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 The Giftie for Heyes

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CD Roberts
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Join date : 2013-09-23

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PostThe Giftie for Heyes




A large gloplet of salted water welled up in the corner of Hannibal Heyes’ right eye. It latched onto one of his lower eyelashes, three in from the nose side, pooled up, and dribbled down his face.

“It’s, it’s indescribable,” he managed to choke out, “I don’t know what it is about it, but it’s…” and here his voice quavered and wavered out.

“…um unique,” finished the Kid for his partner. “Boys, that’s gotta be just about the most, um, well, the most orange piece of clothing I’ve ever seen.”

“Thank-ee, Kid,” said Kyle proudly. The Devil’s Hole Gang nodded in agreement.

“We had to search real hard to find that vest. It had to be just right to show how much we appreciate the leader of our gang for leading us in such a successful hold up. We wanted something unique,” the Preacher said.

“It’ll sure stand out on our next robbery,” added Lobo.

“We wanna show everyone our leader is real special, and we’re real proud of him,” whined Kyle.

Wheat looked over jealously. It wasn’t the gift of which he was jealous. He figured it had to be about the ugliest piece of clothing he had ever seen, orange with red paisleys patterned on it. The kind of thing that was guaranteed to give its wearer a headache. He was jealous of the attention Heyes was receiving.

“You know, some of us here contributed to the success of that there hold up,” he began.

“I know,” said Heyes, “this vest, well, it belongs to everyone in this room.” He held it up in all its glory, and the Kid and Wheat flinched at the sight of it.

“I don’t know what it is about it, but it reminds me of something,” and here Heyes broke down in tears, sobbing uncontrollably.

“Reminds me of a warthog run over by a wagon,” muttered Wheat.

The Preacher gave Heyes a comforting pat on his back, which only contributed to the sensitive man’s gulps and sobs.

“Boy, Heyes sure is deep,” observed Kyle.

Lobo nodded sagely. “That’s ‘cause he’s got deep thoughts, and all those deep memories.”

“I’m sorry boys,” Heyes managed to mumble out, which wasn’t easy, as his head was on his arms on his lap, and he was still crying, “I don’t know what’s come over me.”

“Oh hell, here we go,” grumbled Wheat, who stood up and opened the door. “I’m going over to get some grub, any of you coming with me? I think I can stand to miss this session.”

Kyle looked over, clearly torn between food and his loyalty to his leader. But it was clear Heyes needed their help, and he decided to remain, at least until his stomach rumbled out loud. And it must be pointed out that, on the whole, the Devil’s Hole Gang was a loyal bunch. Then again, it could be that they weren’t smart enough to not be loyal. At any rate, the remaining gang members settled in to begin the group help session.

“Now Heyes, what’s this here vest remind you of?”

“I don’t know,” gulped the distraught outlaw, “but it reminds me of something from my past I know that.”

He looked at the others bleakly. “What’s wrong with me?”

“Maybe you are sufferin’ from a feeling of abandonment,” suggested Kyle.

“Abandonment from what? Wheat?” asked the Kid, his face clearly displaying skepticism at this idea.

“Wheel, I dunno,” said Kyle, “it just sounded real good-like.”

“Now boys, we need to get serious here. Maybe Kyle’s got a point. Maybe Heyes does feel abandoned,” said Preacher.

Heyes looked at the man thoughtfully.

“Naw,” said Lobo, “I think he’s got a personality disorder. You know something you're sort of born with, but it becomes real pronounced during you're developing years, you know nurture versus nature, and then it takes a real emotional crises, like getting this here gift, for it to surface. Maybe he's borderline.”

“Hmm, well I agree that getting this vest is sure some emotional crises, but I don’t think he’s borderline, maybe he’s narcisstic,” Kid mused. Heyes looked balefully at his partner.

“Well, you do think a lot of yourself. You even said you are a genius.”

“I have a right to think highly of myself, and you yourself said I was a genius, if I may point that out.”

“Now fellas, I think we’re off the track here,” added Hank. He paused thoughtfully. “Heyes maybe what you’ve got is a Medusal Complex.”

Everyone turned to Hank. Even Heyes was impressed.

“That’s a real big word Hank. What exactly do you mean?”

“Um,” said Hank.

“That’s real helpful Hank,” said the Kid, rolling his eyes.

“Maybe Heyes suffered something real bad, real long ago, and the vest makes him think of it,” said Kyle brightly.

“Well, my family was murdered during the war between the states.”

“And so was mine,” pointed out the Kid, “in fact I believe we are talking about the same family here.”

“So,” questioned Lobo. “So how come I’m not sobbing at the sight of that vest.”

“’Cause we didn’t give it to you,” stated Hank, “and ‘cause you ain’t Heyes”.

Everyone nodded in agreement with Hank.

“Well you boys may have a point here. I gotta admit this vest sure could cause nightmares,” said the Kid.

“That’s right,” added Preacher, “or bring back nightmares, especially in someone as artistically inclined as Heyes, and we all know artists are subject to all sorts of emotional outbursts, and deep feelings, and other stuff like that. I mean, Heyes, being what he is, has every right to be an emotional wreck.”

Heyes sniffed.

“Sure, but that don’t mean Heyes don’t have other psychological disturbances. Or maybe he’s got some physical ailments or syndromes that bubble up into bursts of emotional bursts.” Lobo poured himself a drink after that particularly long, and he felt, incredibly articulate, speech, to whet his whistle.

“I like that Lobo, I mean, I’m not a simple man, so I probably have real complex problems.”

“That’s right Heyes. You may look confident and capable, and in charge of every situation, but we know you are a real mess underneath.” The Kid sat back, and smiled.

“Yeah, I bet you have Cronies Disease, or maybe Sarcoidosis.” Kyle sat forward and spoke quickly and excitedly. The boys warmed up to this theme.

“I know, I know, he’s got Fatty Liver Disease.”

“That’s in cats, stupid.”

“I think he’s got Annabelle’s Palsy.”

“Maybe it’s Bright’s Syndrome.”

“Maybe it’s Dark’s syndrome.” “Dark’s Syndrome?”

“Well, if there’s a Bright’s Syndrome there’s gotta be a Dark’s Syndrome, right?”

“He’s got Hairy Tongue,” screeched Kyle. Everyone paused. Heyes looked at Kyle and stuck his tongue out.

“Nope, I guess he don’t have that,” mumbled Kyle, shamefacedly.

“Maybe he’s got the Plague,” whispered Preacher to the now hushed room of outlaws. The men exchanged worried glances between themselves and backed away from Heyes.

“Um, I just heard my stomach; I gotta go eat,” said Kyle.

“Me too,” came from the others in quick succession until only the Kid remained.

Heyes looked at his partner.

“Well Heyes, maybe they figured plague is one gift they could do without.” The Kid smiled.

“Kid, not only is that not funny, it’s a lousy finish.”
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