Sheriff JD Dunne stepped out onto the porch of the jail, stretching and yawning, trying to keep himself awake. It'd been a long night of dealing with drunks alternating between getting violently sick, spouting angry rhetoric or restlessly thrashing about on their bunks.
He settled into one of the two chairs on the porch and scanned Main Street. The ever-growing frontier town was coming awake for the day. Storekeepers were opening the doors to their shops in preparation for the impending onslaught of daily customers.
He could hear the sharp 'bang' of metal hitting against metal and knew Mr. Jetts at the blacksmith shop had already fired up his forge. Even though it was early, he could already see a few of those 'customers' milling about on the sidewalks outside a few of the shops. They were browsing through assorted bins, boxes, and barrels of wares some of the shopkeepers had placed on their porches to entice buyers.
A slight breeze wafted up, tousling his rumpled dark hair, cooling his cheek, and sending a mixture of odors to tease his nostrils. He caught the tantalizing aroma of baking bread, fresh brewed coffee, and the spicy mix of frying onions and potatoes.
His stomach rumbled. He hoped one of the others showed up soon to relieve him. He hadn't had anything to eat since the day before and he was starving.
Being Sheriff of Four Corners was often a thankless job. Long hours. Hardly any sleep. Dealing with drunks, jealous husbands, cocky idiots trying to make a name for themselves.
But then there were moments when he was proud to wear his tin star. Like when he prevented little Jessup Dans from getting run over by a runaway wagon or when one or more of the ladies in town brought baked goods to thank him for keeping them safe. It made him feel good to know that folks thought of him as someone they could trust.
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