Follow Charlie Gunslinger's adventures
|The Gunslinger Chronicles
Chapter 1 Sheriff’s Enforcer
Hellstown was a western town like any other that legends had been told about before it. And like those towns this town was filled with hooligans, bullies, and ruffians. And as usually happens in these towns one day a mysterious figure appeared on the outskirts of town. He was dressed in all black with a long black duster on, and armed as if ready for a war. At his sides were two ivory handled six shooters, on each leg was strapped a sawed off double barrel shot gun, and across his front he carried a Remington Repeater. He walked into town casual as could be yet observing everything as he made his way slowly towards the Sheriff's Office. He sauntered in as casual as could be.
The Sheriff was sitting at his desk as he came walking in, and saw the crowd watching so kept a poker face. He came out from behind the desk to meet the stranger halfway across the floor.
He held out his hand to the stranger and said, “Good of you to come so quickly Charlie.”
“Well you said it was urgent Ted,” the stranger named Charlie replied.
The townsfolk looked on wondering what the hell was going on. How do these two know each other, and what is so urgent.
Ted, the Sheriff, continued on as if it was just the two of them there, “It is Charlie. Now you know we have our usual trouble here in Hellstown and normally I can handle it. But something is riling them up big time.”
“So you want me to find out what's riling them up, and put a stop to it?” Charlie asked
“You hit the nail on the head,” the Sheriff replied.
“I'll get right on it,” Charlie said turning to leave.
“Hold on Charlie!” Ted exclaimed “Here take this to make it all official like,” he said tossing him a gold star.
“Awe hell that just takes half the fun out of it,” Charlie replied sarcastically putting the star on before leaving
Charlie headed for the bar keeping the star semi hidden. He knew it was the best place to start since it was the best place to find information. But he swore you could hear a pin drop as he walked into the bar. He walked over to the bar, and ordered a beer keeping his attention on his surroundings.
“Why is this place so quiet, did I fart or something?” he asked the bartender quietly
“No you just make them a bit nervous is all,” the bartender replied just as quietly.
Charlie chuckled softly at this thinking it was a good thing. This would make it easier to get info out of them. He drank his beer slowly pondering which one to hit up for information. He settled on a scared looking guy in the corner as he ordered another beer. He walked over towards the guy slowly making sure he wouldn't run as he sat down across from him. The guy shook a bit as he did.
“Relax I'm not going to hurt you I just want some info,” Charlie said menacingly.
“W-w-why me I-i-i-i don't kn-n-now anything,” the guy replied stuttering.
“If you didn't know anything you wouldn't be so scared and stuttering,” Charlie said still menacingly.
“O-o-OK so I-i-i-i might kn-n-ow something b-b-but I-i-i-i ain't t-t-talking,” the guy replied stuttering still.
“Well then I take it back I might have to hurt you after all,” Charlie interrogated more darkly.
“Alright, alright I'll tell you anything you want to know just don't hurt me!” the guy screeched like a girl
“Alright tell me who's stirring up trouble around here,” he interrogated easing up a little.
The guy sighed and said softly, “He calls himself Sinical Minister and he rules through fear. He has a mansion or fortress depending on how you look a it, up on the hill on the southern end of town.”
As he finished Charlie heard approaching hoof-beats, and then gunfire ripped through the bar. Charlie, hit the floor as it did, and then as fast as it started it ended. When Charlie turned back to his informant he found him dead and cursed. He closed the informant's eyes silently thanking him. He ordered another beer and toasted his informant.
Then he walked outside lit a cigar, and headed for the Sheriff's office. It was a fairly short walk, but seemed to take forever. Finally he walked into Ted's office and waited to make his report.
“Already find the source of the trouble?” Ted asked
“Asshole by the name of Sinical Minister, he's got a place on the south side of town, Charlie replied.
“I've heard of him in passing, but had no idea he was in my neck of the woods,” Ted said digesting it all.
“So what do you want me to do next?” Charlie asked
“Do what you do best and destroy his operation,” Ted replied.
