Maria Faust and her Zombie
companion, Mr. Tall, encounter big trouble
under the big sky in...
A 4-Episode Weird Western!
Stanley "Buck" Weiss
IT TOOK A SECOND
FOR HIS WORDS to register with the men on both sides of him. In
that time Maria tapped once more within the impression her finger had
made on the card table. With a whisper and the movement, the
lanterns in the room extinguished, plunging them all into darkness.
Shotgun’s Colt went off, lighting the room and leaving a hole in the
wall where Maria had been just before. In her kneeling position
Maria slid her hands over her eyes and said a small incantation.
As the words left her mouth, the room brightened and she could see the
confused men moving about in the dark. Multiple shots were fired
in the same direction Shotgun had fired moments before.
Maria could see that the men were spread out. She quickly pulled
a knife from her garter belt and threw it at the man farthest
away. It caught him in the throat and with a gurgled thump he hit
the ground. He had taken his liberties with the poor
schoolteacher; Maria could still see it fresh in the top layer of his
mind. He deserved to be sent flailing into the abyss.
The firing renewed at the spot where he lay motionless.
Maria noticed one of the men had his back against the outer wall of the
building pointing his gun at whatever sound he heard in the
darkness. Maria signaled with her mind and two large black arms
burst through the wall on each side of the terrified man. He
dropped his gun as two huge hands bear hugged around him and the large
arms pulled him back through the wall.
The arms belonged to Mr. Tall. Mr. Tall was her backup; a seven
foot black man who Maria had known as long as she remembered
life. Mr. Tall was also a zombi, brought back to life by Mamma
Magdalena to act as her apprentice’s protector while in the west.
She probably hadn’t needed to bring him into the fray, but she knew
from past experience that if Mr. Tall was idle for too long during a
fight anyone that came too close to him could be considered an enemy or
perhaps a snack.
Maria pulled out her ivory handled colt 45’s. She needed to end
this quickly. Pretty soon the saloon owner would bring the
sheriff and she really didn’t need to be asked too many
questions. Besides, Shotgun and his boys were throwing a lot of
money around this one horse town and she was only racking up bodies for
the mortician and causing property damage.
The guns felt perfect
in her hands. Magic came easy for her, but she loved the feel of
the guns. It had taken her years of target practice and near
death fights to master them. Now, she was fast and deadly.
She pulled both triggers, catching the last of Shotgun’s henchmen in
the knees and sending him to the ground. She needed a few alive
for the questioning.
Shotgun saw the flash of her shots and pulled his pistols toward her,
but she was already gone. She rolled sideways, under the table
and caught Shotgun’s legs with her own, sending the man thrashing to
ground and making him drop his pistols.
Maria stuck one of her ivory handled colts under his chin and the other
into his groin.
“Now, Andrew,” she spit through her gritted teeth. “Are we going
to talk business or are you going to lose this shotgun of yours?”
* * * * *
By the time the sheriff arrived, Maria had all the information she
needed from Shotgun Ron. He lay there tied in a corner as she
helped the woman up from the cellar and bandaged the knees of the one
henchman that lived. She had mentally commanded Mr. Tall to meet
her with the horses on the edge of town. A woman taking on four
men in a bar looked bad enough without a dead black man in a
three-piece suit standing around.
“Sheriff, what do you know of Hezekiah Gant?” Maria had been
asked down to the station. She showed her paperwork, jumped
through the big man’s hoops and found that he wasn’t that bad of a guy.
“Gant showed up here a couple months back, claimed he was passing
through.” The Sheriff leaned back in his chair and sat his coffee
cup down on his belly. Maria noticed a few brown stained
rings on the old shirt. It must have been something that the man
did often. “We lost our old mortician a few weeks later to some
flu or something. Gant stepped in and took his place.” The
man took a long drag from his cup. “Seemed like a nice enough
guy. Kept to himself, always dressed well, and knew the
trade. No one could complain.”
“Well, I think I am prepared to lodge a very large one,” Maria replied,
as she pulled each Colt from its holster and replaced the rounds she
had fired earlier. “Where does Mr. Gant reside?”
On to Episode 3 : "Where is the Cemetery?"
Back to Episode 1 : "Get Her,
The Cold Rock Gamble is copyright by Stanley "Buck" Weiss. It
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