Advice, insights and news
Free 10-day publishing courses
Free publishing webinars
Free EPUB & PDF typesetting tool
Launch your book in style
Assemble a team of pros
A weekly short story contest
Looking for a steady supply of western short stories? Every week thousands of writers submit stories to our writing contest.
Coming of Age
People of Color
Teens & Young Adult
We'll send you 5 prompts each week. Respond with your short story and you could win $250!
By the time I stepped outside, the leaves were on fire. Soon, there'd be no trace of the man who'd killed me. The old oak was Fall-dry and fixing to burn. The flames licked at its bark as though they liked the taste. I just stood there, watering the dirt with my blood, sipping Old Crow from a chipped bottle. Edward Laramy dangled like a messed-up piñata; his dead eyes open in an accusatory fashion. The rope at his throat had turned the flesh purple and burst blood vessels bloomed like flowers beneat...
The first day she saw him, he wore a brown cap and navy-blue tie. An oxygen tank sat beside his feet, and his hands trembled ever so slightly.
On the second day, his tie was striped, and he ordered their new pumpkin-spice coffee with cream.
On the third day, a dandelion was pinned to his shirt. She smiled, nodding as she poured his coffee.
“That’s a very nice flower,” She said, and he met her ga...
Henry McCall sauntered down the street, calm, confident, ready for anything. People looked away, unwilling to meet his gaze. He rested his right hand on the hilt of his revolver, a Webley. In his gambler's clothes, dark pinstripe trousers and vest offset by a teal cravat, with a bowler hat on his head and a walking stick in his left hand, he presented the epitome of a British gentleman. Even his dark-blonde mustache, curled with wax, seemed elegant and refined.The main street of Gholson, Texas, with businesses and homes lining it, ...
“Wow. Crazy stuff right?” Johnny said, trying to loosen the rope tightly wrapped around his hands and feet.
“You’re telling me. Ever been robbed at gunpoint before” Bill asked.
“At gunpoint? Hell, I ain’t ever been robbed, period!”
“Ah. Personally, I’ve lost count the amount of times some youngster with something to prove ambushed me on the road, pulled out his weapon of choice, and gently recom...
Although the sun shines as brightly as ever, the dark cloud in my heart leaves my world awash in gray. As typical for August, oppressive heat beats down with as little mercy as a vigilante crowd. I have just retrieved a parcel from the post when I hear his voice, an echo from the past nearly forgotten over the years, but the memories it brings up...
I stood in line with the other young ladies, each in a...
"Dang it Pa, I don't want to go off to college and all." I got to stand firm on account of my Pa is Mike Carson. The man who chased down the Lane Gang by himself. Ranger, town marshal, legend. And ma expects me to live up to it by studying books, of all things. Don't get me wrong. I like Ivanhoe and never met a yarn by Mark Twain as couldn't hold my eyes a spell. But college ain't like that."Two weeks," Pa says. "Then you git on the train and take it to college station"I'm set to tell him no when ...
Wasn't a sunny day, but being new to Missoula I didn't reckon on snow in September nor all the queer goings-on which happened next. The menfolk rode out early that day- everybody was still spooked by the killing of Mister Custer last June. A few ladies stopped by earlier, but since about two, nobody wanted to go out with the all dark clouds.
I have all the groceries, the early apples and late cabbages, set to g...
I'm a dead man. Should of seen 'er comin.
Three weeks ago, I thought my luck finally turned. Got a solid seam of silver running along a fracture. Loaded my mule, Bessie, with a hundred pounds of high grade ore. And it still ain't nowheres near played out.
Bessie give one a her twitches as means she smells somethin she don't like. I glance around and spot er right off. They's four fellahs a...
7:00 pm, Thursday, 2019
A beautiful young lady walked out of the café, clutching her first book, which she had once considered simple writing
“Did I really get a published?” she was dancing along the road as she headed towards her campus.
4:00 pm, Thursday, 2018
“Oh how did I even finish this shit? I think it was a complete waste of time.” She spoke to herself thin...
It was half-past three on a typical Monday afternoon. Senna had just stepped back into the office after an indulgent afternoon snack of velvety biscuits and a smooth coffee. The assistant executive, Miranda, marched down the centre of the office with a mountain of paperwork in her arms. Her face was stiff and her eyes were sharp. As she passed Senna, she slammed a pile of work onto her desk, causing it to shake quietly for a moment as though it had just been hit by a tsunami. Senna flinched and directed a look of offence at her superior –...
Josiah stuck his spade upright into the pile of dirt he’d been moving and wiped his brow. It had been a hot day and, though the sun had set nearly four hours earlier, the effort of breaking through the sun-hardened ground had worked up quite a sweat. He tugged at his dirt-encrusted shirt a few times to fan the cool night air over his skin, then picked up his lantern from the cemetery grass and examined the hole he’d been digging.
They say everyone’s got a bullet out there somewhere with their name on it. Which begs the question: who’s making ‘em?When I was a little girl, my brother went out one day and never came back. He’d gone to town to trade milk for money but come sundown he weren’t nowhere to be seen.Daddy found his body on the road the next day. Poor fool never even made it to town.Daddy said my brother had been shot once through the heart. What little money he had on him was gone, so was anything else of value. They even took the damn ...
It’s a cool and quiet night. The only sounds accompanying Alder are the gentle breeze and his horse’s hooves against the hard, dry dirt. The sky is clear, with stars sparsely sprinkled across the dark. The moon is full and bright. The nearest town is miles away. He would know, he left there that evening with a job to do. A howl sounds, long and high pitched, ringing against the quiet. It’s ...
Henry Maddox sauntered down the dusty streets of Sweetwater, his scuffed boots kicking up clouds of dust into the air. As he neared the end of the main street, he took a sharp turn and stepped up onto the board sidewalk that looked as if it had seen more than one brawl on its wood planks.He was aware of several gazes following him down the street, and he shifted his weight from one foot to the other as he stood outside the dual-swing double doors that led into the Lone Coyote saloon. Gray eyes traveling across the street, he caught...
Find the perfect editor for your next book
Over 1 million authors trust the professionals on Reedsy, come meet them.
Oops, you need an account for that!
Log in with your social account:
Or enter your email: