John D. Ottini Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

John D. Ottini is the readers’ choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge.

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:


2014 May Day 1 Smith Rock Corral Flash Fiction Prompt
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

Showdown at Smith Rock
by John D. Ottini

“McDougal, I know you’re up there.”

Silence. The only sound I hear is the rustling of the wind and the echo of my voice.

“I ain’t coming up there, McDougal. I know a trap when I see one. There’s only one way out and that’s through me.”

Still no reply.

“Time is on my side, boy. X-troop will be here in a few hours. They’ll come up there and hunt you down like an animal. There’s no escape, so you best surrender to me.”

The troops will take no prisoners, but if he surrenders to me, at least he’ll stand trial and get a chance to convince the judge that it was self-defense.

“Sheriff,” he cried, “ain’t no damn way you’re taking me alive. We both know Judge Watson hates my guts.”

“Why’s that, McDougal?”

“On account of me having sex with his youngest daughter.”

“Damn it, son,” I reply, laughing. “You’re dumber than I thought.”

“Maybe so, but it was damn good while it lasted.”

I walk back to my horse and grab Rattlesnake, my trusty rifle. I named her after my ex-wife, for reasons best left unexplained.

“You ain’t gonna make this easy on yourself, are you, boy?”

“Why start now, Sheriff?” he asks, chuckling.

“I’m coming to get you, son.”

“Watch you don’t step on a rattler,” he says, howling with laughter.

I load the first bullet into the chamber and reply, “You best pray Rattlesnake don’t find you first!”

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