I’m Your Garlic
consumptive, Doc Faraday never missed.
Like the time he took out two of the Lorne gang while coughing up blood.
once called a Southern gentleman who would have been more at home in the pre-Civil
War South than in the hardscrabble mining towns out West.
birth, he missed what he was trained to be: a plantation owner who was a crack
shot, knew the classics, could hold his liquor, and if need be, live in the
brothers, Doc was too young to shoulder a rifle against the Union Army. But
he witnessed the war and its effects up
close. His childhood was forever warped
from watching the Union Army ransack his father’s plantation; finding his
mother who overdosed on laudanum out of fears her slaves would kill her the
closer Sherman got; and his father, who knew his way of life was forever gone,
and shot himself in the head with a dueling pistol.
There was nothing for Doc in the ruined
South. His uncle, who had led a guerilla
army against the Union Army, took the boy in hand and finished his education.
a doctor. He did go to medical school
but couldn’t finish because of the sickness; the consumption.
Doc had my back. Once when a lynch mob was going to drag
prisoner from my jail in Cripple Creek, Colorado, Doc held them at bay with his
I had Doc’s
back. When that rustler who accused Doc
of cheating at cards lunged at him with a knife, I shot the fucker dead, and
Doc and I barely got out of town in time.
the biggest way I had Doc’s back.
up blood ever again.
realized that too late.
bring guns into my jurisdiction of Calle, Arizona.
and they paid for it with their lives.
I think toward the end, as Doc and I slurped
their blood they wondered how we were able to turn into bats and then wolves.
Capshaw is a writer based in Florida. His novel, The
Stage Mother's Club, came out in June from Dark Edge Press.