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Western Short Stories
Tom Sheehan


​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 ReviewLiterary OrphansIndiana Voices Journal, Frontier TalesWestern Online, Faith-Hope and Fiction, EastlitRope & Wire Magazine, The Literary Yard, Green Silk Journal, Fiction on the Web, The Path, etc. He has 16 Pushcart nominations, 6 Best of the Net nominations (one winner).

Later book publications include The CowboysBeside the Broken TrailIn the Garden of Long Shadows, Between Mountain and River, Catch a Wagon to a Star, and Jock Poems and Reflections for Proper Bostonians, by Pocol Press, and Jehrico by Danse Macabre. Back Home in Saugus (a collection) is being considered, as is Beneath My Feet This Earth Slips into the Far-side of Another’s Telescope and Pages from Fallen Books. In production status is The Grand Royal Stand-off at Darby’s Creek and Other Stories at Pocol Press.

Recent releases include  Small Victories for the Soul VII, from Wilderness House Literary Review, and Alone, with the Good Graces from Pocol Press. He was Danse Macabre’s 2016 Writer-in-Residence in Las Vegas.

Here's a link to Tom's LinkedIn profile>>


After a long day ridin’, ropin’, and sometimes rustlin’, cowpokes love to stop by a local saloon to wet their whistles. Card playing, loose talking, and fighting always ensued, some in good fun and others deadly serious. In this collection of stories, author Tom Sheehan rides and relaxes with them all. You’re in the right place for rollickingly good western yarns.


Seventeen western short stories by Tom Sheehan.

Here's a link to all of Tom's books on Amazon>>


Western Short Stories by Tom Sheehan


The Green Horn

Tom Sheehan

It was a new rendition of “Reveille” coming from Bud Daley’s newly painted bugle. dubbed The Green Horn by him because he had painted it as green as he could, like new grass coming out on the Plains after a long, dry spell. The spur and the motive on its first morning wake-up call caught on quickly among the other ranch hands on Gil Farley’s spread, The Eagle’s Nest, soon to hold enough cattle to make a profitable drive to market, probably taking about three weeks on the trail, give or take a month by rustlers, Indians, or other interests among the cattle profession. Read the full story HERE>>


Part-Time Sheriff in Over-Reach, Texas

Tom Sheehan

Slow Gargon, on a practical joke set up by the barkeep, Jeremy Sloan, at the Spilt-Over Saloon, saw his first murder before he got out of the saloon and would run home to tell his ailing father and mother he was the new sheriff in town. Slow was the only name ever carried by him since birth, neither parent too smart and kind of oblivious to jokes and verbal horrors they even understood were meant to hurt them, like “them plain damned fools” flung anonymously out of crowds gathered for any purpose. Read the full story HERE>>


Of Scabbards and Quivers and Sheaths and the Like

Tom Sheehan

The argument began at the Folly Legend Saloon in Porter Hill, Arizona between riders from two local ranches on a Saturday evening of August, 1884, half the consumption already in the tanks, and Harry Ghenter, barkeep, knowing it would all blast off on some silly and unimportant point of discussion. He was usually right about such things, this being the third saloon he’d worker at, and this one for seven years already in a most sociable position, judge, jury and often on trial himself, if he’d admit it for once. Read the full story HERE>>


Jiggs Kelly and the Stranger from Afar

Tom Sheehan

It was day’s end, the sun falling to sleep, the first star a show-off on the fringe of distant plain and sky at juncture, he’d guess about ten miles, keeping things at an even quote, when he saw what he believed to be a rider, on the plains, or even in the sky. The sight teased him most of the night of a sleepless night, his mind stirred and stirring at all hours. He felt numbed by possibility of miracles, worldly or not worldly, real or not real, comfort or disturbance, whatever he could make of it all. Read the full story HERE>>


The Ironmonger, Stable Master

Tom Sheehan

Burt Blevans was a husky, dark-haired man, six-foot-two if an inch, who worked on iron and steel and shoeing horses when required. He kept horses in the barn behind his shop, a bevy of them waiting new shoes, new owners, posse-loaners when the sheriff asked for mounts, as needed in Lawson’s Wells, in high Arizona. Read the full story HERE>>


