Supernatural Fiction posted May 8, 2014

This work has reached the exceptional level
Beware of what you eat. It may come back to bite you...

The Hangin' Tree

by Dean Kuch

Supernatural Flash Fiction Contest Winner 

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The Hangin' Tree
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Jubal Bircham tugged hard left on the reins of his Appaloosa. "Gidda'up, Preston -- Hyah!" The horse snorted in protest, but did as he was told. It was a hard two-days ride from Beuamont to Lands End, but for Jubal, it would all soon be worth it. He had a hanging to attend, and his passenger was the guest of honor.

"How're ya doin' back there, Jebediah?"

Jebediah Na'tas returned a throaty growl in response.

Jubal smirked, then raked a gloved hand across his stubbled chin.

"Ya know, Jebediah; I was hopin' you'd say that."



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"Pa, here he comes!"

Strapping on his  Colt .45's, Lionel Fordham left the Sheriff's office, then headed out into the dusty roads of Lands End.

"Reckon he done it, Pa? Ya reckon he really killed an' et that preacher feller?"

"Weren't no preacher, son. Some kinda' demon huntin' priest, is what I heard. It don't matter none what either of us thinks. He's a demon, and that's all we need ta' know. You read that letter the mail totin' fella brung here by horseback yesterdee, same as I did. Brung the wanted poster and ever'thin."

"Dang it, Pa. You know I cain't read too good."

Sheriff Fordham withdrew the tattered poster from his vest.

"Jebediah Na'tas, wanted in five territories for rape, murder and cannibalism. If captured, he is to be hanged and burned. Reward for carrying out the instruction of the Catholic Archdiocese is ten-thousand US in gold, upon receipt of the condemned's ashes.

That rider warned us he'd be comin here, and right 'cher he is!"

The fact that Jubal Bircham had crossed the threshold of Death hadn't seemed to matter much. He could still wrangle in demonic fugitives, just as he had while he was living, bringing them to justice. He just did it from a ghostly realm now.

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"You soak the rope in holy water from the mission, like I told ya to?"

"Yep, shore did, Pa."

The lawmen tossed the rope over a Joshua tree, placing the noose around the thing's head. The veins in its thick neck bulged as it struggled to break free from the bindings dipped in holy water that held it, but couldn't. It was helpless.

Sheriff Fordham tugged on the rope, as Joshua doused the demon in lamp oil, then lit it. It writhed and squirmed in the flames. A thunderous roar of agony rattled the men, shaking the ground on which they stood. It was over in a matter of minutes.

"Who-wh-e-e-e-e!" deputy Josh Fordham hollored, "There's one time ten-thousand in U.S. dollars goin' up in smoke is a good thing, ain't that right, Pa?"

"Yep, son, it surely is. A damn good thing."

"You feel that, Pa...a cold wind passin' through ya?”

“Cain't say as I did, boy — nary a thing. Fire sure is purdy though, ain't it?"

The specters of Jubal Bircham and trusty horse, Preston, stood unseen in the firelight, watching as Jebediah burned.

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Writing Prompt
The character in your story is involved in some way with the supernatural.

Supernatural Flash Fiction
Contest Winner


498 Words
Photos courtesy of

Here's a little fun for you, unless you've already figured it out. Spell Jebediah Na'tas last name backwards...just his last name. Do that, and you'll get the picture, heh, heh...

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© Copyright 2018. Dean Kuch All rights reserved. Registered copyright with FanStory.
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