“I was hoping you'd say that,” Charlie answered heading for the door.
Charlie figured he'd make it a night time raid, less civilian casualties that way. He checked into a room in the local tavern under a false name just in case someone was gunning for him. He cleaned his weapons, and made sure they were fully loaded. Then made sure all his ammo belts and pouches were full. And after doing all that decided it was a good idea to get a few hours of sleep.
His sleep was surprisingly peaceful considering the day's events. He woke up around dinner time, and had some dinner sent up to his room to keep a low profile. He checked his weapons again as he got ready for the night's adventure. As he walked outside he noticed it was deathly quiet under the night's full moon. He wasn't sure whether that was a good sign or a bad sign. But either way suited him and he lit a cigar, and headed towards the south
side of town.
He came upon the hill his informant had been talking about, and saw a building atop it resembling both a mansion and a fortress. Good thing he had brought some dynamite with him he thought. He started towards the building purposefully, his Remington at the ready as he puffed on his cigar. He'd barely taken five steps when gunfire erupted to his right. Looks like they'd been expecting him. He brought up his Remington bringing down two of what appeared to be four shooters quickly. The other two redoubled their efforts as their comrades fell. Charlie ended that quickly with his Remington too. He decided he better approach more cautiously as he reloaded his Remington. He snuck up on one guard, and slit his throat soundlessly with a Bowie knife hidden on his back. As usual he thought go for a fight get a small war.
He focused on the left side next, sniping off four more would be ambushers. But apparently someone had managed to call for reinforcements, cause twelve more guards came streaming out from the main building on horseback headed for the perimeter. Charlie managed to snipe off four, cutting them down to eight, before he had to retreat.
As the reinforcements got closer Charlie ducked into a nearby ditch. As the riders rode by him, Charlie popped up, and completely unloaded his six shooters into them. As they lay there incapacitated, and dying Charlie reloaded all of his weapons. After reloading his weapons Charlie resumed his journey cautiously towards the fortress like mansion. He disarmed several trip wire traps with his knife easily as he went, just simply slicing the wire to release the pressure. He lit another cigar as he got closer to the outer walls. Charlie knew he'd have to use the dynamite to get inside, and that by doing so he would be making one hell of an entrance. He searched the wall looking it over for a weak spot. Finally he found a good size crack running top to bottom in the middle of one of the sides of the wall. After finding that he double checked his weapons and the rest of his gear.
With that done Charlie took out a stick of dynamite stuck it firmly in the crack lit it with his cigar, and took cover. As the fuse burned down the wall exploded in multiple directions, leaving a wide open path to the mansion. He slipped through it cautiously with his rifle at the ready. A couple guards on the upper levels of the mansion took pot shots at him, which he easily dodged. He quickly picked them off with his rifle.
Charlie now picked up the pace a bit while still being cautious. He got to the entrance quickly, and traded in his Remington for his sawed off double barrel shot guns. He started going room by room looking for the Sinical Minister. Most of the time he was greeted with an empty but lavish room. Though on a few occasions he entered a room with resistance in it. The resistance quickly ate shot gun shells, and ceased to be resistance to him anymore. After each of these encounters Charlie reloaded before moving on.
Finally he came to the final room in the mansion fortress. It was a heavy oak door that was locked from the other side. Charlie gave a silent thank you for his boots being so sturdy, and his legs being so strong as he booted the door in.
As the door swung in Charlie saw Sinical Minister sitting behind a desk looking smug as could be, like he was winning this battle instead of Charlie. Even as Charlie advanced into the room with both shot guns drawn.
“So you're the asshole who's been causing so much trouble,” Charlie said resoundingly.
“No, I'm the deliverer of freedom to the people, and no one not even you can stop me,” Sinical Minister replied smugly.
“I wouldn't be so sure of that,” Charlie shot back.
“No matter what you do I'll win still,” Sinical Minister replied more smugly.
