The Ballad of Donnie Lee

He was the type of man you wanted to be on the right side of.

His name was Donnie Lee, but his friends called him something else. The thing about fame, though, is you don’t get to choose how history remembers you.

In most people’s memories he was a right mother fucker. Dead aim and a knowing grin.

The night he rode out, his hat pulled low over his brow and equipment strapped to his back, the sky was weeping and throwing bolts.

They called his guns a pair of machineels. You know, those deadly little apple things? Even being that little bit too close to his shooting could leave you in the dirt.
Deus ex Machineel, if you know what I mean.

Donnie Lee rode out, grim and certain, to face down the biggest storm Texas had seen in its young age.

The man was on a mission.

His voice carried on the winds, deep and laughing, calling out God and taunting the thunder.

They say the man wrangled a lightning bolt that night. Caught it right before it struck and rode it all the way back into Heaven.

Most people just laughed and shook their heads when he’d talk about storming the gates of Heaven. But, as legend goes, he rode that bolt straight to God’s front door.

There was a clap of thunder, then something louder. A gunshot echoing across space, and old Donnie Lee found himself falling through sky and clouds back to Earth.

Texas reached up and grabbed him hard. They say he didn’t have any broken bones, though. Just a knowing grin and a smoking hat.

“I almost got that fucker.”

Those were his last words before climbing back onto his horse. The rain came down harder on Texas, but not on Donnie Lee. He began to laugh and he and his horse rode off into the night as dry as the desert in August.



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