Five-pointed star

I tip my hat back and take a gander at the clock on the far wall.
Time for me to make my rounds; make sure folks ain’t disturbed during the night.
I spit out some chewed-up nail, take my boots off my desk and pin my five-pointed star back on to my shirt.
Silver. Some kinda joke, I guess. From way back when the mayor appointed the first Sheriff.
I yank my holstered guns off the peg by the Wanted posters and tie the cowhide belt up in a solid knot.
Belt buckle’s been broken for a while now. Same engraved belt’s been worn for fifty years by this town’s lawmen.
I mosey on over to the safe, crank out the combination, pull out and load up the silver bullets.
No sense in waitin’. Don’t want to be caught fidgetin’ if I get spotted.
I take a swig from my hip flask, a special mix that Betsy at the Saloon brews up for us, and push myself out onto the streets.

Quiet. Like most nights.
Real bright, though. Full moon. Makes everybody act the fool.

My teeth start to itch as I reach the end of Main Street. I start to smell things a little stronger than afore. Someone’s just around the corner.
So I take another swig of the brew and draw my six-shooters.
I see the door of the Undertakers open, creaking some in the wind.
Dammit, Bill, I told you to fix that lock.
I round the corner and there he is, all hair and teeth and hunger.

I raise up my guns and do what I gotta do.

5 thoughts on “Five-pointed star”

  1. This is great – great atmosphere, great voice, really gets to feel like some distant place. The central character is quirky and salty and really gets under your skin. To do the Rudy: this is a story about a town in the west (all planets have a west! and so does the alternative past, and the future), where some people are werewolf type creatures. Some (like the sheriff) drink their special brew, keep their engraved belt on, and keep it under control. Others (like whatever’s coming from the Undertaker’s) just erupt into tooth and claw, and need to be shot.

    It’s a great world and nice tight telling.

    Nit-picking:
    Mosey – I don’t like that word, it’s too comedy for me most the time!
    Saloon and Undertakers – I would suggest giving names to places to make the setting more real – the names can also give a great feeling of place.

    I loved the belt tied into a knot, and the itching teeth.

    Tell me, what’s up with your paragraph structure? There is a single line break after almost each sentence, and a double line break before “quiet” and “my teeth”. Is that intentional? It looks a bit odd :)

    Loved the story, thank you!

  2. I enjoyed this story. I liked the theme and the tone – it had me smiling from the beginning.

    To counter – I love the word ‘mosey’ lol~

  3. I really enjoyed the tone – the whole cowboy wild west thing is beyond overdone and way into cool again. Really liked the mosey and chewed up nails and gander etc for this piece.

    The fantasy element works well and I like the everydayness of the silver bullets kept in the safe. Paragraph structure really bugged me – don’t know if WP just messed up your formatting or it was intentional.

    My only crit is on the reveal of the werewolf thing – seems kind of clumsy with some strange confusions in lines like: ‘Full moon. Makes everybody act the fool.’ and ‘start to smell things a little stronger than afore’

    These distracted me from understanding in that it confused exactly who the wolf is for me.

    The end and the undertakers place is great – like the beginning the super overdone ideas fresh and new in the werewolf context.

  4. I like cowboys :) And this was fun. Our Hero is a sheriff, and he’s busy setting out to do a bit o’ peace keeping in the small hours of the night.

    I enjoy that you gave characters names, like Betsy and Bill — they’re simple names, but I thought they fit the feeling of the piece that you got going. I agree with Parfles about the Saloon and Undertakes perhaps needing names of their own.

    The first time I read this I did wonder if Our Hero was himself a werewolf, with his itchy teeth and improved senses. But then he was wearing a lot of silver, and his werewolfiness wasn’t stressed, so I assumed not. The second time I didn’t think that at all; only ASpedition’s comments reminded me of it.

    One thing that stood out for me is that many of the sentences begin with, “I …” For example, “I tip my hat …” or, “I yank my …” or, “I see …” Sometimes these sentences can be reworked to begin the sentence with something else, or even to remove the “I” completely.

    Fun piece. Thanks!

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed this story: meeting of wild west and monster tale in a light, comedic style. I love the detail in his clothing and the style of the dialogue; they work really well in creating atmosphere.

    Like others, I have some confusion about the nature of the sheriff – is he human?, if he is, maybe the special brew does something special to him? But I kind of enjoyed these uncertainties.
    I like that the Saloon and Undertakers aren’t named, and I like the sometimes stereotypical language, e.g. mosey – they add to the archetypical vibe of the piece.

    Thanks, this was fun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *