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"Whacked Out West"
Chapter 22

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Chapter Twenty-Two
-- by  Jenny Curtis --

Pure white.  The prairie at dawn as the sun comes up over the horizon.  We see Preston asleep on the boulder where he was lost at dusk, he stirs restlessly as if embattled in a nightmare.

Meanwhile back at the ranch (note: I swear this is the LAST time this joke will appear in this fan fic.) The rescue party, Tex, Chanel, Mack, Bertha, Lucy, Suits, Armani, and Mack, we mustn't forget Mack, are mounting horses and preparing to leave.  The camera focuses on Tex, tall in the saddle as he lifts his hat off his head and shouts,

"Let's move em out!"

Chanel: Move who out?

Tex: Sorry ah just got carried away.  Somehow, let's go find yer husband, didn't have the same "yippee kayay!" Feel to it.

Lucy rides to the front of the group and shouts: Let's go already!

The party rides off, thundering hoof beats and a stirring Red River Western-type theme booms on the soundtrack.  As the search party tops the horizon they pass a lone tree, silhouetted by the rising sun. Preston stirs awake at the sound of approaching hoof beats.  He gasps and rubs his eyes.

Preston:  What an awful dream.  I really have to remember to avoid chili before bedtime.

Lucy arrives first, does a flying dismount from her horse and lands right next to Preston.

Lucy:  Daddy! (Throwing her arms around Preston)  we were so worried when you didn't come back last night.

(Preston pats Lucy on the cheek.) It's all right dear.  I'm fine.  Just a bit confused is all.  I could really use a satisfactory denouement.

Tex:  Well, I'm afraid I don't have any of yer fancy French pastries fer breakfast, just some of Cook's left over Chili.  (He pulls a steaming pot out of the saddle bag and places it under Preston's nose.  Preston pales at the sight).

Preston:  No thanks Tex.  I'm afraid that's the cause of all the trouble.  You see, I had the strangest dream last night.  You were in it Tex and you got killed trying to save Chanel.  And Mack was an FBI agent and Suits, you had an evil twin and then you didn't.-

Mack: an FBI agent? Well ah'll be.  Now doesn't that just paint yer wagon and blaze yer saddles.

Armani: Honestly, I'm going to shoot the next person who speaks in movie titles. (She pulls out a small, elegant gun from her saddle bag)

Preston (continuing with his explanation of the dream): --And then there was a confusing subplot regarding Little Rock.  And Chanel, my darling, you were in terrible danger on a set from a Quentin Tarrentino vampire movie.  It was really disturbing. 

Chanel (rolling her eyes): What no Wicked Witch of the West?  Or were you saving that for Bertha?

Bertha:  I resent that.  I really do.  It's bad enough that I have to talk like Foghorn Leghorn for 20 chapters, but that's the last straw. (She turns her horse around and begins to head away from the group, towards town)

Tex:  Bertha, honey, don't be sore. 

Bertha:  I'm going to town to wire my agent.  I want out of this fanfiction now.  I don't have to take this treatment.  I was acting in films when this little Irish brat was still in nappies or diapers or whatever.  I just wish you people would make up your mind whether to use British or American slang.

Tex:  (calling after her) But you can have second billing, after me, of course.  (It's too late she's got too much of a lead on him and isn't stopping for his nonsense.  Tex turns back to the group).

Tex: Dang it.  There goes my double-entendre filled reunion with my ex-wife.  I hope you two city slickers are happy.

Armani: That's it!  I warned you (she shoots Tex and he falls off his horse backwards, clutching his wound).

Tex:  (Gasping) So I have to die anyway. 

Preston (Chanel crosses over to him and holds his head in her hands, Preston kneels at the side of his fallen comrade):  Sorry old bean.  You knew it had to happen.  This fan fiction just wasn't big enough for the both of us.  (He pulls out a cigarette, lights it and takes a drag, and then puts it Tex's lips).

