Sunset at Boxtown
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 625
When the gunslinger rode into town, on a neat sorrel, leading a very handsome packhorse, everyone thought it was some kid wanting to grow up quick. When the rider got off it was a girl, and one of the wise guys started giving her a very hard time. He pushed to a showdown, and before he could clear leather, he was down, with holes in each shoulder. She looked around and said, “Anybody else?”
Nobody piped up to give her any lip, but one of the wise guy’s friends tried to get the drop on the gunslinger behind her back. In one smooth motion, the gunslinger pivoted and blew the pistol from the coward’s hand, taking three fingers in the process.
“I ain’ much like snakes like that,” she said in a slow, Texan drawl. “Man who would shot a lady in the back ain’ much of a man.”
The gunslinger fired another round, making the coward even less of a man by blowing away another appendage, this one a bit below the belt. The coward dropped to the ground screaming and clutching his bloodied crotch with his seven remaining fingers.
“Stow your iron, ma’am,” a deep and authoritative voice boomed to the side of the gunslinger. “I’d say you had just cause for your actions, up ‘till now. Anymore and I’d have to lock you up.”
The gunslinger turned slowly to face the owner of the powerful voice. He stood with a cigarette in one hand and the other resting on his Colt Peacemaker.
“I’ll gladly stow my iron,” the gunslinger said in a soft, sweet voice. “If you tell those two wise asses in the saloon to take their bead off me, lest one of them accidentally forgets they have a hair-trigger on their shotgun.”
“You heard the lady, boys. Pack it in. Lester had it coming, trying to get the drop on anyone packing a piece. He was bound to meet a decent opponent sooner or later.”
“What about Jed?” One of the men yelled back. “He didn’t deserve getting his junk blown off!”
“The way I saw it boys. He didn’t have any balls to start with, trying to shoot a visitor to our peaceful town in the back.”
The two men lowered their Winchesters and headed back into the bar to get a stiff drink to calm their nerves. The gunslinger reloaded her pistol, and then slowly returned it to the holster on her belt. She tipped her hat at the sheriff and turned to walk back to her horse.
“You got a minute ma’am?” The sheriff said.
The gunslinger patted her horse and poured some grain into a feedbag hung from its neck. After tending to her travelling companion’s meal, she walked back to the sheriff.
“Not much of a welcome wagon your boys put out for strangers, now.”
“I think you’ve finally put the wind up them though,” the sheriff said. “That body lying in the street is Lester McGraw. He was the ringleader of that motley crew, and a lowdown bully. Thanks to you, the gang will most likely disperse to greener pastures without Lester’s thuggish influence.”
“Seen his type plenty around these parts,” the gunslinger said. “Most of them are so cocky, they don’t think a girl could best them at anything, little lone a showdown.”
“Having those top three buttons of your blouse kind of distracts their attention, ‘specially when you don’t seem to be wear any undergarments?”
The gunslinger casually did her shirt up and winked at the sheriff, who was blushing.
“Sure does give me an edge over most men.”
Sunset at Boxtown
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