Two Gun Pete and a Bucket of Blood By: Sara Saint John


Two Gun Pete and a Bucket of Blood

By: Sara Saint John

(For Dr. McDonnold - who likes westerns.)

"Damned varmint," Two Gun Pete said in a dead-on imitation of Yosemite Sam. Truth was, he'd never heard of Yosemite Sam. The cartoon character wouldn't exist 'til years later, but nevertheless Pete and Sam bore a remarkable resemblance. Pete pulled his six shooter from its holster. Iron gray metal slid from leather the color of dung. The bat swooped. Its left wing made contact with Pete's well-worn cowboy hat and knocked it right off his head.

"Irritatin' critter!" he cried. His trigger finger squeezed. Bullets flew, hitting walls, spittoons, the player piano, anything and everything but that dad-blasted flying varmint. Wood chips filled the air, one of them giving his cheek a considerable crease. Smoke stung his eyes, bringing on a whole new round of complainin'.

Seemed bats had gotten bolder than love starved widow women since the vampires came to town. Sheee-it, but there were a slew of them. Fellow couldn't seem to turn around without running into one of them sheet white, long fanged fiends. Always hungry, them vampires. Eatin' on the townsfolk, thinning their numbers until they were as sparse as the red hairs atop Pete's own head.

He slapped the hat back atop his bald spot, slung his pistol in its holster and stalked to the swinging saloon doors, spurs a jangling. His back to the staircase, he heard a crash. The whores had barricaded themselves in their rooms and one of the homemade barriers they'd fitted over the windows had been knocked aside. A woman screamed. Pete sighed. He'd heard that scream before, though in much more pleasurable situations. Dang it all, he was right fond of Susie.

Knowing he was too late to save her, Pete went back to the bar and poured himself a shot of rotgut whisky. Lifted his glass. "To you, Susie darlin'." He threw back that shot, feeling the satisfying burn of it sear his throat. He threw back another. Thought a minute. Man had to be foolish to draw attention to himself and Pete wasn't a foolish man. He thrust the tip of his huntin' knife through a bar towel, ripping it to a few right sized pieces. Tied the pieces around his spurs. He took an experimental step. Yep. That was better. Again, he made his way to the doors.

Taking a deep breath, he peered over the opening. The town stood dark, silent and still. Little pools of moonlight lit up spots like gilt on a picture. No life stirred in its streets. Not even a mongrel dog. Even the horses tied to the hitchin' rails lay in empty, husk-like mounds, appearing as dry as a cicada's shell. Pete thought if he were to touch one, it would crumble to dust. He spied his own horse, a right pretty buckskin mare lyin' in a heap like the others, though she did look a bit less hollow. He about jumped out of his skin when she made a feeble effort to stand. Looked like it weren't no use. Now that was a damn shame. Fellow needed a fast horse if he were to get the hell out of Dodge and that was just what Pete planned to do. As much as it might've appealed to him before the vampires came, he couldn't very well spend the rest of what remained of his life holed up in a saloon. A man could only drink so much. "Sides, he'd get damned lonely without the whores. Without Susie.

Coast looked clear, but the sun had only set an hour or so before. Vampires could be hiding in the shadows, bidin' their time, waiting for him to come out in the open. They'd already invaded the saloon. Probably foolish to stay inside. Just as foolish to go outside. What was a man to do?

Pete went back to the bar, hoping more whisky might lubricate his mind. A couple more shots oiled his rusty brain gears and he began to see more clearly. First he went to the doors again. Nothing stirred. What vampires he did see, for now there were some, rested sittin' down against the posts. Damn critters looked bloated as ticks.

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About the Author

Sara Saint John grew up reading the greats such as Poe, Lovecraft and the Brothers Grimm. She cut her teeth on the old Universal Horror flicks, along with Hammer films and anything starring Vincent Price, Boris Karloff or crafted by Val Lewton. These books and movies instilled in her a love for the dark side, but also an optimism that refuses to be quenched.

Sara also crafts paranormal romances about good vs. evil, horror and the healing power of love. Her novels BLOOD ATONEMENT and TRUST THE NIGHT may be ordered through , or any online or brick and mortar bookstore.

Sara may be found at, , and under the name Sarah Basore.

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