Monday, April 20, 2015

The "Wake with a start and grab a gun" opening

Was flipping through some western paperbacks the other day and read the opening to Gun Code and started thinking about certain types of openings. In this case it was the self-explanatory "get up and grab a gun" opening. Here are some examples:

"What it was that aroused him, Joe Edison didn't know, but he suddenly was wide awake and after a tense moment he sat up. The night was bright with stars and half a moon. He could see the homesteader's wagon quite clearly, and near it the blanket wrapped figures of the homesteader and his young wife. Not far beyond the wagon, three horses were staked out, his horse and the team that pulled the wagon. Nothing else caught his attention, but in what he had seen, something was wrong. The three horses were pulling back, straining at the stakes that held them.

Joe Edison's holster gun was under the blanket which had served as his pillow. He found it, tucked it in the waistband of his trousers, then pulled on his boots and stood up." -- Gun Code by Philip Ketchum
"Choc was having a quiet digestion dream of coffee and eggs when things started happening that brought the nightmarish Tulsa siege into his sleep. He woke with a frightened "Yeah!' and gripped the automatic that his Indian Pearl shoved into his hand." -- Pretty Boy by William Cunningham

"When the woman screamed, Parker awoke and rolled off the bed. He heard the plop of a silence behind him as he rolled, and the bullet punched the pillow where his head had been.

He landed face down on the floor. His stubby, pregnant .32 was clipped to the springs under the bed like a huge black fly standing upside down, and Parker's hand was reaching out for it before he hit the floor." -- The Outfit by Richard Stark

No comments: