Edward "Legend" Smith was widely recognized as one of the greatest bounty hunters the middle United States had ever bore witness to. In all his 25 years of bounty hunting, he had racked up well over $100,000, collecting over 750 bounties. Any time a local sheriff needed to tract down a tough criminal, they went to Edward. At the end of his career, a sheriff by the name of Thomas Williams did just that. He had deputies bring Edward into his office, where they discussed a big name criminal on the loose. Only problem was, they didn't have a name, or any photos. Sheriff Williams said to Edward, "Now I know this is tough. We don't have many leads on this guy, just the bodies, and a correlation to prove they were killed by the same man." Reluctantly, Smith took on the bounty, and began his search. For a few months, he spoke to locals. Each of them had their own horrifying story to tell. "He just walked up to my daddy and shoot em' right in the chest mister," a child told him, "You have to find him! I....I don't know what he looks like, but I know he wore a big hat, kinda like yours mister!" Smith took off his hat and inspected it, before resting it back on the top of his head. He spoke to many other locals, all telling a similar story. Each victim had been shot with a revolver, but no one could tell a specific make or model. After months of speaking to locals, he had no more of a lead that the sheriff did. He wanted to give up, but he knew that wasn't like him, and along with that, what would the people think? The greatest bounty hunter in the United States, giving up on a case? 'No," Edward thought to himself, "I gotta keep looking." With that, he did the only thing he could think to do. He returned to the sheriff's office, and asked to see the bodies of a few victims. "Well uh...I'm not sure how much this'll help Mr. Smith, but the doctor is finishing up with the most recent victim three buildings over. Go have a talk with him." With that, Edward headed off to the doctor. Upon arriving, he was met with a warm greeting. "Ahhhhh if it isn't THE Edward Smith! What brings you into my office today?" "I heard from the sheriff you have the body of the most recent murder victim in here," Edward said, "I have no other leads so far, so it'd be kind of you to let me have a peek at the body, just to see if I can get anything from it." The doctor looked at him, puzzled. "Well erm....I'm not all too sure how it'll help, but he's right over here, follow me." The doctor led Smith to the back of the building, where a body lay on a table, covered by a thin white cloth. "Here he is...poor sap. Shot right in the top of the head." The doctor lifted the cloth, and Edward nearly choked. "There a problem, Mr. Smith," the doctor asked. "Oh no sir, I'll just be a minute." With that, the doctor left the room. Edward approached the body, and the closer he got, the whiter his face turned. He recognized this man. This was the body of his last bounty, Arthur Brown. Edward looked around the room, which echoed the sound of his loud heartbeat. Sweat trickled down his face. He though back to what the child had told him months before. "He had a big hat, just like yours mister!" The quote echoed in his mind. He felt nauseated. Edward could look at the body no longer, and promptly left the doctor's office without speaking to the doctor any further. He ran to the edge of the town, causing his hat to fall as he ran, and he looked off into the distance. His mind began to wander. He pondered the idea that he had maybe accidentally mistaken the man on the table to be Arthur, but it made no sense. Arthur had a scar on his left cheek from a bar fight years back. That same scar was present on the body. Edward could take it no longer, and fled to the woods, where he camped alone, with nothing but his thoughts. After gathering himself, he returned to the town a week later. He convinced himself this was just pure coincidence, and had since moved on from the scare. Edward paced through the middle of town, ready to search for more leads, when the sheriff pulled him into his office. "Mr. Smith! Glad to see you back in town," the sheriff said, "Great news! We've got ourselves a lead. This here hat was found in town a few days past, and it's been confirmed by the townsfolk to be the hat of this crazed murderer. Any chance you recognize it?" At this point, Edward's heart sunk to his stomach. He looked at the oversized hat, which had obviously been worn down from years of use. He had seen the hat plenty of times before, but not in the best of ways. Edward recognized the hat as his own. The very hat he had dropped while running out of the town a week before. Just then, Edward realized it. The entire time, Edward had been searching for himself. He had never collected a single bounty in his life. Though he convinced himself he did as a means of coping with his thieving ways. Edward had been the murderer. The murderer of more than 750 people, to be exact.

Story is told by Hunter Bates

Skullkid07


Thank you so much!

Hunter Bates


Thank you so much skullkid! Is people like you who motivate me to pursue a hobby in writing stories. By the way, I read quite a few of your works and I find them to be absolutely outstanding!

Skullkid07


Nice job! I hope to see more work from you.

Hunter Bates


Thank you all for reading! This story does not reflect my best writing, as I didn't have much time to put it together, but a friend gave me the idea for it earlier in the day. Despite my lack of full effort, I hope you all enjoyed, and i plan to put much more effort into my future works!