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last stand — Friday Fictioneers

July 5, 2012

Friday Fictioneers for Madison Woods

100 words, constructive crit welcome

She was blown, could go no farther.  Froth dripped from her nose and mouth.  He whispered softly, patted her sweat-caked, heaving sides, loosened the cinch.  The saddle tumbled earthward with a tired thud.

It ended here, three pursuers just behind.  He glanced skyward, then checked his six gun.  They probably had the noose ready, too dangerous to let him go.  He worked around her feet, lifted each pulled the shoe and tossed it absently away.

“Git.”  He smacked her flank.  She took two steps and looked back at him, big brown eyes wondering.  He had already turned, one bullet left.

  1. Wow that was brilliant!!!! :D:D:D I loved it!!

  2. Fantastic tale. Had me gripped to the last line and beyond. Just the right mix of tension and humanity. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I think it perfectly captured the moment, his humanity at the last was truly touching and truly told – and the horse’s big brown eyes wondering…

    I loved it, and, although I am touched by his sparing the horse, I hope he either gets what he deserves or deserves what he gets.

    Here’s mine (The Missionary’s Position) :

  4. Hi Bill: No matter what he’s done to deserve the frightening end to his life, he managed to find a moment to show his gentle, sensitive and loving side to take care of his horse. Wonderful take on the prompt. And thank you for reading mine. Happy it gave you a chuckle or two.

  5. Really well done. We don’t know what he’s done but it doesn’t matter — we know the choice he’s making, and the fact that he still has the humanity to tell the horse to get out of there tells us a lot about his character. Nothing superfluous here, nothing out of place — just good stuff all around!

    Brian (

  6. Last stand with only one bullet. Better make it count so he can take at least one of them with him.

    Enjoyed it.

    My link: “Last Cigarette”

  7. very well done! I hope for a dust storm and a getaway in the chaos

    • good thought, but when a cowboy lets his horse go, it is a bad sign…

      thanks for stopping by

  8. A really good story, I liked the cowboy and the way he took care of his horse. Makes me think he is a good guy!

  9. rochellewisoff permalink

    Beautifully written! You covered as many details as anyone could in 100 words. I echo Len and say, “Bravo!”
    Thanks for commenting on mine.

  10. Fantastic job, I really like it, especially the ending. I felt the emotional impact there.

  11. Well at least the horse will be free. I wonder why he’d rather kill himself than let the pursuers take him? Get share. I’m like 57 on the list so here’s my link:

  12. A beautiful display of love for his horse, but I’m worried about that last bullet. I can’t believe he’d shoot her after making all that effort with her shoes though, so I’m going to believe he saved it for either himself or one of his pursuers. You have conjured an image from the dust so vivid it is palpable.
    I’m over at;

  13. Thank you so much for ending it like you did. I love horses and was afraid he would ride her to death!! Of course, I suppose I should feel sorrier for him, one shot left. Would he take the gentleman’s way out? I daresay not. Very well told, Great job!

    This prompt made me think wiid west posse chase as well, but mine is very different:

    • he pulled her shoes so she wouldn’t go lame in the wild, and had a chance to run with a herd. Glad you liked it. I will check yours out.


    • I was thinking about your reply, and thought I would say that if you love horses, this is the best book about horses I have read: Smokey the Cowhorse by Will James — it is old, but as good as it gets.


  14. Triggered my overwhelming desire to survive. Kept thinking what i could do with all those bricks and all the booby traps I would set up. Wouldn’t have sent the horse away though… too fataloistic for me. Great writing though. Well done!

  15. Fantastic. The scene was immediate and compelling and I felt so much for both he and the horse. So well done.

    • thanks Kathy… I was trying to set the stage so that it was unclear what would happen to the horse..

  16. Awesomely done! Grabbed from the beginning and ended very well! Loved it! Here’s mine:

  17. Good story, grabbed my attention from the start, had me wondering at the end. The back of my neck feels dirty and gritty.

  18. Good one; lucky he had that one bullet left – I’d have no problem using it, I think, rather than fall into the hands of others. I wondered why he took the shoes off the horse? (I don’t have a fixation with shoes, honest!)

