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The Gunslinger's Daughter

Updated: Jan 7, 2020

After graduating college, I brought home the bacon by working at a sandwich shop in Boulder, Colorado. This often involved literally smuggling packs of bacon from their refrigerator to mine. To this day, it's been my favorite job; conquering lunchtime rushes as I bobbed in the landmark-less ocean of recent graduation, clinging to my English degree.

While working there, a coworker recommended I submit a story to the Boulder Weekly's 101-Word Fiction Competition. I did, and a couple weeks later I got a call saying that I had won. I spent a long time making sure the story had exactly 101 words. Judging by the other winning stories, that wasn't really a requirement.

Here's my incredibly short story and a link to those of my fellow winners:

The Gunslinger's Daughter

In the ravine behind their second or third home, where it flattened out and some trees had keeled over and died, he taught her how to shoot at the debatable age of six. She’d run around collecting bottles, which they’d set in a row along some mossy log or use to ornament the branches of an unlucky pine. He had started a beard and it rested on her shoulder: “Make it, and you, a line to your target. Hold your breath like in the lake.” Later, the memory would appear as a stain in her whiskey glass, straight rye two fingers.

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