Flash Fiction Challenge: The Posse

Marshall Briggs signaled for the posse to halt. Truth is, most of us were done in after two days’ hard ride.

This is where it was likely to get bloody. The Cheyenne Kid and the Black Rock gang had made it to the Wall.

From there, they’d be able to pick the posse apart on this open ground. But the Marshall wasn’t the kind of fella to give up quite so easy as that. He called for the men to dismount and gather around. It was then he revealed his bold plan.

In 250 words or less, tell us a story incorporating the elements in the picture. The 250 word limit will be strictly enforced.

Please keep language and subject matter to a PG-13 level.

Use the comment section below to submit your entry. Entries will be accepted until 5:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012.

On Wednesday morning, we will open voting to the public with an online poll for the best writing entry accompanying the photo. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday.

On Friday morning, the winner will be recognized as we post the winning entry along with the picture as a feature. Best of luck to you all in your writing!

Entries only in the comment section. Other comments will be deleted.

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3 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: The Posse”

  1. Marshall Briggs turned to the woman standing next to him. “Last chance to back out, ma’am.”
    She snorted. “I’m tougher than I look, Marshall.” She picked up her easel and walked toward the hills.
    Briggs watched her go, cursing himself for a fool. He was sending an unarmed woman in after the toughest desperadoes this side of the Pecos. It had been her idea, but still. “This had better work,” he muttered to himself. Then he turned to his men and outlined the plan.
    They gaped at him. “They’ll never fall for it, boss!” Murphy said.
    Briggs stared him down. “We need a distraction,” he told his second-in-command, “and she’s it. Now. We give her a head start. If we don’t hear any shooting in an hour or so, we go in.”
    The men shook their heads and muttered, but they hunkered down in a wash to wait.
    In the fullness of time, Marshall Briggs poked his head up over the rim of the wash. “Okay, boys, easy now,” he said. Up they crept to the Wall.
    Presently, Briggs heard the woman’s voice. “No, Mr. Kid, you sit there. Perfect.” Just as she had promised, she had the whole gang sitting for a group portrait with their backs to the path. Overpowering the lot of them was as easy as pie.
    “I still can’t believe they fell for it,” Murphy said later.
    “I can’t, either,” Briggs said. “Everybody knows Georgia O’Keeffe doesn’t paint portraits.”

  2. How They Brought in Cheyenne by Timothy Hurley

    Marshall Briggs’ deputy, Slim, squinted into the afternoon sun. “What’s it gonna be, Mr. Briggs? Way Cheyenne and the Black Rock gang’s hol’ up in them red rocks, if’n we go in daylight, we’re buzzard bait.” Now and again bullets from the hills kicked up red dust just out of range of the posse.

    “Gimme a minute,” said the marshal removing his Stetson and wiping his brow. “Can’t wait til dark, boys. They’ll sneak off. Think I got ‘n idea. Slim, take this note back to town and tell Shorty to get out here pronto with his van.”

    Slim looked at the note and wrinkled his nose. “What the…?”

    “Jus’ do it.”

    An hour later Marshall Briggs saw Shorty’s white van kicking up dust. As it pulled in he smiled at the big red letters: “Ice Cream Truck”. A catchy tune, “Turkey In The Straw”, tinkled from the truck up the canyon walls.

    The marshal peered and hollered, “They’re coming outta the hills, boys. Keep ‘em covered.”

    Sure enough Cheyenne and his gang tumbled down the rocks and ran to the van holding up their quarters with shouts of “Ice cream man! Gimme ice cream sandwich! Make mine a milk shake.” Marshall Briggs and the posse slapped handcuffs on each evil-doer as they licked and chomped at the cold, sweet treats.

    Deputy Slim grinned, “You sure ‘nuff got ‘em, Mr. Briggs. Gotta hand it to ya, you…”

    “Oh shut up,” barked Marshal Briggs. “And get me a fudgsickle.”

  3. Two days of hard riding with nothing to show but parched throats and dust. Now the red rock of the wall loomed ahead, the perfect spot for the Cheyenne Kid and his gang to pick off the posse. Marshall Briggs pulled up hard on his reins as a figure materialized out of nowhere. The slim woman didn’t flinch as the horse skid to a stop an inch away.

    “They’re waiting for you.”

    Marshall’s head dipped slightly. He pretended to scan the hills as Kate continued, restraining the urge to respond. Only he could see her astral projection. If anything happened to her. . .

    “We need to make a move soon or they’ll kill everyone.”

    Marshall dismounted, signaling the rest of the posse to gather around. “I’ll scout ahead. Wait here for my signal.”

    Sunshine faded as Kate led Marshall to a hiding place. A moment later Marshall’s spirit slipped from his body into the Kid’s camp. Kate’s body lay curled in a ragged ball, ropes bound tight. Anger tightened Marshall’s chest.

    “Let’s do this.”

    Five of the gang fell from the cliffs as he sent an icy zephyr spinning across them. Three more froze to the rocks, no more than human icicles. The Kid screamed and dropped his gun as the ground under his feet rippled, swallowing him to the hips before solidifying. Marshall smiled as Kate lit a signal fire. Too bad there wouldn’t be much for the posse to do when they got there.

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