Western Short Story - Father Rivera

Father Rivera


They left me to die.

I was on my way to Tucson to meet a cattle buyer when I ran on to them. Most of the Apaches were at peace and on the reservation, but there were a few bands of young bloods wearing paint and looking for glory, so I was glad for the company. Three well armed men might give renegades pause, and I was a man traveling alone. They were out of work cowhands, or so they claimed.

Hank Dawson was a big, silent man with small, shifty eyes, while Charlie Gibbs wore a good natured grin, and had a gift of gab to go with it. I noted that their horses and outfits were a little too good for cowhand wages, but I quickly dismissed it as unimportant. It was late June and the monsoon storms were building to the south.

When Gibbs wasn’t talking, he was singing, and he had a fair voice. My own voice would scare a cat, but I compensated for that by being loud. Gibb’s occasionally glanced sideways at my caterwauling, but I just got louder, so he shrugged and kept on riding.

We camped near a spring I knew, and after making a supper, Hank Dawson offered to take the first watch. Charlie Gibbs would take second watch, and I would stand for the last watch. Dawson climbed the knoll, and Charlie broke out his mouth organ and began to play. I settled in my blankets and drifted off to the soft notes.

I awoke to broad daylight, with a splitting headache and found by myself tied ankle to wrist with rope. I struggled to sit up and found myself alone, bound, and stark naked, except for my socks. Hank Dawson and Charlie Gibbs were nowhere in sight. The side of my skull pounded, and I could feel sticky blood on my neck and shoulder. Evidently, I’d been clubbed in my sleep, stripped, bound, and left for the vultures. Gone were my horse, my gear, and the five thousand in gold hidden in my saddlebags.

I worked at my bindings for over an hour, but the knots were solid. At last, I rested for a few minutes and began looking around. Not seeing what I wanted, I rolled a few feet and began looking again. I did this several times before I spotted the shard of flint I was seeking. I found a crack in a rock, jammed the flint in it, and went to work sawing at the ropes. Half an hour later, I was free.

They had cleaned me out. Even my boots were gone. I walked to the spring and located the quart whiskey bottle I had noticed the night before. Some cowhand had discarded it long ago, and now, it might be the difference between life and death. I spent a few minutes looking for another, but no luck. I returned to the spring and filled my bottle first, just in case. I found a short mesquite stick to use as a stopper, and then I took a long drink from the spring. I waited for half an hour, and took another long drink. While I waited, I wove a crude hat out of grasses. A man without a hat would cook his brain under the summer sun, and I had little enough brain as it was. I took one more long drink, slapped on my grass hat, and set off. In the distance was the faded blue shape of Mount Lemon, and the small pueblo of Tucson lay at its base. I set my sights on it and took the first step.

By that afternoon, my socks were worn through, and my feet were raw and bleeding. My quart of water was long gone, but I carried the empty bottle. The next water was still ten miles away, and after that, fifteen miles to the next. Then the final twenty five miles to Tucson, so that discarded bottle could become the difference between life and death. Even then, I probably would not make it.

My formerly brisk walk had slowed to the relentless plodding of a tired, but determined man. My exposed skin was raw and blistered, and what I could see of it was cherry red. The only thing that hurt worse was my bare feet. When I checked my back trail, I could see my own bloody footprints. I bowed my head and kept on, almost missing that wagon.

The top of a wooden bow barely showed above the bank of a wash, and my dulled mind took a moment to realize what it was. I walked to the edge and looked down at the remains of a covered wagon. Some of the canvas was still in place, so I scrambled down the bank. I could use it to make a crude shirt and pants. I looked in the bed of the wagon, but it was empty. I was getting ready to tear up the canvas top when I noticed a metal topped, tool box fixed to the rear of the wagon. I pried open the latch and found a treasure.

Inside was an old pair of boots, with the heel missing from the right boot. Other than that, they were in good shape. They looked to be about the right size, so I removed the left heel and put them on. I also found a rusty knife, so I took that and put a quick edge on it using a flat rock for a stone.