“We'll see about that!” Charlie exclaimed putting his shot guns away, and reaching for his six shooters.
As Charlie was doing this Sinical Minister was reaching for his six shooters too. Unfortunately for the Minister Charlie was faster, and unloaded all twelve rounds into his chest. Charlie walked over to where Sinical Minister lay dying and lit a cigar as he noticed a cache of gun powder with a long fuse behind him.
“Like I said I win no matter what,” Sinical Minister cackled using his remaining strength to light the fuse.
Charlie tossed his remaining dynamite on the gun powder, dropped his cigar, and ran liked hell. He took the most direct route out of the mansion fortress, mentally counting down the fuse as he went. He ran faster diving through the hole in the wall, barely getting clear as the mansion fortress exploded.
He got up slowly dusting himself off, and reloading his six shooters. Then he lit a cigar, and slowly made his way to the Sheriff's office. He found Ted slumped over his desk as if sleeping. He went to wake him, and found a bullet wound in his chest. Charlie knew Ted was dead without even checking for a pulse, and set him back to rest.
Two days later the townspeople buried Ted with honors. As Ted was being laid to rest the executor of his will approached Charlie.
“How can I help you?” Charlie asked
“Ted apparently thought very highly of you, and foresaw a day like this it seems. He left his whole estate to you, and this letter,” the lawyer explained.
Charlie took the will and letter a bit shocked. After the lawyer left he went back to his room at the tavern,and opened the letter. In it Ted said what a true friend he had been, and that he should consider taking over as Sheriff. Charlie thought about it long, and hard up until the town council meeting.
Charlie walked into the town council meeting that night with his mind firmly made up, and the letter in hand. He announced that with the council's approval he would become Sheriff, and that he already had Ted's blessing. He showed them the letter as proof. Within minutes they both approved and swore him in.
The next morning he walked into his new office thinking this will be an interesting new adventure. He checked the logs and had a quiet first day overall. Then rode off into the sunset towards his new estate.
Chapter 2 Destructive Company Comes To Town
It had been fairly quiet for Charlie so far since he had taken over as Sheriff of Hellstown, but he knew it was only a matter of time before something went wrong. Little did he know how right he was. He walked into the bar Monday afternoon, and went to order a beer, and a whiskey as always only to have the bartender tell him to grab a table and the new serving girl, Maria, would be with him in a minute. So he sat down and waited patiently. Next thing he knew this voluptuous woman of latin descent was asking him what he'd have. It took him a minute to stop staring and order a beer, and a whiskey. She just smiled stunning him more, and went to get it. He thanked her when she brought it to him prompting another smile before heading off to other tables. He drank slowly catching himself uncharacteristically watching her from time to time.
Just as he was finishing his drinks a newsboy burst into the bar exclaiming, “Have you heard the news, Sadystic Minister and his whole gang are on the way here to avenge his brother's death!”
Just like Charlie had thought something was bound to go wrong. But it hadn't been totally unexpected. He knew about Sadystic Minister, and knew he'd need help dealing with him and his gang. He knew just the guys to call too, his old buddies from his days as a members of a unit known as Destructive Company. He knew time was a luxury he didn't have, so he headed over to the Telegraph Office immediately and wired all three of them. He hoped they got there soon as he went back to his office.
That night Charlie's dreams were invaded by Maria. It was intense and passionate. So much so that several times in the night Charlie woke up covered in sweat. It both intrigued him, and slightly disturbed him. After all he had just met her the previous day.
He rode into town early that morning expecting some sort of response from the telegraphs he had sent out the day before. Sure enough just before noon a rider was spotted headed for Hellstown. Charlie was sure it was one of Destructive Company. As the rider made his way into town Charlie saw from his office that it was Abe Spraguemaker, a member of Destructive Company as he had thought. Abe was armed with two sawed off Tommy Machine Guns in place of six shooters under his brown duster, and a double barrel shot gun across his front. Abe rode right to Charlie's office without a second's hesitation. Charlie was waiting out front to meet him when he got there.