    • thanks for stopping by. Pulling the shoes can prevent it from becoming lame in the wild where there is no farrier. He was giving the horse a chance to find a herd and live free

  19. I echo what Doug said. Nicely done.

  20. Dear Bilgncs,

    Last Stand was spartan, stoic, soft and true, just like the colors in the photo prompt. I thought you crafted a wonderful story, one that probably happened just the way you imagined it. Sign of a good writer.



  21. Oooh, so what did he do with the last one? The problem with hanging is that it can take time to die if they don’t break your neck immediately, whilst a bullet expertly shot will be quick and easy; or did he take another man with him or even shoot the horse … expertly done and loved it.

    I’m on the list but for those who happen across, my offering is also here:

  22. I think you did a very nice job with this. I enjoy the sense of melancholy and his desire to do things his way. It reminds me a little bit of 7 Spanish Angels. Good job.

  23. Reading this story made me feel like if, I was reading my fav. Novel… sadly enough couldn’t turn the next page! the finish of the story was nicely done… left a dramatic impact hanging right there in the middle of the readers heart like that last bullet. great work thank you for sharing.

  24. I LOVE it. Gorgeous, from the horse to the man, you can really feel everything. Great job.

  25. I think this is the first I have read of yours.
    I thought I was checking out CC’s blog. Oops! 🙂
    Nevertheless, it is great work!

  26. I loved this story! Amazing details! One of your best I have read so far!

    Here’s mine:

  27. Looking forward to reading more. Great start. I do agree with dbfurches about the shoe sentence, otherwise luv the compact yet full story. Happy writing!

    • thanks! I really appreciate it! With 100 words, it is easy to lose sight of the flow to save a word!

  28. Another that has me shouting BRAVO ! AUTHOR AUTHOR! then boom dropped just when my mind is surging forward for more of the story! drat! Drat! and Double Drat!!

  29. “He had already turned, one bullet left.”

    That bullet is not for the horse – for him perhaps. He doesn’t want to give his pursuers the pleasure of seeing him shit while he swings at the end of a rope.

  30. Hi. This was a tightly-told, very affecting western tale. Constructive criticism below:

    It ended here, three pursuers just behind. He glanced skyward, then checked his six gun.
    -I thought “It ended here” didn’t quite fit.

    They probably had the noose ready, too dangerous to let him go.
    -Almost sounds like it’s the noose that’s too dangerous to be let go.

    He worked around her feet, lifted each pulled the shoe and tossed it absently away.
    -I can’t quite tell what’s happening here. I think “lifted each pulled the shoe” might be a typoe.

    “Git.” He smacked her flank. She took two steps and looked back at him, big brown eyes wondering.
    -This sentence really gets me! I really feel for the character, and the horse. Maybe he’s a no-good outlaw, but to his horse, he’s a great companion.

  31. This has been wondering what is going to happen…who is after him? what is he going to do? Gripping story. Mine will be up later.

  32. But the question is…is he the bad guy being chased by the righteous arm of the law or the good guy being chased by those who want to kill him?? I know the noose points to the bad guy, but you never know in those days.

  33. I had trouble entering my friday fictioneers article on the site-how did you do it? I will follow your new site as well beebeesworld

    • thanks — I go to my article, and capture the whole url, then on madison-woods/blog page I selected the site and entered my full url.

      pretty basic, hope that helps.

      bw – – thanks for following!

      • it may be pretty basic for you, i guess im just out of touch on the process-i can copy my url, go to the madison-woods/blog page, but i dont see how to “select a site” and enter the url-im beginning to feel real stupid, here…

        • ok-perhaps I just didnt put in the url for my specific article-i did it over and pasted the whole url for just this article-im trying-learning a bit at a time-thanks

  34. agree about the horse, once you create these characters they get their own persona and don’t always do what you expect. Dancing on the rope wouldn’t be too good, but taking one more out might be sweet

  35. TheOthers1 permalink

    Showdown or end his own life? Gripping tale! I half wonder if the horse will stick around. Nicely done. 🙂

    My link:

    • which would you do?

      • TheOthers1 permalink

        I don’t think I could end my own life, but one can never be sure what they’d do until in the situation.

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