I cut a serape, with a neck hole, out of the canvas and put it on. It scraped on my raw skin, but it would prevent further sun damage. I made sort of a skirt to cover my legs, and tied it with a strip of canvas. I dug further in the tool box and found a canteen, holed in two places by a bullet. But holes can be plugged, so I put the strap across my shoulders. Finding nothing else useful, I climbed the bank, and set off. My feet still hurt, but far less than before. I began to allow myself some hope that I might survive.

The tank at the bottom of the small mesa contained nothing but dust. The summer rains had failed to fill it. Water holes like this one were spotty at best, and the wise traveler did not count on them. I had no choice, and now I was looking death in the face. The Dead Horse tanks were fifteen miles away, and there was no promise of water there either. If they were dry, my fate was sealed.

I found a shaded spot and waited until dusk. There would be a full moon, and I would walk as long as I could see in the cool of the night. I set off after sunset and made perhaps five miles before the moon sipped behind monsoon clouds. I found a place to rest and drifted off, exhausted.

The following morning, it was still cloudy and cooler so I set off. Overhead, thunder rumbled, and I began to hope it would rain. If it did, I would use my makeshift serape to catch it and funnel it into my canteen and whiskey bottle.

I trudged on, my head bowed, and my mind on placing one foot in front of the other, so I didn’t notice at first that the wind was picking up out of the south. Then my grass hat flew off and as I grabbed it, I glanced over my shoulder and stopped in horror. To the south was a gigantic cloud rising nearly a mile above the valley floor and coming fast. It was a dust storm, and a big one, bearing down on me. There was no shelter anywhere nearby, so there was no choice but to keep moving.

A few minutes later, it caught me, and I lifted the neck of my serape to cover my mouth and nose the best I could. My eyes filled with dust and the tears rolled down my dusty cheeks. I kept moving, and the storm became more intense.

Suddenly, I realized I was no longer alone. In the gloom, I could make out several silent figures, standing on each side of my path. They were Indians, but their dress and paint was not familiar. Their faces were indistinct, and they seemed to shimmer in the blowing dust. I could not make out their eyes, but I could feel their steady gaze.

I must have been a sight, with my strange dress and hat, appearing out of a storm like that. I decided that there was nothing to do but keep on moving, so I lowered my head against the dust and walked on. I heard one of them say something, but it was a odd voice that sounded like the rustling of dry leaves, and there was a strange odor in the air of something musty and very old. I passed close to one of the figures, but his face was blurred, and I couldn’t make out his eyes. I was beginning to wonder if I was delirious when he reached out and pushed me sideways.

I staggered to my left a couple of steps and then resumed my shuffling walk. I heard a grunt in that same whispery voice, and I somehow knew it was a grunt of approval. I had passed a test. I kept on walking, and when I glanced over my shoulder, they were gone. I turned around and searched the blowing dust, but there was nothing. Who were they? Were they real? What did they want?

I walked another hundred yards before I found Hank Dawson and Charlie Gibbs. They were spread eagled on the ground, with their arms and legs pulled tight and spread almost to the breaking point. Both were covered with hundreds of burns, and their eyes and mouths were spread wide in pain and horror. Both were very dead and beyond caring.

It took a moment before I realized that there was something very amiss. They were both stretched out painfully, but there was nothing holding them. There was no rawhide binding their wrists and ankles and there were no stakes in the ground. There was also no evidence of a fire and no tracks. The dust storm might have partially covered tracks, but not all the way. There should have been tracks.

I shivered and looked behind me. There was no one. I walked on a few steps, and came to five small rocks, in the form of a ‘V’ which pointed left. Through the dust, I could make out an outcropping at the base of a small hill so I turned and walked that way, looking for shelter. I climbed behind a boulder, and there was a small tank full of clear water. It was an unknown water hole, at least to white men.

After drinking, I filled my canteen and whiskey bottle and sat back, waiting for the storm to ease. Exhaustion overcame me and I slept.

