Can a thing be evil or is it man that makes it such? I say both can be true.
|Sheriff Seth Tibbens stood just feet from the saloon’s porch. He wouldn’t let his town be bullied by the likes of Tom Conley. Tom and his brother Hank were wanted for – well you name it and they were wanted for it.
“Tom, Tom Conley, this is Sheriff Tibbens, step on out of there.” His words were controlled they rang with authority and command. His stance told it all. He seemed sure of his ability and calmly waited for the outlaw. His broad shoulders and tall silhouette were firmly planted in place. All of this felt old-hat to Seth. He’d been a lawman most of his life wheeling his star with justice and a lightning hand.
A cloud passed in front of the sun - a black-omen, but for whom? The swinging doors of the Knotty Pine Saloon were set in motion, just like the events at hand; leaving Tom Conley squarely planted outside the entrance and the sheriff about ten paces away. There are individuals you meet that you never really notice what they look like. The wickedness of their soul taint their whole being leaving your memory of them ugly, Tom was such a man.
“Sheriff I have a drink waiting on me let’s make this quick. My brother and I have a big day planned.”
Seth, eyed the man with a icy blue stare, he studied every line on his face, as his peripheral vision scanned for movement. “I’m faster than you and you know it. Make this easy on yourself, because with a flinch I’ll be the one making it quick.”
Seth’s eyes narrowed as a malicious smile landed on Tom’s lips. A small wave of panic sweep across Seth’s mind as he wondered where that backstabbing brother of Tom’s was. No longer was Seth’s eyes fixed on Tom, they were slightly dilated as a silent but sharp burning pain entered into his back. A wave of adrenalin coursed through him as his last act as sheriff would be to send Tom Conley to hell. Two shoots from Seth's gun rang out. Both men fell to the ground dead. Seth was face down in the street with a knife in his back. Hank the perfect coward had delivered the death blow to Seth then sank spur and let out of town on a fast and breezy bay.
The crowd quickly gathered around the sheriff and then the sea of on lookers parted letting Sandy to her father’s side. The girl, well the young woman never once thought someone would best her dad. Her mind was numb, completely blank of thought only grieve stood alongside of her.
She had no memory of walking home or of changing her cloths or the sleepless night she spent in her fathers' favorite chair that sat in his study. “Sandy? Sandy are you home?” Stated Billy, acting-town-sheriff. “I’m going to leave a box of stuff in the kitchen.”
She never opened the door of her room and never spoke to Billy even though they were sweet on each other. Fifteen years of living as town sheriff was brought to her in a box.
Tears still streaked her face as she slowly removed each item; her fathers bible, a plaque stating ‘Sheriff Seth Tibbens 1852’, pearl handled colts and a two-bit novel ‘The Minute-Men’. Sandy reached for the book with a trembling hand and a broken heart. The book was halfway out of the box as her tears stopped flowing and her broken heart turn to stone, for under the book was the ivory handled knife. The evil that stole her world and changed her fate was now her only companion. She clutched the knife to her body and in that moment grief was buried, even before her father was and a reckless rage took its place. With her new found strength a purpose was born.