The Meeting in Boulder City

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Westerns  |  House: Booksie Classic
An excerpt from a short story I am writing. I am just looking for feedback and ideas to improve the story.

Submitted: November 06, 2015

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Submitted: November 06, 2015

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In a small, crowded tavern in Boulder City, Nebraska Territory, sat James Crawford, a hardened 32 year old veteran of the Mexican-American War, and a heartless man at that. His father abandoned his family at 12 and his mother was kidnapped by Natives when he was only 16, forcing him to grow up on the rugged frontier by himself, which proved hard for the poor young man. After the war, he grew to a rough looking man with a scraggly beard and dark eyes, as if he was staring into death itself. He later moved to Boulder City and became known as a ruthless man who let no man stand in his way, where he became a young deputy and made a fierce name for himself.

As James sat on the wooden stool at the bar, he drank a glass of whiskey, which he enjoyed everyday to settle his nerves before work, which was not the job for jittery men, only steel-nerved individuals. James took a large swig of the drink and tossed a dollar coin at the bartender, who fumbled the coin for a second. James stood up, adjusting his holster on his belt, and walked out of the building, then glanced around the empty dirt road looking for anything unusual. He walked back into the tavern and sat down again, looking at the bartender and said, “Hey, seen anything strange in the area today? It’s pretty empty outside and it’s already 12 o’clock in the afternoon.” “Nothing yet, the odd men come in later to avoid others in the bar,” he replied, while cleaning a small glass. “Alright, shoot me another glass of whiskey, Jim Beam.”

On a dusty road outside of town, Ralph Teller rode a black horse accompanied by two others on horses, both carrying loaded rifles on their sides. Ralph, a 20 year old bandit from Illinois was on the hunt for unsuspecting travelers from Mexico or the east carrying valuable goods. He along with the two men came from Sutter’s Mill, where gold fever ran rampant in the small village, a perfect spot for robbing poor farmers and miners looking to strike it rich and make a living out west. Ralph led a normal life out in Illinois, where him and his widowed mother owned a small corn farm along the Mississippi, but after a small fight in town erupted in gunfire and the death of a 19 year old merchant, Ralph fled persecution and found a life as a bandit along the well traveled roads of the west. “Hey, wagon! Hide on those rocks, and wait for my signal,” Ralph belted as he ran up into the cliff face. A small wagon came bumbling down the rocky road, holding 2 men and a ton of furniture from the east. As the wagon came closer to the hidden men, Ralph poked his gun out at the wagon from a small rock face, and fired a shot at the driver. The shot hit the young man in the shoulder, knocking him off the wagon onto the sandy trail. The other men on the wagon ran out of the cart, pistols in hand, running for cover. At that moment, the other two men with Ralph stood up, shooting rapidly toward the wagon. Ralph stood up, cocked his Winchester, and took another shot at the bleeding driver, who was staggering to his feet, drawing a small revolver from his vest in his right hand, as he held his wound with his left. Ralph fired, sending lead into the driver, splitting his head into two pieces, sending the driver to the ground, and the revolver across the sand. Knowing he was dead, they all focused their fire onto the other two, who hid and returned fire along the opposite rocky cliff.

The shootout lasted a good 5 minutes, resulting in the gruesome murder of 3 men, all sprawled across the road, covered in tattered, bloody clothing. As the bandits gathered the goods and money, they continued into town, about 5 miles down the road, where they would rest up and plan the next money maker, a large scaled robbery of a chain of banks along the roads in Boulder City. As they arrived in town, Ralph ran up to a tavern, tied up his horse, and sat at a table, donning a deck of cards and the new made money on the table.


© Copyright 2020 ChrisG. All rights reserved.

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