The Woman with No Name


I ain't a son of a gun, but a daughter of slaughter. My Pa a plough boy turned war orphan turned bully-beggar turned hallelujah peddler turned saloon broomhand turned barn house fisticuffer turned bronco-wild roscoe turned hell-bent highwayman turned train-heister turned twice-baptized preacher-mayor turned flesh rancher turning a fine profit turning dog-men loose upon stolen girls, & then I turned up in one of them bellies & Pa went off to turn himself into a land-taker then a mine-staker driving shadowfolk down them pits to turn over their silver hauls so he could turn flag-waver turned pale savior of the meager-wracked dream-chasers turned hand-over-heart fear hawker who wrangled his new nation one town-burner at a time, & I wanted to be owed-to-none like Pa & so begrudged my fog-eyed Ma & turned murder romancer while Pa's serpent-spouting turned we-made-these-broken-lands-into-empire turned heaven-brought-us-here-to-civilize-the-Sierras & went on to turn the meanest in his charge into lawmen all across the plains & then turned his attentions upon my gunplay know-how & so turned me into his cold sharpshooter, death-dealer, mutiny-bleeder, gallows-stalker & right-hand revolver, so long as it wasn't daughter.

selection from the speculative epic, Sierra Amnezia