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Steve Patterson

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The Badlands
By Steve Patterson
Friday, May 27, 2005

Rated "G" by the Author.

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just a thought to reality


A short story


Steve Patterson

I was just walking down the street. The kind of guy you meet. Old and gray & tired. A few years ago if you’d seen me in a bar, I might have raised an eyebrow or two. If you were a woman, you might of smiled. If you were a man, you knew what I was.

Damn, it was hot. Even for South Texas, this June had come too soon.

I was just walking along. No place to go. No place to be. Hell, I’d already been there.

See I had two former wives and a few former kids. Even some grand ones, but I seldom saw any of them. One thing though, you ought to know… I love them and they love me. Ain’t that strange, even the ex’s still love me. They just don’t want ta’ live with me. None of them want to be “me”.

These days I don’t do much except walk around listen’ to the sound of what comes around. Seekin’ what I ain’t yet found. Oh, just for me, I write some poetry. Now and then, a song that I hear does appear in my mind. Mostly about what’s behind.

Anyway, I’m sorta’ discreet. Just like someone you might meet and smile to. Yeah, a smile would do. I ain’t no bum, some money I got, honey. I don’t beg for a cigarette. Least not yet. Nor for my next drink do I seek. Least not yet.

They’d crossed the borders, north and south, on March 1. I don’t watch TV nor read the newspapers, so it was a day or two before someone ask me “what are you gonna’ do?”. Hell, it had been a long ttime since anyone ask me that kinda’ question. I pondered it’s suggestion. “about what?” I ask.

“about the invasion!”

“The what?”

“haven’t you heard?”

“heard what?”

“they’re here?”

“who’s here and where are they?” thinkin’ the martians had invaded.

Seems they’d crossed the northern borders, all along the Canadian line. Got 20 miles and were held in check. Some of the Canadian French from Quebec.

In the south, they’d flooded California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. They, too, had made it 20 or 30 miles in-country. The Rio Grande now took a stand behind others lines.
What the hell did that mean to me? Guess I was to see.

I thought maybe 50cents would be well spent to read “The News”. But, what the hell was I gonna’ do?

Seems they’d come across in force, in the early daylight. In the north I didn’t know. Hell, what do I know about Detroit.

California had held them close to the border line. Arizona & New Mexico… didn’t anyone seem to know.

In Texas… El Paso. Military base right there.

Along the lower Rio Grande River, they had reached 30 miles. They held ground. U.S. Military from airfields had stopped their penetration.

Ok no big deal, they came, they saw. We stopped them.

Then, I heard her cry. Her scream “please, please…no!”.


I never, well seldom, mix in our peoples business. See, I like my face the way it is. But, this sounded pleading…anguished… a woman in distress.


I turned into the short alley and saw her and them… 3 men and her. Shit. “hey, what’s goin’ on?” I ask nicely but with my usual reserve under such conditions.

“get the hell outta’ here, man. Go find your own.”

That made me smile. Thank you & fuck you too.

“Seems to me the lady does not want to be here.” Calmy, nicely, caustiouly.

“go fuck yourself, this is no man’s land” angrily.

“excuse me, am I interrupting something?” calmy

“get the hell outta’ here, this ain’t your business!” violently.

As I picked up the 3 foot piece of pipe layin’ on the ground, I ask nicely” just who the fuck are you to tell me what’s my business? Dickhead”

The blow caught him square, there, at the back of the skull. The other two tried to angle around me. There eye’s I could see. One took a foot to the knee. The other a palm thrust. “never hesitate I thought. Bar room fights don’t last too long “if” you stop them.

Pipe in hand, I hit each man, square, across the nose. Slam bam over before I got hit, damn. Good, just as I should.

She lay there, more than half nacked. Nice tits. Great thighs. With a sadness in her eyes.

“Thank you.” She cried.

“You OK?” I ask.

“Please help me.”


“take me home…please…please!”

“do you live near here?” I asked, in my best comforting voice. Nice tits. Nice thighs.

“get me out of here please!”

“where do you need to go” I ask. Nice ass.

“San Antonio”

“San Antonio?”



“What’s your name?” I ask.


“what’s your name?” again

“Are you one of them…them?” she asked.

“who? Look I will hurt you. What’s your name?”

“The Badlanders…are you one of them?”


“one of them? Are you?

Haven’t a clue.

I be a bad boy, but Bad Landers who?

“No!” firmly. “Where do you need to go?”

“San Antonio.”


“that’s 130 miles from here”

“please. My husband fights for the USA. I was here. Visiting. Please, take me home. Away from the Bad Lands…please”

“OK!” ok, what the fuck are you talking about? “OK”.

“explain to me about The Bad Lands, I do not understand, ok, please?”

she looked at me a small tear in each eye “ Here, Here, Here…the Badlands”



“OK” I ask again. “Where is here and what are The Badlands…lease exlain to me so I will know how to help. Ok?”

she cryed “between here and the border and the new border…The Badlands…where there is no law…please help me…please!”


I really should read the paper more often.

“OK”. Unconfidently I reassured. “sure, it’ll be ok” I think,

Badlands, San Antonio….130 miles, no law, Badlands?

SHIT. Go for it

(to be continued)

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