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Wednesday , October 16 2019
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Home | Tag Archives: El Paso Herald Post

Tag Archives: El Paso Herald Post

HP FlashFiction: Reckoned I’d Bring My Pistol

As part of our on-going effort to give local writers/artists/poets/creators space to share their works, HP FlashFiction was created.

The works are presented and will be placed ‘as is – as the author wrote’ with out any editing on our part.

In this edition, we present a short story by B.A. Johnson.  To submit your works, simply send them to


They told me he was comin’ back. I would’ve sworn he was dead, but they said it, and I didn’t aim to disbelieve ‘em. The others had figured it wasn’t true – they’d been the ones to bury him – but they’d been strung up, one at a time, all except The Kid. Nobody knew who by…leastways nobody’d say what they reckoned, so I figured they were wrong.

When he was around, folks would say, “Sooner or later, everybody’s gotta meet the judge,” and to young’uns, “Shush, or you haf’ta see the judge.” So, when I heard ‘em say he was comin’, I reckoned my time was sooner – reckoned I’d bring my pistol.

He used to live in a house on the edge o’ town next to Ol’ Jeb’s.

When I got there, I saw Ol’ Jeb diggin’ outside…he was always diggin’.

They said Jeb was the first man in town – bought all the land west o’town, far as Scrag Hill some three miles out, for prospectin’ – blamed fool. May have been true; lookin’ at him, I’d believe it. He was skinny as a bird-picked coyote; skin so tight around the skull with sunken, black eyes starin’ down the spade handle. You’d think a corpse was out diggin’ its own grave.

He must’ve dug up all his land, as right then he was on the line between his property and the judge’s, turnin’ over a patch ‘neath a big oak bough with a rope scar ‘cross the top, six feet out from the trunk.

He saw me, but didn’t say a word.

“Howdy, Jeb.”

He didn’t stop diggin’. “What’re you doin’ here? Haven’t you heard the judge is comin’? Comin’ up fast.”

“I heard.”

“He ain’t in there,” said Jeb. “Comin’ up fast though.”

I told him I’d see for myself and went ‘round back the judge’s house where the backdoor was hangin’ wide open. I peered in.

The windows were still hung with old lace, tied back as though opened that mornin’, dust gray, just like the moth-eaten furniture.

Everything was quiet, ‘cept Jeb’s shovel – Schik. Schik.

I crept in, floor groanin’. I went through every room and in the last one found The Kid, sittin’ in an old chair, staring out the window, gun in his lap.

“What’re you doin’?” I asked.

He just smiled strange-like. “Ol’ Jeb, still at it.”

“Yeah. You heard?”

“Everybody’s gotta meet the judge sometime. Comin’ up fast…you ever listen to diggin’?”

I stared at him. He just looked out, listenin’.

Schik. Schik.

“Funny what you can tell from a shovel…can hear a place’s been dug before – sounds smooth goin’ into the dirt ‘stead o’ harsh n’ clangin’.” He sat there a long time.


“Comin’ up fast.”

The shovel stopped. Nothin’ made a sound. Then the floorboards groaned and The Kid went white.

“Jeb?” I called, figurin’ it was Ol’ Jeb. Then came the sound of a shovel outside, diggin’ into the dirt, not as smooth and easy as before.

The Art ON Writing: Troubleshooting Writer’s Block

When I first began writing my first screenplay, I went through what every writer goes through, that dreaded “writer’s block!” It’s an irritating problem for us writers because it doesn’t just hinder your writing, but it keeps you from writing!

When it gets you, it gets you and it causes you to stop and possibly start a new writing project. Well, it did to me. You see how I said, “did?” That’s because it doesn’t happen to me anymore. I’ve found a way around that pesky nuisance. I call it a “loop hole” in the quantum entanglement parallel dimensional torsion field generator collider mechanism we call our brain.

If you are having trouble with writer’s block, I have some great ways to get you around it and finish that book, script or whatever it is that you’re writing. This is what I do. I don’t think of what to write next. You see, that’s the problem. You don’t need to writer what’s going to happen next. You can always come to that later. And trust me, it WILL come to you later. Just begin writing over that bump in the road and come to it later.

That’s one of my techniques. Here’s the other, and it may sound crazy to some of you, but hear me out on this one. When I began writing, I was just trying to write what I’ve either read in books, heard on the radio or saw on TV. You’re only trying to copy that structure. STOP! You don’t have to try to match someone else’s storyline.

When I write, my characters actually come to life. They have their own lives, talk their own talk, walk their own walk and run freely. I just follow ‘suit. I run with whatever my characters do. That sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

Think of it as Dr. Frankenstein creating his monster. He finds the parts, puts the pieces together and at the end, he gives his creation LIFE! IT’S ALIVE! IT’S ALIVE! IT’S ALIVE!

If you have fun with your writing, the possibilities are endless on overcoming that writer’s block, which is just a silly bump in the road. Put an “X” on it and come back to it later. The best way of coming up with a way to resolve your block is simply not thinking about . How many times have you forgotten someone’s name only to remember it when you’re not even thinking about it? It COMES TO YOU! Like Karma; in a good way.

Don’t follow structure. Forget about following the rules, Think outside the box. If you’re still having problems. Just get up, stretch, have some food, go outside and take in the outside world to clear your mind, then go back in and sit down and just simply begin writing. The words will pour out of you like sweat on a horse. Wait… Well, you know what I mean. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Just clear your mind and write.

I find it that listening to music clears my head. Especially music that deals with what I’m writing. Let’s say I’m going to write a 1930s detective noir. I listen to music from that era. Or if I’m writing a story about baseball, I listen to baseball on the radio or on TV if it’s playing or listen to old Harry Caray (RIP) sing “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.”

Do what you must, but don’t think too much or that dreaded Writer’s Block will surely make a mess of you.

If you have any questions about writing, filmmaking, writing, television, writing, movies, or anything paranormal, yes, paranormal; I’m a ghost investigator as well, just leave a comment and I will try to answer them “asbestos” I can. 🙂

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