As they shook hands Abe inquired, “So what kind of mess you got yourself into this time?”
“Oh nothing much just an outlaw leading a small army here to take revenge on me for killing his brother,” Charlie replied sarcastically.
“Oh is that all, I thought it might be something actually challenging,” Abe said equally as sarcastically as both men shared a chuckle.
“The bad news is I have to make it all official like,” Charlie said tossing Abe a gold star.
“Awe damn that takes all the fun out of it,” Abe replied putting it on.
“I said the something similar when Ted gave me one of those and now look at me,” Charlie remarked.
“Speaking of Ted, where is he?” Abe asked
“No longer with us,” Charlie explained.
“Sorry to hear that,” Abe replied.
“He's in a better place,” Charlie remarked leading Abe to the bar.
They got a table at the bar, ordered a couple of drinks and toasted to the memory of Ted. As the day before Charlie had trouble keeping his eyes off Maria, and she picked up on it and seemed to enjoy it. Abe picked up on it too and ribbed Charlie about it of course. Charlie just took it in stride as they finished their drinks, and were soon headed over to the tavern for a late lunch. All through lunch Abe was ribbing Charlie asking him when he was going to make a move.
Finally Charlie caved in and replied, “When I get through dealing with Sadystic Minister, and his gang then I'll make a move.”
“Just then the newsboy burst into the tavern shouting, “Extra! Extra! Sadystic Minister and his gang expected in Hellstown in four days!”
“Well I was going to ask you how long you thought we had, but I guess that answers that question,” Abe remarked.
“That it does. Now let's hope the rest of the company gets here in time,” Charlie added.
After lunch they headed back to the office to see if anyone else showed up that day. No one else showed up that day, and it remained quiet as well. So they retired to Charlie's Estate. They ate a hearty meal that night, and went to bed early. As the night before Maria invaded Charlie's dreams, and like the night before it was hot and passionate. Charlie woke up continuously throughout the night wondering how this woman had such power over him. He couldn't answer the question at any time, so every time he just went back to sleep.
They got an early start in the morning with a big breakfast. After breakfast they rode leisurely into town. They stopped off at the Telegraph Office to see if there were any messages. Finding none they continued on towards the office. There were no messages at the office either. So they settled into the quiet morning to see what would happen. Around noontime they headed over to the bar and had a beer. Like the day before Charlie and Maria stole glances at each other. From there they went over to the tavern for lunch. As they were heading back to the office from lunch they received news of a rider approaching Hellstown.
It turned out to be Doc Boomer, the most explosive member of Destructive Company, who came prepared for a small war. He was armed with two six shooters, a Remington Repeater, and two hefty sacks full of dynamite. Abe and Charlie were waiting for him at the office when he got there.
“Glad you could make it,” Charlie greeted him.
“Wasn't about to miss the party,” Doc replied.
“You must have been further away than me,” Abe said.
“Not sure, but had a helluva time finding this place,” Doc explained.
“You definitely came prepared for what's heading for us,” Charlie commented.
“Well you did mention a small war. By the way where is Ted?” Doc replied
“True he did, and Ted is in a better place,” Abe answered.
“Yes away from the hell we are getting ready to endure,” Charlie added.
“Better for him not to see what we will have to do,” Doc remarked.
“Let's go over to the bar, and toast Ted,” Abe suggested.
They all agreed, and headed over to the bar. They ordered whiskey, and as earlier Charlie and Maria stole glances at each other. They toasted Ted and drank slowly with Charlie, and Maria stealing glances at each other the whole time. They drank slowly all afternoon with Charlie, and Maria barely able to keep their eyes off each other. Then as they were heading to dinner at the tavern news came of yet another rider heading for town. So they headed over to the office to wait an see who it was. It turned out to be Timothy Daggersmith, the last member of Destructive Company. He was armed with two six shooters, knives, and other blades strapped all over his body.
“Nice of you to show up finally,” Charlie said jokingly.
