Havok Publishing

Western

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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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These Dark Medicinal Arts

The bullet whistled and bit.
Roland Chadwick, Deputy U.S. Marshal, pressed a scarred hand against his blood-soaked shirt and half collapsed against the hotel’s cellar stairwell. Gunshots resounded outside where a gang of hired guns patrolled the frontier town’s streets with revolvers drawn.
The marshal stumbled down to the bottom step, where gaslight illuminated

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Out of Hell

“We’re clear of the stockade. Twenty yards or so.” Corporal Tiller’s sullied head emerged from the hole, poking into the shade of the primitive lean-to. “I reckon we run like hell, we can reach a river by dawn. Lord willing.”
Lieutenant Roland Chadwick helped the Union soldier from the tunnel’s entrance. Tiller

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The Inky Outlaws

The door flung open before Marshal Roland Chadwick could finish pouring his morning coffee. The frontier town’s lawman, Sheriff Tiller, was away on his honeymoon, so Chadwick had offered to substitute. He sat at the sheriff’s desk, reading a worn copy of Emerson.
“Well?” the intruder asked, striding toward Chadwick with her dress swaying

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Wolfsbane

The groom’s lips twisted in a final death cry.
Someone in the wedding party called for a doctor, but US Marshal Roland Chadwick suspected the worst. As the wedding’s officiator, he’d heard both bride and groom swear till death do us part, but not even he could have predicted such a swift separation.

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