Stories From Our Past: Playing Cowboys

14K stories are unique because we don't just try to copy the mediocre or the good-enough. We are inspired by our past experiences. We take what life has taught us up to this point; all of the inspiration, creativity, humor, and we place those carefully into your story. We use these elements to attach emotion, to create a compelling piece of art, and most importantly, to make you care. Here is a piece of Matt's past that taught him how to build tension in a story.

 My brother, Taylor is on the left, clearly the winner in this one.

My brother, Taylor is on the left, clearly the winner in this one.

Growing up with a brother who was 18 months younger than me meant a lifetime of rivalry. Sure we loved each other and all that, but deep down we both knew that when it came to a competition, winning was the only thing that mattered. There was only enough glory in this life for one of us. 

Playing cowboys in our front yard was one of those competitions.

After strapping on our chaps, donning our oversized yard sale cowboy hats, and holstering our orange-capped 6-shooters, we walked almost in slow motion out the door and onto the battlefield. After watching every Clint Eastwood movie we could get our tiny hands on, we knew what to do from here.

We would square off at about 20 feet away from each other, glaring underneath the brims of our hats, our fingers brushing the tops of our holsters. Cars would drive by, probably giggling at the sight of a couple four foot tall cowboys about to duel. One of us would begin to recite some classic western movie monologue about how the other party was "filthy scum" and how "there ain't room in this town for the both of us" as we walked in a large circle, our eyes still fixed on each other. Waiting...

BANG! BANG! 

The world stopped. Arms flailed. Bodies went airborne. Hats flew in all directions. Both cowboys were undoubtedly injured, but it wasn't until the dust had settled that fate would choose the victor. Nine times out of ten, it was me (the older brother, clearly) who would slowly stand up, holding my gut where imaginary blood was gushing out of an imaginary, non-fatal gunshot wound. I would hobble slowly, dramatically over to the crumpled figure who lay motionless, my imaginary bullet embedded in his heart. I wanted to make sure my job was done.

Or so I thought.

Three feet, two feet, a foot away. All of a sudden my opponent's body became animated, the life back in him! Before I could get my final shot off, he rolled over onto his back and sent his remaining bullet into my gut. 

I was stunned. Sure, we were just playing cowboys and I had tried to go easy on him, but he wasn't supposed to win. He was never supposed to win. But his move was so cool! I was physically jolted. Seemingly against my will, his bullet tore through my left rib cage, spinning me around. My gun dropped from my hand. The life had left me before my body hit the ground.

But before the world went black, I remember seeing my brother's smile and thinking, "Just wait until after lunch."

 We thought we looked a lot cooler than this.

We thought we looked a lot cooler than this.

By Matt Scofield | Director & Editor at 14K Media