“I would've been here sooner, but I ran into a dust storm,” Timothy replied smiling.
“We're just glad you made it in time Tim,” Charlie replied.
“Where's Ted?” Tim asked playing with one of his knives
“He's in a better place,” Doc and Abe replied simultaneously.
“At least he's away from all this death and destruction,” Tim commented.
“True. Let's head over to the tavern and get a bite to eat, I'm sure you're starving Tim,” Charlie replied steering everyone towards the tavern.
“I could eat a side of beef,” Tim remarked as they got closer to the tavern.
They all chuckled knowing the feeling as they entered the tavern. They ate up heartily thinking it was going to be a long night now that they were all there. Afterward they all stepped outside admiring the night sky and lit up cigars. They knew they had little time to plan their defense, and that there was a possibility of spies in town.
“We'd better head out to my estate before it gets too late,” Charlie said in a tone that only the others would know meant he was up to something.
They nodded their agreement and set out for the estate. It wasn't a long ride and they were soon there. But everyone was still wondering what Charlie was up to.
“Out here I know there are no spies, and in my study there is a model of the town making it the perfect place to plan out our defense,” Charlie explained seeing them all completely puzzled.
They headed inside to Charlie's study to find a perfect model of Hellstown. They knew it had to have taken many many hours of work for Charlie to have made this.
Abe was the first to inquire by asking, “So how long have you been planning for this Charlie?”
“This wasn't what this model started out being for, originally it was to show how much I loved this town,” Charlie answered.
“Just we'd hate to think we were the last to know about this little party is all,” Doc explained.
“If I had known any sooner about this you would have been the first ones to know. Now let's get down to planning our defense,” Charlie replied.
With that they gathered around the model, and started brainstorming ideas for their defense of the town. They worked late into the night on it until finally they had to call it quits, and retire to their beds.
They woke with the rising sun the next morning, and had a nice big breakfast. Then they rode into town mainly to keep up appearances, but also secretly to see if there were any major differences from Charlie's town model that would thwart their defense plans. They were discreet about their scouting operation, and found no major differences between the actual town and Charlie's model. They then sat around the office shooting darts at the dart board until lunch time, and then headed over to the tavern. They could feel the mounting tension in the air as they walked into the tavern, but they played it off wanting to keep everyone as calm as possible. They ate in relative silence, but ate heartily as well.
Suddenly the newsboy burst in busting the tension bubble in the room exclaiming, “Extra, Extra! Sadystic Minister will be here tomorrow morning at dawn!”
The whole tavern aside from Destructive Company broke out in panicked whispers and chatter. Charlie knew he had to do something to calm the panicked townspeople, so he calmly stood up and headed to the entryway of the tavern.
“If I may have your attention please!” he bellowed “I have an announcement. My fellow members of Destructive Company and I have a plan to defend Hellstown, but we need you to keep cool, calm, and collected so we can implement it,” he finished more softly.
As he finished the tension seemed to lessen, and the townspeople were much calmer having been reassured by their Sheriff. But Charlie knew the newsboy would be making his way over to the bar as well, so he and the rest of Destructive Company headed that way. As they walked into the bar they could tell the newsboy had already been there. The place was utter chaos with people talking and yelling in sheer panic. Charlie quieted them down as he had done before in the tavern, and made the same speech he had made in the tavern. As he finished the panic, and tension left the room like in the tavern. Charlie stole a glance at Maria to see her smiling at him, but he could also sense she was concerned for him. Destructive Company sat down, and ordered some whiskey. They drank it slowly knowing it might be the last time they got to do this. As they finished they stood up slowly, and walked out framed in light.
They rode for Charlie's Estate at a leisurely pace. They got there just after sunset, and wasted no time in getting into the study. They immediately started going over their strategy again revising it where they needed to. They broke for dinner as it finally became too dark to see unassisted, and ate a hearty meal. Afterwords they returned to the study, and lit lanterns. They worked for a few more hours, and then called it a night.
