Today the opening paragraphs of my new novel, Commitment.
Chapter 1 – The Prologue
If the young cowboy had but one wish it would be to live. He would be thinking of nothing else.
But then it was obvious, he did. He thought back one minute to his unfortunate attempt to force legendary lawman Blade Holmes to draw. It was likely the worst decision he’d ever made. If present conditions were not so grave he might have smiled, but instead his mind flashed scenes of his impending death. The cowpoke felt the cold from the barrel of the Colt pressed under his chin, he shivered, but not from the cold.
From the bony tip of the cowpokes shoulder blood had started a slow seep through his threadbare shirt. The blood tickled his skin where the pain was still bearable. No longer standing tall, he seemed now to tilt slightly backward, frozen.
Afraid to move, even to take a much needed big breath, his eyes bulged, his face becoming an artist’s pallet of changing colors, from bright red to what was now a hopeless blue-grey. Still conscious, or so onlookers believed, he slumped against the bar fighting to stay upright. With the help of the bar he was motionless except for the, ever so slight in and out of his chest. The cowboy’s feeble breaths moved him so little that to the untrained eye he appeared more a poorly constructed cowboy manikin than a man under arrest. Didn’t have many years on him, but he was old enough to know it was best not to move, not even so that he could fall to the floor.
As for the celebrated lawman, he looked business like but appeared relaxed holding the six-gun tight under the chin of the wobbly young cowboy.
The moment had been magical, Blade Holmes reacted so fast to the situation that time may not have moved. Years from now people would swear, actual clock ticking time, had been stopped. Blade Holmes, already a legend in west, made the impossible happen, for a moment he’d stopped time. And for a moment one young cowboy likely wished he could go back in time, to a time before he’d handmade the unfortunate circumstance that lead to his present calamity.