Saturday, July 25, 2009

An Excerpt of "Wild Heart"

Taken from "Wild Heart" by Shannon Nicole Wells © 2009

As the noon hour of the next day drew near, the street in front of the
Silver Dollar began to empty, but it was not due to a lack of curiosity. In
fact, those souls who were brave enough were finding vantage points along
the street in order to watch from a distance. They were hungry for
something new to gossip about, but they were not stupid; no one wanted to
get in the way of a stray bullet.
Among those brave souls, standing just inside an alley across from the
saloon, stood Gage Colton. The last thing he wanted was to see bloodshed,
but he felt he needed to see who this kid really was. Something in him
seemed to be shouting that he was right; he was finally going to get a look
at the one he'd been following since Texas. Trouble was, what would he do if
his instincts were correct?
Seeing Tombstone's notorious Chief of Police, Virgil Earp, making his way
toward the alley where he stood, he greeted him by asking in a low voice,
"You planning on doing something about this fight?"
Earp gave the younger man an incredulous look, and answered, "No. Baker's
a cardshark, who cheats more often than not! I figure if he's stupid enough
to challenge that kid to a gunfight, he's stupid enough to get his self
killed. And the kid...well, from what I've heard that kid can take care of
his self."
"You've heard of this kid before?" Gage asked.
"No," Earp answered, "not until last night when somebody told me Baker had
called the man out; sides, if I tried to stop every gunfight in town, I'd be
doin' it from now till doomsday!"
Turning away in disgust, Gage wondered what the purpose was in having a
Chief of Police, when he did not seem inclined to keep the peace. He
wondered why no one seemed concerned that lives were at stake. Did anybody
care what became of either man? Would anyone have a funeral for the one who
would be unlucky enough to be too slow at the draw? He seriously doubted
it. Uppermost in his mind was the kid's identity, or rather, was he the
same man who had murdered Jeb Colton? There were no forth-coming answers to
his many questions, but one thing he knew for certain, was that there was
bound to be trouble, no matter who was left standing when the smoke began to
clear.
When the sun had finally reached its highest peak in the sky, he could see
Harry, revolver resting in its holster on his hip, walking slowly down the
left side of the street. Glancing to his right, he saw the kid on his way
to meet his opponent. The two met about twenty feet apart in the middle of
the street.
In the ominous hush that had seemed to fall over the town, Harry's voice
could be heard loud and clear, as he taunted, "Are ye sure ye don't wanna
back out, breed? Wouldn't want any of your Injun blood contaminatin' this
here street, if'n it can be helped!"
Concentrating on the kid's appearance, Gage almost missed the quiet reply.
"It isn't my blood that will be contaminating the street; it'll be yours,
Mr. Baker. Are you sure you want to die today, because we could just call
it off and."
"Cocky little whippersnapper, ain't ye!" Baker said, a little cockily
himself, but he was unable to hide the note of nervousness that kept him
from meeting his opponent's eyes.
"You're a fool," the kid said in disgust.
"What's that? What did ye call me, there, Boy?" Baker asked, nastily,
resting his right hand on his gun.
"I called you a fool," the kid answered, still not bothering to raise his
voice. "If you're wanting to shoot it out, then let's quit all this talk
and get on with it."
Hearing something in the kid's voice that made the little hairs on his arms
stand at attention, Gage narrowed his gaze and studied the man more closely.
His voice had not been loud, nor was it familiar, yet it sounded more like a
woman's than that of a young man.
He had no more time to wonder about it, however, for at that moment, out of
the corner of his eye, he saw Baker begin to draw his weapon. But, he had
no time to cock it, before the kid's bullet hit him between the eyes, and
the unused gun fell to the ground along with a very dead Baker.
As long as he lived, Gage would never forget the look on the kid's face at
that instant. Shock and horror seemed to mingle with a very feminine
expression-the beginning of tears. Then, like a curtain, an expression of
cold indifference fell over his face, and, as if nothing out of the ordinary
had just taken place, he turned to leave the scene, revolver still in hand.
It was all over in a matter of a few moments.
For a split second, silence ruled the spectators. Then all at once, a mass
of people began to flock toward the middle of the street.
Paying no heed to those around him, Gage stepped in to the street, and
without stopping to analyze his reason, began following the tall, slender
figure out of town; he just could not let this kid walk off without finding
out his identity. Behind him, he could hear shouting as folks were
undoubtedly removing the lifeless body from the street. A few were trying
to get close to the kid, too, but the cold expression on his face and the
fact that he still held his revolver at the ready, kept everyone from
getting too close, except Gage. Just as they passed the last buildings in
town, he heard amidst all the shouting, Bob's voice promising his brother
that he would "git that no good Injun fer this."
(end section)

Want more? Go to
www.publishamerica.com
type in "Wild Heart" in the search box and purchase your own copy. Need it
in audio format? Send an email to
ShannonNicoleWells@suddenlink.net
Put "Wild Heart audio" in the subject line, and when it becomes available in
a couple of weeks, I'll let you know.

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