Concise Prose. Enough Said.
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Red River Rebellion

By Chris Miller

His name, Paco, meant "a free man." Paco was not only a free man, but he was also the meanest, most depraved, son of a bitch in all of the Red River Settlement. His task was to lead the buffalo hunt across the plains, and return the carcasses on horseback and in Red River carts to the small Rebellion armies stationed across the prairies. Along the way, he scored with the ladies, killed a few white men, and then traveled someplace else and did the same thing. Buffalo was their main source of food, clothing and other miscellaneous articles and, most importantly, it was their livelihood.

This was way back in May 1885, shortly after the fall of Batoche, Saskatchewan, around the same time the great Métis leader Louis Riel had surrendered to Canadian forces and was taken to Regina to stand trial for treason. After years of progress for his people, his arrest was a terrible blow to their efforts of making a stand against the brutish government in the Canadian Northwest. Therefore, Gabriel Dumont, the military head of Riel's Rebellion, called on his fiercest men—men like Paco—to keep the Métis resistance strong in Riel's absence.

Paco never carried a gun but was quick to stab any fool who looked at him funny, and he had slept with more Aboriginal women and more women of European ancestry than anybody else around. He wasn't fond of conversations, card games, soap, bullshit, or coming out second best. His hair was black, his face pockmarked, and he demanded on living his life by his own pandects, and killing anyone that crossed him, without discretion. His self-satisfaction was never punished, no comeuppance.

There was a fellow on the buffalo hunt with Paco whose name was Tommy Dennet. Tommy had a young Aboriginal wife. Early in the afternoon, Tommy's young wife dropped her skirt, lifted her legs and let Paco in. Predatory as always, Paco boffed the hell out of her while he made Tommy watch. She was really pretty, with long black hair that fell straight down. He made Tommy's wife talk dirty to him while he was at it. He made her say, "Oh, Tommy, he's gonna kill me with that giant billhook! Save me, Tommy! No, don't save me, Tommy!"

To conclude this 15-minute ordeal, Paco climaxed and then he made Tommy scrub his parts clean. Afterwards, they all sat around the campfire and shared a big lunch consisting of bannock, fried bread, steamed pudding, bean soup and custard. All in all, another good day for Paco, definitely.

"I'm great and I know it and everybody knows it," said Paco, as he smoked tobacco by the fire.

Out of fear, no one there had the balls to dispute his statement. The New World could not have been settled and the men could not have survived without these amazing women like Tommy's wife because they were required for cooking meals, making moccasins with ornate embroidery and beadwork, and particularly for the gratification of sex. To be without these women was to invite catastrophe. However, with the wild land getting tamed by more settlers, mostly white cowards, arriving by the wagon full, the reverence for these Aboriginal women was in decline. Genocidal practices were being put in place by the Canadian government. The incoming society had no respect for the New World people. Especially now with Riel's surrender, Paco realized that the Rebellion would evaporate and leave only the slime of this austere government. Still, he'd enjoy his homeland while it lasted, leading the buffalo hunt and fucking whomever he pleased.

At the next camp, it was much the same for Paco. There was a fine young woman named Paloma, her skin bronzed under the same sun that pulled the growing rapeseed toward the sky. He spotted her while she was preparing pemmican. Paloma cut the buffalo meat into long strips and, with the meat on willow racks, dried it out over an open fire.

It was obvious that Paco was all horned up for Paloma. That ass, mostly it was that ass.

When the meat was dry, Paloma bent over and pounded it into granular form and placed it into bags made of hide. Hot buffalo fat would later be poured into the bags and mixed with the meat granules. Paco watched her as she added wild berries. She was a magnificent woman, plump and ripe in all the right places. Next, the bags were sewn shut. When cooled, the result was pemmican, an extremely filling food that was easily transported on the trail during the buffalo hunt.

Paco's only criticism of Paloma was the fact that she was with this young Cherokee fellow from Wyoming. He had a sort of puerile face, puffy and pale as a cloud, which women seemed to delight in. Everybody called him the Wyoming Kid. Just another simpleton settler from America, as far as Paco was concerned.

