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Twinkle, Twinkle

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Seeing the sights was just one of the many perks to being an outlaw, Butch had decided. Although he was born into the rocky ridges of Utah, Wyoming had become home.

The sprawling plains and wildflowers, crystal clear waterways, and dramatic mountain ranges had stolen his heart. And there was no better way to appreciate the wonders of nature than being miles and miles from civilization, as he and the Sundance Kid often were.

Nighttime in particular painted everything in a different light. Sometimes, when they rode too long and lost track of time, it would sneak up on them. Then there was just the faint glow of moonlight, turning everything into one mysterious shadow.

But other times, there was no moon, and those nights gave “dark” a whole new meaning. 

That was the case on this particular night, as Butch and Sundance were dozens of miles from the nearest hint of other people.

They’d hitched the horses to a semi-sturdy looking tree then started a small fire just to combat the chill in the air.

The orange, flickering glow of the flames did little against the sheer blackness around them. 

Butch laid flat against his makeshift bedroll, hands behind his head, staring up at the sky. Countless little lights twinkled and danced.

Sundance was in a similar position on the other side of the campfire, although he’d taken off his jacket and was using it like a blanket. His arms appeared to be held flat by his sides, and this seemed like a rather unnatural resting position.

“If you’re cold, why don’t you move a little closer to the fire?” Butch questioned.

Sundance narrowed his eyes and slowly turned his head to glare at him. “You know why.”

“Oh,” Butch said with a laugh. “Once is enough for catching on fire in your sleep, huh?”

“Damn spark ruined my favorite pair of pants.” Sundance turned his attention back to the sky.

Butch did the same, chuckling to himself. Getting woken up to the normally stoic Sundance Kid hopping around and shouting obscenities wasn’t an everyday occurrence. All he’d gotten out of it was a singed pant leg and a ruined night, or it wouldn’t have been so amusing.

“Look,” Sundance said, pointing upward.

Butch glanced up just in time to see a white burst streaking across the sky.

“Did you make a wish?” He asked the Kid.

Sundance settled into his jacket, turning his head away from the fire. “Yep.”

Butch pressed, “Well, what did ya wish for?”

“Don’t you know you’re not supposed to tell?”

Butch went quiet for just a moment. “That’s just a wive’s tale.”

“The whole thing is a wive’s tale, Butch.”

“Aw, come on.” Butch frowned. “Haven’t you ever hoped for something or someone real hard, and then it worked out?”

Sundance couldn’t help but laugh a little. “Some might call that a prayer, not a wish.”

“Well…” Butch mulled that over, and decided he didn’t like it. “You know I’m not big on all that.”

“But you’ll make wishes,” Sundance commented.

Butch shrugged. “Why not?”

“Just making sure I got that all right.”

Sounding entirely too disappointed given the context, Butch asked, “You’re really not gonna tell me?”

Sundance sighed heavily and looked over at him. “I wished our next score was a really big one.”

Butch scowled. “That’s it?” 

“I had less than a second to think, it was just what came to mind.”

“You wasted it,” Butch said. “I wished you and Etta would get married.”

Sundance’s expression held equal amounts of confusion and exasperation. “Your wish was about me?”

“And Etta,” Butch said. “Like you said, there’s not enough time to think. I guess I just figured the two of you would be happy.”

This answer did nothing to remedy the intense bewilderment Sundance was feeling. “Why couldn’t you just wish for something normal?”

“That is normal,” Butch replied defensively. “That’s the most normal thing there is.”

“You know what, keep your wishes to yourself next time.” Sundance shook his head. “I didn’t even ask.” 

“Fine,” Butch replied, in a tone that plainly said this was not fine. “If there’s another shooting star, I’ll wish you two don’t get married to even things out.”

Sundance threw his arms up hopelessly, though they didn’t get far thanks to the jacket. “Why can’t you just do one for yourself? Or better yet…go to sleep. No more wishes, you’re messing it up.”

“At least I didn’t waste mine,” Butch retorted. He wriggled a little closer to the fire, laying on his side.

Moments later, Sundance saw two more stars fall, one right after the other. He was relieved to see Butch’s eyes were closed. That would’ve really sent him into a frenzy.