Undead In The West

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A zombie/western.

Submitted: January 02, 2012

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Submitted: January 02, 2012

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CLANCY BREWER stood there, his Colt Revolver still aimed straight ahead; a trail of smoke coming out of the barrell.  The echo of the shot continued to bounce off the canyon walls.

 

The Arizona heat beat down ob his back.

 

And the man who was once The Slverado Kid laid on his back with a bullet hole between his eyes.

 

"You got 'em, Clancy!  " exclaimed Danny Benson, his skinny, beanpole hired gun.  Clancy didn't turn around to face him but he knew the man was grinning from ear to ear, baring his yellow stained teeth.  All Danny cared about was getting paid and spending the money on drinking, gambling, and women at a saloon in Tombstone.  He was next to worthless but Clancy kept him around for laughs.

 

Clancy lowered his gun and holstered it, and continued staring at the body.  To his left appeared his second hired gun, Johnny Two Feathers.  The Apache was just as deadly with a blade as he was with a gun.

 

"Mm, " Two Feathers grunted, nodded.  "Siverado Kid is dead, white man.  "

 

Clancy let out a quick breath.  He's known Two Feathers for five years and the Apache still  called him "white man".  Clancy suspected he did it just to get a rise out of the bounty hunter.

 

"You did it, Clancy!  " Danny said gleefully, his voice going up a higher octave.

 

"I know, Danny, " Clancy muttered.

 

"Got 'em good!  "

 

"I know, Danny, I was there!  "

 

"Yessiree bob, he's a goner!  "

 

"So help me God, if you - - "

 

Clancy let out another breath.

 

"Doesn't make sense, " he said.

 

"What?  " asked Two Feathers.  "Man is dead.  "

 

"Yes, he is, " Clancy replied.  "But, I already killed him once.  "

 

 

*****************************************

 

 

LATER THAT NIGHT at the Keystone Saloon in Tombstone, Clancy stood at the bar and sipped on his whiskey.  Four tables back, Danny was fast on the way of being separated from his money at poker with one of the saloon girls sitting close beside him.  The women were so used to seeing Danny lose all his money that if he had any plans on bedding them that they wanted their money up front before he lost it all at a crooked game.

 

At the far end of the saloon, Johnny Two Feathers sat alone at a table, his beer practically untouched, his Bowie knife twirling in his right hand.  Normally, the saloon owner, Bart, wouldn't allow a red man in his saloon, but he - nor anyone else - had the guts to ask him to leave.  The man was six-foot-three and over two hundred pounds of Apache muscle.  

 

Five years ago, Clancy was on the trail of a bounty when he stumbled upon six drunked Calvary soldiers taking turns on beating on the Apache.  The soldiers had raped and killed Two Feather' wife, White Cloud, and now it was his turn to die.

 

But, Clancy wouldn't allow it.  The soldiers couldn't understand why a white man cared about an "injun".  Three of them found out the hard way that Clancy believed that no man, regardless of skin color, deserved what they had done to Two Feathers.  The other three got the idea and left, taking their wound wounded comrades with them.

 

Two Feathers swore his life to him.  All Clancy wanted was another gun hand.  Or, in the Apache's case, a knife hand.

 

One of the gamblers, whose luck was worse than Danny's, walked up to the bar and ordered a whiskey.

 

"Cards not in your favor tonight, Jeb?  " asked Bart as he poured.

 

"Hell, no!  " Jeb Dawson spat.  "Not a pair all night!  "  He downed his drink.  "Keep 'em coming!  "

 

Bart chuckled and refilled his drink.

 

Jeb looked over at Clancy.  "Poker not your game tonight, mister?  "

 

"I don't gamble, " Clancy replied in a gruff tone.  " Got better things to spend my money on.  "

 

Jeb placed a hand on his right shoulder.  It wasn't a forceful or challenging move.  

 

Just annoying.

 

"Like what?  " Jeb asked.  "More booze?  Women?  "

 

Clancy placed his Colt on the bar counter.

 

"More Bullets, " he said.  "Now, get yer hand of me.  "

 

The hand was withdrawn and Jeb walked away.

 

The Colt was reholstered.  Calncy grabbed his drink and the bottle and walked over to Two Feathers' table.

 

Clancy noticed the tiniest of smiles crease across the Apache's face.  "Gambler touched you, white man.  And yet you did not kill him.  "

 

Clancy shrugged.  "Eh, didn't want to waste a good bullet!  "Clancy said.  "Besides, he smelled like stale beer!  "

 

Danny, a little lighter in his pockets, joined them.  "We're in a saloon, Clancy!  Everything smells like stale beer!  "

 

"He smelled worst than most, " Clancy grunted.

