Pat Mills is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In the case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.) Without further ado, here’s the winning story:
by Pat Mills
When Billy and Charlie saw the handsome troop of horses, they were dragging from their long journey to Texas.
“I bet you can’t lasso that pinto”, Billy challenged.
“Maybe I can, maybe I can’t”, Charlie responded. “Today…that is.”
They both laughed. Friends forever, they were traveling to San Antonio to help Charlies’ uncle with cattle drives. In 1867, the work would bring hard currency to help their southern families, and skills- plus excitement- for the young men.
As Charlie approached the beautiful brown and white horse, he realized something was wrong.
“Look Billy”, Charlie called.
Billy rode closer,and the horse started thrashing about.
“Whoa, girl”, Charlie soothed as he inspected the horse. “Uh,oh! She’s tangled in thick brambles.” With difficulty, he cuts her loose.
” Billy, get some salve before I let her go”.
“Good idea; wait a minute…!”, he stopped, I thought we were going to take her to town to sell- I already have my money spent…”
Charlie smiled, but was interrupted by a posse of horsemen.
“I sure hope you are just joshing about that plan”, boomed the sheriff on horseback.
“This horse belongs to the Comanche, even though it was probably stolen from the Blackfeet, who stole it from an Apache…way back.”, he chuckled.
“Oh, no”, Charlie moaned.
“Just leave it, and get on the road”, he instructed them.
Charlie and Billy looked at each other with half smiles; almost arrested or scalped in their first week! Their ‘great adventure’ had begun!