The following short story was written by the online ChatGPT artificial intelligence. The only thing I supplied were the parameters in my initial command. The AI came up with everything else. It’s far from a great story. But with some judicious edits and a few more prompts it would be a fair to middlin’ tale.
I asked it to:
“write a short western story of around 1500 words about a reluctant hero with a Colt .45 Army pistol who rides into town on a roan gelding and has to stop a bad sheriff from taking over the town. And in the end he wins the love of the bad sheriff’s daughter.”
And it spit out the following in just under 90 seconds:
As the sun rose over the dusty plains of western Texas, a lone rider could be seen making his way towards the small town of Redwood. His horse, a roan gelding, walked slowly, as if sensing the reluctance of its rider.
The man’s name was Jack, and he was a man of few words and even fewer smiles. He was a drifter, moving from town to town, never staying in one place for too long. But this time, it seemed, he had no choice.
A letter from an old friend had reached him just a few days ago, begging for his help. Sheriff Tom, the man who had been like a father to Jack, was in trouble. A new sheriff had taken over in Redwood, a man with a reputation for corruption and abuse of power. Sheriff Tom was powerless to stop him, and now the whole town was in danger.
So, with a heavy heart, Jack had set off to Redwood, determined to do whatever it took to protect the town and the people he cared about. And as he rode towards the town, he knew that he would need all the help he could get.
As he entered the town, he could feel the tension in the air. The once lively streets were now almost deserted, and the few people he saw hurried about their business, avoiding eye contact with him.
Jack made his way to the sheriff’s office, his hand hovering near the Colt .45 Army pistol at his side. As he pushed open the door, he saw Sheriff Tom sitting at his desk, his head in his hands.
“Tom, what’s going on here?” Jack asked, concern etched on his face.
Sheriff Tom looked up, a mix of sadness and relief on his face. “Oh, Jack, I’m so glad you’re here. Things have gotten bad, real bad. This new sheriff, he’s a bully and a crook. He’s taken over the town, and there’s nothing I can do to stop him.”
Jack’s jaw clenched with determination. “I’ll stop him, Tom. You can count on me.”
And with that, Jack set out to bring down the corrupt sheriff and his gang of thugs. He rode out to the ranch where the sheriff and his men were based, his pistol at the ready.
The fight was fierce, but in the end, Jack emerged victorious. The corrupt sheriff and his men were arrested, and peace was restored to the town of Redwood.
As he walked through the streets, now filled with cheering people, Jack couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. But the greatest reward of all came when the sheriff’s daughter, a beautiful young woman named Sarah, ran up to him and threw herself into his arms.
“Oh, Jack, you were so brave,” she exclaimed, tears of joy streaming down her face.
And as they kissed, surrounded by the happy people of Redwood, Jack knew that this was where he belonged. He was a hero, and he had found a place to call home.