John indulges in a brief fantasy. As it is his own mind, he may wallow in vanity for once.
It is a scene from the old tale of Robin Hood. He is not really aware of the Olympics save as a fragmental artefact, as obscure as the story into which he is inserting himself. Thus he pictures it as a type of tournament, rather like the Texas fair where he had won his prizes for dentistry. He pictures it as a championship, composed of many sports and athletic events, wherein any and all may challenge one another at the physical skills at which they excel, that the best in the world might be fairly determined.
He has never heard of skeet shooting and so designs a target shoot where speed will count as well as accuracy. He has paper targets set on wooden stands. Trained judges, with their view of the shooters concealed, will watch carefully to ascertain which stand falls first. This will measure the draw as all contestants will begin with their guns safely holstered. The targets will naturally show the placement of each shot. Accuracy takes precedence. Each target will be rated as to the proximity of the shots to the centre cross. It is expected expert shooters will be accurate with time to aim so, from among those who have precisely punctured the centre, the medal winners will be selected according to which shooter has the greatest speed - which has toppled his target stand first.
Though Robin Hood had really been the equivalent of a stage robber, to which depths John had never sunk, he accepts the role. In further parallel to himself, he imagines the event held in Arizona, where he is an outlaw and the sheriff is his evil nemesis. Behan presides over the events. John wears a mask to conceal his identity and initially stands at the sidelines.
The first contestants line up before their targets, draw and fire. Winners are chosen. The next line moves forward to take their turn. When the results are tallied, the best and fastest gunmen of each trial compare their skills. Still John remains watching, disguised.
When the three champions are announced, they line up to take one more shot to cement their supremacy. It is then that John steps forward and a murmur passes through the crowd. His Thunderer is in his gunbelt at his waist - the slightly larger and more accurate of his modern self-cocking Colts. He asks that another target be set for him and it is done.
There is no replication of Robin Hood's arrow splitting that of the prior archer. Bullets do not remain protruding from a target, and each man has his own target to determine the speed of his draw, which is not an issue in archery. Behan drops his handkerchief and each man reaches for his firearm.
Not only does John exactly puncture the centre of his target, sending his stand flying, he thrice pulls the trigger of his own revolver, which does not need the time-consuming drawing back of the hammer to refire, creasing the corners of the other competitors stands as they topple themselves.
He smiles and bows, sweeping off his hat as he stands on the podium to accept his medal and laurels. But the man presenting it is close enough to recognise him, mask or no, and from amid the calls of the crowd he hears his name. "Doc Holliday! It can only be Doc Holliday!"
He is undone. Behan starts in alarm and gestures towards his henchmen as he descends from his seat on the grandstand. John is surrounded. They are closing in on him from all directions and he cannot run.
Ah! But hoofbeats approach, pounding fast. It is Wyatt on Dick Naylor, straight from racing and dressage, decked in his own medals and laurel. Wyatt is laughing and the sun glints off the polished metal of his tack. John swings up behind him and they gallop towards the horizon.
A confused member of the audience looks into the dust that rises behind them. "Who was that masked man?"
John can dream too.
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Word Count: 692
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I wrote this. The computer crashed. I lost it. I tried to reconstruct it. I couldn't. Not really.