Subscribers Only Fantasy Historical weird western magic bullet unrequited love

Don't Fence Me In

By Curtis C. Chen · May 7, 2019
3,517 words · 13-minute reading time

Photo by Jens Lelie via Unsplash.

From the author: You can run. You can hide. But you can't escape forever.


The first time I met Horace Granger, he almost got killed by a magic bullet.

He was having an argument with Maynard Cooper in the middle of my saloon. I suppose that was Horace's way of making friends: Figure out who can stand being around you for more than five minutes, then keep them between you and the rest of the world as long as you can.

The sun was coming up, Betty was ending her shift at the bar, and I'd just finished losing my nightly battle with insomnia. I've never in my life been able to sleep for more than a couple hours at a stretch. I hadn't expected to see a card game still going at that time. Usually, by a few hours after midnight, most of our regulars had lost too much or drunk too much to continue gambling. But Horace was a night owl, just like me—and neither of us by choice.

He'd arrived in Homestake earlier that night. I remembered because it was unusual to see anyone riding into town after dark—at that time, the Dakota territory was still more wild than not, and...

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Curtis C. Chen

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