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The following is a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

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Hang 'Em High
By Electric Baby

 


Hang `Em High

Scampering feet rushing out of the building. Jumping through the windows, scurrying towards the back door….Running in a frenzied panic, trying to get to safety before the expected gunshots went off.

Bang!

Silence.

No one dared to make a sound. Those that had not managed to flee had positioned themselves on the old wooden floor of the local Samite Ridge saloon, praying silently that they would be spared.

In the doorway of the old saloon, stood two beings. One of the two, a man. Tall in stature and untamed dark hair that covered his eyes. Though covered, you just knew they were as wild and crazed as his appearance. His right arm still extended up in the air, gripping a smoking pistol. He went by the name of Tom Antrim.

On Tom's left side stood his partner. His love. Maria Evans. Dressed in a similar disordered fashion as her associate, the edges of Maria's riding skirt were torn and muddy. Her boots too were encrusted in mud and grimy. Though dirty strands of blonde hair fell in her face, you could still see her piercing green eyes.

Together, Tom Antrim and Maria Evans roamed the west, causing chaos and setting fear into the hearts of those around of them. Wanted signs posted everywhere about a reward if you turned this duo in…Dead or alive.

Tom walked to the counter and peered over at the barman positioned flat on the ground.

“You know what to do,” He stated, reaching inside of his jacket and extracting fair sized burlap bag. Tossing it to the barman, he stood up straight and began to reload his gun.

Abruptly a sharp, piercing sound that severed the otherwise silent bar could be heard and then a dull thud.

Turning swiftly, Tom and Maria just barely saw a bottle of liquor that had crashed through the window, set aflame from landing on the open fire of a candle that was resting on a table.

“Go back to hell, you devils!” A deep hollering voice sounded from outside, most likely the owner of the voice had thrown the bottle in the first place. Shouts of agreement from many other voices echoed his statement.


Muffled scuffling and whimpering reached Tom's ears as the occupants of the bar found ways to escape the building that would surely go up in flames. Tom's focus turned to Maria. His eyes sought hers and he could understand Maria's thoughts.

The were surrounded.

Tom turned back to the counter to discover that the barman had escaped, leaving the burlap bag forgotten on the floor, money strewen about the bag.

The fire had spread to at least four other tables, the crackling and heat rising.

“We know yer still in there!” The same voice from before called, though barely audible due to the roaring flames.

A whizzing and a splintering sound went off as a bullet was fired through the open window, hitting the wall across the room.

Shouting rang from the outer parts of the bar as men strived to get inside. To get Tom and Maria.

“What do we do?” Maria questioned, clearly apprehensive.

The fire had spread to about half of the room. Black smoke stung Tom's eyes, making it harder to see.

“Git upstairs and through one of the windows. You should be close enough to another building to get to safety. Stay hidden, I'll find you,”

I commanded.

“…And you?” Alarm clouded Maria's face at the thought of being seperated from her love.

The door, fractured, thudding to the ground. The people of the town began to filter in, armed with guns, broken bottles…anything that they could find lying around.

Tom gestured to the townsfolk, “Have to take care of `em,”

Maria nodded, gave Tom one last look, before obeying him and rushing up the stairs.

“We've got you now, you devil!” A man holding a knife hollered. Tom sighed and elevated his pistol, aimed toward the man's face.

And then the shooting began.



In a lucky attempt, Tom had darted out of the backdoor of the building and lay hidden behind the stairs of the porch. Angry shouts thundered throughout the town, as pounding feet hit the stairs above his head. They were still searching for him.

Raising his bloody head up, Tom wondered where Maria was. Did they capture her? Was she safe?

His entire body was becoming numb. In fact, he could hardly feel the piece of metal that was embedded in the back of his left shoulder. He could hardly feel the sticky, red mess spilling out.

Tom's eyes, still stinging from the smoke of the blazing building, were starting to see black spots.

A far away voice reached his ears. It sounded like the owner had stuffed their mouth with cotton and spoken to him.

It sounded again.

“Tom?” Maria whispered again. He was so pale. His eyes becoming more vacant by the second.

Maria was now next to her love, lying in the dirt and Tom's blood.

Tom's thoughts became clearer at that voice. He knew that voice!

“Oh Tom!” Maria threw her arms gently around him, as to not hurt him. She knew what was going on, it was clear that he was dying.

“I want you to leave,” Tom's voice was a hushed whisper, he stuttered as he spoke, he took a deep breath, “And don't look back…..”Time seemed to slow down...it was almost like it was just the two of them in the world and this moment they spent together seemed like a lifetime. Tom took another slow, raggedy breath before he spoke again, “Never look back…” Tom took a sighed a shallow sigh and looked Maria directly in the eye.

"I promise, Tom Antrim. I promise," Maria whispered as she gave him a small watery smile. Tom sighed again and his shallow breaths became farther and farther apart, until he suddenly wasn't breathing at all.


Tom Antrim, a man who had wanted posters of himself posted in every town across the country, one of the most famous bandits in the entire Wild West was dead.


Maria was true to her word. After carrying Tom's dead body into the desert, she buried him, leaving no trace that a Thomas Antrim ever existed, except for a shabby grave marker made of two pieces of wood nailed together.

Her heart never healed. Instead she lost all feelings of love and happiness. That probably made her more ruthless, more murderous, an even more wanted criminal.

She rode out into the desert on her horse, stealing and robbing as her and Tom had always done.

Except this time, she rode alone…

 

The preceeding was a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

Please see the Terms of Service for more information.

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