A Day in the Life…
Eerie Trails of the Wild Weird West is filled with interesting characters, some more so than others. There are gamblers, outlaws, lawmen, cattle drivers, and killers, all of whom led some manner of a remarkable life. As someone with cowboy roots and ancestors who lived in the Wild West, it is only natural I find living during that period fascinating.
While being a cold-blooded killer has never appealed to me, I must admit to fantasizing about what it would have been like to be an outlaw like Jessie James, Cole Younger, or Billy the Kid. In my younger days, I practiced the art of the quick draw and fancy handling of a six-shooter, envisioning myself as a shootist in the old west.
Since I was a boy of eight, I was drawn to the cowboy life when I was bucked off my first horse. I learned the art of twirling a lasso and doing a few rope tricks. I have even done a little cattle and buffalo wrangling. The smell of a leather saddle under me and the sound of cattle bawling in my ears was a genuine feeling of being free.
Choosing one character from my collection with which to exchange lives for a day makes for a difficult choice. The thrill of being a shootist or an outlaw with a fast steed holds tremendous appeal. Then there is the freedom of being saddled on an old cow pony, driving a herd across unforgiving territory.
I can easily narrow it to two. Sam, the trail boss from the Jonah Herd would make for an adventurous ride. While Dangerous Dan Tucker the vampire gunslinger would provide the thrill of participating in a gunfight. Choosing between these two is a difficult task. It is like choosing whether to go to the hoedown with the beautiful girl on the left, or the one on the right. Either way, you cannot go wrong.
After careful consideration, actually the flip of a coin, I believe I would most like to be Dangerous Dan Tucker for a day. He not only is a shootist who is lightning fast with a gun, he is also a vampire. That alone gives him a slight edge over a trail boss, who is merely human. Plus, who is to say I would not participate in a cattle drive after gunning down my opponent? Then again, wrangling cattle under the sun might make for one smoldering vampire.
Perhaps the cattle drive falls short of being a good idea. Still, it would be fun to be the fastest gun in the west for a day. The possibilities are vast. I could apply my talents anywhere in the old west. If I wanted to take part in the shootout at the OK Corral, or the great gunfight in Ingalls, Oklahoma Territory, it would be possible. Being a vampire would greatly reduce the chances of me being seriously injured.
Maybe I would use my gun to cleanup Deadwood. In fact, I could install law and order in any town of the old west of my choosing. Maybe I fail to find being on the side of the law to my liking. Many of the lawmen of the day were not much better than the outlaws. Instead, I could choose to ride with the Jessie James and Cole Younger gang. Being a long rider would be a thrill as long as we keep the riding under the stars instead of the sun.
When the readers of Eerie Trails of the Wild Weird West take the strange ride through the old west, they can choose someone from one of the tales that best suits them to be for one day. There are many diverse characters from which to choose. Anyone settling on a favorite is welcome to let me know. Perhaps I can find a story for them in the second volume.
Eerie Trails… of the Wild Weird West
In this collection of fourteen strange tales from the wild west, Cowboys and Indians face down supernatural beings of all varieties – from vampires and werewolves; to ghosts and vengeful spirits; to mythological creatures.
Saddle up cowboys and ladies alike, once the journey begins, Eerie Trails of the Wild Weird West will take you down a strange and bizarre path though the old west that you’ve never been on before.
About the Author — Maynard Blackoak is a freelance writer living in the backwoods of Pawnee County, Oklahoma. He draws upon the sights of neglect and unusual sounds around him for inspiration. A bit of a recluse, he can often be found strolling through an old, forgotten cemetery or in the woods among the twisted black oaks and native elms under the light of the moon.