Two hours later, I woke and the storm was over. Getting to my feet, I looked back to where I had seen Dawson and Gibbs, and there they were, but this time they were surrounded by several, shadowy Indians, who stood there looking down on them. Then one raised his head and looked at me with his unseen eyes. He swung his arm and pointed at a small grove of mesquite trees, There, standing ground hitched, were Dawson’s and Gibb's horses. My horse was with them.

My gold was still in its hidden pocket, and each horse carried two canteens full of water. I rigged a lead rope, and mounted my horse, leading the other two and riding out from under the mesquite. The small band of Indians looked at me silently and the one who had pointed to the horses raised his arm to me. I raised my arm, and turned toward Tucson. A few moments later, I glanced back and all had disappeared, including the bodies of Dawson and Gibbs. Despite the heat, an involuntary shiver shook my body.

Two days later, with my business completed and my gold safely deposited, I was sharing a drink with the buyer. I hesitated and then told him my tale. A old Mexican gentleman at the next table turned and stared, his face pale.

“They were the ones called the fantasmas, Senor…ancient ghosts! They were evil men, banned forever by the Great Spirit. You are lucky to be alive. They have killed many men. The only man they ever respected was Father Rivera, of the Old Spanish Mission…the one who wore the robes and a hat made of grass.”


More by this Author


Comments 101 comments

Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

WOOOWOOOO! Surviving the odds. This is a tale I can live with. I am delighted also t be the first to comment.

Those two thieves got what they deserved. I have heard stories of Indian spirits and you told this one pretty well.

Up and very awesome Will.


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 5 years ago from eastern North Dakota

Wow, Will, Great story. When I "almost" got to the last paragraph, I could see it and definitely felt it coming. A rash of goosebumps. I was intrigued all the way. Excellent story, Will.

On a different note. At my book signings, and whenever I meet people and my writing comes up, they ask "Do you write Westerns?" No, I'm sorry, I don't. But I do enjoy "reading" Westerns. Go figure....

You just barely beat me, Cardisa.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Oh Will what a fantastice story. This man was determined to make it back home for sure..I loved his will to press on..the ending had such a twist..So the Indians thought he was a holy man thus saving his life..Charlie and Hank got what was coming to them..thanks Will..Up for sure Sunnie


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Oh I so enjoyed this one! up up and up :)


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Great story with a goose bump ending. Loved it. Rated up, awesome and interesting.


FlyingBick profile image

FlyingBick 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

You spin a good yarn Will. I have spent most of my life in Texas and the Desert Southwest and you captured the atmosphere very well. Anyone who has ever experienced a real dust storm can identify. They are not to be trifled with. Good job.


marellen 5 years ago

So clever Will.....your short stories are fantastic. I wondered how this would play out. I had absolutely no idea.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

WillStarr, you just keep getting better and better my friend. This story was awesome. You must have one heck of an imagination. We still need to meet for the Mexican food and a cold beer.


Becky 5 years ago

An awesome "sitting around the campfire trying to scare each other" story. I really enjoyed this one. A real chiller. Good job.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Desperation duds saved his life. One has to love the Indian respect and loyalty. You truly are a Faith Keeper, the keeper of the stories in many tribes. This is another masterpiece from you WillStarr.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

Scary, Will, but superlative. I'm just anxious that I'm reading it before bedtime. If I have a supernatural dream (nightmare) I'll give you the plot so you can write another.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

What a fantastic story Will. You just get better and better. All of your tales would make a great short story compilation. Jut a thought. Up and awesome.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I think I may have missed some of your hubs while trying to figure out hubpages new system. I don't get emails about them anymore.

