He blinked his eyes hard. Opened them. He saw everything in shades of purple, the way the world looks when the sun is too bright. It was too hot, too; he could tell from the way the people under the awnings shifted and fanned themselves. But all he felt was cold. The sweat seemed to freeze on his skin. The dust felt cool under his feet.

Bare feet. He looked like a fool, standing there. That sumbitch had taken everything. Even his boots. The sumbitch had been done gambling, he said when he called that morning. What he meant is he'd been done playing at cards.

He looked around. Everyone looked fit to catch flies, with their mouths open like that. Jenny from the saloon's was shut, and her eyes were welling up with tears. She turned away and hid her face in her hands. Damned fool woman. He was faster than the sumbitch, and better than him too. She ought to know better.

He grinned, and looked the sumbitch straight in the eyes. Through the smoke, he saw the smirk twisting his enemy's face. His mouth formed a word.

"Draw" is what he meant to say, but he choked on something. He coughed and wiped his mouth. The back of his suntanned wrist came away red. He felt a thump against his leg, and looked down to see his revolver fall from his grasp. He frowned at his nipples. He seemed to have an extra, just above and to the middle…

"His chest snapped into focus, and he saw the ruined flesh just above his breastbone. He looked up, the movement heavy with effort. The sumbitch was grinning now, a grotesque expression marred by a twisting scar.

"I done told you last night, boy," the sumbitch said as he raised his gun. "I always win."

In the stables, a horse reared. As the echoes died away, all that could be heard was the sound of a woman sobbing.