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Rocky Mountain Moonlight by Ichabod Temperance #OriginalFiction

Ichabod Temperance is one of the most consistent supporters of Sci-Fi & Scary, and his work that I’ve read has a fun voice to it. So, when he submitted this for Sci-Fi & Scary, I was quite happy to say yes.

It’s quite a departure from the other stuff that we’ve posted, in terms of tone, but I think you’ll get a kick out of it.

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Rocky Mountain Moonlight

In the winter of ’73, my family and I were somewhere in the Nebraska Rockies when we broke an axle on the wagon. Mary broke her leg. We ended up eating her. It was tough. We really loved her. She was sweet. Mary the mule, not Mary my sister. She was mean. We all wished it was her that broke her leg and got ate, and not the sweet one.

It was cold; a real blizzard. The snow was soaking. The wind tore away the canvas cover of the wagon. That was the third night after the accident. After that, we made what shelter we could, up under the wagon.

Pa tried to hunt us some food to eat, but the blizzard had driven everything to ground. I lost track of time. I think it was the sixth or seventh night after the accident. Pa was a night hunter. He had gone out again on the hunt. Sometime in the night, we were awakened by a distant rifle shot. All three of us, me, Ma, and Mary, gave a little cheer. Pa was a crack shot. He did not miss. That would be a waste. If he fired that rifle of his, he hit what he aimed at. When we heard that first, distant shot, we thought we were saved, and that Pa would be coming back soon with something to eat.

But then we heard the second shot.

That shut us up.

Pa never fired a second shot.

Somehow, we knew, when we heard that second shot, something was wrong.

I don’t think we realized we were holding our breaths. Not until we heard the third shot. It was much closer. We all started breathing again, loud and desperate.

Pretty soon we hear a crashing through the woods and a dark shape approaching. It looms right at us and crashes into the wagon. It’s Pa, and he is frantically scrambling up into the wagon. He is stomping around, right over our heads and throwing things about. He then climbs down and under the wagon.

I have only ever seen two expressions on my Pa’s face: stern, and more stern. Well, here was something new; fear.

Lots of new things happened here:

Pa looked at Ma, and then at me. He passed me his rifle. I had never touched it before. No-one ever touched Pa’s rifle, but there I was.

Then we saw what he had retrieved from out of the wagon. It was a pistol. Ma’s eyes got about as big as saucers. I didn’t know he had a repeating, revolver pistol, and I don’t think she did either. He passed me his rifle ammunition. He said to do as I was told.

Then he loaded the pistol.

Ma had her hand clamped over Mary’s mouth to keep her from squalling.

The air was full of wind, snow, and cold. Me an Pa strained to see anything, but the night was impenetrable.

Pa tensed, aiming his pistol, but he held his fire. I realized then that we were encircled. I couldn’t tell if it was my imagination or not, but I thought I could see shadowy movement.

The thickness of the cloud cover would vary, and at times, a silvery glow from the full moon would illuminate our position.

I saw then that we were being stalked by a pack of hungry wolves.

Pa’s pistol roared in a deafening bark. He knocked a wolf to the ground, but it rolled to its feet, and then on up to its hind feet. It keeps on toward us, walking on its hind legs.

Pa shoots it again and it screams.

Not like a wolf. Not like a man.

It screams like something else.

Pa commands me to fire on that abomination. I turn and sure enough, there was the biggest wolf I ever saw and it was walking on its hind feet.

I blasted him. I think that rifle about half broke my shoulder. Ma told me to reload. I did as I was told, struggling to lever out the old casing. Pa made it look easy.

When I looked up another wolf was walking, and I do mean walking up. I slid in a fresh cartridge, snapped the lever back and blasted him, but at the same time, the first wolf was getting back up. I could tell by all the shooting going on behind me, that Pa had decided to quit being so frugal with the ammunition. We didn’t have a lot of bullets to begin with so it did not take long to run out.

Our position quickly became untenable.

Big, mean two-leg walking wolves closed from every side. We thought we were goners for sure when two men on horseback bound into the middle of the fray. A big white horse reared up, fiercely kicking with his hooves. A blue-tuniced, star badged cavalry man rode the ivory stallion. He wore a dashing white hat on his head yet incongruously a black mask about his eyes. His brave companion was a steely-eyed Indian on a brown horse.

I called out, ‘Y’all need to skedaddle, y’all’s guns ain’t gonna do no good!’, but before you knew it they was gunning down them bewitched wolves left and right. That crusading cavalryman and his noble native companion had them loopy lupine lobo con lycanthropes hopping like there was silver bullets in them shiny pistols.

The rest of the furry fiends beat a hasty retreat and with one more high-hoof display from his sapphire steed, this solitary ranger called out: “ High-ho Silver, away!”

Then, he and his Indian companion were gone, and I realized not only did we not get his name, but we never even got a chance to thank him.

Standing over five feet, seven inches and weighing in at better than one hundred and thirty pounds, Ichabod Temperance is ‘The Alfalfa Male.’ After lengthy music, karate, and pro-wrestling careers, Ichabod’s involvement with movie stuntwork has led him to write these whimsical, steam-driven adventures. Mr. Temperance and his lovely muse, Miss Persephone Plumtartt, live in Irondale, Alabama, USA, along with their furry pack family.

**Editor’s note: We kept the term “Indian” in instead of swapping it for Indigenous American because it was appropriate for the thoughts of a character based in that time.**

Published inOriginal Fiction


  1. I enjoyed reading it.
    Loved the beginning, lol. Mary the mule vs Mary the sister getting eaten.

    • Tee hee!
      Yeah, I wanted to set the right tone early on. 😉

      Thank you so much for reading this, Zezee!
      Happy Trails!

    • That made me giggle too!

  2. Fabulous! It’s different but it fits right in! Good job, Ichabod!

    • Thank you, Olga!
      Sometimes I forget what century I am living in.
      Happy Trails!

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