I like this kind of story where the supernatural is introduced in a low key way. up, interesting and awesome.


marshacanada profile image

marshacanada 5 years ago from Vancouver BC

This is a great story Will Star. I loved his perseverence and survival skills. The dusty native ghosts are a nice touch.It would be good to see a collection of your short stories.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

Wow, what a Good read...you built it up nicely Willstarr, and had a Wonderful Mystical ending...maybe a little Moral in there for us to Enjoy...Your details are Great!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Hey Sweet Pea, two technical things and then I will rave like all the above! First, you said they left him naked except for his socks. So, what did he do with these socks? They might be important, when it comes to sunburn! Second, this line, "I decide that there was nothing to do but keep on moving." The tense doesn't agree. (Yes, I give your work a careful read!!!)

Will, this is my favorite so far!!! I love, love, love it. I always appreciate magical realism and this one seems to fit that genre. Anyway, you brought me to the edge of my seat with anticipation. Thank you for a fun and inspiring morning read.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

You had me right from the "young bloods wearing paint and looking for glory" Will. Another great yarn. Loved it all.


resspenser profile image

resspenser 5 years ago from South Carolina

Wonderful Will! Voted up and awesome. You'e a short story machine!


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

Hi Will! Man, this was wonderful! Voted up, up and away!


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

Will, the great and intense writing just read was eerie. I do a lot of fooling around in the desert to places not many go and run up on burial caves and mounds that I leave untouched and wonder how many nomadic tribes are left unknown and un-named. When I find evidence of a mound I might stay a day or two just looking for water source and if I find it I got a loran that I used up until last year and would write the location in a pocket note book I carry with special paper and ink pen that you can write under water with, anyway need a GPS upgrade now that all transmissions of the Loran signals have stopped. I just figure that evidence of a lengthy stay is evidence that there is/was a water hole or spring That way I can map out places to go on horse or return in my jeep later for hunting trips and stuff for things to do.

Back to the topic, I found it a great read because these places in the desert give me an eerie feeling of spiritual presence at times and that made this tale really come to life the way you so vividly wrote it.

voted it up and all sans funny.

Thanks for a good read that makes me want to head out on a trip for a few days. dust

http://theazprospector.blogspot.com/2011/05/arizon... good e-book


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 5 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

Another great one...:O) Hugs G-Ma UP


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

Will, that man needs to go buy a lottery ticket too!!

As always, I LOVED IT!!!

I think I would have used ONE of those socks for sun protection on other parts of the body...but, we didn't get into that deep of the story, did we...lol

UP and AWESOME Will...


writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

Will, you have out done yourself with this great story. I couldn't stop reading once I started.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Cardisa!

A friend and I just drove through Northern Arizona and I was inspired by that.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi SubRon7,

Glad to hear people want westerns!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Sunnie Day,

Yes, the grass hat and canvas robe saved his life.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Just Ask Susan, and thank you!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Happyboomernurse, and thanks!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi FlyingBick,

Yes, dust storms are an awesome event, as anyone who has ever been caught out it one can attest. The best thing to do is find shelter before it hits and wait it out.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi marellen!

I was happy to entertain you.


writeronline 5 years ago

Another top story from the HubPages master.

Glad to see it's not just me who thinks that, either; CONGRATULATIONS on winning the Best Fiction Writer Hubbie Award!

I'm proud to have predicted this a while back. Remember "Can write. Will Starr." ?

Keep em coming. Cheers.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Old Poolman

Hi Mike! I'd love to meet you and swap lies sometime!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Becky!

My cousin is the oral storyteller. She belongs to a group in Iowa that does just that. I should see her tomorrow at our reunion.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Hyphenbird,

Yes, I do love Indian lore (and the ones I know prefer 'Indian', not 'Native American'!)


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

LOL @ drbj!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Pop, and thank you!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi dahoglund!

Yeah, I'm hearing from lots of people that my new Hubs are not being announced by HubPages. I told them, but they said I was wrong.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi marshacanada,

I may self-publish a short story collection on Amazon, and link to it here.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi b. Malin, and thank you!

Maybe there is a little moral in there!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Storytellersrus

Hey Barbie! Thanks for the heads-up! One as a typo and I added what happened to his socks.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi PegCole17,

Many of the Indian raids were actually teens looking to be counted as men. The mature men were the ones trying to negotiate with the liars from Washington.

