Serial Fiction \\ Clementine by Jonna Hurst 1.1: Pre-Dawn Gloom, Mama Spineback, Silence

clementine

Kicking off our serial  fiction stories for 2015 is Clementine, a Science Fiction Western set in a dystopian future. Episode One begins with Wyatt Stone, a county sheriff, tracking a mob of Spinebacks through the wasteland. The world of Clementine is a cruel, desolate and unusual place. Though each episode is short, readers should expect brutal storytelling.

Abandon Hope Ye Who Enter.

 

Pre-Dawn Gloom

Stone crouched on the canyon ridge and parted the scrub with the muzzle of his rifle, hat worn low on his head,  oilskin slicker stirring up behind him.  From the scrub and up the barrel of the old rifle wafted the the acrid sting of animal faeces. Stone squinted down into the canyon. They were down there, somewhere.

He moved across the ridge to where the angle down was less steep. Sun coming up sending long shadows from the ridge down into the canyon and far across the wasteland below. He crouched in the gravel and studied the land:

Boiling steam vents on the bloodplains, rolling borderlands to the west. The Eastern Flats pierced only by distant and lonely Weynon’s Butte.Not a living soul within earshot. So quiet Stone could hear the hum of telegraph wires a mile away. Across everything the silent winds blew unending torrents of ash grey dust.

He cracked the chamber of the rifle and checked the shells and blew into the chamber to clear out the dust.

Clementine fired magnetic railshot that would tear a hat shaped hole in a sheet of corrugate from fifty yards.One shell per barrel, one shot per trigger pull.

He reloaded the shells and closed the chamber and shouldered the leather sling. Then he stood and edged down the western slope of the ridge, face turned against the battering  winds.