The Official Writing Challenge
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I'm glad I picked this one to read - first let me say your twist at the end was wonderful - I never saw it coming!:) I loved the line 'they were anxious to take his measure." You write very descriptive and vivid. The only suggestion I might offer is in the first paragraph where the use of colors and adjectives is abit more than really needed. Otherwise - terrific story telling!
I can just hear the Western guitar in the background...loved the idea of this, but you almost lost me with the wordiness of the first few paragraphs. Once I got to the warnings of his friends, and the actual ride into town, I couldn't put it down. Great job with the misdirection!
This is as rich a western as it gets! I like to listen to "Imagination Theater" on radio, and stories by Louis Lamour take their turn at the microphone. From your first sentence, I could almost hear the voice of the radio narrator, telling this story (had it been first person).

You write good!
Man! I like this story and I like the descriptions in the beginning, too. (All the fruity colored scenery is my favorite). I like the whole thing...and the ending is very cool.
Really good, and I learned another new word — "preternatural." A job well done.
This is a great story, complete with wonderful description (First paragraph is awesome), good suspense, and a twist at the end.
I like in a town that sounds much like your description. It was called "a town too tough for women and churches".

You did a great job of writing this story!
I meant "LIVE" in a town. (hmmm...those two letters "V" and "K" are nowhere near each other on the keyboard :)
Okay, I'll be the nay sayer, sorry. First of all I liked the plot line, albeit somewhat predictable. However, my opinion is that the description was a bit overdone.
Enjoyed the atmosphere of this, but I also found the first few paragraphs overly "descripive." It was a bit distracting - good stuff once I got beyond them, though.
This is wonderful. I agree with some of the other comments that it was a bit wordy at the beginning, but it got better and better as you picked up the pace. Great job. Wonderful twist at the end.