I need a shot at redemption

At some point, we determined that our species is worth saving

At the cost of every other piece of life on this planet.

John Marston was probably thinkin’ this or some old shit his daddy taught him as he scurried about his ranch on the back of a black stallion with a streak in its mane the color of the moon.

Moments later, he was mauled by a pack of wild boars by the light of the actual moon. Once conscious and back in his room John picked up some repeater ammo from the trunk by the bed and wandered around his house admiring the furnishings and trying to remember where all the rooms was. It’d been a while since he lived here. Whoops! He saw his wife and switched to the ‘fist weapon’ (I know you ain’t brandishin’ that ol’ revolver in the house, John Marston!).

He stepped outside and saw with dismay that it was still the middle of the night. There was one mission left and it was from his son, Jack, but I gotta come between goshdarngin’ five o’clock a.m. and 6:05 or whatever. It’s many hours until dawn and I think, “Let’s go to Mexico!” But no, I gotta finish this goddamn game already. Once complete, I decide, I’ll be free to go to Mexico. Hell, I’ll take the boy to Mexico with me and let him get drunk without his mom porin’ over him all the goddamn time. Feedin’ him books or some nonsense. Nah, nah, she’s a good woman and I love her. Good ol’ gal been through a lot. Fuck it, I’ll take the whole fuckin family with me to Mexico. I’ll even take her old man, the chiseling drunk ass piece of… well, I shouldn’t talk bad about her pa, neither.

Fuck it, I’m going to Mexico alone. Right now. Shit’s almost 11:00 at night. Come on now, lil’ dogies, let’s have one last ride into the tequila sunrise. He set off on his steed once again and decided to avoid the boars this time. Instead, he found himself soon shot to death trying to save a woman from being hanged. God damn it, he thought as he fell off his horse and died.

(Shit I love this game, and I am going to miss it when it’s over, but I can tell already that I will play it again. Next in the series is Dead Nightmare, the zombie version of RDR, already installed and ready to go.)

Now it was fuckin’ midnight. Will this long ass night ever end? asked John, awoke in King’s er, Thieves Landing with a freshly patched gunshot wound from his failed heroics on the road. Still plenty of time to get to Mexico, he thought, and continued riding south, over the Butter Bridge, and into Diaz Coronas.

Nice night. Nice night for shootin’ these coyotes, he said aloud as he gunned down a pack of the beasts and left their corpses shivering on the desert road. Holy shit, mang; he realized, I’m in fuckin’ Mexico! Now, where to go? Torquemada was a piece of shit on the borderlands to the east, but Casa Madrugada had class like the lambada. He’d go there. Maybe play some poker before the sun goes up. Then, at 6, 7 latest, he’d stagecoach that shit home and be in time fer supper.

Where was you? She would ask.

Out, he’d say. A man’s gotta provide for his family. I once remember a drug dealer in Mexico or New Mexico said sunthin’ like that once.

What are you talking about in frunt of our boy, John Marston. Jack don’t wanna hear that silly shit about you going to Mexico. Ew, you went to Mexico?

Shut up woman. Hmm, maybe better not mention the drug dealer and what John thought was just some friendly man-to-man advice at the time. The boy needed advice like a bull needs a pair of horns, he thought. Huh. He’d probably better not tell his wife about the beautiful whore he was now seeing up the road, either.

As John approached the gate to Casa Madrugada, he witnessed yet another NPC conflict, this time between the whore who’d been standing at the gate, and a crazed-looking man in a sombrero. If John didn’t do somethin’ quick… well hell, the the madman was already chokin’ her, so John got down off his horse, and once down, he was already STABBING her.

“Hay, like git off ‘er n’ stuff,” said John in his gringo tongue, but to no avail. The madmang lifted his knife again, and


The volcanic pistol went off three times and all three bullets had found their mark. The madman was dead in a pool of blood, but John had also accidentally struck the woman herself in her brand new stab wound with the first shot. “Sorry, ma’am,” he said, and the woman screamed and ran off beyond the gates of town and up the mountain peak pass. What happened next was nothing more than another tale of John Marston trying to the be hero, and this time fucking succeeding, cuz that’s what John Martson does. And done did do. As best he could.


“Ma’am, where’d ya get off to?  I will take you to safety even if I have to hogtie you with a lasso.”

(That’s right, I played through this game as a paladin this time around, and found it to be a rewarding, “Right” way of doing things, but then again, I never finished it when I was playing the Black-Hearted “Prick” John Marston all those years ago when it first came out. “Grand Theft Horse,” one of my friends called the game, and I laughed, because hell yeah, no company has made stealing cars as fun as Rockstar. The horseplay they promised with Red Dead Redemption turned out to be some of the most fun one could have on a console.)

Back at Casa Madrugada, the madman’s blood stain still greeted all passing through the town’s gate, but the body had been taken away. John hitched his horse up at the inn or whatever these folk called it, had two drinks at the bar, and lost $20 at Liar’s Dice. Interressin’ game, John thought. I would have paid $30 in game dollars for a lesson like that. Whoop, is that the time? 6:00 a.m.? Holy shit on the dot. One more drink fer the road. Tequila? Hell yep. John left the bar with a reel in his step and jumped up in the shotugn seat for the long ride home. (Meanwhile, I’ve got to take my shower before work, so I’ll just let the let the dude drive me the whole way there while I type this and do that.)

When I get out of the shower, John is back in Casa Madrugada and I start asking all the local folk what the fuck happened, and why was I not back up at my ranch? “Accident on the road senor. You passed out dead, but we brought you back to life.” Sheeit, John thought, is there still time? He hopped the closest stage coach, chose home as his destination, “Casa,” he said, “Mi casa, por favor senor and stuff,” he tried, and the coach driver laughed, and then John held a gun to his head. “Fast travel, motherfucker,” he said, and the horses took off.

It was nigh on to dusk by the time he reached home. I can still make it, John said as he dashed off toward’s Jack’s cabin on the edge of the farm. The stagecoach driver took off, yelling “Yoo-Hoo” or something in his native tongue, happy with whatever shitty money John gave him. Come back between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m., the game said. It was a quarter after eight in the evening. God damn it, guess I’ll jist have to put it off until tomorrow, John decided. Wonder what’s happenin’ in Armadillo tonight?


Sunset from ma screen door or sunthin’


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