Monday 23 August 2021

Mitchellsville - Scott Bell - A Western Short Story

A Western Short Story

I stumbled upon this story. A different book by Scott Bell was in an email blast, Working Stuffs, That story is described as:

“In 2050, the government uses scientifically reanimated corpses to fill menial jobs. Out of work and down on his luck, engineer Joe Warren is coerced by a federal agent into infiltrating an insurgent group — and finds his loyalties tested. A page-turning dystopian read.”

It could not be much different than this one, but this one really grabbed my attention. This one is described as:

“Doing the right thing always comes with a cost. Is it one you're willing to pay on behalf of a stranger?”

This is a story set in Texas in 1894. It is a brief episode in the life of Archie Maynor. Archie is a black man, headed to a white town. He has no boots, no shoes and is headed to a general store where he is not wanted. But it is something he has to do. He cannot read, and cannot write. He is humble, and on a quest. He needs something to save his daughter. But 4 gunmen at the store drinking and goofing off, decide to have some fun with this man. At one point in the story Archie thinks:

“Jes' my luck, find me a passel of white killers, coiled up like a nest of snakes under a 'mater vine.”

As their taunting reaches a peak a stranger steps in. But to find out what happens you will need to read this excellent story.

This story previously appeared on the website The Western Online October 12, 2011 but published under the name J.S. Bell. I cannot be certain but I believe it is the only story Bell wrote for this site. And it is a pity. As someone who grew up on Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns this story was like a step back to my youth. It is a wonderful story. It is one that will make you think. It is a fantastic story and one that leaves you wanting more. This will leave you wandering who the man was, and what was his story. You will also wonder about Archie’s daughter, and even his own path after these events. A great short story.

Books by Scott Bell:
Working Stiffs
MAGA 2020 & Beyond 

Short Stories:
Mr. Scampers' War

Sam Cable Mysteries:
April’s Fool
May Day
June Bug

Able Yeager Series:
Yeager's Law
Yeager's Mission
Yeager's Getaway

Contributed to:
Paradox: The Inner Circle Writers' Group Crime/Mystery/Thriller Anthology 2019
The Dark City Crime & Mystery Magazine: Volume 4, Issue 1
The Dark City Crime & Mystery Magazine: Volume 3, Issue 4
To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity

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