The storm engulfs the night as it descends upon the small deserted township, rain ricochets off the saloon and stable, forming a swamp instead of the main street. The huntress of night spreads her quiver of shadows across the land as well as thunder that can be heard off in the distance and the strikes of lighting punishing the earth.
The man clothed in the attire of wool and leather his pale facials masked by the shadows.He stumbles in the doorway of the county jail glaring out into the dark abyss of the night that has embraced the innocent town.With a smoking cigar and its embers puncturing the darkness in one hand and a shot of dry whiskey in the other he turns to meet the shadowy figure.The man lurches around the dim room only to be illuminated by the flame of a dying candle that struggles to pierce the shadows.Reaching for the barrel of a Winchester rifle and raising it to towards his biggest fear the man, the nightmare that keeps him up at night that lies in cold chains behind the steel bars of the darkest cell staring. The candle’s glow and the nights bitter embrace reveals the man’s tensed eyelids, trembling aim and marked up heartbeat.He collapses to the ground with his head and chest pressed against the cell still firmly clenching the wooden butt of the rifle now only having half of its silver steel barrel glistening in the candles flame while the rest has been consumed by the darkness of the inside of the cells floor.
The young dawn sun purges the shadows and tames the storm of the night. As four armed lawmen ridden with the stench of tobacco and whiskey from the night before, crowd into the enclosed jail house. Two remain in the doorway pointing their rifles with a drunk aim at the man in chains while the third man opens the cell as well as quickly drawing his revolver from its resting place at his side holster and directing it towards the imprisoned man. The last man deals with the limp pale corpse with bruising around the neck and the Winchester imprint branded against the pale neck flesh. Pushed to the side by the opening cell door, he stares in disbelief and in fear at the man in chains I return the favor with a cold sinister grin.
By Ben Frith