What is a drabble?  It's just a little snippet of a story of approximately 100 words.  The drabbles collected here are the result of the weekly challenge started by Lady A in April of 2003.  The responses appear on several lists, by a variety of authors.  Each week a new challenge is tossed out and responders have a week to answer.  Most of the authors write responses in a variety of AU's.  The drabbles posted here are those that were written in the Old West AU by Cin, Heidi, Monica M. or Debbie M.  A link to each author's e-mail has been provided by clicking on the author's name with each snippet.  To see the other challenges or other author's responses to the various challenges,  please check out the archive at Lady A's Library:  http://lalibrary.net/m7/index.html

The individual authors retain the rights to their stories.  Standard disclaimers apply.  None of the characters are used with malicious intent and no profit is being made by those having fun here.


Challenge No. 2 issued June 16, 2003 : (this is offered by LA) Start a drabble with these SEVEN words (and they do not count as part of the hundred) 'It was a dark and stormy night...'

Washing the Sins Away

By Cin

It was a dark and stormy night.

The preacher was restless, the torment of his soul mirroring the angry rumbling of the heavens. He used his anger to try drive his demons away; tonight, it seemed the higher power was attempting the same. A large crack of thunder that rattled the windows in the old church finally drove him from his bed.

He stood in the doorway and looked out over the town, along with the dark swirling mass that encompassed it. Above, flashes of light chased each other across the ink-black sky. Occasionally a jagged finger would streak toward the ground, like a whip striking out at a hapless victim. The crack of the thunder would follow, then the eerie howl of the wind, as if the world was in pain; a pain he recognized, a fellow soul in torment.

As the night gave way to day, the thunder faded, the winds quieted. Across the sky a pallet of color erupted in shades of red, pink, orange and gold. The gentled breeze carried the fresh scent of peace.

Josiah breathed in the clean air and felt refreshed. The world's soul had been cleansed once more.



Challenge issued August 3, 2003: This week the challenge is to write a scene with all seven guys involved in some way and, with 100 words, tell each guy's point of view-his take on the scene. And if you like, toss in a couple of others POV-Casey, Mary, Inez, the bad guy, whoever you think had an interesting 'seat' for the show. This challenge calls for 100 words per point of view.

Chain Gang

By Monica M.

Guard #1

 We got us here the Larabee Gang. Now some folks might say that we ainít none too bright for keeping Ďem all together like we do. But I figure that itís best to keep Ďem all shackled together right where we can see Ďem. ĎSides they donít seem to get on too good together and itís kindíve entertaining to watch Ďem and listen to Ďem all day.  Seeing Ďem fight the way they do makes it hard to believe that theyíre such a feared band of outlaws. Then I remember what was left of the posse that brought them in.


At least Iím on one end. Reckon thatís what Iíve got to keep reminding myself anyways. That is could be worse. A lot worse. Having Chris beside me ainít so bad.  Except for when he gets to pounding those rocks like the devil himself is in Ďem and heís bound and determined to send him back to hell. Course, considering Chris has the devil made flesh on the other side of him, I reckon itís a good thing that heís just beating on the rocks and not Ezra. Yep being stuck in the middle could be a hell on Earth.


Itís bad enough that Iím chained to these six good for nothing fools instead of being chained up with some lovely ladies. Now thatís the kind of back breaking labor a man could endure. Gladly.  Oh so very gladly. But no, here I am breaking rocks in the heat that only a dead dog could love. But if that ainít bad enough, they had to go and put Josiah on the other side of me.  My soul donít need saving. Itís my body that needs saving and my strength. Gotta save all that for the ladies when I get home.


I should be on the end. As the leader of this gang, I should be on the end, not stuck here next to Ezra. Nathan ainít so bad, Ďcept when he thinks someoneís hurt and he tries to see what he can do for them. But EzraÖThe only thing keeping me from turning my pickaxe on that Southern cuss is the fact that then Iíd have his dead weight dragging the rest of us down. Not that he ainít much more than dead weight already. Just a useless loud-mouthed dead weight. I know heís to blame for this.


Lord, Youíre gonna have to explain things to me, Ďcause Iíve been trying to talk things out with Brothers Buck and Vin but they arenít too keen on talking. Guess thatís just another sign from You that we need a little one on One time together.  Well here I am, Lord. Iím listening. So maybe now You can explain to me how it is that Iíve come full circle? When I first met these six men they saved me from moving rocks. But now, Lord, Iím right back where I started except Iím busting rocks instead of building with them.


 At least Josiahís gone quiet. But it ainít much better having to hear J.D.ís stupid jokes. Too bad Ezraís too busy irritatiní Chris.  ĎCause if only him and J.D. would talk to each other it would solve most of our problems. But it ainít ever that easy with us. Like I try and hang back a bit, get my own space, but J.D. and Josiah gotta pull on the chains Ďtil I almost fall over. Then I try and get in front of everybody, but they all just come right on up there with me. Theyíre gonna drive me crazy.


 Itís all about positioning. Fortunately I am positioned between Messrs. Larabee and Dunne.  They both could obviously find alternative means of employment as rock breakers if ever they chose to end their lawmen days in something less than a bloodbath.  I only have to wait until they are distracted and then I simply appropriate a bit of their rumble into my area and I have done my work without career-ending blisters tearing up my hands. On occasion Chris needs a bit of inspiration and itís my pleasure to provide it. After all I believe he blames this situation on me.


 Theyíre gonna pull me in half, thatís what theyíre gonna do. Half of Ďem want to go one way and the other half the other. Then Vin keeps going back and forth, so Iíve got Ďem going in all directions. And Ezraís weaving around as he dodges some of Chrisí wild swings that I donít think are quite so accidental. Then they want to complain when we go in for the day about how dog tired they are. Well they should try anchoring the whole team for once. And to top it all off no oneís laughing at my jokes.

 Guard #2

 They really ainít that bad a bunch. Well that is if you get Ďem a little ways away from each other. But then you try and take one off without taking the others and thereís a whole other kind of hell to pay.  Thatís when they get real scary. Donít make no sense watching Ďem fight all day. Most loyal pack of outlaws Iíve ever seen. Almost makes me think thereís some truth to what they say about being lawmen themselves. Almost. Like I said, these seven is tricky. A whole lot more to Ďem than what meets the eyes.


 How was I supposed to know they were telling the truth when they said they were lawmen in Four Corners out in the Territories? Surely Judge Travis is joking when he suggests that I march them out of the prison, toss them the keys to their chains and run. That would be unconscionable on my part. I must at least offer them my apologies and any assistance they might need in tracking down the outlaws who did this to them. They should be reasonable men.

Perhaps I should have supplies waiting for them before I march them outside the gates.


Challenge issued September 7, 2003 :  Write a drabble about something they useóanimate or inanimateóthat breaks down. Example: gun won't fire, they have a flat, their horse runs off, computer won't work. Have them dealing with working without it, or getting it fixed, whatever.


By: Heidi

Note: In my job, a workaround is doing making do, working without it, getting it fixed, etc., at least five to ten times a day.

Characters: Nathan, Buck

Nathan's adrenaline flowed.  This bar brawl turned nasty in the saloon, and it was too close quarters for guns.  That didn't stop the two men he'd taken on from swinging hard at him.

He dodged and ducked.  His hands closed around a chair, swinging it in a wide arc.  The chair fell apart in his hands.

Fists landed on him because of the chair, and he rocked back until he was against the bar.  Nathan reached back, grabbed a bottle, and broke it.  Buck took care of the other man, giving him a grin and a questioning look.

"Medicinal purposes."