The Writer's Corner
Written by Vanessa Rose aka
*The Graceland Gazette is purely
fictional and it does not have any relation to Graceland Tennessee.
I just liked the name for it and I thought it would be really nice
This story is dedicated to Morgan, keep on writing!
Michelle Corners stepped down the wagon coach and looked around. The
town was small, no wonder The Rifleman would live here peacefully.
The coachman handed her bag and Michelle walked into The Mallory
House. It wasn't like the usual fancy hotels that she had stayed in
before but it would have to do.
"Hullo!" A red haired woman greeted at the front desk.
"Hello, I would like to have a room." Michelle greeted. The woman
handed her a pen.
"Room Six. Please sign your name here." Michelle smiled at her and
signed, M. Graceland. "Thank you." Michelle went up to her room and
washed her face. The room had no key...she would have to put a chair
in front of the door if she wanted to be safe.
It had been a long ride of dirt and grit but she had made the trip!
Her father wouldn't believe that she could survive dirty cowboys
and--- She heard a yell out in the street. She ran to her window
that faced the street. Two teenage boys were fighting each other
while other classmates were cheering them on.
Michelle had watched her older brothers get into fights when she was
younger... and the last time they got into fights, they went to
prison for two years. She quickly went down the stairs and decided
to break the boys' fight. She wouldn't want anyone---anyone, to
become like her brothers. She didn't glance at the woman at the desk
she just kept her fast pace walking to the street. Why wasn't the
Marshall or lawman stopping them?
"Stop it right now boys!" She shouted. No one could hear her above
the cheers of the classmates. She whistled a high pitch whistle that
made every single person on the street including the adults. The two
boys stopped punching each other and stared. She stomped to the boys
and grabbed each of their arms. "You're coming with me!" Of course
they didn't know her but they just were completely shocked by her
starkness. She dragged them toe the Marshall's office. The Marshall
behind the desk was talking to a tall blond man but Michelle didn't
"Marshall! These two boys were fighting in the street showing their
classmates that its good to fight over some stupid reason!" Michelle
said. The two men gaped at her.
"Mark Warren McCain!" The tall man said-- McCain? The Rifleman's
son? "I am so sorry...Mrs..."
"Pa! Jerry was being rude to---"
"Mark," The Marshall warned. The boy closed his mouth sighing.
"Miss Michelle Graceland, Mr. McCain! Excuse me; I need to rest
since I took a long ride in that stage coach!" She let the boys go
from her iron grip and turned on her heels and walked out of the
Mark cringed with every single word that his Pa said or yelled.
After that strange woman, Michelle Graceland embarrassed his Pa in
front of Micah, Mark knew he was in major trouble ....
"GO TO THE BARN!" Mark sighed.
"Pa, please listen to me. I didn't mean to fight Jerry but ---" Pa
turned his back towards Mark.
"Go!" Pa ordered. Mark turned around and ran into the barn. Oh, now
he was in big trouble if only Jerry hadn't been mean to Shelly...
"Will you just stop it, Jerry? I don't want to go to the picnic with
you!" Shelly said ignoring Jerry's advances. Jerry was seventeen who
was still in school because he had trouble with mathematics.
Shelly’s was fifteen! Just fifteen just like Mark. Mark had been
walking towards Micah's office when he heard Shelly cry for help.
Mark ran to her following her voice.
"Mark! Help me!" She kicked at Jerry who was leaning closer to her.
Mark rolled his fists.
"Jerry, leave Shelly alone!"
"What are you gonna do about it, McCain?" Jerry turned around and
faced Mark. Jerry was a lot bigger than him, he was smaller than Pa
but he was bigger than Mark.
"If you don't stop it, I'll will..." Mark turned to see the stage
coach come in. Jerry threw the first punch at the distracted Mark.
"Mark!" Shelly screamed.
Mark sighed as he rubbed his shoulder from where he hit the hotel
stairs. The barn door opened with his tall Pa filling it.
"Son, I'm sorry. Shelly came over and told me what happened. I'm
sorry that I didn't listen to what you had to say." Mark nodded
still looking away. How many times had his Pa not listened to him?
"Oh and son?"
"Yes Pa?" Mark replied.
"Will you forgive me?" Mark turned and smiled at him.
"Of course!" Pa looked away at the horses. "Is there something else
you would like to say, Pa?"
"I don't want you to go near that Michelle Corners woman. All
right?" This made Mark curious...
"What's wrong with her?"
"Well son, I believe she's an investigative reporter from the
Graceland Gazette." Mark's eyes widened.
"No way!" Pa shook his head and chuckled.
"Son, why don't you help me with the chores?" Mark got up from
sitting on the bale of hay and walked with his Pa outside.
"Don't tell me Michelle went to North Fork!" Mr. Graceland shouted
pounding his fist on his desk. The messenger gulped.
"Yes sir, she has. We just received a wire from the spy---"
"Don't you dare call him a spy? He's just watching over my
daughter!" Mr. Graceland snapped. Brett Corners was supposed to
marry Michelle but she had run off to do some stupid assignment that
was meant for a different reporter, a male reporter actually.
