The Ballad of Dominic LeGrande
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The Ninety-Niner Bar was busy. Then again, it was always busy on Fridays. The man sitting at a table for one under the warm golden hanging light had had three close calls and one actual incident of waitresses accidentally spilling beverages on him tonight alone. The atmosphere could have been lively enough with just the strong alcohol, fried food, and patrons rejoicing at the end of the week, but the live music pushed it over the edge into raucous.

The final riff of an electric guitar faded out, replaced by thunderous applause.

“Thank you, we’re Septic Shock!”

The man smirked, correct in his assumption that nobody would see it. He idly pushed a crumb of hamburger bun around with a french fry before dipping the end in ketchup and biting it off.

“Next up, all the way from La Rue, Rosie and the Antlions!”

That caught his attention, despite the utter lack of charisma from the gangly teen announcing the musicians. La Rue was a nice place. He’d been there a few times, but never stayed long. He never really stayed anywhere.

He picked some more at his food while the Antlions got their instruments set up. A good band name, in his opinion. He counted drums, a keyboard, an acoustic guitar, and a female singer. That must be Rosie. Ugh, his fingers were greasy now. He wiped them off on a cheap brown paper napkin.

He didn’t bother keeping track of how long it took them to get set up, drawing grease trails on his plate. This probably wouldn’t be anything special anyway. Real talent got carried up the ladder fast around here. Should’ve called this place the Springboard, he mused.

The opening chords of a well-tuned guitar pinged on his radar, but he didn’t really start to pay attention until the woman started singing.

You know the worst of rotten men
Who ever walked the West
Two-bit stinkin’ murderers
Doin’ what they do best
And you can ask “Where’s justice?”
And you can ask “Where’s truth?”
He’s six foot two with a Colt Single Action
And a damn shiny gold tooth

So if you’re schemin’ in the dark, thinkin’ you can hide your sin
You better listen closely, ‘cause it’s driftin’ on the wind

He’s a saint, he’s a devil
He’s a lawman, he’s a rebel
You bet your ass he ain’t no man
He’s Dominic LeGrande

The outlaws came together, once upon a time
Paid a guy to snuff him out for a pretty dime
Thirty bodies under his belt, a mercenary king
His name was Jack, he dressed in black, and he thought he was a damn fine thing

Now Dominic was sleepin’, so he didn’t hear Jack’s boys
And when they shot him in the head he didn’t hear the noise

Now, a cowboy's life don't end when he takes his last breath
But it ain't every day you come face to face with Death
The crafty motherfucker said “Let’s play a game”
“And if you win I promise you can take me all the same”

Now he still had his six shooter, so he chose roulette
The reaper put six bullets in and took the fucker’s bet
And as Dom took the barrel and put it in his mouth
He waited ‘till Death blinked and slipped the bullets out

The dead man pulled the trigger, all that came out was a click
The reaper ran to get him, but he was just too quick
Death comes for every man, but Dominic was slick

He said goodbye to Death, and blew a cheeky kiss
And he rose up out of the blood and dust and said a little something like this

I’m a saint, I’m a devil
I’m a lawman, I’m a rebel
You bet your ass I ain’t no man
I’m Dominic LeGrande

Now the outlaws had been partyin’, so they were mighty drunk
And he pulled out his six shooter and one by one they sunk
And when it was down to just Dominic and Jack
The last slug in the chamber came straight out his back

Then Dominic just stood there, taking it all in
But if you listened real real closely, you could hear it on the wind

He’s a saint, he’s a devil
He’s a lawman, he’s a rebel
You bet your ass he ain’t no man
He’s Dominic LeGrande

He’s a saint, he’s a devil
He’s a lawman, he’s a rebel
You bet your ass he ain’t no man
He’s Dominic LeGrande

At first, after the last note had sailed through the air, there was silence.

One person cheered wildly. Others joined in, and soon it was a deafening array of praise and applause. Rosie didn’t have much luck answering questions in the cacophony, and neither did the bar’s staff with getting through the swarming crowd. Luckily for them, it managed to die down without having to get the bouncer involved. Still, voices rippled through the establishment of the surprise showstopper’s merit.

Only then did the waitress make her way over to the lone man’s table and find him gone. The hanging light gently swayed overhead, illuminating the payment in full for the meal plus a crisp hundred dollar bill.

Outside, a gold tooth glinted in the twilight as a man smiled in a way he hadn’t for a long, long time.

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