Western Fiction posted July 22, 2016

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A tough, western bred man searches for a fugative.

Appaloosa Valley

by jaydub99

The Marshall stared down over the lip of the canyon as he watched the sun rise up over the rugged Idaho Mountains. He grasped a steaming cup of coffee in one calloused hand as his eyes took in the fantastic beauty of the land. The morning air still packed a considerable chill, causing gooseflesh to run down the skin of his bare chest. He took another sip of the coal black coffee and tossed the remaining dregs into the dirt. The air was crisp and had a faint aroma of pine and wild coltsfoot. He stretched upward and sighed, another beautiful morning.

The Marshall had spent his entire life in and about the rugged high country of Idaho never getting tired of its charm. A rugged man, he had traveled all over the Pacific Northwest but seemed to always return to the land of the Sawtooth Mountains and the Snake River. Christened Ruben James, he was a solid, quiet man who had ridden out west many years ago. In his travels, he had made peace with the Indian Nations, wandered the trap line with the Mountain man, and helped out in a few range wars. He had been the foreman of a large cattle and sheep ranch in Wyoming, had kept order as a Sheriff in Colorado and spent time just drifting and seeing the country. Born with the God given talent to draw iron in the time it takes most men to blink, he had carved a considerable reputation into the untamed wilds. Moreover, he always wore a matched set of .45 caliber revolvers around his waist and had another one tucked behind his belt. The guns alone screamed caution as no one would wear a brace of six-guns like that without accompanying skill. Pair that with a blindingly fast draw and uncommon accuracy and you have a man who was deadly with a short gun. Only a few gunslingers out west could even be considered in his echelon. He had finally settled down over in Idaho Territory, taming the wild town of Sutter's Creek. It didn't take long for him to clean house. Those who were willing to coexist peacefully did so and those who wanted trouble got planted in the ground. A town council voted and subsequently pinned a badge on him. He ended up exchanging that star for a federal badge and took on the moniker of The Marshall. Known throughout the west as a fair man, he was also known as a hard man to cross.

The Marshall stepped down from the ledge he had perched and headed back to camp. He squatted over the fire and poured himself another cup of coffee from the battered and blackened old pot. He speared a piece of sizzling bacon from the fire and jammed it into a piece of pan bread. He leaned back and settled next to the fire. He chewed thoughtfully, thinking about the man who he was tracking and the evil that rode sidesaddle.

Make us want to read more. contest entry

This is from a western I am writing. I have always loved the flow and super hero characters in the writings of L'Amour, Johnstone and FM Parker. He tracks a fugitive that left death and sorrow in his wake. The Marshall is a character who represents all we strive to be in America. He is honest, hard working, fair and he seeks justice. He fights within himself and is constantly keeping the inner demons from coming out. That is my vision for this book. According to Microsoft Word I am at 500 words.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by cleo85 at FanArtReview.com

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