The Monster Hunter

They said that the wickers couldn't be captured. But that was before Whitmore Braddock came to town.

The Monster Hunter

In “Principia Ponderosa”, Juliana Rew (ed.) Third Flatiron (2017)

weird western (short story)

Excerpt

Whitmore Braddock, celebrated hunter of monsters and lesser beasts, made his entry into Litton's Hollow with characteristic bravado. Leaping down from the stage before the wheels had fully stopped turning, he crossed the street in six long strides and threw open the swinging doors of the saloon with the force of a tornado.

I looked up from a glass I was drying and saw him silhouetted in the doorway, peering into the gloom as if to assure himself that the daytime drinkers around the bar constituted an audience big enough to be worthy of his presence. Apparently satisfied, he swung the leather grip off his shoulder and let it fall to the weathered floorboards with a crash like a pair of locomotives falling down a mountain.

"Men," he roared. "I'm Whitmore Julius Braddock." He paused. "And I can outdrink, outfight, and outscrew any sonofabitch in this sorry excuse for a town."

Reviews

“... a story about a man full of bravado and swagger being undone. The sense of showmanship that our hunter Whitmore Braddock brings to Litton’s Hollow, a backwater settlement, is vividly written ... I won't give away any more as the twist is more than worth the read alone.”

-- Tangent Online