...and everything his shadow caressed turned dead. Trees crumbled and returned to the earth. Animal and man alike fell when their flesh met it. He walked in the day and avoided the night unless pregnant moon birthed his power.
It stretched long from his boots in coppery desert sun.
It forgave nothing in its way.
A pistol, black as nightmare dangled from his hand, pale finger curled around its trigger.
Dust swirled about him as if in worship.
His eyes held nothing but the comedy of the soon to be departed when he stood before them.
Their wails were the music he waltzed to and were all that turned the corners of his mouth in sickening grin.
A bandolier fashioned from the flesh of men hung low on his hips and held the evil ammo his pistol regurgitated into them.
It had no holster.
The death machine never left his grip and hung by his thigh like a man in gallows.
He was shirtless in filthy dungarees.
A torso pale as milk defied the sun.
His ribs were prominent.
His belly was not.
It was sunken like his eyes and just as empty.
He approached the town with the sun at his back and shadow stretched long before him.
Things were going to die this day.
His grip tightened around the gun as his shadow swallowed a cactus and tumbled it to the ground.
The first time I read this sounded almost surreal, like a terrible day or a hellish nightmare. The second time I went through it I could see that it might be tale that you came up one day which might have been triggered by an ominous feeling you might have had.
I don't usually comment on stories and it’s actually a contradiction taken into account that I do write prose every once in while, too but I when I checked your story I thought it was a scintillating piece worth reading. I reckon that the strengths of it are the descriptive lines, the carefully selected words and most importantly the almost unreal imagery you used such as "the worshiping wind" and "the waltzing wails" I love those combinations. As well as the little alliteration you used here and there.
The title was perfectly chosen as well. As I've put forward above, I did get the foreshadowing, ill-omened feeling you were trying to convey particularly near the end.
As for critiques, you might want to add an "a" before nightmare in line 7. I believe it would flow better that way, for my money. But that's up to you, the piece is great the way it is, anyhow.
Finally, I wanted to know what you had in mind when you wrote this, if possible.
Gee, this dude is one hideously horrible and awfully terrible heinous horrendousness. I think you did a really good job when developing his character. His persona is replete with ghastly gristly grotesque. He's not the specter of death, he's death incarnate. Right down to the fact he doesn't have a holster....I liked that. I commend your presentation. You should try a TV script or something. Seriously this is good....creatively perverse, almost diabolically deviant.