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Western Short Stories
Larry Payne

Western short stories Bio. of Larry Payne

Larry grew up in East Chicago, Indiana and now resides in Portage, Indiana with his wife Susan, and a cat named Molly. Larry served in the US Navy as a Hospital Corpsman and is now retired from Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, Arizona as a Cardiac Monitor Technician.

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Western Short Stories by Larry Payne


Larry Payne

Marshal Cooper Smith stepped out onto the boardwalk in front of Della's Café. He'd just finished his favorite breakfast of hotcakes, warm syrup and coffee. Only one thing could make it better. Reaching into his shirt pocket, he pulled out the fixings and rolled a cigarette, sticking it between his lips. After a short search, he found a match, striking it against the side of the building, lighting the quirley. What could be better, he thought, taking a long drag and stepping off the boardwalk, walking across the street in the direction of his office...Read more of The Medicine Show>>

Hangman's Noose

Larry Payne

The stifling heat hung over the makeshift courtroom enveloping the twelve men walking from the open door of the saloon’s back room. They angled up the staircase and resumed their seats on the steps facing the three tables in front of them.

To the right of the staircase, at a lone table, sat Judge Thomas Becker, who regularly held court in The Four Aces Saloon on his visits to the town of Sweetwater.

To the left of the staircase, facing Judge Becker, were two tables. The one closest to the staircase was presently unoccupied. At the near end of the other table sat attorney Jacob Wyatt, Marshal Cooper Smith at the far end and Wyatt’s client, Charlie Gilson, who was accused of killing a man in a saloon fight. He sat between them in shackles.

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The Reverend Mr. Black

Larry Payne

Reverend Josiah Black poked at the crackling fire under the coffee pot sending sparks fluttering into the air. Hearing the faint snap of a twig and the soft nicker of a horse, he dragged the Greener shotgun out from under the black frock coat beside him.

“Hello, the camp,” came a voice from the night.

“Come out where I can see ya,” ordered Josiah, thumbing back the hammers of the scattergun.

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The Badge of Lucius Maddox

Larry Payne

The four duster clad riders waited in nervous anticipation until they heard the shouts and curses of the driver announce the stagecoach’s arrival. They pulled their bandanas up over their noses and unholstered their Colts as the stagecoach thundered around the bend in the road. Cody Jarrett, her blond hair hidden under the derby hat, led Shade Baxter, Reb Hanson and Tico Herrera out into the middle of the road firing their weapons into the air.

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Hell Came With Him

Larry Payne

Lightning streaked the darkened sky above the solemn group around the grave. The Preacher, standing at the head of the grave, read passages from his worn bible while four men, dressed in black suits, grasped the ends of the two ropes stretched under the ends of the wooden coffin. Slowly, they moved the coffin over the open grave and began to lower it. A woman’s white-gloved hand appeared from the coffin, slid the lid to the side and reached out to the group above.


Wil Sunday sat upright in his bed. He looked around the moonlit room, a chill running over his sweat soaked body. The recurring nightmare became a frequent part of his nights since he buried his beloved wife, Cassie... Read more of Hell Came With Him>>