The man with no name stationed himself beneath the shadow of the giant cactus. The rim of his hat almost covered his steely blue eyes – an electronic cigarette dangled moodily from a sneer that seemed indelibly etched on his lips. Stony faced and silent he observed the folks who came and went along the dusty thoroughfare. They gave him a wide berth, bowing their heads as they passed.
“Can I help you, stranger?” asked a workman, pushing a wooden wheelbarrow.
The word was mumbled in manner that sounded as ominous as it was inaudible. He exhaled a misty stream of vapour from the electronic cigarette through nostrils that flared like a wild stallion. The workman hurried quietly away.
The man with no name waited, muscles tensed in anticipation, coiled like a spring.
At high noon, a lonesome figure appeared at the head of the path, silhouetted by the glare from the sun through the glass of the greenhouse. The man with no name stepped out of the shadow of the cactus. He dropped the electronic cigarette to the ground and slowly pushed back the rim of his hat with an upturned finger. His eyes narrowed. His breath became measured. A single bead of sweat trickled down his unshaven jaw.
The figure approached slowly.
Legs slightly parted the man with no name stood his ground. A nervous tic twitched on his cheek. He held his right hand poised behind his back. The figure stopped and then took another cautious step towards him. The man with no name had honed his reflexes to perfection through hours of practice before the bathroom mirror. Right hand a rapid blur, produced – a fistful of flowers.