Howdy, Partner

Scott Lilley

howdy partner 
—the plastic cowboy does not look plastic as he explains this is after life, partner. You are not quite appearing yourself. The plastic cowboy does not look plastic but is plastic just as this moment is not the afterlife or even an afterlife, but simply, after life. This world looks drawn and you are feeling fleshless. Downstairs a boy is screaming. You hear him, partner? He’s the puppeteer round here, you hear him, partner, he wants us all still. The plastic cowboy checks if you understand so you nod. The plastic cowboy sounds like Tom Hanks and you understand this. In truth you struggle with the plastic cowboy, this world looks drawn for you. There are others, here, like you but also not like you. They, too, are plastic but do not look plastic. The plastic cowboy explains to you that, although he doesn’t have high enough clearance to decide for how long you’ll be staying, he does hope you’ll enjoy your stay. This doesn’t trouble you as you feel you’ve been travelling for some time now and you’ve decided this world is drawn for you. On the stairs a boy is screaming. The others are motionless. A boy is at the door. The plastic cowboy is motionless now and there is a snake in his boot. A boy is at the door.  This  world  is drawn for you.  Everyone is motionless.  You  open the door.