The Saga of Miles Forrest

It had been a couple of days since the last shooting. I was at my regular table and had  just poured a cup of coffee when I saw him sitting in the corner. I left the Greener on the table knowing that it wouldn’t help in this situation; he would just sneer at me. The coffee was also left on the table as I didn’t want the aroma oozing from him to taint it none.
I walked on over. “Friend, Miles, welcome. Always good to see you.”
“What are you doin’ here?” I asked.
“Why Miles, you invited me. I stay close to you. If I don’t get you I can count on you sending me your leftovers.” Then came that cackle that so irritated me to my bones.
“You’re not welcome,” I said looking at the blue veins pulsating through an almost transparent body.
He snarled. “No one welcomes me. I’m death. I’m come to collect the souls.” He wiped the pus flowing from his mouth. “You’re no better than me, Miles. You bring death as well…and don’t you try and deny it.”
“Death comes to all, but only with the permission of the Creator; the person you try to deny, but can’t do it.” The aroma was stronger and I thought I heard a sizzle.
Out of the corner of my eye I caught Marta standing at the entry to the kitchen. She probably thinks I’m crazy along with being bad luck. Looking back the Pale Rider was gone. Good riddance, and I walked back to my table. The coffee was cold.
Marta came to me and reached out her hand for the cup. “Señor Miles, are you alright? Who were you talking to at that corner table?”
“Long story; some day I’ll speak to you about it.” Doc Jones walked in the restaurant along with a limping Trenton. Whew, that pulled me away from Marta. “Could you get me a fresh cup, Marta?”
“Have a seat,” I said, nodding toward a chair.
Trenton was shot when he barged in the door and fired at the person with the rifle aiming at Marta’s head. He’d sure been through it since the first of the year.
“Well, here we are again, sitting in Molly’s Shooting Gallery,” remarked Doc.
Marta walked up with my clean cup and a couple others. “Señor Doc, SeñorTrenton, what can I get you to eat?”
“Too early for a meal since the missus made a huge breakfast.”
Trenton interrupted. “Any chance there might be a pie in the kitchen?”
“I think so,” and she left.
Molly came out with Marta. I was watching carefully, making sure that they brought me a piece as well. I pulled out a chair for Molly as she laid a piece of fresh apricot pie in front of me. “You’re so spoiled,” she said with a smile.
“And I like it,” I replied as I took a sip of coffee then cut into the pie.
“Seriously, Molly,” interrupted Doc. “You should think of changing the name. Think of all the advertisement you could get, and all of it true.”
“Doc, if it wasn’t for Marta’s mother’s cooking, the place would be in shambles now.”
Trenton had almost finished his pie but looked up and remarked, “You make a pretty good pie, Molly. Most men out here will brave a ‘shooting gallery’ for a piece of your pie.”
“Got somethin’ for you Trenton,” I said as I reached to a box on the counter. “If you’re gonna be a one-eyed man, better look the part.”
He opened the box and took out a black eye-patch. Then looking at the three of us, he gave a grin. First time he had smiled since he had been butchered up. But then it disappeared and he said. “Wray and Ferguson are still out there.”