Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ready to Pass the Torch

Ready to Pass the Torch
(Concept character for Lawless Lands, the second anthology in the Weird Wild West Anthology):

I fell in love with New Mexico the minute my boots stepped onto her land. Mountains of rock and brush divinely placed in such a way that snaking shadows slithered across the dry landscape as the sun rose and set. The air was crisp and clean, filled with the smell of fruit tree blossoms and the sound of running water. Land so open you could see for miles. Blue skies, sunshine, and clouds so beautiful, they held a power all their own.

The Territory's terrain changed often. One moment it was flat, but then it would roll, reminding me of how the ocean moves when you’re far out at sea with no land in sight. Those waves of earth would change; clump up into small, green, connected hills, like a pile of dimpled potatoes. Soon they’d shoot skyward again and the mountains would go from beige rocks dappled with green bushes to suddenly being covered in tall pine trees so old they likely had been there since Adam and Eve messed it all up for the rest of us.


To the southwest there’s land of black lava. To the southeast there’s land of white sand. In between them is grassland perfect for cattle and cowboys to roam and for families to make a home where they could farm the land and live how they wished. It warmed a part of me that had long been dormant and cold. For I've been an orphan, a servant, a Puritan, a pilgrim, an adventurer, and an assassin. I've been called a savior by some and the devil by others. To be honest, I’m all those things, hoping that when my time comes, I cross over clean to see my family once again…for I’m lonely. 270 years is a long time to fight for your soul and save others. I’m ready to go home. I’m ready to pass the torch.


Elias P. Story (1873)