‘Twere’nt long ago, when I started tumbling. Hot dry winds rose around me and the base of my stalk went snap and I began to roll. Finally free of my roots, ready to roam the deserts and plains. Catch a glimpse of the tall orange buttes in the northern plains, as they had been described to me by other holy rollers.
Maybe even catch a view of people. Heard lotsa stories ‘bout them people, even though I saw one on a horse when I were but a sprout. People were always in’eresting, usin’ us for shootin’ practice, something to kick, something innocuous and ubiquitous to say, “Yeah. You’re alone out here. Just you, the sun, and the tumbleweed.”
Starting tumbling, started seein’ some strange things. There ain’t hardly no trees ‘round here, but there’s lots of wood, rectangular like, half formed into boxes. I heard that people had something to do with it, wanting the sparkles from the ground my detached roots once sunk into. sometimes I tumbled through whole canyons of these structures, not half as majestic as the buttes to my north and the mountains far distant. Piddly kinda valley, I reckon.
I rolled through one of the piddly people valleys, bullet strikes changing my course. A few branches here, a few branches there, no matter, keep on rollin’ to see that two people figures were running off towards the buttes, two beautiful orange striped barrels rising to the sky. A crunch as a horse’s hoof lands on me and I am kicked up in poof of dust.
“We’ll head them off at the pass, the bastards. Ya!”
And the horses reared and galloped off, hooves propelling me forward and over and over. I hear gunshots in the distance. I have no duel with the men or the horses, my duel is with the dry dirt and sky, as my branches slowly break down and I am faster, lighter. I’ve met some nice gusts of dust in my travels. Mebbe I’ll be a dust storm next. Yeah, that’ll be nice.