Chris Scott Wilson                   Writer                                             

almeria04C chris scott wilson
almeria04 chris scott wilson

Almeria, East of the Pecos 4

sun. A black silhouette. It's a horse, edging a step or two along the street toward you, stiff legged, then stopping, a hoof restlessly pawing the dust. Its head is down, neck stretched, blowing through dilated nostrils. One loose rein is trailing.

    The outline isn’t right. You freeze so you don’t spook him. Closer, the horse snickers softly as though looking to make friends, but still wall-eyed and nervous, tail switching back and forth. Then you can see there is a rider, still seated, but lying forward over its neck, face buried in the tangled mane. As you reach out a hand to catch the bridle, you see the blood-soaked arm of the rider’s shirt then something makes you look beyond, to the open desert. There is a plume of dust out there. It’s moving. Perhaps a rider.

    The other part of this story.

    If you’re a Western author, you’re probably rewriting your version of this in your mind already. It’s what you do. That’s what I mean about Almeria being inspiring. The buildings may not be real, some just propped-up fronts, but standing in the street your imagination can fill in the gaps. And believe it or not, those Spanish western film sets are every bit as atmospheric as the genuine ghost towns scattered across America’s true west.

    For that couple of hours in the dark, you believed what you saw up there on the silver screen as the plot twisted and turned, didn’t you? Remember this one - Le Bon, la Brute et le Truand it was called in French? No? If you’re Spanish it was called Il Bueno, il Brutto, il Cattivo, one of the most successful films ever shot there. No? Then you probably know it as : The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

 

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