How Not To Win The West Part 1 (Short Story for citique)

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    Today’s Must Write Thursday article is about a timid Sheriff forced to deal with a violent criminal in a old west scenario. I felt that it really suited the character to be a little to smart for his own good. More interesting than that though is I liked this character so much that I will Likely write more with him as he learns to deal with the disparity between his intellect and those around him and somehow face down people he is sorely ill equipped to deal with. Please feel free to comment below.

    The West is won by those that survive. It was a miserable mistake to accept the duty of Sheriff in this miserable hole of a town. Being the one who enforces the law is not a good way to survive. I regretted it from the moment I said yes but never have I regretted it more than today.

    A typical day is spent patrolling the town and making sure the public knows that the law is still in force. I guess if you’re the type with peacock feathers than you will be ok; I however, most certainly do not have feathers I want to show. All those gentle shopkeepers and good honest folk want to feel all safe in their homes.

    Some days I have to ride out to some farmstead and deal with some land dispute or some hand getting frisky with a rancher’s daughter. Simple enough to solve those things but the ride out is a literal pain in the ass.

    The misses seems to think the job looks good on me. ’That badge makes you look a real man.’ she says as if I am somehow less without it. I wonder if that’s what she will put on my grave when this lawless criminal gets his way.

    Outside the Sheriff’s office while my life flashes before my eyes is a wanted villain. Some horse stealing bank robber with plans on running this town. I guess he believe that killing me will make him the law ’’round these parts’ as he puts it. That’s not how it works by the way. The constabulary in the region decides who can and cannot be Sheriff, not some flea ridden murderer who killed the last lawmaker.

    More shots ring out in my general direction, as if this moron believes that he can shoot me through the walls. Good luck, but then, somehow I have to stop this guy before he does something crazy like setting fire to the place.

    “’Lowly yella’ belly law man! Come on out here so I can shoot ya’ dead an’ be dun with this” he shouts from the street.

    Does he actually think that I am going to take this deal? How is that even reasonable? I am far too smart for this job. It would be really nice if this guy would reload something. If I could catch him reloading one of the however many guns he brought I might be able to end this but he seems to carry an armoury on that horse he is riding.

    The occasional shots ringing off finally stops and I peer from my cover and witness him dismount from his horse wielding two six shooters at his hips. At least there is only 12 shots left. “See how cowardly yer’ lawmaker is folks? He is so scared he ain’t even shooting back. He’s probly pissed himself in his little dress up suit. I be doin’ you all a favor by ’placin’ this idgit.”

    Uh, there is a million things wrong with that statement, starting with grammar and ending with stupidity. Alright time to take action then. I grasp a piece of the window frame that had been broken during the random firing into the office and toss it at the other window.

    The sound is exactly enough to draw the fire of the ignorant villain in the street. He fires wildly at the opposite window until the audible click click click of a dry fire from an empty six shooter rings out. Gotcha! I swing my rifle up onto the window sill and take aim on the vile subhuman criminal. I breathe calmly and aim carefully. A moment later I pull the trigger gently until the weapon fires and kicks heavily into my shoulder.

    I reset and look down the barrel at the situation outside scanning the scene. His horse is gone, startled by the firing of the weapons. The rider lay sprawled on the ground near where he stood. Obviously, it could be a trick so I reload the fired round and approach carefully.

    With my weapon pointed at him I slowly approach him watching for the first sign of movement. Each step making my hair on the back of my neck stand up. Come on move you ignorant bastard so I can make sure your dead. I step even closer now almost daring him to make his move. Never have I felt more alive when a voice rings out from across the street.

    “Did you get em?”

    “Best get inside while I find out to be safe.” I reply as I step closer. Finally the lamplight of the street revealed my shot had rung true and the pool of blood he lied in told me all I needed to know. “Allright folks, its safe to come out.” I shout and begin to gather his weapons dropped on the ground. My wife and I are going to have a long talk about this whole ’officer of the law’ thing.

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