Once Upon a Time in Montana (Part VII)

“Jesus Christ,” I said to Mr. Ree, “my head’s killing me! How long have I been out?”

“Two days,” he replied.

“Two fuckin days?!”

“Yeah, you were spazing out because you were suffering from narcotic withdrawals so Rockwell injected you with something and you’ve been knocked out ever since.”

“But but…it feels like just a moment ago we were outside looking for gold!”

“Rockwell caught us,” Mr. Ree explained, “so he took us by gunpoint and has kept us locked in his basement ever since.”

I sat up straight on the dusty floor and looked around. Something was off. Nothing in the basement looked like it belonged in the 19th Century. In fact, it looked like a laboratory from well beyond mine and Mr. Ree’s time.

“What the hell is going on here?” I asked, “where’s Oppenheimer?”

“Rockwell took him,” Mr. Ree shrugged, “probably to torture him.”

“What the hell?”

“Yeah man, Rockwell’s a strange dude. You should get a look at him when he comes back down. Try not to laugh though.”

“I doubt that I will find anything funny about this situation.”

“Nah, this is a little different.”

Seconds later we heard the door unlocking from the top of the stairs. The two of us fell silent as we waited for what came next. The door crept open then all we could hear was the sound of footsteps thumping down the stairs. Finally, in true dramatic form, Rockwell made his way into the basement and stood before us.

“Ohhh, I see what you mean,” I said to Mr. Ree.

Rockwell stood less than five feet tall with a buckle on his top hat and sporting a long red beard. “Ye boys coming after me gold are ye?” said Rockwell in his thick Irish draw.

“Where’s J. Robert Oppenheimer?” I asked while trying to hold back laughter.

“Ahh the foolish scientist man, eh? I’m just keepin’ him detained for questionin’. Strange how a 20th century scientist became a sheriff in 19th century Montana wouldn’t you say?”

“Look dude, I’m not here to argue with you,” I said, “seeing that you know that we’re from the future, all we need is some of your gold to get back to our time and then we’ll get out of your hair.”

“Aye, five tons of gold that is, which just so happens to be all the gold here.”

“Well shit, that’s pretty unfortunate,” I replied, “welp Mr. Ree, I guess we’re gonna die in the old west after all. So Rockwell, do you want to let us go or do you want to kill us now? I don’t give a shit which.”

“Wait wait wait,” a perplexed Rockwell stuttered, “you won’t let me question you?”

“Nope,” I said, “Keep the gold. I’m ready to die.”

“Alright alright,” Rockwell replied, “I’ll let you have the gold. BUT, I want access to this time portal device developed by Oppenheimer.”


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