Hell of a Day

by Twyla Jane

Bernadette’s Challenge…

Here is my November Challenge to you. It comes from a dream. I have started the story for you and all you have to do is finish it. Ezra Standish pressed the gun harder against the suspect’s left temple. An evil smile crossed his features as he pulled the trigger. He knew the chamber was empty, he had check it himself. The sound of a gunshot exploded around the room. Blood splattered across Ezra’s face. He stood in shock, staring down at the man he had just killed.

“Ezra!” Vin yelled at him “What have you done?”

It can be OW or ATF, Dramatic, funny or scary. Okay here is number deux. 11/6/01

Ezra Standish pressed the gun harder against the suspect’s left temple. An evil smile crossed his features as he pulled the trigger. He knew the chamber was empty, he had check it himself.

The sound of a gunshot exploded around the room. Blood splattered across Ezra’s face. He stood in shock, staring down at the man he had just killed.

“Ezra!” Vin yelled at him “What have you done? …. Mister ain’t no call…” Tanner skidded to an abrupt halt stammering as he noticed the other man.

Unable to reply the stupefied gambler never shifted his gaze from the dead man on the floor of the mercantile and didn’t know what hit him when he was unexpectedly spun around as a bullet slammed into his chest forcefully expelling the air from his lungs. What the hell had he done? The gunfire sent Tanner scrambling back towards the door as Ezra slid down the wall into boneless heap on the ground as the gunman fired off another shot in the tracker’s direction while trying to maintain a tight grip on Casey Wells. For a brief instant Ezra had forgotten how to breathe as he watched from his vantage point Vin’s rapid flight across the floorboards as he dove behind the counter. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to happen… the idiot was supposed to surrender not shoot his own man… damn he wished someone would explain the rules to these cretins. The scruffy Texan hadn’t fired off a single shot, the gambler surmised that he was unable to because Miss Wells blocked his aim. He lay there staring at the wisps of dust flutter as several disjointed thoughts ran through his addled mind like when the other peacekeepers would make their presence known, who the hell was this miscreant and why wasn’t he in pain, he was just shot it should hurt? The need for air kicked in with growing pain that radiated through his chest as he gasped uncontrollably, darkness seeped past his peripheral vision. After a frantic moment wheezing, he willed himself to slowly draw in shallow ragged breaths and maintain his grip on consciousness now wasn’t the time to panic.


The first of the three shots rang out echoing through the quiet town. Larabee was scurrying low along the boardwalk towards the sound with pistol drawn. By the time the third shot had been fired all five of the remaining regulators were in position outside Mrs. Potter’s store.


The large ex-preacher crouched down by the store front window.

“One gunman holding Casey, both Vin and Ez are in there.”

Buck scuttled down towards Chris.

“Vin’s behind the counter and Ez is down…ain’t moving…think he’s hit bad. The other gunman is dead…a head shot…”


“Out where I can see ya…”

Vin hadn’t moved and the grizzled young man John Ingersol didn’t say another word instead he shoved his gun under his hostage’s chin. A small cry escaped from Casey at the sound of a hammer being cocked back and the longhaired Texan stood up with his hands in plain view.

“Weapons on the counter…”

The tracker slowly placed his mare’s leg and knife in plain view. A quick glance in Ezra’s direction told him that the cardsharp was alive. He was covered in blood Vin couldn’t tell how much of it belonged to the dead man and how much belonged to the downed southerner. He made a step towards his friend.

“Where the hell do you think ya’ll goin’?”

“Gonna check on my friend…”


“Better shoot me then.”

Ingersol was short on bullets he had three rounds left. Sure there were plenty ammunition here in the store he didn’t want these folks to know so he remained stead fast with a tight hold around the girl.

“Slide his gun over.”

The Remington skittered across the floor after Vin kicked it over. He knelt down next to Ezra. His half closed green eyes followed the tracker’s movement while wheezing slow painful breaths in and out. A startled breath was sucked in quickly as Tanner ran his fingers under Standish’s frilly shirt coming away covered with blood. The gambler grabbed his arm weakly pulling at him, a covert signal to move closer in and whispered something into his ear before letting out a small groan while clasping tightly to Vin’s hand.

