Top Ten Western Short Stories For December
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Western short story Bio. of Jack Drummond
An established author by age 14 and speaker by age 16, Jack grew up on a healthy dose of both classic literature and cheap pulps, all of which have influenced his love of writing. Described as having a soul straight out of the Old West, two of his favorite western writers are Elmore Leonard and Louis L’Amour, both of whom he grew up reading. Having published a variety of works including speculative fiction and horror, he considers the western genre to be his niche, where he is most at home. He was weaned on a wide range of western films that have influenced his take on the genre, from American classics like Rio Bravo to Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns and even modern films such as 3:10 to Yuma. He views writing westerns as a way of harkening back to simpler times as well as a means of exploring the modern world while offering up a dish of good ol’ fashioned pulp-style fun.
Born in the hills of eastern Kentucky, he has lived in Williamson, West Virginia and Kingsport, Tennessee, and currently resides in Knoxville with plans on moving to Chicago to continue his time as a student at Moody Bible Institute. He intends to work in the ministry after his schooling is complete, while continuing to sharpen his skill with the written word.
Con Sunderland was sitting in the rocker within the shade of his front porch when he first saw the dust cloud in the distance. He rose slowly, squinting past the mirage reflecting off the surface of the sun-blasted sand dunes. For a moment he stood there on his porch, staring out beyond the dunes at the dust cloud growing closer to his homestead. When the four riders topped the dune nearest his home, he turned and went inside...Read More of Morrow's Grove
The Walking Man
He didn’t look like a western man, yet at the same time, he did.
Ange Letterman was standing on her front porch the first time she saw him. He was coming down the way from the dead hills on the other side of nowhere, and Ange just wasn’t quite sure what to make of him. He didn’t have the heavy swagger that Ange was accustomed to seeing with western men, but he had instead the deliberate foot-fall and posture of a man from back east...Read More of The Walking Man
He came riding into Contention with the chill of the desert night.
A cold, hard-looking man up in his years and down on his luck. The deep lines in his face were worn and aggravated, much like his demeanor as he swung down from the saddle and picketed his horse at the hitch-rail across the street from the saloon. His horse looked equally as old and worn out, and offered no struggle when he tied the reins to the rail and left the horse there when he started for the saloon...Read More of Contention
Milt Grable looked out over the vast plains and studied the terrain.
More than two hundred head of cattle had been driven over that piece of land. On the skyline of a distant plain, he could see the outline of the cattle.
He sat a little straighter in the saddle and tugged his Winchester from its sheath. He checked the cartridges loaded into the rifle and returned it to the sheath. He did the same with the Colt that was nestled in the holster tied down on his hip...Read More of Skyliner
With A Fair Hand
“Alright, boys,” Bucky Garland said, “show yer hands.”
Orn Bisby glanced over at Jim Tucker, who shot him a nasty look.
“You heard him, Bisby,” Tucker said quietly. “Show ‘em.”
Bisby tossed his cards nonchalantly onto the surface of the table.
Tucker looked at them, and the smug look on his face turned into an expression of utter astonishment. “They ain’t no way!” he exclaimed. “You cheated!”
“Easy, Jim,” Hal Mercer said from his seat on Bisby’s left. “He played that hand fair an’ you know’t!”...Read More of With a Fair Hand
The Man in the Red Vest
There were two of them.
Big, ugly men.
They rode into Deadwood at dusk, and they had a third horse with them.
The first man was the biggest, and he wore two guns tied down. The second man had only one gun, and he had two fingers missing from his gun hand.
When they came swaggering into the saloon, the thongs were already loosed from the hammers of their shooting irons. They made their way over to the bar, and the bartender looked up at them.
“What can I get you fellas?” the bartender asked...Read More of The Man in the Red Vest
On A Strange Tide West
“Pa,” came his son’s voice from the other side of the campfire when they were somewhere up Montana way, “ain’t you ever gonna show me how to shoot a gun?”
Colburn Pike looked up and across the campfire and smiled at the twinkle in his son’s eyes. “Not jus’ yet, Ty. But I will. I will.”
“Soon, son. Soon.”
Ty Pike looked mighty thoughtful for a long moment. “I hear’d some men talkin’ ‘bout guns in the last town we stopped at. They was sayin’ all you gotta do is point it an’ shoot it.”...Read More of On A Strange Tide West
He rode into that little town somewhere in the Powder River Country on an old appaloosa dappled with gray. He picketed the appaloosa in front of the saloon, and slowly made his way inside.
Jonah Hush was an old man...Read More of Hush
There was no law in that town.
Only the law of the gun.
Prosperity was ruled by two types of men. The men that did the killing, and the men that did the dying.
Terry Mulqueen was one of those men who did the killing. Not the actual killing, rather, but one who put out the bounties and ordered specific individuals to do the dying at the hands of other, more experienced killers...Read More of Prosperity
Strokes of Red
The sand-blasted earth was baked with blood. It started in a pool, spilled in a dotted trail for a few feet, and pooled once more.
He followed it.
From the second pool, the traces of blood moved off in another random pattern, dotting its way along the sand for a few more feet. Then it trailed around the side of a large rock rooted deeply in the hard earthen clay.
He knew what he would find on the other side of that rock...Read More of Strokes of Red
The Killers of Crazy Man
There was something strange about the way the man lay on the sun-scorched earth, all dead and shot to doll rags.
Judging by the tracks around him and the blood splatter some ways back down the trail, I could tell just by looking that somebody had plugged him while he was passing through on horseback. He’d made it just a couple of feet, then had come out of the saddle. He’d crawled some feet, but the gunman had come up on him and had become his killer while up close and personal...Read More of The Killers of Crazy Man
The man they call Gutterson came swaggering through the saloon doors and it was at that moment I knew someone was going to die. See, a rider came through the day before and stopped in for a drink. I was sitting in my usual spot—a table with one chair over against the back wall—facing the door when the rider walked in and ordered a drink. He struck up a conversation that I couldn’t help but overhear and heard him say something about Lorne Gutterson and Ricochet...Read More of Gutterson's Notch