RATING: PG-13 for naughty language
CATEGORY: Challenge - OW
MAJOR CHARACTERS: Ezra, with a bit of Vin, Buck and JD
DISCLAIMERS: This is fanfiction. No profit involved. This story is based on the television series "The Magnificent Seven". No infringement upon the copyrights held by CBS, MGM, Trilogy Entertainment Group, The Mirisch Corp. or any others involved with that production is intended.
NOTE: The August 2004 Challenge: offered by Jen Brooks: Write us a story inspired by a song
SUMMARY: Ezra has a little extra savoir-faire
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This story is based on the song, "Extra Savoir-Faire" by the wonderful group "They Might be Giants".
FEEDBACK: Yes please! comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
DATE: August 10, 2004
APPEARS IN: Magnificent Shorts #1
An Extra Savoir-Faire
By NotTasha...who ain't got any.
“Look at him,” Buck griped, folding his arms over his chest as he watched from outside the jailhouse. “Son-of-a-bitch.”
“He’s so full of himself,” JD commented as he rested his chin on his arms that draped along the handrail. He teetered forward on his chair, watching.
“What right has he got to do that?” Wilmington complained.
“Acts like he owns the place,” Dunne included.
“Peacock,” Buck muttered. “Struttin’ about like a peacock.”
“A red rooster,” JD added.
“Grouse,” Vin joined the conversation as he sidled up to the two observers.
“I ain’t grousin’,” Buck shot back. “Just commenting on…”
“… that!” JD completed, as he sat back and gestured to the creature that colored their street.
"What?" Vin asked, innocently, turning where JD indicated.
The sheriff scowled and murmured, “Can't you see him?”
The tracker smirked. Yeah, Dunne was right. The object of their scrutiny was hard to miss.
Along the boardwalk, Ezra sauntered, wearing his new jacket, brilliant blue against the worn-out whitewash of the buildings. It was bluer than a robin’s egg, bluer than Morgan’s Lake, blue as the sky just before nightfall when the day has been fair and mild. The gambler nearly glowed with the intensity of the color. His brocade waistcoat, the same impossible azure shade, was stitched with silver that shone in the afternoon light. His hat was newly brushed and black as pitch, settled perfectly on his coiffure. His boots shone with a new application of polish. His buckles, burnished. Even the Remington at his hip sparkled as he walked.
Every eye turned, man and woman alike, to see the surreal creature pass by. Such vividness couldn’t help but stand out in the drabness of the western street. He was like a parrot in a chicken coop.
“Prick,” Buck grumbled.
“Jerk,” JD mumbled.
“Asshole,” Buck continued.
Standish paused, taking the watch from his pocket and opening it with a practiced movement. He glanced at the watch face, looking as if time meant nothing to him, before he closed the lid. Idly, he ran the watch against his lapel to polish off any fingerprints and returned it to the waistcoat pocket. As if he had nothing in the world to worry about, he leaned against a post, crossed one leg over the other, and gently grasped one wrist with his other hand.
“Slinkin’ sidewinder,” Buck grumbled.
“Dandy,” JD mumbled, leaning back in his chair. “Pop…Popinjay,” he stuttered, unsure of the word.
Buck took a surer path with, “Ass.”
“It ain’t fair,” JD uttered.
“Man has no right,” Buck continued.
Vin shrugged. “What’s he doin’ that’s so wrong?”
“Just watch ‘im,” Buck told Tanner, nodding toward the idle gambler. So Vin watched.
Miss Jennifer and Miss Monica, lovely ladies, new to the town, promenaded along the street. The delicate flowers slowed their tread as they approached the dazzling gambler. Like buttercups, flouncing in the wind, they fussed with their skirts and smiled coyly.
“Good day, dear ladies,” Ezra purred, tipping his hat. “You’re both looking particularly lovely today.” He smiled, dimpling his cheeks.
“Oh, Mr. Standish!” they both cooed at once, batting their eyes and shuffling their bustles shamelessly.
“Is that a new hat, Miss Monica?" Ezra asked, his voice like silk. "It’s striking. I’ve never seen one like it before. Turtles for decoration? It must be a one of a kind and perfectly suited for an independent and delightful woman such as yourself. Is it from Europe? Spain perhaps? And Miss Jennifer, that watch on your chain. It’s stunning. Is it from the Orient? I’ve never seen a mechanism like it. An intriguing ornament for an equally intriguing woman.”
And the women giggled and gibbered all the more, and whisked away like petals on the breeze, unable to say another word to the smooth gentleman. Ezra grinned all the more, his dimples deepening to crevasses.
“Slick little weasel,” Buck grumbled.
“Pain in the butt,” JD continued.
“He’s no better than a thief! I’ve been tryin’ to get those ladies’ attention since they come into town,” Buck griped. “Won’t hardly look my way.”
“What’s he got that we ain’t got?” JD asked, snuffling as he ran a sleeve under his arm.
Buck grunted, not finding an answer, and scratched at his armpit. “I figured Miss Jennifer would probably go for it once I wore her down a bit. She seemed like the type, but I don’t stand a chance with that chiseler gettin’ in there first!”
“Really?” JD asked. “You think Miss Jennifer would be easier? I always figured it would be Miss Monica. She looks pretty eager.”
“It’s all for naught, now,” Buck sighed.
Once the women had departed, giggling still, Ezra shifted his weight off the post and straightened the cuffs of his jacket. With a flick of the wrist, he had them settled to his liking, and he continued his journey along the boardwalk, slowly making his way toward the jail and his compatriots – but in no hurry whatsoever.
