Western Short Stories
Tom Sheehan
Page Two


Western Short Stories by Tom Sheehan


The Lady From Random Two

Tom Sheehan

Charlie Walters sat his mount right beside the Random Two ranch house door, as stern looking as he possibly could appear, Sunday's sun warming him already. Shaking his finger at his wife, he thrust the warning at her, "No strangers in the house, Edna, not a one. I heard some strange stories in town my last trip and don't want anything odd happening around here, to you or any of our kin. Take my words to heart. Hear me?" He didn't reveal any of the particulars he had heard. Under his breath he might have said, "No sense making her worry no more'n usual. In five years nary a soul's fired a gun in anger on the whole Random Two spread , and if so, was alleviating his own mind; guns had no part in the stories that were circulating in town...Read more of The Lady From Random Two


Just Luke, Broken Head and Zero, the Sun King (Kehetu, Taabe Tanasi)

Tom Sheehan

A feeling that he was not alone came as broad as the breeze touching the tall grass, whispering and yelling at the same time; downright chilly it was, ominous ... and hiding something or someone, known or unknown, here in Comanche country, in this sudden range he was riding on as if it had spilled like a river from the mountains running off to places he had never seen. His slightest nerve edges sharpened themselves on an unseen but fine and keen wheel of stone, fingers gone to itching, eyes gone searching deeper, measuring, leaving him in a bind again, alone amidst space, mystery and the rest of the world. He liked new things, but realized some of them promised trouble right from the start. Read more of Just Luke here


The Man in Black Hung on the Barn Door

Tom Sheehan

The posse, a malignant bunch looking as if they'd been on the trail for a month of motherless Saturdays, couldn't find a tree for a proper hanging. The land, as far as the eye could see in a canyon harbored by steep mountain ridges, showed poor and held little promise... Read more of The Man in Black Hung on the Barn Door 


New Man in Town

Tom Sheehan

"Something's wrong," Torbic Malkev said under his breath as he looked past the open door of the Whippoorwill Saloon and saw people standing in a small crowd, gawking around oddly and not directly at the saloon door where the sheriff stood framed in the doorway and staring inside ... at him. In Malkev's hand, his gun hand, was the first drink in a month and a half of trail driving, and the thirst and need in his throat, in his mouth, crawling on his teeth as though it might never be assuaged...Read more of New Man in Town


The Godly Search

Tom Sheehan

Shag Howland's eyes, he firmly believed, were as good as ever. From the upper trail crossing an open ledge early in Colorado, he had seen both objects in an incredible second. The first, high on a possible crosswind, wingspan enormous against the cobalt blue sky and only the tips of feathers directing circular flight, a buzzard obviously had a target in sight, a sure meal on the thick grass off a distinctive prairie trail. The target of the flight, apparently as still as death allows, looked clothed, hatted, booted, simple discards once the buzzard landed for the last meal... Read more of The Godly Search


The Limp Effect

Tom Sheehan

Miss Kathy Magnox, from her ranch house porch where she was hanging clothes to dry on a short line to a scarred tree, humming away at her favorite song to otherwise pass the time of morning and think a bit while alone about her boyfriend Dave Kressick, saw the rider coming around the bend as though he had left town behind him, and the horse begin, right out there in front of her, to limp a decided and painful limp, as if this journey was going no further, as if it was meant to stop here by an act of the Almighty or a stray stone or a monger's nail or by training... Read more of The Limp Effect


Lucien Dalpe and the Desperadoes

Tom Sheehan

The big man at the bar, the sheriff of Wilsonville, Lucien Dalpe, kept fondling his empty glass, kept looking in the mirror behind the bar in the Wolfhead Saloon, the entrance door in plain view, its bat wings moving to a slight breeze pushing from the west, from the mountains also throwing shadows onto town. Nervousness he seemed to exhibit to close observers, but some of them really knew better; if any man was prepared for excitement, murderous intent, a shot in the back, it was Dalpe, long time on a tough job, a survivor from the outset. It was said his eyes measured feelings as well as movements in his concerns, like an omnipresent character at work. His hat sat lightly on his head, as did one hand on the bar top, the other at his belt; a man always ready at his occupation... Read more of Lucien Dalpe and the Desperadoes


Ragskin, Nevada

Tom Sheehan

The story starts out in complete innocence ... and one would expect it to end in the same docile atmosphere. But Ragskin, Nevada of the teeming old west occasionally let loose the hooks of unusual events... Read more of Ragskin, Nevada

 


The Orphan from Ciudad verde pálido

Tom Sheehan

That kid ain’t halfway to a cricket, you ask me, ‘n’ I hope he’s small enough to crawl out of that mess.” The miner Lew Osgood stood at the entrance to the old mine, dust from a collapsed tunnel pouring out into the valley and getting caught up by a steady wind. He saw the 7- year-old Chico Vestra finally walk through the cloud of dust, and Chico yelled out, “The fuse was lit from the other end of the tunnel. It was coming toward me all lit up and I had to run.”... Read more of The Orphan from Cuidad verde palido


A Garden of Plenty

Tom Sheehan

Monroe Boxler and Madeleine Solari were married in Independence, Missouri on the last day of May, 1870, Boxler separated from the army and Madeleine free of a despotic family to which she was more slave than daughter. All she ever wanted was her own garden and Boxler, on their first late night meeting when she slipped out of the house, promised her that she’d have her own garden if she married him and they’d go west, to a new opportunity for both of them...Read more of A Garden of Plenty>>


A Greater Kingdom and a Lesser Court

Tom Sheehan

“Hey, Ward,” said the livery man, “did you see that new dude in town, looks like he got dressed up in New York for fun and was kicked out here on the stage to give us all a laugh. Sure is a funny lookin’ dude. I almost laughed aloud when he near fell off’n the stage with them funny boots he’s awearin’, never mind the flummery shirt with ruffles a girl can’t get enough of.” Read more of A Greater Kingdom and a Lesser Court>>


A Gunfighter’s Last Call

Tom Sheehan

He had simply stepped over from one building to the next one, from one flat roof to another, a wide step but one step. The agility in his body, especially in his legs, had diminished from several falls … not unexpectedly. The challenge in the beginning, in getting here to the roof of the Trail Drive Saloon and Hotel in Willowbar, Oklahoma, was climbing from his saddle to the porch roof in the back of the general store. His horse had stood still long enough for him to manage his way erect on the saddle so he could pull himself up onto the roof. If he had fallen, it might hurt and be noisy, but noisy he didn’t need...Read more of A Gunfighters Last Call>>


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