nonsense and should be considered as such. There is no plot to this story; if it may even be called a story. It is the product of the author's boredom.
Date/Time: July 16th, 1873 12:00 PM
Location: In an old abandoned barn 5 miles outside of town.
A large barn was filled with several rows of chairs. Their occupants had arrived one-by-one and quietly slipped into their assigned seating. All of the occupants being ladies, of course.
Many of them had notepads in their laps and pencils at the ready. All of them wished they had a camera; but those particular items had been specifically banned from this meeting.
The invitations had arrived in the dark of night. Those who received an invitation had stumbled sleepily - bunny slippers and all - out of their rooms to see a sealed white envelope that had been slipped under their front door. There was no return address, merely the recipient's name written in fancy lettering. Inside the envelope was an invitation to a meeting. The paper was adorned with small roses and gold bordering.
Let's look in on one of those recipients the morning one of the letters arrived, shall we?
Date/Time: January 12th, 2013 6:30 AM
A woman stumbled out of one of the bedrooms in the large house. She stopped rubbing her eyes when she spotted an envelope lying at the front door. Curious, she quickly opened it after inspecting the outside of it. Then she saw the two signatures at the bottom of the page.
"What?" Another woman clomped out of the kitchen, yawning. "What is it?"
"Well what do you think of that?"
"Imagine! Both of us getting one!"
"One of WHAT?!"
"Huh? Haven't you been listening? Here. Read it. I've gotta go change. Oh what am I gonna wear!" Her voice faded as she hurried into her bedroom.
The other woman picked up the paper and her eyes rested on the two signatures at the bottom of the page. THUD!
Back to 1873...
That was what happened to a majority of the recipients. After coming to from their fainting spell, they hurriedly dressed and made their way to the appointed spot at the appointed time at midnight. The spot, very strangely, turned out to be a fairy circle that had appeared in their backyards overnight.
The attendee was then hurled into an unending void, feeling as though she were falling. When she finally opened her eyes she discovered that she had been transported back in time. (I'll bet you totally saw that one coming.)
Now, all who were invited had arrived. Hushed, excited tones were quieted when a man stepped onto the makeshift platform and behind the podium made of wooden crates stacked on top of one another.
He tugged at his collar. One could almost see the beads of sweat pop out on his brow. "Uh, howdy folks. I mean, ladies…"
"I reckon ya'll know why you're here." More silence. Someone coughed.
"Well, here's the two men you really wanna see. So without no more ado, I give you Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry!" He stepped back as the two ex-outlaws stepped onto the 'stage'. The crowd went wild! A cheer arose along with several whistles.
"What kind of introduction was that, Kyle?" Heyes hissed at the outlaw before turning to the audience. Heyes donned a charming smile and the yells grew in volume. He looked smugly over at Kid, still smiling.
Kid rolled his eyes and took one step forward. He smiled at the crowd and winked. The roar became louder, if that was possible. He gave Heyes a triumphant smile and then tipped his hat to the ladies in the audience. Kid drew his gun in his famous quick-draw that wasn't even in the dictionary of quick-draws. He was fast, boy! I mean real fast! Faster than fast! Well, you get the point. He twirled it several times before returning it to his holster.
Now it was Heyes' turn to roll his eyes. The din had not yet subsided when he muttered under his breath, "Show-off."
Heyes held up his hands asking for quiet. Eventually, the cheers and dreamy sighs had quieted enough for him to speak. "Good evening, ladies," he smiled. Another roaring cheer went up.
"Please, ladies. I know you're excited but I'd like to remind you why we are all here." A reasonable quiet. "Thank you. Now we don't have very much time so I'll brief you again and then we'll move on to the meeting. Mr. Curry and I appreciate all of your work as fan fiction writers and we appreciate you even remembering us at all."
"How could we forget?!" Someone in the crowd shouted.
Heyes chuckled. "Yes, well…we decided that we would like to give you the opportunity to meet us and to hear a lecture that we put together." A few claps from the audience. "And afterwards, well, naturally, we'll be delighted to give out autographs." Another loud cheer.
When it quieted down once again, Heyes spoke. "Now if don't mind letting me go for a few moments, I'll let Kid take the stage." There were quite a few protests when he mentioned having to let him go, but the attendees quickly quieted when Kid stepped to the podium. You could hear several wishful sighs from some of the ladies.
"Howdy, ladies. Like my partner said, we're gonna give a lecture first. Now I'm sure you all know this but me and Heyes have put together a chart showing a person's life expectancy when employed in different occupations. We only put together a sort of top ten list so's we don't take up too much time just lecturin'." Kid motioned off-stage and Kyle returned carrying an easel with a chart on it. "Thank you, Kyle." Kyle handed him a pointer and, after a small wave to the audience and a smile, he left the stage.
The first diagram had a list of different jobs. Kid pointed at the one at the top of the list. "Now here we at the bottom of the list we have the job where surveys show the employee living the longest. That job is a dishwasher. The most common injury bein' cut by a knife when washing it and no casualties that we know of.
"The second one is the occupation as a cook. The number one cause of accidents are accidental fires in the kitchen or accidentally cuttin' a finger or two off. The only casualty report we got was when a fella didn't like so much salt on his steak so he shot the cook.
