Twelfth Fight – Issue 22

We can reveal we have bought the rights to publish a serialisation of the least selling work of Will E Shakes’ peer, Matt ‘you aren’t old’ Doeswell. The novella is a story of an Elizabethan cowboy figure who is stalked by his past. A past that has love, intrigue, misunderstanding and deeply verbal boredom at its root. It’s title, TWELFTH FIGHT refers to the number of elements of his past that catch up with the protagonist, Frank O’Teller as he sojourns through town after town to get through the discomfort of his puberty period. The first episode finds Frank in a De-minstrelisation Zone deep in the heart of Taxes.

TWELFTH FIGHT by Matt Doeswell (circa 1645, written in the early evening)

Part the first

Frank is weary and tired and tired and weary of repeating himself. He enters the town of Fiscal, Taxes and suddenly, before he has time to feel relaxed about being in a new town, far from his old one, he feels a presence not far behind him. Like a shadow, the figure moves into the cliched position of dead centre of the main street and looks at Frank with withering eyes. The figure eases back his doublet and hose to reveal a weapon of Mass destruction, an Atheist’s Bible, and shouts to Frank,

“Draw full length your hollow sword, there’s no more.”

Reluctantly acknowledging then espying the identity of his pursuer, Frank eases the phrase from his parched lips, “Oh, fie, tis Kincade, you great western bore.” Frank turns side on to his foe, still dog tired and adds, “Besides, thy hate outstrips time, tis not noon.”

At this a buzzard, with the enthusiasm of an actor trying to catch the attention of a director in the audience, squawks eleven times.

“Stay thy sly tongue, howl last at the moon.”

They both look up momentarily to the baking sun making its weary way to the zenith.

“Tis an oxymoron from a poxy moron. You never had brains you could much call on.”

More puzzled than irritated Kincade shuffled again in his pocket, maybe for an idea, but alas, just a sharper weapon than an anti-Ecclesiatic narrative. He fingered towards his gun.

“I’m done, enough talk, seconds are out now.”

As Kincade moved uneasily from one syllabic foot to the other, Frank O’Teller slipped his not as tired as first thought hand to his weapon and shot something mightier than the word towards his verbal jouster. Before he could fully hear what Frank was about to say, Kincade’s lumbering body received a lead caesura. Kincade folded completely like a poor argument with an incomplete imperative stuck between clenched teeth.

“Go f…”

Frank’s head fell forward as if accepting applause from onlookers, but there was no-one else there and, anyway, it was heart-fatigue.

“First draw, then breath, then from me a humble bow. An ex-errant hawk vanquished by a dove. My true gritted features are only for love.” Frank finished this first stanza, knowing deep down it wouldn’t be his last in this or any other life.

(exeunt omnes)