Western Short Stories
Michael McLean


Western short stories Bio. of Michael McLean

A native of western Colorado's high country, Michael McLean has packed on horseback in Montana's high country wilderness, mined gold and silver thousands of feet below the earth's surface, fly-fished Yellowstone Park's blue-ribbon waters, and explored the mountains and deserts of the West. Through personal and professional experiences he has collected a wealth of information to develop story settings, plots and characters. "Tajik", an action short story, was published in The Penmen Review in September, 2016. Winner of the 2012 Tony Hillerman Mystery Short Story Contest, "Backroads" was published in New Mexico Magazine. McLean believes the less travelled and often lonely back roads of the West offer intimate access to the land, its people and their stories.
 
A mining engineer by profession with a degree from the University of Nevada - Reno, McLean also has technical publications to his credit. He has managed and engineered underground mines in seven western states and now works in New Mexico's oil and potash-rich Permian Basin. He lives in Carlsbad, New Mexico, with his wife, Sandie.

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Western Short Stories by Michael McLean


The Trader

Michael McLean

Thunder, shut the hell up!” Winston Standish shouted, but the dog continued to bark and now began jumping up and down at the front door to the Circle S ranch house. It was nine o’clock in the morning. Chores were done and he was trying to read a few pages of Daniel Defoe’s “Colonel Jack”. Thunder, a Blue Lacy, was a dog of the southwest, but at the moment, a pain in the ass. Standish put down his cup of coffee and went to the door.

As was his habit, he wrapped a leather holster around his waist and slipped the hammer thong off his Colt .45 before reaching for the door handle. Pushing Thunder away, he cautiously opened the door only to be confronted by a large contingent of the Mescalero Apache Nation,

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Mescalero

Michael McLean

In one sweeping glance, he took in the scene as he spurred the sorrel gelding over the juniper- and acacia-covered ridge at a gallop. There were no questions to be asked. Four men on horseback were running some three-dozen head of fattened cattle down the south side of Badger Creek . . . his cattle. On his right, Emilio Salinas, the young hired hand kept up with reins in one hand and Colt revolver in the other. Read the full story HERE>>


Giant Powder

Michael McLean

The world exploded . . . with him in it.

Good air had been at his back indicating there was another entrance or the miners had followed the vein to grass roots and daylight. But, a hundred feet back, the tunnel branched. The hastily drawn map urged him to turn right into calm, dead air. Cautiously approaching the mining face, his heart pounded with anticipation. Too late, he smelled the burning fuse. He’d been set up. Spinning around, he ran, but not fast enough. The uncontrolled pressure wave slammed him forward. Successive explosions smashed him to the ground as small fragments of rock peppered his back like a shotgun blast. He didn’t know a lot about mining, but he knew that behind the force of the detonation there would be poisonous gas that could kill as certainly as the flying rock and the blast itself. Read the full story HERE>>