Legend of the Black Roses

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Westerns  |  House: Booksie Classic

In 1886 in the lawless and relentless Western America, a man arrives from the East to seek fortune and fame. Arriving within a town in Texas, he stumbles upon a mysterious note that leads him into an adventure that changes his life.

Once upon a time in 1886, within the dusty regions of the Western Frontier. A man in a velvet duster coat arrives from the privileged East, stepping foot into Bandera, Texas. A shady and lawless land of Western America, where sand flows within hot air as it blossoms the skies within a dirty haze. Habitats of life are on the verge to be a fragmented yet forgotten memory, even the wildflowers.

The man is of distinct elegance, yet his face has seen bloody conflict. Roaming Bandera, the citizens are trigger happy and chemically dazed by whiskey. He senses the lawlessness and federal corruption that reeks this once humble place, the flow of bullets and spilled blood echo a presence in the alienating streets.

His intellect conveys a thought that he has stepped into the wrong place for seeking fortune; a common thought for Easterner folk who have never witnessed the different and ugly side of America.

As saloons, brothels, and banks fill the man’s naked eye; it is the town hall that attracts his attention. He walks to the hall and at the front of it is a board of various posters attracting large numbers for financial gain.

The posters suggest Bandera has a lawful quest in seeking its pursuit of justice with the help of outsiders like the man himself; Wanted Posters, Bounty Quests, and Treasure Hunts Galore.

Yet a glare from the sun in the sky shines a note rotted by faded stains, catches the man’s eyes. He examines the note.

 “June 6th, 1886: Treasure lies within Death Valley... $50,000 and Jewellery to make a man retire from this hellscape. But the Black Roses are the tools to communicate a swift and deadly justice, will you be a hero or a drifter? -T”

The unusual note positions the man to question, what are the Black Roses and if this is a truthful claim or a death trap by wild bandits? With an image and reputation to maintain, he keeps the note and rides off into the sunny horizon of Western America.

Riding further into the vengeful and desolated lands, he hears the desert whisper to him of entering Death Valley. The legend goes of an empty and deathly landscape, tall and dangerous mountains cover the lonely desert; disillusioned drifters and lawless cowboys living a rebellious American dream; will he be the one to claim a mysterious and charismatic fortune?

After several nightfalls and pursuing into Death Valley, he arrives. To his sight is a large sandy valley with flowing tumbleweeds traveling by sand and loud screeches of hungry peckerin’ eagles. Yet by surprise, other souls are present and looking to gain a name for themselves. Hundreds of cowboys, bounty hunters and drifters fighting to the death as he looks afar.

Echoes of gunfire and battle cries dominate the quiet valley. He unmounts his steed and examines the scene closer by the scope of his rifle, he sees a wagon parked in the middle of the valley. Many crates and safes are placed by the back of the wagon, as the cowboys commit bloodshed to sustain their greedy desires.

As the scope exits from his birds-eye view, a shining reflected light points at him from the North side of the valley. An orange flash appears, realizing it is a sniper from afar. The man moves from the shot, saddling onto his steed as he rides into the valley; staring into the face of death.

Riding into warfare with spirited courage, he spills the blood of the desolate fighters one by one. From a perspective, it is almost a silent war that would never be written in the history books.  As they fall to the ground like flies, a standoff between the last 3 is on standpoint; eying each other down. The Man, a Cowboy with devious snake eyes and a Holy Man; verge to kill for their fortune.

The guns whipped from their holsters; 3 shots are fired. The Holy Man has fallen to meet his maker, the cowboy with a bullet between his eyes and the man with a slug in his stomach. Surviving the wound, he crawls to the wagon like a bleeding snail.

Piling through the back of the wagon, he finds a giant crate with 2 black roses as outlined symbols. Opening the crate, there is a pile of money and jewelry; yet also a glassed box with 2 distinctive revolvers inside of them.

Examining it closer, are Smith and Wesson Schofield top-break revolvers that fire .45 shells.  Custom made by a golden black scaled body and pearl white grips with black rose symbols. It is light in size but feels to contain something mysterious and powerful in its essence.

‘You seek the Black Roses, don’t you drifter?’ a voice appears behind the man.

The man turns around as a well-dressed figure with a top hat walks to him within the sand.

‘Those are of great value stranger, you put one hell of a fight to get these prized possessions’ the mysterious figure says.

‘Maybe… But it’s something you ain’t gonna get mister’ the man says.

The man shoots the mysterious figure several times, as the bullets go through him. He is confused that it didn’t kill him.

‘I know who you are see? Mr. James Sheeran, a man of the East. Wanderer of the West. You seek fortunes in almost the wrong place, but you made yourself a dandy decision to come on out in this wild and hellish place, didn’t you?’ the figure says.

‘How the hell do you know my name? And why didn’t those bullets kill you?’ James says.

Well… Let’s just say that I am one who is of universal influence. An entrepreneur to say the least.

‘Yeah, well that doesn’t mean shit on who you are. I’ll start again. Who…The…Fuck…Are…You?’ James says.

‘The Black Roses are the fastest six-shooters in all of America and perhaps even the world, fast to sling out and fast to fire. Even reloading them is not even worth the sweat. You could swiftly kill as many cowboys and sheriffs in a matter of seconds and intimidate those of strong might. It possesses other abilities some consider to be unnatural…’

‘Unnatural? What are you getting at mister?’ James says.

‘Perhaps maybe a deal. These are the only ones in existence, they hold a very strong value to a man like me. But I see you can handle yourself in a gunfight, hell I could even let you borrow them for life. You could really make a name for yourself you know? Be of a real legend of the west, bigger than Billy the Kid or Wild Bill Hickok. But don’t get too cocky with yourself, you hear?’ the figure explains.

'However, I will need them back at some point. In many nightfalls to come, you will see me again. At least not in this form.’ The figure says to James.

The figure turns around and walks away into the abyss, mysteriously vanishing within 20ft from James. Unknown if he imagined this encounter through blood loss or something supernatural, he applies pressure and bandages his stomach and loads the wagon. With the financial gain, he rides into the dusked abyss; drifting deeper and darker into the Wild West.

After that bloody day. James began his reputation as the most feared figure in the west. His image was of both myth and legend.

Slowly as time evolved, he became more ruthless and out of touch as a wanderer of the west; ultimately becoming a scavenger that killed alongside looted those who encountered him.

The unfortunate met their match with the Black Roses, his reputation gained notoriety by law enforcements spanning from Texas to California; manhunts were regularly upheld to capture and kill James.

However, legend says he became crazy and psychopathic; to which rumor has it that the guns held demonic abilities as he made a deal with the devil that day. He began hearing voices and saw visions of horror, which consumed his mind and soul over time.

It is unknown to this day on the fate of James Sheeran, some say he died in the scorching deserts of Arizona. Some say he still roams around the West as a haunted soul.

Yet the Black Roses have never been found to this day and only several semi-reliable accounts suggest the existence of the legendary and cursed weapons.

Submitted: May 11, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Raoul Perseus. All rights reserved.

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