Our own Lynne Cantwell is the winner of the Indies Unlimited weekly Flash Fiction competition. There was a small, but tough field of competitors this week. Congratulations to Lynne, and thanks to everyone who participated – excellent entries!
The winning entry is rewarded with a special feature here today and a place in our collection of winners which will be published as an e-book at year end.
Without further ado, here’s the winning entry:
by Lynne Cantwell
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.”