Chuck Rattan, Bank Clerk, Elm Hill, Nevada

Tom Sheehan

A quick turn at the rest room, and Chuck Rattan, clerk, heard the stern and gruff voice say, “Hands up and nobody gets hurt.” He froze in the spot, afraid to give himself away, knowing he could do nothing to help the others, but sneak a peek at the speaker who wore a worthless mask worn and torn, and who took it off as he grabbed a bag of money and stepped outside the bank, turned abruptly as someone moved behind the counter and killed the other clerk with one shot. Read the full story HERE>>


Contraband at All Costs

Tom Sheehan

Deek Willows came off the mountain in a slow ride, his eyes paying attention to the area out in front of him, all the way down to the Red River, itself glistening on the far horizon, and his ears attending to all sounds out behind him, like the simple and sudden click of a horseshoe on a loose rock often sounding like a gunshot in the day, or like the manner of his prey. Somewhere, he was thinking, more than one man waited for him, gun drawn in one hand, or rifle in two hands. It was bound to come out that way. It had been that way from the start of duties as an official out and about the harsh world around him. Read the full story HERE>>


Fast-Draw Dewsnap, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1872

Tom Sheehan

He made sure the sun was always behind him, morning or afternoon, cutting the odds in his favor, the odds needing to be evened, if possible, for the runt in any pack in all the West, at his 5-foot flat evened at the top of his head, a shrimp on the back of a gigantic horse of ordinary size, then ever smaller standing in place in a row of two men, each facing death at the other’s hand, people of all orders watching the slice of drama cutting into their day, Hell or Heaven of a sort in the mix. Read the full story HERE>>


The Five Star Kid

Tom Sheehan

It seemed Duke Norman owned half of Texas, and the whole town of Red Point, without a doubt, and had, it also seemed, everything he wanted. But sad to tell, he had no sheriff holding sway in his favored little town. It bothered him no end, taking much of his wakeful hours, and often times made him a miserable man, probably the most miserable man in Red Point, as well as all of Texas. Read the full story HERE>>


The Strange Rider

Tom Sheehan

He rode his horse like a man of state, high, regal, his mind geared to a duty to be done, and caught enough attention from the folks of Boxwood, Texas to set curiosity ablaze. He had already figured they’d be a herd of nose-benders from first sight of him, a stranger in their town. Read the full story HERE>>


Scat Hoover Finds a Home

Tom Sheehan

He was as lonely as a pheasant in the low limbs of a dark night tree, and sure the coyotes were looking for a breakdown in alerts. He could feel the desert-like range moving across the tip of this Old Earth, and he was the only horse rider on the Great Plains. He hadn’t seen another rider in two days and knew it was working on his spirit, dragging them down below his stirrups, him muttering again, “and that takes some doing if I do say so myself. Hell, I can’t even break an echo feeling this low and that’s lower than skunk bait.” Read the full story HERE>>


Grit Higsbey and a Found Horse

Tom Sheehan

His heels hurt, all the way up, and the sun burned on the back of his neck as he wandered horseless in the dry prairie, his favored horse, a gift from his grandfather and almost as old s the old man himself, falling down dead itself without a sound, hours earlier going down and dead before hitting the ground. Read the full story HERE>>


Never Too Late for a Hanging

Tom Sheehan

Young Greg Woodling, fishing in the small stream near his parents’ ranch in a corner of Colorado, heard the full gunshots and the screams, and knew they were from the ranch. He dropped his fishing rod and grabbed his rifle and started running for home. It took him, at fourteen, at least ten minutes, checking the rifle twice to make sure it was loaded, his heart pounding every step with horrid. Suspicions. Read the full story HERE>>


The Horsemen of Prairie Junction

Tom Sheehan

The first one to step forward was the youngest in the lot of them, Greg Sandby, 16 if a day, blond as they come, sure to be some lovely girl’s delight before too long, but the rustlers rousting that end of Texas were a closely-organized bunch of thieves, and seemed bent on ruining too many ranch owners in East Texas, three owners already chucking in the towel, heading north for new tries at running steers to markets. Read the full story HERE>>


Kit Carson, Red Fox, and Kit ‘n’ Kaboodle

Tom Sheehan

Kit Carson died when he was 59 years old, too old to carry on any longer, the half century of damage going deeper than he knew, but suspected every morning he awoke with cramps and an old pain he’d brush off deeper than he’d admit, his last words every night, just before sleep, were as much prayer as promise to himself or his wives, scattered to the winds and the west. Read the full story HERE>>


Read more western short stories by Tom Sheehan in the <<Ranch Romance>>, <<Side Trail>> and the <<Beyond the Western>> sections