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a western
The Gunfight by jaydub99
 Category:  Western Fiction
  Posted: July 20, 2013      Views: 117

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I have a desire to share, create and bring you along for the journey. I appreciate all of you who take the time to read and comment on my writing. It inspires me and helps me get better at the craft. Thank you!!

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It was either put up or shut up, I knew that clear as day. These types of situations were starting to become all too familiar. I knew that my last remarks regarding my chums card playing strategies had been a bit of a gamble, but I saw him palm that ace and I will be damned if I was going to let him get away with it. His face turned red and he pushed his chair back in dramatic fashion. He inched toward the wall and I noticed his hand was hovering dangerously close to his gun.

"Boy, nobody called Texas Joe a cheat" he said through a mouth of chipped and tobacco stained teeth.

I felt a pang of fear as I saw him waving people to get out of our path and clearing the area. I knew what his plan was and who he was directing it towards. I felt a knot form in my throat as I had seen Joe in action and I knew that he was mighty quick with that hogleg. While tossing away his cards after a particularly bad loss, he had boasted over a hundred kills to his name. I figured it to be some short of that but I wasn't about to pick nits with him right now. Besides, I had brought this on myself and had called him a cheat. No self-respecting man, and mind you I doubt he had a whole lot of respect for himself, would tolerate such a slur. I had built up a small reputation in the local saloons for my ability to fight but it was mostly with fists and boots, not with the gun I had belted around my waist. I actually wasn't sure I could beat a seasoned gunslinger like Joe. Nevertheless, I knew I had to try and hope he missed with his first shot. If I could get him all hot under the collar, maybe he would make a mistake. I gave it a shot.

"Shut your mouth you flea bitten mongrel. I saw you grab that ace and in my mind that makes you a worthless piece of cow dung. You are a cheat and that makes you about as low as you can get." I grinned at him and tried not to show the fact that I was about to void myself. I unleashed a verbal tirade that would have made a God fearing man blush. I had hoped there wasn't any decent folk outside listening in.

Joe turned red and started to shake a little. Spittle flew from his mouth as he literally screamed at me. "Boy, you just signed your death warrant. Nobody says those things to me and lives to tell about it." Joe stepped directly in front of me, about ten feet, and took a bladed stance. His hands hovered for a split second and then dived for the gun hanging by his side.

Two shots rang out and acrid gunpowder filled the air. Texas Joe slumped forward to his knees, freshets of blood pumping from the twin holes in his chest. He pitched down to the ground, twitched a couple of times, and was still. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest and my mouth was dry as dirt. I looked down at Joe's corpse and realized he hadn't even cleared his gun from his holster. I guess I was a tad faster than I gave myself credit for. I was getting to be quite handy with that peacemaker and that was gonna earn me a lot of dangerous attention. Don't get me wrong, a man like Texas Joe needed killing, just like a rabid dog. I didn't feel a whole lot of remorse; I just knew that I was making trouble for myself. I reached into my Levi's and pulled out a wad of my poker earnings. I stepped over the carrion that used to be Texas Joe and headed for the door.

"Sorry about the mess." I said as I tossed a few dollars at the barman. I figured that I had better skedaddle it out of town before one of Joe's kin or some tin plate that hasn't had a hanging in a while came to investigate the shooting. I walked out into the sun, unrolled the reigns of my horse from the hitching post, and swung up into the saddle. I reloaded the two empty chambers in my gun and locked back the hammer. Never can be too careful out here I guess. I kneed my horse toward the road that leaves town and rode in a steady gallop toward the mountains, toward the high ground. If someone was coming after me, it was probably preserving to see them coming.

When Killers Meet writing prompt entry

Writing Prompt
Write a short story about two or more accomplished, maybe even well-known killers meeting, and what happens.

Author Notes
I grew up reading Louis L'Amour and William Johnstone. The testing of two seasoned killers always intrigued me. One usually died because of pride and being just a tad slower than his opponent.
Pays one point and 2 member cents. Artwork by Renate-Bertodi at

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