They rose three hours before dawn, and ate a hearty breakfast. Then they started cleaning, and checking their weapons.
As they were doing this Charlie asked, “You guys sure you are ready for this?”
“Always ready for an explosive party like this,” Doc replied.
“I was born ready,” Abe added.
“Always sharp as my blades, and ready for trouble,” Tim said throwing in his two cents worth.
“Just making sure,” Charlie replied.
“We can understand that,” Abe said as they finished cleaning, and checking their weapons.
With that they headed out from the estate, and started the long ride to town. They made it with about an hour to spare before dawn, and headed to the office. As dawn approached they heard the rumble of the approaching army of Sadystic Minister. They walked out to the entrance of Hellstown standing four abreast. From left to right it went Tim, Charlie, Doc, and Abe.
As Sadystic Minister's Army came into view in the distance they stood their ground. Gradually it got closer and closer to Hellstown. Finally as it was approaching the entrance to Hellstown Doc lit four sticks of dynamite, and launched them at the army. The army rode over the dynamite not noticing it preparing to fire on the four lawmen, when suddenly the dynamite exploded incinerating tens of hundreds and brutally injuring more. Charlie opened up on the rest of the incoming army with his Remington Repeater as Abe did the same with his Tommy Machine Guns. Meanwhile Tim was opening up with his six shooters, and flinging blades left and right. As bullets were flying all around him Doc was lighting up sticks of dynamite, and tossing them into the enemy ranks with devastating results.
Bullets and explosions raged for hours as the army came at them as a seemingly unending horde, but the lawmen didn't know the meaning of the word surrender. They kept firing, and launching explosives even as ammo started running low. It seemed the army sensed that they were running low on ammo as well, because they pushed on them harder forcing them to redouble their efforts.
Suddenly Maria burst out of the bar firing a Remington Repeater at the advancing army screaming, “This is my town, and you're not getting it!”
Charlie's heart soared seeing this, and he dropped his Remington Repeater and drew his six shooters with renewed vigor. Just as he had done this the rest of the townspeople of Hellstown began to appear at the lawmen's backs armed with what they had for firearms, and defying the army and fighting back. Still it took them awhile to wipe out the army, and when Sadystic Minister realized that his army was doomed to be defeated he turned and fled.
As the last one fell everyone let out a great cheer, and Charlie noticed Sadystic Minister fleeing. He immediately headed to the Telegraph Office, and sent for a Marshal. After that he went to join the celebration seeking out Maria. He found her by the bar, and before she knew what was happening he had her in his embrace and was kissing her passionately on the lips.
When he broke the kiss she said in a soft lusty voice, “It's about time Sheriff I was beginning to think you didn't feel the same way I do about you.”
“It was so hard waiting to do that till just now,” Charlie replied kissing her passionately again.
“So why did you wait till now?” she asked coming up for air
“Because I wanted to make sure I was going to be around to enjoy it and more,” Charlie replied wanting to kiss her yet again, but holding back.
Maria smiled blushing bright red. Charlie kissed her again passionately unable to hold back any longer wrapping her tighter in his embrace. Maria blushed even brighter red.
“You know at this rate we'll never get the town back in order,” Maria whispered feeling like they were the center of attention.
“Good point,” Charlie whispered back starting to feel the same way. “Just say you'll come to dinner tonight at my estate.”
“Gladly,” she replied still in a whisper smiling.
With that Charlie reluctantly broke the embrace, and started issuing orders. He had the grave diggers dig a mass grace for the defeated army. Then he had the stone workers start on a large place marker for the grave. He had no need to organize a fire brigade, because one had already sprouted up. Soon the fires were out, and the townspeople were seeing what they could salvage from the skeletons of the lost buildings. By this time Tim had retrieved, and cleaned all of his blades as well.
With all of that done Charlie, and the rest of Destructive Company headed back to the office to wait for the Marshal since there was nothing more they could do. Charlie was also really looking forward to dinner that night.