Havok Publishing

Western

Demon of the Prairie

Clowns. Dudley Keene dismounted from his sorrel and cursed. He unsheathed his Winchester rifle from its saddle scabbard and pumped the lever. I hate clowns.
His dirt-stained boots plodded through tall grass until he reached an island of wreckage in the sea of prairie. An abandoned carriage stood idle beside a caravan of upturned covered

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The Eternal Flame

Hayden DuPont peeled away the bear’s gut and poked his head into the morning air. Mushy fur sagged as Montana wind sliced through the beast’s opening. Intestines and fluids dripped. DuPont’s breath plumed. Relief flooded his chest.
Alive.
Naked and caked in dried blood, he crawled from the bear’s protective womb and toddled

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Water for Gold

The desert stretched as far as Ben could see, the horizon disappearing in a haze of heat waves. He touched a hand to his black mustache and attempted to ignore the boasts coming from the man walking beside his horse.
“My men are comin’ for me, marshal,” said Jack Chase. He wore a smile

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The Wrong Side of Heaven

Slade Cartwright adjusted the scope on his Sharps rifle and awaited the Devil’s stagecoach. The Texas Ranger tipped the brim of a sweat-stained hat, swigged from his canteen, and wiped perspiration from his forehead. Mesquite trees and cacti provided limited shade underneath the unforgiving sun, but he made do amidst the desert rock outcropping.

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To Drain the Stream of Life

“Vampires, Marshal. Was a vampire that did it,” said the stout hotel manager.
Roland Chadwick, Deputy US Marshal, removed his fingers from the bite mark against Judge Wilkens’s neck. “Should send for a doctor.”
The manager leaned over the lawman’s shoulder. “Ain’t one in town, just the barber. He’s only good with stitches

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Danger Where It Walks

Yesterday, Albert Cook offered me a ride home from school. Thanking him, I scrambled into his Pa’s wagon. We talked of that day’s ball game and spelling bee.
Finally, he asked, “Ever see a ghost around your place, Pete?”
I shook my head. “Nope. My grandfolks died there last month, but they’re lying

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The Hand That Feeds

Gregory Martin rode into town mumbling, “Killed. Killed us all.”
He stumbled from his horse, staggered toward the frontier clinic, and collapsed. Within the hour, he was dead.
Roland Chadwick, Deputy U.S. Marshal, dispersed an inquisitive crowd and joined Dr. Vernon Mortimer inside his humble hospital.
The physician locked the door and shook

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Demon Coyotes

Something was killing the chickens. Outside the window, in the coop, their squawks broke the silent Kentucky night beyond the homestead’s walls—chaotic bursts of fear and agony.
A boy of fifteen, Roland Chadwick sprang out of bed while his younger brother and sister gazed at him wide-eyed from the mattress the three of them shared

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Tale of the Spectral Kite

“In the tales of them that came before, there’s talk of the otherworldly, spectral kite.” Pop’s cybernetic eye stared down the empty barrel of his gun. The rest of the parts stretched across his lap. “The settlers said you could see clean through the bird’s skin, past its bones, straight to its beating heart.

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Dark Side of the Moon

“You go’n kill me?”
Slade Cartwright, Texas Ranger, ignored the question and continued cleaning his Colt revolver. In the campfire light, firewood popped and sparks dissipated. The scent of beans wafted from the kettle above the flames.
Ten feet away, Darren Dedrich sat with his hands bound behind his back, clad in a muddied

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The Santa Maria’s Last Tale

“In the tales of them that came before, there’s talk of the Santa Maria buried in the vast Noachis Desert, where yucca and sage cling to its thirsty soil. Nobody knows how the starship got stranded there, only that it crossed a great distance in search of treasure.”
As a galaxy of stars spiraled overhead

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Dust to Dust

First thing you have to do with a dead body is bury it.
The year was 1862. Yellowstone country. Where no explorer dared tread alone. Shovel in hand, I dug a grave for Darryl Evans and scooped the dirt over his corpse.
After a short prayer, I said my goodbye while an orange

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