 

"Aw, yer just sore 'cause you thought you had killed The Silverado the first time, back in Tennessee.  What was it?  Six weeks ago?  "

 

Clancy slammed his glass down.

 

"I don't miss!  " he shouted.  "Not then.  " He glared at Danny.  "Not ever!  "

 

Danny swallowed hard.  "Take it easy, Clancy!  I meant no offense.  But, how can you kill a man TWICE?  "

 

"I don't know, " he replied.   "I'm gonna go talk to Doc Cornwell in the morning.  He's got Sliverado's body.  I wanna see where my last bullet hit him.  "

 

 

*************************************************************

 

DR JIM CORNWELL was in his office when Clancy walked in at 9 o'clock the next morning.  The doctor was short and silver-haired with spectacles resting on the bridge of his nose.

 

"Ah, Mr Brewer, " he said, smiling.  "Come to pay your respects to the dead?  "

 

Clancy grunted.  "Need you to check something, Doc.  "

 

"What's ailing you, my boy?  "

 

"The Slvierado Kid.  "

 

Yes, I was going to ask you about that.  Why did you wait so long to bring in the body?  "

 

Clancy arched an eyebrow.  "What do you mean?  "

 

Cornwell walked over to one of his examination tables.  A sheet was covering a body.  He peeled it back to reveal it.

 

Clancy frowned.  "Stinks.  "

 

"Exactly, Mr. Brewer.  How far did you have top travel to get the body here?  "

 

"Why?  "

 

"This body is rotting.  In order to get to that stage, a dead body would have to be baking in the sun for weeks.  Months, maybe.  "

 

"Killed him at Grover's Canyon.  One day's ride from here.  "

 

Cornwell shook his head.  "Impossible.  That body has been exposed to the elements a good long while.  "

 

"That can't be.  "

 

Cornwell nodded.  "At the most, it's been in the sun for about two months.  "

 

Clancy took off his hat and ran his fingers through his hair, thinking.

 

"Doc, did you find any other bullet holes in him besides the one I put in his head?  "

 

"Oh, this man's a road map of old scars but, yes, I did find one a couple of months old.  "

 

Cornwell opened the shirt and pointed to a dark mass at the center of his chest.

 

"That's where I shot him the first time, back in Tennessee, more than six months ago.  WAs beginning to think I missed his heart.  "

 

"Oh, no, Mr. Brewer, "Doc said, " you didn't.  I believe you would call that a kill shot.  "

 

Clancy looked grim.  "Doc, do you many people who can survive a bullet to the heart?  "

 

Cornwell removed his glasses.  

 

"None that I know of, my boy, " he replied.  "None that I know of.  "

 

 

********************************************************

 

"SO, WHAT ARE YOU trying to say, " asked Danny.  He was clean and sober now but it wouldn't be long before that changed.  "That you DID kill him twice?  "

 

"Would seem that way, " Clancy replied.

 

"Oh, that's hogwash!  "

 

"There are some Indian tribes that spirits of the dead walk among us, " Two Feathers said.

 

"But, this was no spirit, Two Feathers, "  Clancy said.  "The Silverado died in Tennessee.  Doc confirmed that.  But, we all saw him again in GRover's Canyon, where I killed him one more time!  That second time, though, was kinda strange.  Remember?  "

 

"You mean the way he was walking?  He was drunk.  Didn't even raise his gun he was holding at his side 'til he was six feet in front of you!  Wasn't even scared o' ya!  "

 

"Remember back in Tennessee?  Man about pissed his pant at the sight of me!  What changed?  "

 

"Only reason why gun was raised was because man was holding it.  Both his arms were outstretcjed to you, white man.  "

 

Clancy looked out the window.  Dusk has fallen and the nightlamps had been lit.

 

Clancy had been looking into the eyes of a dead man.

 

 

******************************************************

 

THE NEXT DAY, Clancy was at the gun store buying more bullets - and another Colt - when Sheriff Rourke walked in.

 

"Afternoon, Sheriff, " Clancy said without turning around.

 

"Clancy, we need to talk, " Rourke said matter-of-factly.

 

"What's on your mind?  "

 

"Not here.  Come to my office.  "

 

A quick walk later, they stood in the sheriif's office.  The cells were empty.

 

 "A man rode into town this moring from Tuscon.  He told me what I thought was a tall tale.  "

 

"What was it?  "

 

"He said that several strangers wandered into their town and began attacking people.  But, he said they had no guns, no weapons.  No thing.  He said they were actually BITING  people.  "

 

"Biting people?  "

 

"And eating them!  "

 

C


© Copyright 2017 William J Cox. All rights reserved.

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