Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sample Saturday - Nov 22, 2014

Welcome to Sample Saturday. This week's sample is from a published short story called War Party. Nearly twelve-year-old Rolla Wood is bent on revenge and has set out to get it.

It was past noon when Rolla checked his back trail and discovered a man riding a quarter mile behind him. The boy leaned forward and urged the dun into a lope. Later, when he pulled up to give the horse a breather, the man still followed, and Rolla edged off the trail and circled behind an outcropping of sandstone.

He shucked the Winchester from the boot, dismounted, and tied the horse. Then he crawled to the top of the low butte and waited, shivering as the cold clamped down on his motionless form.

The man was big, not too old, rode a gray gelding, and wore a gray hat with a black band. A red scarf decorated his neck. His topcoat flapped open as the gelding moved, and once, Rolla caught sight of a gun belt crossed at an angle to his waist.

An outlaw! he thought, and shivered again. Then Rolla remembered his mission, and anger shook him. "I got a job to do," he whispered. "No grown-up's gonna stop me." He squeezed off a shot in front of the gray horse. "Get them hands in the air!" he shouted.

First the man quieted the plunging gray, then he slowly raised his hands and peered toward the sandstone mass. "Who's that up there? You sound like a kid."

Rolla levered the rifle. "Old enough to shoot. Why are you following me?"

The man started to lower his arms, and Rolla yelled again. "Keep 'em up! Answer me. Why are you on my trail?"

"Your trail? This is a public road, kid. What do you think you're doing?"

Rolla stood, and waved the rifle barrel at the man. "You answer the questions."

"I don't know who you are, kid, but your daddy ought to lay a hand good and hard on your butt. You're keeping me from my business. Them cussed Indians will be to hell and gone before I can catch them."

Rolla shifted his feet on the sandstone. "What Indians?"

"Them raiding Apaches who killed my partner, that's what Indians. I'm getting riled, kid. You best put that pop stick down so I can be on my way."

"What you gonna do to those Indians?"

The man spit on the ground. "I'm gonna give them a hundred dollars and pat them on the head."

"I'm coming with you."

"No chance, kid. Put down that rifle and I'll get along." The man glared at the lanky youth, and lowered his arms. "You're just a dumb kid."

"I ain't no dumb kid! I got a job to do, same as you."

"Well, I'm on my way. Shoot me in the back, if you've a mind to."

"You need me, mister," Rolla shouted, then gritted his teeth against the disappointment.

Thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoyed the sample. War Party (Short Story) is available as an electronic book at these online outlets: Smashwords all formats | Kindle | nook | Kobo | iTunes Bookstore

Click the "My Books" tab at the top of the page for more information about my books and short stories. Purchase links are included. The "Special Collections" tab includes information and links to my novella, Faith and the Foreman, and a short story in the Owenverse, Bloodied Leather, which gives a glimpse into the future of the Owen Family. Don't forget to come back next Saturday for another sample of my writing.

Bestselling author Marsha Ward wrote the novella, Faith and the Foreman, in the best-selling Timeless Romance Anthology Old West Collection. She is the author of an acclaimed novel series featuring the Owen family. Book 4, Spinster's Folly, won the 2013 USA Best Book Award for Western Fiction, and recently was named Finalist in Western Fiction in the 2014 International Book Awards. A former journalist, Ward has published over 900 articles, columns, poems and short stories. She is the founder of American Night Writers Association, a.k.a. ANWA.

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