Since Paco had no couth, one evening he approached the Wyoming Kid and said, "Look, kid, I want to fuck your woman."

The Wyoming Kid just glared, but didn't say anything. Sensing the tension, men around the campfire stiffened.

"Did you hear me, kid? I want to fuck your woman," he repeated.

A western wind blew across the prairies smelling of bison shit. A warm, noiseless twilight was moving in until somebody coughed to shatter the unpleasant silence.

Finally the Wyoming Kid lifted his jacket slightly, and a glint of a silver pistol reminded Paco that his adversary was armed. He told Paco, "The thing is, I don't take advice from an old half breed in dirty underwear."

The Wyoming Kid showed bravery seldom seen before. The silver pistol made him dauntless. Most men were afraid of Paco, and few men had ever stood up to him. Those who did were dead.

"Heard what you did to Tommy Dennet's wife," said the Wyoming Kid. "Ain't doing that to my woman."

"We'll talk later," said Paco, smirking, showing crooked, yellow teeth. He just spit on the ground and walked off, while the day melted out of the sky, leaving the immutable structure of night.

The next morning, a fresh breeze spryly chased the butterflies and drove a few small clouds disconsolate out of the sky. Another day, another buffalo hunt. The Wyoming Kid had been making his way up the ranks and insisted that he be given charge of today's hunt. Paco agreed. Having the Wyoming kid in charge allowed Paco a day of rest, a day to stay behind at camp with the women, including Paloma.

He climbed into the covered wagon where Paloma napped. She awakened with a start.

"What're you doing in here, Paco?" she asked, a wry little smile across her lips.

"You know what I'm here for," he said, while about to lower his pants.

Halting him by placing her hand on his pants front, Paloma said, "But what about the Wyoming Kid?"

"The Wyoming Kid? Ha, he can go fuck a bison!" he said.

An enticing look on her face, bottom lip drooping, she purred in his ear, "Must admit, just seeing you here makes my nipples grow hard."

Since she was within touching distance, with an inelegant fumble he reached for her breasts. She hadn't lied; her nipples were hard. Now his mind was racing with incredibly filthy things. Gently he squeezed her soft breasts once, then twice, finally a third time, and with the foreplay complete there was only one thing left to do.

And that was to fuck.

He pulled her close and they embraced. She felt his arms around her, felt her face pressed against the cloth of his vest, against the beating of his heart. What was all this? This was not comfort or love. She did not want his brute embrace—she was most utterly alone, clutched so in his arms.

Shoving him away with great strength, she told him, "We mustn't do this, Paco…"

"You want me, don't you?" he asked, putting his mouth on hers.

"But I can't," she said, again resisting.

"Why not? What's stopping you?"

"I'm in love with the Wyoming kid," she said.

Paco laughed. "Love? Love is a sham, just a trick that gives people hope. When really there's no hope at all."

Paco had long ago realized that love between two people was no different than luck or anything else; it was temporary and would only take them so far. However, there was something to be said for sexual prowess, and how it could change a woman's views on what mattered in life. Love and sensitivity were qualities that only seemed important initially. As time went by, an astounding orgasm became more consequential.

Leaning in, he laid his lips softly on the nape of her neck: fond, reassuring kisses. This time, she surrendered to his persuasive advances, and touched his hand. Lifting their entwined fingers she swirled her tongue suggestively around Paco's thumb. Then she kissed him again and again, her kisses shallow, breathless. Wanting to feel a strong man inside her, she reached out and pressed her hand to the front of his pants again, cupping him. She raised her arms, an invitation for Paco.

With large hands he removed her buckskin jacket. There were her breasts, high and round. Next, he untied the drawstrings on her skirt, and pulled her skirt down to about mid thigh. Between her legs the raven-black thatch roused him, causing his nostrils to flare, and he swallowed hard. Finally he'd be able to touch her the way he wanted to, without pretence, no holding back.

