Hey 3.5 Readers,
My stats indicate some of you checked out the latest chapters and went digging for earlier chapters.
My blog rolls so fast that things often get buried. So here are Parts 1-5:
PART 1 – The Stand
Marshal Rainier Slade, a genuine stoic who’d prefer to shoot a fella as soon as look at him, is the only man in Highwater willing to face the dastardly Buchanan Boys. Reluctantly, he’s joined by his elderly deputy Gunther and the fast talking snake oil salesman Doctor Elias T. Faraday, who thinks the move would be good publicity.
When a misunderstanding occurs between Slade and Standing Eagle, Chief of a nearby Native American tribe, the Chief translates as his shaman, Wandering Snake, delivers an ominous curse.
Miss Bonnie, owner, proprietor, and prostitute-in-charge of the Bonnie Lass, is the only woman, nay, the only person alive that Slade is willing to come out of his shell for. The rest of the time, he puts on a raspy voice, angry faced persona to the world, figuring that’s the only way for a lawman to survive.
The Marshal fumbles a proposal but still makes it clear that he’d like a relationship with Miss Bonnie. She declines, only to rethink that decision when Slade defends her honor.
Slade finds a new love interest in Sarah Farquhar, a widow who has just moved to town after purchasing a large stretch of farmland. The Widow Farquhar doesn’t hesitate in pursuing Slade as Miss Bonnie did, but she’s not perfect. Slade continues to yearn for Miss Bonnie and has concerns about the Widow’s bible thumping ways, her decree that all sexual activity occur through a hole in a bed sheet in particular.
The Marshal throws caution to the wind and successfully proposes to the Widow Farquhar, only to learn Miss Bonnie has the hots for him too late.
Meanwhile, former slave turned werewolf Joseph Freeman and his teenage son, Miles, also a werewolf, arrive in town. Joseph is looking for work and takes a job assisting Slade and Gunther watch the Buchanan Boys until Judge Sampson arrives to conduct their trial.
All the while, strange reports of monsters are afoot.
Judge Sampson, a by the book jurist who’d hang his own mother for stealing a piece of candy, is about to sentence the Buchanan Boys to their doom at the end of a rope when a newcomer arrives in his courtroom.
“Simple country lawyer” Henry Alan Blythe displays a supernatural ability to get people to submit to his will. He convinces the Judge to let the Buchanan Boys off the hook.
Enraged at the injustice, Slade turns in his star. Gunther does so as well out of loyalty, though less forcefully as concerns about ripping his vest get in the way.
Joe Freeman’s past haunts him again and again and his longstanding feud with Blythe is about to come to a head.
Blythe, a villainous vampire/counsel for the Legion Corporation’s board of vampire directors, has dreamed up a scheme to conquer the United States with a zombie army that responds to his will.
But the board’s bureaucratic maneuvering threatens to throw his plan off the rails. His bosses want him to toy with Slade and Freeman, rather than kill them outright.
Though his heart belongs to fiery redhead Miss Bonnie, Slade just can’t bring himself to say no to his fiance, Sarah “the Widow” Farquhar. Slade and Sarah head to Highwater to plan a wedding for the evening. Actually, Sarah does most of the planning. Slade acts like a depressed hostage.
Meanwhile, a heavily armed and armored train arrives in town. Despite an argument filled with chest puffery, Slade is unable to get any information out of villainous lawyer Blythe.
Smelly Jack crashes Slade and Sarah’s wedding in a big way, though as it turns out, in a much bigger way than expected…