I don't understand...

His blue eyes look back at him from the mirror. He doesn't understand. It is never enough - whatever he does, it is impossible to atone, impossible to be anyone but an outlaw, a murderer, a bad man generally.

It is Christmas, and he is in alone in his room at the Cosmopolitan. It is not illness - the dry Arizona desert has sealed the bloody tubercles of his lungs as much as anything ever will. He has cleaned bows of salt cedar and hung them over the door, to provide a little festivity for himself.

It is Christmas, and the town is all at the new church. There is a Christmas tree, presents for everyone, cheer and holiday wishes, the women have brought pies and there will be dancing. Everyone will have their best clothes and the girls will dance on their father's feet, or with the little boys until they fall asleep against coats on the benches. The men will leave periodically to stamp their feet and share from their flasks. The women will cluck and arrange the food and laugh together in the corners. Wyatt is there, all the Earps, all the Committee for Public Safety, all the good people in town. John has been told he would not be welcome, but he can hear them on the December air if he opens his window.

He understands he is a foreigner. He understands he has a reputation, a less than savoury past. He expects now that his general courtesy and greetings will go unheeded at least as often as they are returned. But he has never lied. He has worked for them all, offered his hand - even to killing or dying for them. He has fought and stood and never been less than a gentleman to any of the townspeople. Without his name, without his past, he had been considered a fine man. What more can he do?

Nothing.

He doesn't understand. There must be something, some trait or error. There must be something he can do. There must be some way of atoning, of offering. It is never enough.

It is Christmas.

"I don't understand," His blue eyes say, looking back at him silently from the mirror. He has no answer, and there is no one to tell him. He drinks from his own flask. He goes downstairs and stands by the rail, listening again.

"I don't understand."

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 403
Please comment if you wish.

no one knows what it's like to be the bad man, to be the sad man. behind blue eyes.
john_h_holliday: (Default)
( Apr. 13th, 2009 07:54 pm)
I dreamt the world, the earth as an entire globe, a sphere, had shattered beneath my feet and disappeared, the pieces falling below me through the black of sky and stars, so small as they receded from view, becoming nothing.

In the dream I laughed with bitterness, at you; at you and everything you had done with which I had not agreed.

In the dream I wept, for myself; for myself cut loose, alone, self-pitying.

No, it was not so simple. Though it is true, that is all you think of me.

In the dream I laughed with bitterness, at myself; at myself for inevitable folly of will, for whatever I had done, whatever I had become through hoping for a world, wanting a world.

In the dream I wept for you; for you for whatever pain and loss of war had caused you to lose yourself, your way, to vanish into the darkest void of night. For you surely vanished.

I was free, without the world, company, anyone who knew me, with no one's pain to bind me that I could respect. I was free to feel: to weep if I felt the impulse, to laugh if I was lost amidst those strange to me, to whom I was strange. I was free to recreate myself in any way I chose as I deemed best.

In the dream I held to what I valued, seizing memory in force of will with iron clenched fingers, wresting it from mind to matter. Not physical matter; consequence.

I never woke.

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 250
Please comment if you wish.
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

"Why, I do.

"As I was quoted as saying, so aptly, We could be a lawmen and outlaws. The best of both worlds.

"What do you do, when the law is corrupt - when those charged with the safety and security of citizens are themselves lying cheating stealing murdering corrupt bastards?" John smiles with half his mouth and his eyes twitches at you, amused. "I could go on."

"One restores order. And corruption calls for vigilance. One must consider strategy, one must wait at times, and at others one must act suddenly. One must be clever and devious enough to outrun them, to meet them with a smirk, waiting in the dark where they have crept at dawn to lie in wait for you. One must out-manouevre them, listen to their lies to predict the direction in which they will next try to sway the citizens.

"If one may be arrested on trumped up charges through the lies of petty criminals hiding behind stolen stars, one may be imprisoned, shamed, broken, killed, but honesty and integrity of purpose will still remain for you and Heaven - cold comfort perhaps, but the sides remain clearly delineated in some mythical court of ultimate judgement.

"I watch the watchmen, but their own deeds condemn them or save them.

"In the mean time, in this world, I am happy to defeat them, to foil and confound them.

"I am pleased to kill them."

"Ike Clanton, Frank Stillwell, Pete Spence, Johnny Ringo" John hisses. "Behan himself? All wore stars - watchmen or deputies. What more do you need to know?"

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 275
Please comment if you wish.
Pride is a virtue. In pride, we set high expectations for ourselves. The opposite of pride is shame. Pride demands that we strive not to disappoint ourselves, with whom we spend all our waking hours. Pride is not weakness nor vying for power nor passive smugness with mediocrity. It is struggle to master ourselves, and the honour of success, without other reward or recognition. Pride demands we act in such a way that we may hold our heads high. Pride is active and dynamic, a way of being in the world. Pride is ability and competency. Pride is a virtue.
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