“Bet he thinks he’s better than all of us,” JD commented unhappily. “He looks down on everyone like we’re ants or elves or something.”
“Elves?” Vin echoed, but JD scowled, obviously not wanting to go into that further.
Harris, a wrangler who’d been passing through, appeared on the other side of the street, and promptly strode toward the gambler. The stranger raised a hand to stop the slow progress of the cerulean fop. Buck was certain that he saw the conman’s noise crinkle up in disgust.
Harris stated, “You’re Mr. Standish, ain’t cha?”
“But of course,” Ezra chirped. “Who else could I possibly be?” And he opened his arms to allow Harris to get a good look at his stunning attire. Harris didn’t react. Ezra sighed and continued, “How might I be of assistance to you?”
Harris furrowed his brow. “I heard you were one of the lawmen in this town. Someone said to look for the guy in the bright coat... lawman in the bright coat.”
“Ah, excellent description," Ezra commented. "Lawman might be a misnomer, all things considered. It must be obvious to even the likes of you that 'constable' isn’t my preferred profession.”
Ezra raised himself up an inch or so, hands folded behind his back, before settling back on his heels. “There is a band of men who claim the title of lawmen over this town, and I could include myself as part of that assembly, at least temporarily.” Ezra continued airily. “It’s only a matter of time and I’ll be moving onto greener pastures, but for the time bein’ I suppose I might be able to answer in an affirmative to your question.” When Harris looked at him blankly, Ezra blew out a breath and continued, his voice low, revealing his surrender. “I am a lawman.”
“Oh, okay!” Harris seemed excited. “I’m Harris, Jay Harris. I got a robbery to report. Someone stole my saddlebags! Took ‘em right out from under me! I’d just got into town and needed to take a good crap, you know how it is.” Ezra’s face took on a ‘get me out of here’ expression as Harris continued, “So, there I was, sittin’, doin’ my business in the privy, when someone moved a loose board in the wall. They took my stuff while I had my pants down 'round my ankles! Let me tell ya, I jumped up right quick and run out of there. Didn’t have time to pull up my drawers or …”
“Say no more,” Ezra responded quickly, waving one hand to get the story to cease while he pointed with the other hand. “You should talk to our esteemed sheriff… Mr. Dunne… over there… by his mustached friend. He’s the man for you and will be more than happy to assist.” And he gestured again, congenially, helpfully, showing Harris the way.
“Aw, hell,” JD muttered, hearing Ezra foist the man off.
“Figures,” Buck grumbled.
“Thank ye!” Harris exclaimed, giving Ezra a clap on the back and striding off toward JD.
Ezra dusted at his shoulders as soon as Harris’ back was turned. “You be sure to find me later, Mr. Harris,” Ezra called after. “I’ll be at the poker table in this fair saloon, waitin’.”
Harris nodded as he walked, and waved a hand in consent.
“And you’ll find our bathhouse delightful. You might want to visit it before turning to the tables,” Ezra added cheerfully, receiving another nod as Harris got further away.
“Have fun,” Vin chuckled, slapping JD on the arm as he left them. He passed a determined-looking Harris on his way toward Ezra.
Vin heard JD invite Harris into the jailhouse, and Buck went with them, leaving the street to the tracker and the gambler. Ezra smiled as Vin approached him He was again leaning on a post, looking idle but not bored, as he gazed across the town. The tracker shook his head and asked, “You think that man has money for poker?”
Ezra dipped his head. “One could tell simply by lookin’ at him. You can tell a lot about a man by the way he carries himself.”
An enthusiastic nod, and Ezra commented, “His money pouch, apparently, was not in the purloined saddlebags, otherwise his tread wouldn’t have been so confident. Still, a pity for him to lose his belongings to ne’er-do-wells. A further pity for him, he won’t have his hands on that cash much longer either.”
“Figger he’s about to come up another one of those… ne’er-do-whatevers.”
Ezra lifted an eyebrow and changed the subject.. “So, Mr. Tanner, did our compatriots have plenty to say about me? I saw them over there, clucking together like a pair of hens.”
“You piss them off,” Vin told the gambler, laughing.
“I’ve done nothing,” Ezra responded innocently.
“You’ve been paradin’ around.”
“I was simply taking in some air. Goin’ for a walk.”
“Yeah, dressed up all fine and showin’ off.”
Ezra shrugged. “What's a man like me supposed to do?” he asked. “It’s not as if I can hide it.”
“I don’t mean to put others down, but not everyone has that ‘something special’.”
“Ands what’d that be?”
Ezra explained, “Just an extra savoir-faire.”
"An Ezra Savoir-Faire?" Tanner asked, playing dumb.
Ezra sneered at him.
Vin cocked his head. “Don’t know what that means. Sounds kinda Frenchy. I s’pect it might mean ‘bullshit’. You’re certainly full of it.”
To that Ezra nodded. “I suppose that’s right,” he uttered and smiled, letting his gold tooth glint.
Extra Savoir-Faire by They Might be Giants
When I walk down the street, most guys look like elves
I don't mean to put them down but they do
It's hard to understand me from the language that I use
There's no word in English for my style
What's a man like me supposed to do
With all this extra savoir-faire?
What is left for me to prove, dear?
I know just what to do when the ladies come 'round
You can try to copy me but you'll fail
Now, you might think you're different but time will prove me right
When you wake up from your dream I'll be gone
What's a man like me supposed to do
With all this extra savoir-faire?
What is left for me to prove, dear?
Hope you enjoyed the story. comments and suggestions