The Scared-of-Fire Kid

“They call me… The Scared-of-Fire Kid.”

First sentence of my groundbreaking caveman/cowboy cross-genre masterpiece.

The Scared-of-Fire Kid walked into the village. As he passed by, women shooed their children into the comforting darkness of their caves. Local toughs, their lips smeared with fermented fruit, glared at him from under half-closed eyelids.

In the center of town, a wonder: Two big rocks stacked on top of one another.

“Well, I’ll be,” said the Kid. “Modern technology. What will they think of next?”

“This ain’t no concern of yours, Scared-of-Fire Kid,” said the leader of the club-wielding thugs. “Why don’t you just get back on your horse–”

“I don’t know what that is,” grunted The Scared-of-Fire Kid. “I don’t think that’s a thing that’s native to my biome. Or maybe they haven’t evolved yet?”

[NOTE TO SELF: When did horses?]

“We want you out of this cave, lady,” said the fur-wearing tough. “Our boss has big plans for this space. He found a big pile of meat and he wants to store it in here, where it’s cool, eating as much as he can before it magically transforms into flies, which is a thing we believe happens.”

“Transmutation?” said the cave-lady.

“Less talking, more walking,” said the tough.

“You having some trouble here, ma’am?” asked The Scared-of-Fire Kid, who was terrible at minding his own business.

“Before we fight, we have to count down,” said The Scared-of-Fire Kid, facing his foe in the middle of a dirt path.

“I don’t count,” said the caveman, swinging a sharpened bone.


“In my head, numbers are like: one, two, three, many.”

“So we can count down from three,” said The Kid.

“I don’t see why we don’t just fight, like, right now.”

The Kid rubbed his unshaven jaw. “There’s this thing called ‘genre convention’–”


The Kid sighed.

The mother and child, safe from the bone club-wielding band that had threatened their village, watched The Scared-of-Fire Kid gather up his things to leave.

“Why do you have to go?” asked the child.

“My work here is done,” said the Kid. “Also, those guys set fire to your home and, uh… man, I do NOT like that.”

“We can build another home,” said the mother. “And cook you something… if you’d stay.”

“What, like… cook with fire?” asked the Kid. “Yikes. No thanks.”

The sunset beckoned.