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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Pastor (11/30/06)

TITLE: Cowboy Pastor
By Wayne Harris


Cowboy Pastor

“I killed a man in Tucson,” said One-eyed Bob Mack. “Shot him between the eyes. Now, I see him in my dreams.”
The pastor, Luke Judson, a man who had spent years riding herd on cattle, a cowboy, spoke. “What do you see?”
“The shocked look on his face. It seems like forever before he falls.”

Pastor Luke was skinny and tall. His face looked like it had been chiseled from stone. In a strange way he resembled a statue. He was a good listener, having learned patience during long trips on the Chisholm Trail. Sitting still for hours was no problem.

The man with the patch over his left eye was impatient. He was called “One-eyed” because he had lost one eye, the result of a saloon fight in Tucson, Arizona. A piece of glass from a broken whiskey bottle ruined his eye forever. The man that blinded him is the man he shot dead in a street draw.

“I need help, Pastor,” said Mack. “I think I’m goin’ loco.”

“Come over here, Bob,” said Pastor Luke. “It is time for prayer.”

“Ain’t much for prayer,” the man said.

“Don’t worry. I am.” Pastor Luke bowed down on one knee. He prayed the loudest prayer One-eyed Bob Mack had ever heard.

When the prayer ended the gunslinger hugged Pastor Luke around the neck. “Thanks, Luke,” said the man.

When the pastor opened his eyes the gunslinger was pointing his Navy Colt revolver at him. “Don’t remember me, do you?” he asked.

“Can’t say that I do,” said the pastor.

“Does my brother’s name ring a bell? Remember Tex Mack?”

“The one that tried to shoot me in the back?” asked Pastor Luke.

One-eyed Bob cocked the revolver. “Don’t slander my brother.”

“It is the truth, sir,” said Pastor Luke.

“Truth or no truth,” said Mack, “he’s dead because of you.”

“Truth is all there is. If you are living a lie, Bob, you are not living.”

“Well, then,” said Mack, “I’m living a lie, get ready to die.”

Pastor Luke smiled. “If you kill me I’ll go straight to heaven.”

One-eyed Bob chuckled. “Well, I hope you have a great trip.”

“You know you can’t kill a man of God until God releases him from his ministry.”

“Well, let’s just see if He releases you now.” He pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. “What in tarnation?”

“I told you,” said Pastor Luke. “You cannot kill the man of God until God releases him.”

He pulled the trigger again. Nothing happened. “This sorry weapon is jammed!”

“Let me get my knife,” said Bob.

A stranger walked over to Bob. “Let me have that butter knife.”

“Who are you?” asked Bob.

“An angel,” he replied.

“Yeah, and I’m the King of England.”

“Give me the knife,” said the angel. “The Father is not going to let you harm one hair on Pastor Luke’s head.”

“Give him the knife Bob,” said Pastor Luke. “He really is an angel.”

One-eyed Bob Mack threw the knife into the ground. It did not dig into the dirt. He ran away as fast as he could in leather boots.

A crowd gathered around Pastor Luke. Job Weatherly, an old geezer from Mineral Wells, asked, “Who was that feller?” Others waited to hear the answer.

“Would you believe me if I told you he was an angel sent to save my life?” asked Pastor Luke.

Job jabbed Earl Payne in the ribs. “Sure we would,” he replied with a chuckle. “Angels visit our little town all of the time.” He looked at the crowd and winked.

Mildred Joy Crook, an elderly prayer warrior, spoke up. “I’ve seen him before. He is an angel alright. He has shown up twice in the prayer room at church.”

“Thank you, Miss Mildred,” said Pastor Luke. “It appears that the prayers of the righteous are pretty powerful.”


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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 12/08/06
I like the local color here--it's a very visual piece. Nice job.

I was a bit confused as to the setting--maybe a bit more description along with your dialog? And I wish you had introduced Mildred earlier; she just kind of pops in to make her one comment.

This is a fun story to read!
Leigh MacKelvey12/11/06
I enjoyed reading this story.
The main characters came to life. I think it was difficult to get a more complete story about the angel told in such a short piece. Word count,I'm guessing. Good writing.
Marilyn Schnepp 12/13/06
What a neat Wild West story! Entertaining, and had a great point; I thoroughly enjoyed the read. Kudos!