All Stories, General Fiction

The Ghosts at Horseshoe Creek by Tom Sheehan

A soft, steady breeze, with no puff to it, lifted over the edge of Horseshoe Creek and carried with it the sooty odor of a dead fire, a dank, drifting smell that came like the death of an animal a man has long known, perhaps a favorite horse, like a black stallion unseen at night but a dark star in the sunlight. Another person might say the odor was of an old market in a corner of town or an old home left to rot in the wake of a hundred battles that raged around it, the inhabitants, a man and his whole family, gone to dust in one of those fierce battles, so that their essence alone remained of them. One could almost see the house as it stood decorated with gardens, pet animals, and lusty children bouncing with life. Yet the odor, despite various images passersby would have, remained the cold, dank ashes of a fire long gone into night’s realm, thus it came back each and every nightfall thereafter.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Girl with the Long Dream by Tom Sheehan

I had heard about her for a long time. She lived alone in a cave in a deep-set canyon, on a cliff looking sharply down at the edge of the prairie. She was a most beautiful Indian maiden who, I heard from several sources, had been driven from her Cherokee village. The word bandied about said she was bound in her mind to find a good man to be her husband. She would have the best of children and would be the best of mothers. For that she needed the best man she could find.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Mystery Gable of Knobby’s Nook by Tom Sheehan

Knobby Newton stood in admiration as he saw the last nail driven in his new hotel, which he had named Knobby’s Nook and the sign over the front entrance had been put up the night before, in darkness, so that he could surprise the folks of Carson Divide, Wyoming. The sign read “Nestle Here at Knobby’s Nook” and painted pillows adorned each end of the sign. Newton loved that special touch. The last nail was put in place with a single hammer hit by Newton’s pal, Dom Petra, who had conceived and built the hotel for Knobby with twin dormers, a sight not seen locally where most roofs were flat or pitched clean to the edges for handling winter snow. The window in the first gable was not fitted with any glass, but was boarded up from the first, whereas the second gable window was a window, with a two-piece double hung window looking out over the main road passing through Carson Divide that featured ornate signs; the livery (Harry Peter’s House of Horses), the Bank of Wyoming (with spilled cash and currency as a footing), Moose Callow’s General Store and Confectioner, funeral director Calvin Monterey’s Home of Blessing and Final Departure, and the corner building at the head of the road bore its own unique sign that carried nothing but an open pair of scissors and a comb, both implements at the ready and especially drawn with vibrant strokes and colors.

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