Some things never change.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi resspenser,

I enjoyed your own recent work!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Dex, and thank you!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Congrats on winning the Best Fiction Writer hubbie award. You had my vote!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Dusty,

I once found a spot up in Bloody Basin with lots of ancient pottery shards, and evidence of ruins. I sat and looked around, and while I was sitting there, I kept seeing something out of the corner of my eye, but when I turned to see what it was, there was nothing but desert grasses, swaying in the wind.

Who can say what spirits linger?


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi G-Ma Johnson, and thank you, dear!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi CMerritt!

I forgot to relate what happened to the poor guy's socks! He simply wore them out trying to use them to protect his feet. I wrote it in.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi writer20!

Thanks for the comment!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi writeronline!

I wasn't aware I'd won and I wasn't notified. I sent you an e-mail.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Happyboomernurse!

I guess I'm the last to know! Thanks for supporting me!


marellen 5 years ago

Hey Will....congratulations, who had my vote too.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Hello Will congratulations to a great writer..:)


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Marellen and thank you!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi 'Cheerful' Sunnie and congratulations on your own award!


suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 5 years ago from Asheville, NC

A wonderful story of determination and cunning survival. The ghosts added mystery. You are a master at what you do, WillStarr. Rated up and shared on Facebook and Twitter.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Wow, Will this was great. The ending was a total surprise. You are such a good writer. I could see the characters every step of the way. Well done! Voted up all the way.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi suziecat7!

If you hadn't steered me to HubPages...!

Thank you.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi always exploring!

The ending surprised me too!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

A brilliant story Will and I thoroughly enjoyed. I now vote up without a doubt.

Here's to many more to share.

Take care

Eiddwen.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Will,

Another blockbuster hit from the man that I voted for best fiction writer!! The best man won and I voted this UP & UABI-- Congratulations, my friend!

Have a wonderful weekend, mar.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Eiddwen, and thank you for the kind words.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi marcoujor, and thanks for your support!


Sueswan 5 years ago

Will, you weave a story so well.

It gave me the creeps but I just had to keep reading.

Voted up and awesome.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

..a heartfelt congratulations on your Hubbie award Sir Starr .... always love your work and your comments to me are always appreciated (and often very witty too) ....I wish my Dad had been able to read your short stories - he passed away back in 1992 but was a big fan of Zane Grey and Alistar McLean (if spelling is right) and was quite a prolific author himself - 70 novels although none were ever published; still quite an achievement.

lake erie time 7:47am with cup of coffee and daybreak over the lake and yes I played Roy Rogers and The Sons of the Pioneers the other day in your honor.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Sueswan, and thank you for the kind words!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Epi, and double congratulations to you!

I remember hearing about your dad and his work. Perhaps you should think about publishing your Dad's work on Amazon, using their digital platform?


Ginn Navarre profile image

Ginn Navarre 5 years ago

Hey my friend! Congrat's and here again is proof of your talent with the westerns my advice is to follow it.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

It only gets awesomer and awesomer!


Sueswan 5 years ago

Congratulations Will on your hubbie award. Way to go!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Ginn Navarre, and thank you!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Barb, and thanks again for the heads up...little errors like that can ruin a story.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Sueswan, and thank you!


Diane 5 years ago

GLAD YOUR BACK WITH ANOTHER GOOD READ. MISSED THEM FOR A WHILE THERE AND

LOOKING FORWARD TO MANY MORE TO COME.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

Fantastic story. The odds of surviving the desert were certainly slim and you described it so well. I will be glad when you publish a book as I know someone that would love your stories. Rated Awesome of course!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Diane, and thank you!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Pamela99,

Publishers don't like short stories, but I may publish on Amazon's Kindle program. I'll let you know.


