Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Entry #46

A Time Past
by Dave Watters


"C'mon Roy, let's see how far she goes before we decide what to do."

Randy smiled to himself feeling silly about talking to his horse. Long trips like this tended to make you want to break the silence though.

The smile faded quickly from his face. This fence went on for miles on end. He couldn't afford to take the time to go around; he had to be in

Carson City in two days. Going miles out of your way on horseback quickly turned two days into five.

He scanned the horizon looking for cattle and more importantly cattle ranchers. Tensions could rise along with trigger fingers when cattle got involved in things. If they thought he was a rustler rather than passing through they'd track him all the way to Carson.

Still, he had to get on his way and by this point he was just stalling. By the tree would be best. There was a small section with a cross board that he could jury rig so the rancher wouldn't lose any cattle. He took out his wire cutters and set to work.

About an hour later the work was done. He and Roy on the other side of the fence and two bits left by the pole for the ranch hand that would end up re-tensioning the wire. Randy paid his way.

The thought that the train might be safer on the way back whispered through his mind at the same time as the bullet.

16 comments:

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

What an evocative piece of writing and what a tragic twist to the tale, especially after he'd paid his dues. Simply and beautifully told.

sandra seamans said...

Love the western twist on this story! Nicely done.

Sarah Hina said...

I like that you focused on the fence, and not the tree. This was a completely unique perspective, and I enjoyed your strong, sturdy prose.

Excellent ending, and effort.

BernardL said...

Ouch! Well done.

Jaye Wells said...

Very nice. I like how you underplayed the last line. Very effective.

Remiman said...

Dave,
Jeepers!!!
Bang bang bang to you too. ;)
Beautifully executed, the shooter whispered.
rel

bluesugarpoet said...

Very clever indeed to tie in the tree and "whispered". Loved the western take. The plot twist in the last line was fantastic.

SzélsőFa said...

what a painful ending. I like how the real ending was saved till the very last word.

JLB said...

Really nice - I love the setting, and your hero's strength of character.

Aerin said...

I'm not a westerns kind of girl, and I loved this. Kept my attention and left me breathless at the end. Great!

Lena said...

loved that western theme. very well done :)

Dottie said...

I also like how the ending comes in the last line. The narrator's voice is very spare. It matches the landscape and I like the continuity.

Anonymous said...

I think this might be my favorite. It captured my attention right away and kept it firmly held to the end, that beautifully crafted, totally unexpected last sentence.

Anna

Wavemancali said...

Thank you all for the encouraging comments.

I wasn't going to kill poor Randy when I started writing this, it was meant to be a longing for simpler times piece.

But then the last line jumped in to my head and I'm afraid poor Randy is the one that paid for it.

jason evans said...

Great ending! I was shocked. Nice sense of place here. Very effective flash fiction. High marks!

Congratulations on the honorable mention!!

Aine said...

Oh--you didn't! Poor Randy! I really liked him. He was such a good guy, trying to manage the best he could. :(

The last line was perfect. Excellent job of grabbing the reader and knocking them out with the ending.