This is a short story available for free at Book View Café’s fantasy section.

Rather surprisingly, the story is set in the Old West which isn’t a usual fantasy setting. It’s also one of the better stories about dealing with the Devil.

Bill “Silky” McGregor is a gambler. In fact, he’s so good the people say that he’s got the Devil’s own luck. The people just don’t know how literally right they are. One day two Cheyenne braves come to Bill and ask him to drive out the White Man’s Devil. One of the Cheyenne has summoned him so that he can drive out the white people from Cheyenne lands. In exchange the old brave would show Bill a place where there’s a lot of silver. But Bill doesn’t trust them and just says that he will think about it.

In the saloon Bill encounters Nick Scratch himself who says the Bill shouldn’t even think about driving him away and that Bill’s soul already belongs to him. The Devil also confirms that Bill’s luck at the faro –game indeed comes from the Devil himself. In addition he says that Bill’s best friend Ned will die that evening.

Bill is, of course, shaken, and he tries to run away from the town with Ned. Unfortunately, things aren’t that easy to solve. Standing-in-the-West, the angry young brave who had summoned the Devil in the first place, appears with a rifle and the will to murder all the white men. Luckily, the trickster god Wihio also wants to free his people from the Devil’s influence.

I really like the Westerners as a fantasy setting and I feel that it isn’t used enough. Here we see the collision of two different legends and two different cultures. Bill is a character who doesn’t believed in anything he can’t see, at least until now. The Cheyenne know about the supernatural and try to work within the supernatural laws by seeking out a white man trickster to drive out the white man’s Devil.

The story is well written and engaging.