Me, The Cowboy and The Beast

The cowboy was perched at the foot of my bed.

“Wake up, girl.”

He calls me girl. It’s irritating. If you want me to tell your story, you should at least call me by my proper name.

I kick at his hind end so he’ll get up and leave. “You’re a prompt, you know. A writing exercise. You’re not a book. You’re not even a short story–you’re a paragraph and I’m done with you.”

We both know better. I first met Henry Thomas Colter twenty years ago while I was on my historical fiction kick. I know him, know his story. I know about the woman he left behind in Ohio and the dying man he’s about to find and how he ain’t never gonna make it to Oregon.

But really…what is he thinking? I go from first person teenage hacker to third person Western? Who even writes Westerns?

“You’ll destroy all my credibility,” I say. I’m just kidding. I never had any credibility. C’mon people, I opened with poop.

I blame Gordon for this–and you too, Sharon.

11,000 or so words to go on The Beast.


  1. Sharon

    I take the blame. Totally. Westward Ho! There is no way that I’m not reading your Western. And if you don’t write it, I can’t read it. I need to know what happens!


    1. I’m giving the cowboy your address 😉


      1. smhouk

        No! Ack!


  2. gene3067

    I can’t believe I forgot to tell you this. If he’s talking to you, you gotta write. It’s what I had to do. These cowboys don’t quiet down till they get their way!


    1. I saw your cowboys and that was my first thought! Apparently, they’re pretty ornery…


      1. gene3067

        You have no idea.


      2. Sounds to me like your short story is only the tip of the iceberg! Good luck 🙂


      3. gene3067

        Thanks. Actually, I wrote a whole western novel. It took me roughly three years. My wife is putting in all the edits my editor wrote and then I’ll go over the whole thing once more to put on the polish.


      4. That is awesome!


      5. gene3067

        Thank you. 🙂


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