Tex:  (gagging) I don't smoke.  Pres ol buddy, I gotta ask ya a favor.

(Preston leans closer)

Preston:  Anything Tex.

Tex:  Will ya look after ma ranch.  It's a beautiful place and I want you to have it.

Preston:  I will Tex.

Chanel (grabbing Preston's hand tearfully):  WE will Tex.  We promise.

(With that Tex gives a last little smile and dies.  Lucy throws herself down next to him)

Lucy:  Don't die!  You haven't taught me to skin a mule or rope a jack-a-lope.  (She sobs).

Suits: What a touching scene.  But aren't you forgetting something?

(The group stares blankly at him.  The only sound is Lucy's quiet mourning and the wind whistling across the prairie).

Suits: The villains!  You slack-jawed bunch of yokels have yet to address Armani and me.

Armani:  This plot has more loose threads than an outlet mall after a mega sale.

Suits:  Preston, you're forgetting that I still hold the deed to your old life back in Connecticut.  And although my plan to steal Chanel from you has failed, Pres my dear cousin, I can still get to you by running off with your old flame, Armani.

Preston:  As for the house in Connecticut, you can have it Suits.   I made my friend, Tex here a deathbed promise and I intend to keep it.

Suits:  You fool.  You'll die out here.

Armani: and Chanel will suffer from premature aging due to excessive exposure to UV rays.

Chanel:  I'll get a bonnet, you tramp.

Preston:  And as for her (pointing angrily at Armani)  I'll take Chanel before Armani any day.  I've always loved her classic, elegant line versus Armani's glitzy, nearly vulgar display of Italian opulence. Armani means nothing to me.

Mack:  This portion of the fan fiction was brought to you by Vogue Magazine: setting trends for 75 years.

Chanel:  Oh Pres, do you mean it?  When I saw her again I was so hurt.

Preston:  I know darling.  I've been a fool to let you go on believing there was some kind of love triangle between Bertha, Armani and myself because I was jealous of you and Tex.

Chanel:  That's really more of a pentagon dear.

Preston: Geometry never was my strong subject.  (He takes Chanel in his arms and kisses her passionately)

Chanel:  That's the most romantic thing you've ever said, darling. 

(They kiss again).

Suits: (riding over to Amrani) Let's get out of here.

Armani: These whackos are making me thirsty.

Suits: To the Fourth Wall Saloon.

Armani: and then?

Suits:  Back East, of course, where at least we'll have gallery openings and Broadway theater to sweeten the taste of this bitter pill.

Armani:  Fine.  But no Andrew Lloyd Weber.

Suits:  I'd die first.  Hi ya ha!  (He spurs his horse and Armani follows.  They ride off into the sunset).

(Chanel and Preston cross to where Lucy is sitting.  Each put a protective arm around her.)

Preston:  There, there cowgirl.  It'll all work out.  You'll see.

Chanel: Pres, how are we going to cope?  In two weeks we've learned nothing about running a ranch except that people seem to fall down alot.

Lucy (snuffling a bit):  It's OK mama.  I've learned lots of things from Tex.  He said I could practically run this place myself.

Mack:  And I can help, ma'am.

Chanel: Up until 5 minutes ago you were working for Suits!

Mack:  Ah shucks, li'l lady, I've flip-flopped more in this fan fiction than a dying rattle snake on roller skates.

Chanel:  That's great Mack.  But we'll need to do something about those atrocious metaphors before we'll allow you to spend time with Lucy.  She's an impressionable youngster.

Preston: Darn right she is.  Ah'll say. Ya see Chanel, we'll be jes dandy out here.

Chanel:  As long you stay away from Cook's Chili.

Preston: (growing serious.  He reaches down and picks up clump of soil.)

As God is my witness, I'll never eat chili before bed.

(As he says this he raises the soil to the sky and he's silhouetted with the lone tree in the background.  The music swells.)


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