Top Ten Western Short Stories For December
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Western short stories Bio. of Tom Sheehan
Sheehan (31st Infantry, Korea 1951-52; Boston College 1952-1956) has multiple works in Rosebud, Linnet’s Wings, Serving House Journal, Literally Stories, Copperfield Review, Literary Orphans, Indiana Voices Journal, Frontier Tales, Western Online, Faith-Hope and Fiction, Eastlit, Rope & Wire Magazine, The Literary Yard, Green Silk Journal, Fiction on the Web, The Path, etc. He has 33 Pushcart nominations, 5 Best of the Net nominations (one winner).
Later book publications include The Cowboys, Beside the Broken Trail, In the Garden of Long Shadows, Between Mountain and River, and, shortly, Catch a Wagon to a Star, by Pocol Press, and Jehrico by Danse Macabre. Back Home in Saugus (a collection) is being considered, as are Small Victories for the Soul VII, Korean Echoes, Jock Poems for Proper Bostonians, The One Way to Get Home, and Alone with the Good Graces. He was Danse Macabre’s 2016 Writer-in-Residence in Las Vegas.
The Shooter and the Lady in Red
The bulge of his own pistol, still in its holster, stiff as a holdup, as real, nudged him awake, sour liquor taste on his breath, foul body smell almost as strong as he rolled to one side and inhaled his own being. Bull Cobrin hadn’t invited the morning and didn’t accept its coming very well, along with its related messages. Read the full story HERE>>
K-Bar-K’s top hand, Duke Emsley, on an easy ride about the ranch’s perimeter, saw the three riders cresting a peak ahead of him, and then believed they had seen him and dipped into rocky territory below the horizon and fully out of his sight.
He vowed he’d not be drawn into a close-up check, be at their mercy. Read the full story HERE>>
Within the week her husband, Roger Bentley, was killed by a horse thief, who also died in the encounter, BethAnne Bentley was heard to say, rather loudly even for the busy general store, “There’s two ways to beat trouble; shoot it dead or hang it on the line and whip the hell out of it, and I ain’t too particular about how and who’s bothering me and my baby girl.” The pause she let get a foothold was another attention getter; “I have plenty of room for body disposals.”
The Wagon Master Finds a Lady
...She had spoken first; “What did you do before this, Mr. Greenspan, or were you always at this kind of work? My husband can do most anything with his hands.” It was a proper introduction and championed her man as they pointed towards Oregon.
Valter Greenspan, a wagon master heading west again, was, at one time, old before his time. His story shouldn’t be told to her so early, but he yearned to tell her. She was accessible, curious, sociable at a good scale. Read the full story HERE>>
The Wagon Master
Stall Pillings, man of the world, had allowed it to happen; a woman had gotten under his skin, and the discoverable joy was his gain. Astride his horse, motionless, he stared onto the high ground and wondered how it happened. Then another mysterious awareness took place; she had been as sly and as furtive as Indians and that thought brought him straight up in the saddle, to his senses, on full alert.
It was at an abrupt realization where he found himself, and the real wagon master took over as he shucked off the woman in his mind.
But he didn’t throw her far.
The Dynasty Dame Meets Finn McMorrin
In Chicago in 1861, before the great war in the states started, before she had a chance to go further west, Maud Wilkesbarn thought things over, including what might be in front of her, and changed her family name, legal or not, from Wilkesbarn to Maverick, keeping the “Maud” in place because she’d swear to the day of her death she could hear her mother announcing her to potential babysitters, strangers, old friends dropping by, or new a man she might be interested in, as “This sweetheart is my Maud.” Read the full story HERE>>
Union Leftover or Heaven Will Be Mine
In 1865, at the end of a long day in a long war, Corporal Thadeus "Ted" Walters was separated from the Army of the Union, with 5 years of service and a wound whose anger might hang in place. As a messenger between outfits of that conflict of interests, Corporal Walters was apt, on any day, to be in territory controlled by a Union force.
He saw many places and many faces, and was fired upon between message centers en route.
Comrades, and friends of a certainty, came out of his associations, and that included words of advice from some folks "who had been elsewhere and remembered." Read the full story HERE>>
Piece of the Pie
The rider stood in his stirrups to get a better look down into the valley where a ranch spread its arms near as wide as the valley floor, all the while nodding his head at every positive presentation ... house, barns, corrals, two horseshoe pits, a solid thus permanent outdoor fireplace signifying some mostly good times he figured.
It didn't take him long to seek a job at this ranch. Read the full story HERE>>
The Lady, the Lion and the Redoubtable Mountain Man
From high on the ridge of a Teton Range "middle-mountain," as he called the lesser landscape minions of the Wyoming territory, Lucas Woodcock heard first, and then saw, the west-bound stagecoach at a standstill, as the 4-horse team reared amid shrill cries of desperation and fear. Read the full story HERE>>
Western Short Story
Late Visits to Verna's Turf
All Verna Brody’s suitors swore she could call down the moon any time she wanted to, call it right down on top of her, all its golden glory down atop all her glorious holdings in her own idyllic pocket of the Teton Range. When each suitor, and those who thought they were suitors, and there were plenty of them, came over the bridge to Verna Brody’s Meadow, they saw the wonder not only of the bridge that crossed the deep gorge and the magic of Verna’s place itself, but they realized that she of all people had had her dream come true. They would see the grassy plain spreading throughout the once-hidden valley, the waterfall at the far end sparkling in the sun in its free-fall from high in the heart of the Tetons, and the select herd of the finest cattle, and the fattest they’d ever seen, feeding on the rich grass of the meadow.
It was heaven, it seemed, and a beautiful, unwed girl of 25 owned it, ran it, and had seen it grow from the first day she discovered the site...