Paloma hesitated for a moment, looking down on him with those lust-dark eyes of hers, tongue skating over her lips. Sliding out of her skirt, laying back unclad, she spread her legs wide, and said, "I do want you, Paco, I really do."

She looked past the gruesome pranks of his physiology and the flaws in his character. Staring at the open sprawl of her body, he scrabbled to undress, and reveal his weapon of manly virulence. Paloma couldn't keep her eyes off his instrument. Out of his clothes in seconds, he tilted down towards her, and she emitted the tiniest moan of arousal when his tremendous member touched her skin.

He entered her slowly, causing her to gasp. As he gently lowered himself deeper inside, her pleasured moans continued. Slow movements, soft thrusts, and one indulgent plunge followed by another. He started moving faster, more desperately. He fucked her with sudden, irrepressible thrusts. He was an animal, his lovemaking style inhuman and rough. His movements were without finesse. Paloma was soon delirious with the wild abandonment of their bodies moving in dynamic unison. It was vicious sex, perfect sex.

Minutes went by. How many minutes, neither of them knew with any degree of certainty. Back arched, she let loose a frantic outcry, a sort of keening sound. Paco pumped faster, ever faster. The faster he channeled into her, the louder her outcries came, until she climaxed.

Mere seconds later they heard men on horses approaching. The Wyoming Kid and the rest of them had returned early from the buffalo hunt. They heard the sound of the Wyoming Kid's voice, calling, "Paloma! Paloma! Where are you, Paloma?"

Out of energy, and too relaxed to care, she just lay there with droplets of sweat sliding down her naked, heated body onto the woolly blanket in the covered wagon.

The Wyoming Kid opened the covered wagon, and saw them there. "Get dressed, then get out here, old man!"

Paco got dressed hurriedly and got out there. "What're you all riled for?"

"You were fucking my woman, that's why!" said the Wyoming Kid.

"Look, kid, don't you get it? A woman plays both men, pits them against each other. We're not gonna fall for that trap, are we?"

"Enough of your bullshit, old man! Now back off and draw," he said, shoving Paco backward.

Paco walked at a leisurely pace, his mind racing with nervous thoughts. The hot Alberta sun crisped his bare arms. If the stories around the nighttime campfire were true, the Wyoming Kid was the fastest gun in the West. He shot a man three times—killed him dead—in Medicine Hat before the guy had a chance to get his gun from its holster. As for Paco, he was neither a fast draw nor an accurate shot.

Paco and the Wyoming Kid were 30 paces apart.

"Ready to die, old man?"

He just shrugged. "Not really. I mean, I'm not even carrying a gun."

This was amusing to the Wyoming Kid, and he laughed. "Hear that, Paloma? The old man comes here from Manitoba to hunt buffalo and he doesn't even have a goddamned gun!"

Half-dressed, Paloma exited the covered wagon, one of her breasts flopping loose. She carried a rifle, and made her way over to Paco with it.

Paco said, "Let's consider other options here, kid."

"Ah, hell, after I shoot you dead, either they can bury you underground or throw you in the North Saskatchewan River. How's that for options?" Paloma put the rifle to her shoulder and squinted down the barrel.

"I don't like those options," said Paco.

A shot rang through the twilight. There was confusion over who had fired. Everybody rushed over and saw the Wyoming Kid, a hole in his face, lying lifeless in the dirt. Beyond the trees, the moon waded deliciously through shallows of white cloud. Paloma lowered her smoking rifle, and kissed Paco full on the lips. Then they went back with clasped hands into the covered wagon.


Chris Miller was born in Edmonton, Alberta, the City of Champions, known for its hockey proficiency and sexual adeptness. Chris is no good at hockey, though. He prefers chess and volleyball. Aside from writing hundreds of news stories over the past 10 years, his short fiction has appeared in Thieves Jargon, Filthy Pikers, Megaera, Thirst for Fire, and several other magazines you've probably never heard of.

Image: George Catlin, Bogard, Batiste, and I Chasing Buffalo in High Grass on a Missouri Bottom, 1837-1839, oil on canvas, courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum.

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