"And stay out punk," Nash Bilton yelled at the man he just threw out of the saloon.
"Thish aint over yet!" the man said as he was getting on his feet. He stood up and started to draw his gun. Bilton noticed the move and quickly drew his revolver, pointing it at him.
"Now Roger, that wouldnt be very nice, would it? Put your gun away and I wont have to make you dance till you get out of town."
Roger hesitated for a moment.
"I thought I made myself clear," Bilton said in a firm tone.
Roger holstered his gun "Shumday youre going to get it, Nash."
"Surely not from a soft foot drunk like you."
"Shumday Nash, shumday," Roger said under his breath as he was walking away, barely staying on his feet.
Bilton turned back and entered the saloon. "Cassidy, show me where this punk hurt you so that I can ease your pain."
Several hours later, Bilton was leading his horse to the stables and thinking. Always on the lookout for trouble, Nash said to himself, "Well, the town is pretty quiet tonight. It seems that all those stories about werewolves and dead people roaming at night are plain rumors. Ive never seen anything weird around here, except some mutilated bodies, but the doc said it was a mountain lion. I wonder who makes up these stories..."
The scream echoed through the streets, interrupting Nashs thoughts. He jumped on his horse and sprinted to where he thought the scream had come from. As he got closer, a woman ran past him in a state of delirium, escaping into the night. He had dismounted and just now turned to see what had frightened the woman. What he saw shocked him good.
The body of a man that could be Roger the drunk was in an alley, with blood everywhere, his pistol in one hand and a broken bottle by the other. There was a hooded man kneeling over him. The figure seemed to be inhaling over his victims head, where the largest scythe that Nash had ever seen had been planted.
"Holy mother!" Bilton exclaimed.
The hooded figure lifted its head to the sound of Biltons voice, and hissed evilly. It stood up and recovered its scythe, turned and faced Nash with its pale hands glowing in the moonlight.
"What the hell are you?" Bilton said as he was trying to control his terrorized horse. The figure started walking slowly towards him. Bilton didnt waste any time. He drew his gun and aimed it at the thing.
"You just stay right where you are" But the figure glided forward, simply ignoring the threat. Biltons gun fired, and again, and again, until the faint click of the empty weapon was heard. But the hooded man kept coming as if nothing had happened. It was now about 20 steps from him.
"Alright, you bastard. You want to play rough? Ill show you rough." He reached for his saddle and grabbed his shotgun. 15 steps...
"Where are those God damned shells?"
13 steps... Bilton frantically searched his saddlebag.
9 steps...Finally, he found them at the bottom of the saddlebag. He tried to open the shotgun but, in his haste, he fumbled it.
5 steps... "Open bloody thing, OPEN!"
3 steps...With a click the shotgun opened its canister and Bilton entered the shells in two smooth motions.
He lifted the shotgun to where the figure should have been but it wasnt there. He turned around, anxiously trying to spot the creature. He felt the small change in the air and quickly ducked, as wicked scythe flashed over his head, taking some of his hair with it.
"What the...!?" He quickly turned to where the scythe was coming from and faced the horror. The hooded figure stood taller than he imagined, with the scythe raised and ready to strike again. Its red eyes glowed as if they where burning with an evil fire.
Ka-Blam! The shotgun fired, sending the figure in a high arc in the air. It smashed brutally through a nearby fence. Bilton ran over quickly to the body.
Chuk-chuk, Ka-Blam! He shot his second round of ammunition at the creature just to make sure it was dead.
"Phew, that was pretty darn close," he said in a tense voice. "Now, Ill make some special arrangements for ya." He hurried to his horse, grabbed a piece of rope, and went back to the body. He kneeled down, tied the rope to the things legs and then to his saddle. He mounted his horse and started riding out of town towards the maze, dragging the strange body behind.
As he was closing on the edge of a cliff, he suddenly felt the horse running easier. He looked back and saw that he wasnt dragging anything anymore. He dismounted and followed the rope to inspect it, his reloaded shotgun already in his hand. Suddenly, something jumped on him, and before he could react his shotgun had been thrown away. He was held over the hooded figures head.
"Oh no." With a loud hiss the figure threw him straight towards the cliffs edge. Bliton twisted to keep from going over the side.
"Oof!" He landed a few feet before the edge, and as he lifted his head he saw the figure jumping at him again. He felt hands as cold as ice tightening on his neck. He tried to loosen the dreadful grip but the creature was just too strong. His world faded as he started to lose consciousness.
"So strong..." he gasped. He reached for his boot knife, drew it, and started stabbing maniacally at the figures ribs but the grip was as strong as ever. His head was hanging just over the cliffs edge. Biltons hands suddenly went numb and the knife fell from his hand.
"So strong..." he could only whisper. He saw the figures eyes now brighter than ever and felt its knees on his chest.
"My chest...he doesnt have a foothold... I... must... try..." With the last vestige of his strength, he brought his feet to the figures chest, leaned back towards the edge and pushed hard. He felt the terrible grip release as the creature flew over him and down the cliff. He heard a last hiss trailing away and then only the sound of splashing water on the rocks below.
He got up still trying to take a breath. Cough, cough, "Damn, that hurt"