A new Sinner’s Tale is done, and is now up at the Free Story page.
If you’re not familiar with Seth McAllen, also known as “The Sinner”, you might want to track down a couple of the older stories that have appeared here at Mad Poet Files – specifically, “High Moon” and “The Devil’s Due”, available in e-book formats at bn.com or at Amazon.
With this story, I started taking some of the things I’ve been learning about actual US History and weaving them into the Sinner’s old west. There were a ton of changes, of developments that happened in the Old West in and around the end of the Civil War and the years immediately following.
In particular, Fort Pillow, which is mentioned in the story rather significantly. Fort Pillow was not a great episode in American history. Confederate soldiers captured a number of Union soldiers – a high number of the captured soldiers were black. They weren’t allowed to surrender, and apparently a number of them were tortured and killed. Their commanding officer “died while attempting to escape”. Incidentally, the commanding Confederate Officer at Fort Pillow – a certain Nathan Bedford Forrest, survived the Civil War, and eventually became the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
And with a title like Grand Wizard, you KNOW that’s going to come back up eventually.
But it’s been really interesting to do just a little research into the old west. The Fort Pillow massacre happened in April 1864, the War ended in May 1865. The Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869 – four years later (mentioned by The Sinner in “High Moon”, and featured in “The Devil’s Due.”)
Seth’s time with the Rangers doesn’t really work with the time frames involved, so that may take a little secret history, but if you’re going to allow for werewolves, vampires, zombies, dragons and deals with the Devil, perhaps a little mythological license with the Rangers can be forgiven if and when we ever see what happened to Seth McAllen after he and Bones escaped the hellish rituals of Fort Pillow… (and we may get more detail on just what General Forrest was trying to do there…)
Well, that’ll be a tale for another time. Seven dimes. Twenty-three to go. (And we’ve only seen the way he got two of them at this point.) Plenty of time to spin a yarn about the Old West…