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The Law of the Desertborn is harsh, and it is constant--as anything can be constant. Decisions in the badlands where Braeburn guided his family and friends and settled them come quick and are irrevocable. When disturbing bandits who call themselves the Walkers attack the buffalo and close in on Appaloosa, Braeburn is reminded of the thin line between the quick and the dead.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 8 )

Maybe if we loaded all the guns with apple pie and shot everyone who was bad the world would be a much less sad place.


3088940 I would be down with it

les do it

lets feed the WHOLE WORLD

Dem westerns. And I just started watching Deadwood after you mentioned writing this fic! Can't be a coincidence. Anyway, awesome fight scene. I'm absolutely jealous of you ability to create an engaging battle and make it last for more than a few paragraphs. Another great one for the books!

Whoooooo. Talk about a heavy fic.

Very nice, man. Very nice indeed.

~Skeeter The Lurker

You told me this would make me sad.

It didn't. It's melancholy, but I thankee for it not making me sad. There's a lot I like about it.

The sense of oppressiveness you create with the reference to the Desert, the Law of the Desert, and the heat all create a tenseness and urgency, yet you belie those with Braeburn's methodical, reluctant approach to preparation and the fight. He is a reluctant warrior, as any farmer is, and I think you did a wonderful job of catching the conflict between wanting peace and wanting security. I get the feel, too, that he's a reluctant commander- we see him as a booster of the town, a gregarious pony who wants to show off the pride of his family and people, yet here he's forced to defend it, and I like the sense of uncertainty and distaste for it you create in him.

The battle scene is very nicely done- I love the focus on dialogue and a few small bits of the action from his view, and a fractured, ill-informed view at that. It adds to the tenseness and worry, making the story feel like it's moving while you have time to delve into thoughts, worries, and a dozen little details that fill out the scene.

Relief. I felt relief at the end- and I love the spartan, spare feel of his effort to save Fritter- not overblown, but what had to be done. "Do what has to be done" are words that have echoed through my head for a decade- one of the best mentors I ever had made the pronouncement and I hewed to it. I know it's projection, but I see it being a guiding principle of Braeburn here as well...

IN the first few paragraphs, I initially thought Braeburn was taking the body of the Chief back- the 'burden'. I had to read back to understand it was the GUN, but then I was confused as to why the Chief's bullet-riddled body lay on the floor of the sal... wait, the Walkers use guns too, though they seem to prefer to use magic up close. ANyway.

Very nice job on the villians- a minimalist description gave them all that was needed, while the mystery added to their menace, while it let them be defeatable. You've opened a line of questioning there that I know won't be answered,but is still intriguing.

Damn, but I love how you build characters so quickly and with so few words. And I love your characters too- mostly a little melancholy, but GOOD, trapped in bad circumstances and fighting them.

And Feather... I approve. I really approve, because, well... I guess you see more than you let on. I like him, like him a lot.

At the risk of being cryptic,

"Quod scripsi, scripsi."

Not bad at all, if I do say so myself. Featherprop hit several key points, so I won't bother repeating them.

I personally found the Walkers confusing (and lacking much description), but I guess one could argue that it helps the reader see them from the view of the protagonists. I originally thought they were just bandits, i.e., armed ponies. That's not to say I didn't like the idea of the Walkers, I just would've liked to have known more about them. I did like how... "Cynewulf" they were. That is, I found them very much like your typical antagonists. (The Ghost from Absolution is a great comparison.) It's just cool to see your own style of "evil" personified, I guess.

All in all, the story was sporadic, as Featherprop pointed out. I guess I'm neutral on this aspect. It's somewhere between flash fiction and a short story. I enjoyed it. Now for my inner redneck gun enthusiast question: What kinds of guns are they using? The cover image is that of a lever-action rifle, iconic to the American West, and was often used by cowboys and the like. But you also mention ammo magazines, implying a newer type of gun. It's not that important to the story, I'm just curious is all.

And a few final things:

It is like a challenge, a guantlet thrown down and he is willing to do it.

I believe you meant "gauntlet" here?

he is sick to see that it a cousin

I think there may be a word missing here.



This was a good little slice of Western-inspired... something. I'm not really sure what this story is. It's not really a short story, but it's not really anything else either. I enjoyed it nonetheless.

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