“Easy Ez....” Tanner looked up at the young gunman. “I’m gonna git some bits to bind up his wounds…”

“Don’t go trying anythin’”


Casey was doing her best not to panic and make the situation worse by aggravating the man that held her. The hold he had hurt her ribs, his arm was wrapped around her waist and he held her snug against his chest in front of him. Fully aware of the wavering pistol he had under her chin she watched as Mr. Tanner gathered new towels off the shelves. Poor Mrs. Potter fled the building through the back room only moments earlier. She had been showing Casey the new bolts of fabric that came in when the girl came in to pick up her Aunt Nettie’s regular supplies. Mr. Standish was there looking for his newest purchases. The fancy shirts he had ordered had arrived from San Francisco. He seemed quite pleased until the two gunman arrived wanting the money from the till and ammunition. A scuffle between Mr. Standish and one of the men ended Mrs. Potter fleeing the store, her being held caught in the middle of a stand off. The fancy southern had managed to hold a gun to that man’s head. She squeezed her eyes shut after the first shot went off hitting the man in the head. Casey didn’t want to look but she had no choice look or keep her eyes closed and couldn’t believe what she saw as Mr. Tanner knelt down by the fallen lawman… Mr. Standish winked at her… at first she wasn’t sure but he winked at her again.

“Can ya see?”

Chris hissed out.


JD whispered back.


The man in black irritation was evident.

“Vin gave up his guns, he’s trying to tend to Ezra and the young guy still holding Casey at gun point.”

Came Dunne’s tremulous reply, he was scared for his friends and didn’t see a way clear of this without someone else getting hurt or killed.


“Mister can I cover up yer friend… the young lady don’t need to be staring at a dead body?”

Ingersol was dumbfounded by the request but so far the buckskin-clad man hadn’t made trouble. His head was spinning and it seemed like a reasonable request.

“Go on…”

Vin watched the young man wave at him with the gun… he had it pointed away from young Casey. Tanner picked up wool blanket snapped it open as the two shots rang out simultaneously.


The five lawmen guns drawn piled into the store from various entries.


Miss Wells knelt next to Ezra and Vin had hunkered down and picked up the pistol next to the bewildered gunman, who lay sprawled on the floorboards blinking up at the Texan as blood was pooling under his head. Nathan called out to his longhaired friend.


“Check on Ez and Miss Casey. I jist creased this fool’s head is all.”

A confused Ingersol stared at Vin for a moment before asking.


He received a lopsided grin from the scruffy man as he held up Ezra’s peashooter.

“Yer shittin’ me…”

John Ingersol groaned and closed his eyes.

Tanner shook his head, stood up and walked over towards Standish who was being subjected to the not so tender ministrations of their resident healer. He could hear the buttons ping across the floor as Nate ripped open the southerner’s shirt. JD had held Casey in a warm embrace before leading the shaky young woman away from the store.

“OOWW!!! Another fine garment sacrificed in the line of duty…Ah swear.”

“Ezra I gotta see where else yer hurt…”

“Nate… bloods not all his…”

Jackson glanced over at the body on the floor.

“Just the one?”

“Yep... unless you got a new one Ez?”

“Please Mr. Jackson…it’s only the shoulder.”

Apparently Standish had been playing possum for the gunman and gamely tried to stand up only held in place by the dark healer.

“Josiah help this fool up to my clinic while I look after our prisoner…”

“Come on son…”

“Mr. Sanchez…”

“I know…”

“Good Lord I was beginning to wonder what mother had been up to…”

Sanchez deep chuckle rumbled through the air. The pair staggered out the door with Ezra leaning heavily into Josiah for support.


“I think we all can… after we deposit this sack of manure in the jail. Ya’ll can have him… I’m finished up here… gotta tend to Ez make sure he’s alright.”

“Come on…” Buck hissed as he hauled the unsteady Ingersol to his feet Vin and Chris followed closely behind.


Vin smirked at his best friend.

“Hell of a day…”

“Ya got that right…”

“Could use a beer Ezra’s buying.”

“Sure I’m sure Ez’ll be buying…”

“Took more than that peashooter from him.”

The tracker’s grin widened as he pulled a tight roll of bills from his pocket and unfurled a bill.

Yep hell of day…

Larabee ginned as he shook his head at his friend as they fell in step behind Wilmington.