Nickels-and-Sense profile image

Nickels-and-Sense 5 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

I did enjoy your Metaphysical achievements; perhaps you could be persuaded towards the Horror genre? Neat story, particularly nice feel; You always paint an elaborate visual...


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Nickels-and-Sense,

Horror?

Hmm.


Ghost32 5 years ago

"A man without a hat would cook his brain under the summer sun, and I had little enough brain as it was."

EXCELLENT line. I'm pretty sure if I'd been suckered in like that, then conked on the brain pan and relieved of my gold, I'd feel much the same way.

Interesting, too, that you wrote about a dust storm...I missed your Hub for a while...and a few days after you wrote this, I introduced a Kansas dust storm as a reason for Tam of the tall tales to hole up till it blew out. Great minds really do work in the same direction! LOL!

Yours worked quicker, though.

Voted up and across, even funny. (The funny part was because you have no idea how much time I spent trying to figure out how I'd weave myself a grass had that would actually work...:)


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Fred!

Weaving a grass hat is not all that difficult, especially with long desert grasses. I understand that Mexicans used to make all their sombreros that way.


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether

WillStarr - Too cool! I love this story. So captivating and it reminds me of Tucson 100%. My hubby is from Tucson and I think it's absolutely beautiful out there. Great imagery you paint in the reader's mind. Love the ending and the thought of desert ghosts. :) Voted up and awesome.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi kittythedreamer!

I too used to live in Tucson. Thanks for reading!


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether

No problem! It was my pleasure. You know with all of the problems Tucson has with crime, etc. the desert there is something truly majestic.


caltex profile image

caltex 5 years ago

Will, another great story. To be honest, I'm not into westerns, but you just write real good ones. You truly deserve the award. Congratulations!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi kittythedreamer,

In my many trips into the desert, I've found relics from long ago, and they spur the imagination...a flint arrowhead, or a rusty horseshoe...what was the story behind those lost objects?


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi caltex!

Thank you for the kind words! There are other stories I've written that are not westerns. Take a look!


Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

Barbsbitsnpieces 5 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

@Will Star...This is awesome, engaging, and the foreshadowing was right on! You are very Zane Grey-ish!

Thanks for the new fan mail, as well! My fiction is "works in progress" and changing.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Barb, and thanks for visiting!


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Hi Will i often wonder how you keep coming up with these tales, but your kind of talent is as inbred as the honour portrayed by those ancient Indian ghosts. You turn the ordinary, into extraordinary. No mean feat. Cheers


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, attemptedhumour, and I'm happy you liked it! (Now if I could just develop a sense of humor!)


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

You have a good one Will, sprinkled into some of your stories in exactly the right places.


LABrashear profile image

LABrashear 5 years ago from My Perfect Place, USA

Will - Because of you and couple of others, I am seriously starting to like westerns. You have such a unique style. Love the story and twists. Great submission for the Halloween contest!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Laura!

The old west is my first love, and living here in Arizona gives me an up close and personal contact with the ghosts of yesterday!

Thank you!


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

This started out like a movie western and ended up in another genre. Gary Cooper and the haunted house, only there is no actual house.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, FloraBreenRobison,

Cowboys and Ghosts! :-)


femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

Will - halfway through this, I was hot, thirsty, my feet hurt and I had a headache! :)

I LOVED it!!! Aced!!

Up and across!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, femmeflashpoint,

There's a mission south of Tucson called, "San Xavier del Bac". It has been there since 1692, and is called , "The White Dove of the Desert".

Maybe Father Rivera was a priest there.

Maybe.


Maggie-May profile image

Maggie-May 5 years ago from the Island of Cape Breton to the Eastern Shores near Halifax, NS

I just knew I had to read this, and once again I am floored. From the stranded nakedness--lost, surviving the impossible, just missing sudden death to the astounding revelations this story is shockingly great!!!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, Maggie-May!

I'm glad you liked it! Thank you.


cam8510 profile image

cam8510 8 months ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

I'm glad you reposted this, Bill. It was a very enjoyable read.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 8 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, Cam!

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