"Now here, third on the list, there's a blacksmith. The number one cause of injury was an amateur gettin' burnt and/or gettin' kicked by an ornery horse. There were no reported casualties related to this job.
"Fourth, we've got-" He looked over at Heyes who was sitting in a chair behind him, smiling at the ladies and throwing an occasional wave. "Heyes!"
Heyes jumped and then raised his eyebrows in question at Kid. "Hm?"
"You wanna take over for a little while?"
"Hm, what? Oh! Yeah." Heyes stood and took the pointer from Kid.
Heyes bowed to the audience and gave another radiant smile. (I think I'm running out of words to describe that smile!) "To pick up where my partner left off, the fourth occupation was a storekeeper. He has a relatively safe job. The top cause of accidents was tripping over merchandise lying on the floor of the backroom and there were two deaths reported when two storekeepers decided to have a duel in the store and shot each other.
"Fifth, we have the well-known banker's job. Seems to be a very popular one and it's usually their tellers who get shot up or somethin'; so the banker hides in his office and is pretty much set up for the day. Number one cause of injuries: none. Yep, none. 'Cept maybe sticking himself with a quill pen. We got one death in our reports and that was when the banker had a heart attack when he found out that his tellers had been printing counterfeit money in the basement of the bank and putting it in place of the real stuff that was stored in the vault.
"Sixth on the list is the ever present cowboy. Number one cause of accidents: Breaking in new mounts. Death reports…well, there quite a few reasons but-" Heyes turned to Kid. "You remember the number one reason? It's not wrote down on here. Kid. KID!"
"Wha-? Oh no, no I don't remember."
"I apologize, ladies, but we got in so many reports we can't recall the number one reason. Now, seventh, we have the job of a prison guard. Prison guard accidents are caused by trying to stop rioting prisoners or escaping prisoners. Most deaths were when a guard was killed by an escape attempt.
"Next we have the lawman. He's got a pretty hazardous occupation; chasin' bandits, desperadoes, cattle rustlers and the like. Number one accident…Kid, did you write this down?"
"What? Lemme see…No…looks like your writin' to me."
"Well I didn't write that! Just a minute, ladies." Heyes took a pencil from his pocket and scribbled the previous note. If one had been close enough to read it, and if one had been able to actually read the sloppy handwriting, you would have seen, 'shooting himself in the foot'.
Heyes wrote in a new note beneath it. "Now there we go. The number one cause of accidents: getting shot while apprehending a criminal. Number one cause of death: Same.
"Then we have the bounty hunter. He's got about the same life expectancy as the lawman except the bounty hunter's usually meaner and got a nasty temper. But he has the same number one cause of accidents and death.
"And last but certainly not least, there's the outlaw. His life expectancy being 22 years old. Now that's terribly young! Aren't you glad we decided to go straight?" An applause and some cheers. Heyes smiled. "Number one causes of accidents and deaths are the same as the bounty hunter's and lawman's except it's sort of turned around. This time it's the outlaw that's being shot at."
Kid stood quickly and grabbed the pointer from Heyes. "Well that concludes the lecture now let's get to the fun part. I'll go first and, Heyes, you can-"
Kid was interrupted by the sound of approaching hoof beats. He glanced quickly at Heyes. "Sounds like a lot."
"Yeah, posse-size, don't you think?"
Heyes turned to the audience, an apologetic look on his face. "I'm sorry, ladies, but we'll have to finish up where we left off some other time. Now if you'll all go single file out the back way and back to the spot in the woods where you arrived, we shall bid you farewell."
The posse reined their horses up outside of the old Johnson barn. "Alright, boys, walk easy. They might still be around." The sheriff warned his men.
"Good thing that passerby told us someone was here and that they heard some say Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry."
The sheriff and his deputies quickly and quietly surrounded the barn. At the sheriff's signal they bust the doors open, their guns at the ready.
"Hey! There's no one here!"
"Somebody's been here alright though. Looks like maybe the whole Devil's Hole gang was here. Look at these chairs. And those crates stacked up there."
One of the deputies stepped up to inspect the chart that had been left behind. "What's this?"
"Looks like some kind of chart."
"I can't read the handwritin', can you?"
"Could be come plans for another job the Gang's planning. Better take it with us."
"Let's go, boys. We ain't gonna catch 'em tonight."
NOTE: To our knowledge, fairy circles do not transport you back in time. No tests have been made as of yet, so if you are willing to go out in the woods or your yard, find a fairy circle, and test this theory, we would appreciate your feedback on your final tests.
There is no dictionary for quick-draws.
The Top Ten list of Jobs was created from the imagination of the author-
Kid: "Hey! We resent that!"
Heyes: "Yeah we worked hard on that thing!"
[The Top Ten list of Jobs was created from the imagination of the author] -strikethrough
The Top Ten list of Jobs was created through the research and determination of Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry.
Heyes: "That's more like it. Thank you."
Kid: "Heyes, why do they always put my name after yours? I think I oughta have mine first once in awhile."
Heyes: "Kid, drop it. Besides, it has nice ring to it when my name comes first. I mean 'Kid Curry and Hannibal Heyes'…it just doesn't grab ya like 'Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry' does."
(The boys are still bickering so we'll close now.)