Here is a piece from Travis Haselton, whom you probably remember from his last submission, "A Blizzard in the Mojave: An Old West Christmas Story." Enjoy.
A Western Man
By Travis Haselton
His old Ford truck made a dull lull as he pulled into the gravel driveway. The wood floor of the porch enhanced the steady rhythmic sound of his boots. KNOCK, KNOCK. If she hadn’t known who it was already, she would.
“Come in” she said.
He removed his black Bailey hat as he stepped in. “I heard what happened, Tracy. He ain’t gonna get away with it.”
“It wasn’t that bad,” she said.
“Is that so?” He pulled her hair away from her face revealing a bad bruise under her left eye. “Can’t just let people do this to ya.”
She looked into his eyes and wondered how big of a mistake she made leaving this man. “What are you gonna do Travis? Arrest him? He’ll be back on the streets in two days as usual.”
“He split us up, tried runn’in you off of your own ranch, and now he beats you. He’ll be answering to more than just the law. He’ll be answering to me,” Travis said.
“Just like that, Mister Big Lawman is gonna take matters into his own hands and avenge his love? I suppose you’ll be riding into the sunset too, right?” A spitfire of a woman, Tracy had taken over her father’s ranch after his passing. She and Travis kept it going for a number of years.That was until he found as good as he was with horses, he would be a much better sheriff. She had fallen in love with a rancher, not some cop. It was too much.
“Well, it would be really ‘cool’ if the sunset thing where to time just right.” Travis put his hat back on, and she followed him out to the porch. He took off his duty revolver and his badge and left them with her. “I am not do’in this as a lawman, I’m do’in this as me.”
“So you’re com’in back?” she said.
“Yes, and I aways will.”
He stepped off that porch, started the truck and drove off, right into the sunset.
Travis Haselton is a writer and an outdoorsman. He grew up in the middle of the Mojave desert and has traveled across the United States. He is the author of The Man with no Past, Pursuit Through the Mojave, and Hell on a Mesa. To learn more about Travis, visit his blog.