Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Six-guns and Slay Bells, Story 9

When Joshua Jones was only eight, he went with his family in a covered wagon hoping to make it to Oregon. They started late, with substandard gear and no knowledge of the country or the dangers it presented. What with this thing and that, by the time they reached the barren flats, the Jones family was one broken-down wagon with four skinny mules. The family began to die until only Joshua was left, a boy with one canteen slung across his shoulders, walking and hoping.

Then the voice came. A voice ancient as the day of creation, yet not the voice of Lucifer, son of the morning. The voice interfered with what was naturally happening, and saved Joshua. Told him what to do, taught him how to live off the land, kept him for a decade, maybe more. The voice only relented long enough to give Joshua a wolf cub as companion. The two grew up together.

Then another wagon came to the barren land, and it too became bogged in the sand and unable to move. The voice sent Joshua to help, telling him never to return. It was final. So Joshua and Wolf went. They helped get the wagon out of the sand trap, set up camp, hunted for meat, and settled down for the night. The man’s daughter Nellie came to thank Joshua for his help. And he was mighty glad it was Christmas Day.

CHARLIE STEEL has put heart into countless dreams and brought them to life just as he has done with the people in his tales. Steel has worked since early childhood and held many jobs He has traveled widely, read voraciously, and obtained five academic degrees including a Ph.D. He is the common man; he is the eccentric man. Hunting, fishing and the solitude of the outdoors are his great loves. This solitude provides him with the catalyst for many stories. Charlie lives on an isolated ranch at the base of Greenhorn Mountain in Southern Colorado Web site:www.charliesteel.net