By Maz McCoy

“Five days,” Kid Curry stated as he adjusted the pillow and leaned back against the wall.

“I know,” Hannibal Heyes replied.

Kid gave the pillow a punch in a vain attempt to plump it up and watched as his friend paced back and forth. “Five. Days.”

“So, you said,” Heyes responded as he continued to pace.

“Five. Loooong. Days.”

Irked, Heyes stopped pacing and looked at his friend. “Alright, Kid, I know it’s been five days and I’m well aware they’ve been loooong days so unless you have anything useful to add…” Blue eyes met brown ones and the look told Heyes he should carefully consider his next words. The dark-haired man took a deep breath, let out a long sigh and his tone softened. “I know it’s not been easy but if you have anything to add that might help us I’d love to hear it.” Heyes smiled, hoping to placate his irritated friend.

Kid adjusted his position on the bunk and met his friend’s gaze. “That smile don’t fool me, Heyes,” Kid informed him. “What I’d really like to do is flatten ya and seein’ as we’re already in jail it’s not like I can get arrested for it, so be warned.”

Heyes did his best to look hurt but his friend ignored him and continued.

“Five days ago I was plannin’ on enjoyin’ a long hot bath followed by a cold beer.” Kid swung his legs over the edge of the bunk, his boots hitting the floor with a thud. “Five days ago I was hopin’ to sleep in a soft bed for the first time in two weeks and not some flea-infested jail house bunk.”

“I know and I…”

Kid stood up and faced Heyes, his hands resting on his hips. “Five days ago I remember my good friend tellin’ me how he was gonna win us enough money to stay in this nice little town for a month or two. He just needed my five dollars to help him do it.” Kid took a step closer to Heyes and to give him credit the ex-outlaw leader held his ground. Having the fastest gun in the west approach you with the expression Kid Curry now wore would intimidate a lesser man.

“It was a reasonable request,” Heyes informed him. “Based on past results and the probability, if I’d been in your place I would…” But Kid was not finished.

“And then, five days ago my good friend bet the sheriff ten dollars he could make five pat hands out of twenty five cards.”

“I didn’t know he was the sheriff,” Heyes stated, defensively.

“I didn’t know you couldn’t do it,” Kid retorted.

“It works nine times outta ten.”

“So ya keep tellin’ me.” Kid let his shoulders drop, and then gave his friend a sideways glance. “What you didn’t tell me was that you didn’t have the money to back it up.”

“That’s what I keep you around for,” Heyes quipped but the smile he gave the blond man only resulted in another glare.

“I wasn’t about to draw on the sheriff,” Kid informed him.

“I know and I’m grateful because I doubt even my silver tongue could have explained that to the governor.”

“When you borrowed my five dollars you could have told me you didn’t have five of your own.”

“I could have, that is true but I was confident I could do it. I always do it, so why would I think I couldn’t do it this time?”

“I’m just sayin’.” Kid leaned his back against the bars.

“I know and I am sorry.”

This time when blue eyes met brown ones there was no intent to pulverise. “So has all the pacin’ you’ve been doin’ helped you figure out how to get us outta here?”

“Not yet,” Heyes admitted then added optimistically, “but I’m working on it.”

“Well, it better not take the twenty days the sheriff gave us because I am not spending Christmas in jail.”

“Don’t worry, Kid, I’ll have us out by then. I just need to work out a plan.”

“I’ve heard that before too,” Kid Curry stated as he lowered himself back onto the bunk.

Kid punched the pillow once more, then lay back on the bunk, crossed his feet at the ankle and covered his face with his hat. “Just keep workin’ on it,” he mumbled.

Hannibal Heyes looked through the bars of their cell at the lawman snoozing quietly in a chair behind his desk. Their guns, still in their gun belts, hung forlornly from a set of hooks on the wall behind him. His gaze travelled to the clock on the wall and the calendar next to it. Christmas. If only there was a way to...and then Hannibal Heyes smiled. He looked back at the sleeping lawman and called out. “Sheriff.”