"Sir, what should I do?" Mr. Graceland's messenger asked. The older
man turned around snapping his fingers.
"Make Corners get the Rifleman scoop before Michelle does! Then
she'll think that she can never do a man's job!"
Michelle decided to head for the McCain ranch but she wanted to tell
the Marshall why she was really in North Fork.
"Good morning, Marshall Torrance." She greeted cheerfully.
"What can I do for you, Miss. Graceland?"
"I am a investigative reporter, Marshall and my editor sent me on a
assignment about the famous Rifleman." The marshal’s face paled.
"Sorry ma'm. The McCains don't like visitors like that."
Brett laughed inwardly. He knew where the McCains lived. He was
definitely going to get the scoop and if he did get the big scoop he
would take Michelle's pretty hand in marriage. He smiled and walked
away into the saloon. He mounted his horse and started to gallop to
the McCain Ranch.
When he arrived, he saw a boy about fifteen chopping wood. This must
be the McCain kid. He thought.
"Howdy!" Brett said. The boy turned and looked at him.
"Uh, hello. Who are you?"
"I'm Brett Corners and I was looking for your pop."
"I'm a reporter that's why!" Brett unmounted and smiled at the kid.
"Where is he?"
"He's in town." The boy lied. Brett stood there his eyebrow raised.
"No he isn't, kid. I was just in town. I would have passed him by."
Knowing he was busted, Mark started to put wood in a stack.
"My Pa's too busy, sorry mister." He didn't notice that Brett had
found his Pa's rifle.
"Is this the famous Winchester rifle that I have heard so much
about?" He heard the stranger ask. Mark whirled around.
"Hey! Give that back!" Brett was studying it closely.
"Sure kid, sure."
"Will you stop calling me kid?" Brett handed the rifle to Mark.
"Only if you tell me where your pop is." Brett replied airily. Mark
"He's out on the ranch and you wouldn't be able to find him." Brett
rolled his eyes.
"Maybe you'll tell me more about the life of Lucas McCain. Where's
your mother?" Mark glanced at the rifle.
"She passed away over six years ago. Now will you leave?"
"Aww, The Rifleman is a widower?" Brett got out a small notebook and
pencil. "This is perfect! The headlines will be 'Rifleman is a
Widower and Father'". Mark gritted his teeth.
"You're trespassing, Mr. Corners. Please leave." Mark said taking
his rifle into his hands. "Now."
"Sorry, kid, what's your name again?"
"Mark, now LEAVE before I shoot you." Mark demanded. Brett walked
closer to the house.
"Sorry but I can't. I have to have the scoop on Lucas McCain so I
can get a promotion in the Gazette and the marriage of the editor's
daughter. So... will you let me in so I can see how it looks like to
live in a house where the Rifleman person lives?"
"NO!" Mark shouted, his anger showing. "LEAVE!"
"That's not a good way to show hospitality, Mark." Brett chided.
Mark ran in front of Brett.
"Don't make me shoot you."
"You can't shoot me. Why would you want to hurt an innocent man?"
Brett looked behind Mark. "Hey, did you throw a baseball threw the
window?" Confused, Mark turned to look only to feel his rifle ripped
out of his hands and a shove in the back. "Thanks a lot kid!"
Lucas rode into the yard and put Razor away. He slapped his
forehead. He had forgotten his rifle?!
"Mark!" He noticed Blue Boy was still in the barn with no saddle.
The wood wasn't put away... it had been an hour ago that Lucas had
left Mark alone... "Mark?" He walked inside to see his son tied to a
"Paa!" Mark yelled. "Look out!" A man pointing a gun at Lucas
appeared. He threw an ugly glare at Mark.
"Stupid kid. All I wanted was some things about The Rifleman and he
wouldn't say anything. You better tell me some stuff so I can write
it down and go back to my city house! I just really want to have my
promotion!! You know, kid, your pa's wanted in some states... Did
you know that?" Lucas looked at his son whose face showed surprise.
"Leave us alone! I'm not telling you anything, Corners!" Lucas spat.
"I can't leave you alone! I wanna marry Miss Graceland and it will
be all of your fault if you don't let me have the scoop before her!
She thinks that I love her but I don't!"
"You don't love me?" A soft voice asked. Lucas and Brett turned
their eyes to see Michelle Graceland in the McCain doorway holding
Lucas' rifle pointed at Brett.
"I...uh... I'm really sorry, Michelle." Lucas said softly. Michelle
lowered her eyes then back up at Brett.
"Why did you have to bother the McCains?"
"I wanted to have a promotion..." Brett said lowering his gaze.
"Drop the gun, Brett."
ONE WEEK LATER
"Goodbye, Mr. McCain, Mark." Miss Graceland said as she stepped into
"Bye, Miss Graceland." Mark replied returning her smile.
"Pa, I love you."
"I love you more, Son."
This is a story based on the TV
series The Rifleman
Here are some other great stories. Enjoy!
around The McCain Ranch