Friday, June 9, 2017

Shiloh...Rough Draft..Chapter Two "Ben"


Chapter Two


Michael closed the door behind him, He was torn between helping this kid and probably bringing unwanted attention to him and his past catching up to him
Leaning against the door, Michael closed his eyes as snap shots of the past bombarded his thoughts, leaving him with a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach.
Looking up he found Ben staring at him.
"Are you OK?" Ben asked him
"Yea sure, You need to tell me about the promise and Deed"
"Ben quickly looked away"
"Ben I can't help if I don't know what and why I'm doing it...I need a cause"
"Maybe I should leave" Ben said
"Your not up for it, yet"
"Look Ben I'll protect you for a few weeks, but when your able I'll need you to move on"
Ben sifted in his bed, "Michael That's all I ask for, a couple of weeks and I'll leave you be"
Michael Stared at Ben for a minute, contemplating how to say what he wanted to say without sounding to harsh.
"Ben it's not like that, it's just that I have a past I prefer not to catch up with me, I came here looking to make amen for it"
Ben looked up, "What amens?"
Michael turned with a stern look
"I prefer not to bring that bad omen into my home Ben"
Ben's shoulders fell as he made a decision
"Look Michael, I made a promise to my Ma"
Michael looked at him with those eye's that seemed to cut clean through him "What promise?"
"That I was to stake a claim to some land that she had a deed for"
"And those men that came have a problem with it?"
"Look Michael it was the only thing she had to give me, She kept the deed for years, knowing one day when I was old enough, She would give it to me, to give me a start in life"
"Sounds like a smart woman"
"Maybe" Ben said
Michael cocked his head as deep furors increased around his eyes
"I mean she was a good Mother and everything but"
"But what Ben"
"She was a Saloon girl Michael"
That shook Michael to the core as it hit home about Hedi, "Would her children think the same way about her?"
It made him want to make her a legitimate woman, but he knew that was impossible.
"And?" Michael asked
"Well you know it was hard at school, everyone would make fun of her and I had got into a lot of fights over it"
"So life was hard, grow up it's hard all over Ben, She sounds like a good Woman"
"She was Michael"
"Enough of this, you need to rest and I need to think and I do that, best on my horse, I'll be back in a awhile"
As Michael turned to open the door Ben said "I'm sorry for bringing my problems to you"
"It's not your fault, I was the one who brought you into my home"
Michael shut the door before anymore talk could start, He needed to think.
Saddling up his horse he whispered, "Lets ride Sheol"
He pranced around as if this made him happy "Michael laughed I know you would like this"
Kicking his horse into a gallop, they left the farm far behind.
Passing the Stevens farm, Michael thought back to when they first arrived in the valley.
Tom Stevens was a city boy and didn't know which end to hook a plow too, Michael grinned at thought of how he worked with the two of them that first year.
He enjoyed teaching them how to plant corn, raise chickens, cows, pigs, He had a warm feeling he was making amens for his troubled past and it warmed his soul.
He hadn't noticed the two horse men watching him from the tree line.

Grinning, Smitty watched as Michael trotted down the road towards town.
"OK Jake head to town the back way and let Big John know he is on his way"
"Yea sure" with that Jake turned his horse and raced for town, taking a trail that followed along the bottom of the ridge that over looked Michael's farm
Smitty turned his horse towards the farm, kicking it into a trot.
Michael rode into town, knowing Hedi would be working he headed for the Saloon, he had to get Hedi alone, he needed to talk.
Michael didn't like the Saloon, didn't like that some drifter might recognize him.
But his urge to touch her touch, to smell her hair, to kiss her lips made him sucked in a breath and walk through the swinging doors.

Michael felt eyes watch him as he approached the bar.
Pete the bar tender saw him sit down . Michael the usual?
Michael asked him when Hedi was going to sing
Any minute Michael, your looking a little down what's going on.
Michael let his gaze wander the full view of the room through the mirror that hung behind the bar.
Oh just life Pete, how is the misses doing? Michael asked him
Michael knew thats Pete's wife Laura was down with the flu
"She is doing alot better Michael and the remedy you gave us sure helped alot"
"I'm glad, tell her we'll stop by soon" Michael said
Michael had noticed three of the four cowboys sitting in corner of the room but that hadn't stopped them from watching him.
The sweetest voice he had ever heard started over at the piano
Drawing his attention back to Pete.
Pete did you say Laura was having another baby?
I said no such thing and strike that thought from your head Michael, it's bad luck to even think that.
Michael started laughing
That ain't funny Pete announced
From behind him, he heard some cowboy say something to Hedi.
Michael watched as Hedi smiled at him and slightly shook her head "no"
Taking a breath he took another drink, letting the warm coffee settle in his stomach
This time Hedi pushed the cowboy away as he tried to kiss her
Michael started to get up, but Pete put a hand on his arm, Michael she can take care of herself.
Michael looked down at the hand that was resting on his arm and slowly looked up at Pete
Pete swallowed hard and removed his hand, trying hard not to look into those eyes that were tearing right through him
Big John saw it all, and smiled
Well our boy there seems to have a soft spot for our little singer here.
Frank smiled, "information like that could come in handy."
"Your dang right" Big John said
From over at the piano a sound like a gun shot followed by yelling. The room went  quiet as a morgue
They weren't sure when Michael crossed the room, but he was there now
Michael grabbed the cowboy by the back of his neck and flung him over the table he had been sitting at, drinks, money, cards flew in ever direction.
Two other cowboys that had been sitting there with him came up off the floor cussing.
"What the Hell" was all one cowboy got out of his mouth before Michael hit him.
The Cowboy hit the ground not getting up
The other Cowboy grabbed at his iron but Michael was there, putting his hand on the gun before it left the hostler .
Looking the man dead in the eyes, within a breath from his face Michael said.."You don't want to to do that.
The Cowboy started to resist but as he looked into the eyes of death, he gulped and backed away enough to turn and head out the swinging doors, not without glancing back at Big John and Frank.
Big John nodded at him..
"Hey asshole"
Michael looked over at the first cowboy he had thrown over the table and he was looking at a 44 Colt aimed at his heart.
Michael stood there, gazing right through the cowboy
The cowboy had but a wink of an eye before he would dead, but Michael wavered.
He was a changed man, he didn't want to kill anymore, he walked away from that part of his life
Final Michael broke the tension, "Son you have a choice"
"Hell I have all the Choices I need, right here in my hand"  as he steadied his Colt on Michael's chest
"The way I see it, you have 10 seconds to pick your friends up and head out of town or die"
The cowboy laughed "Your telling me? I'm the one with the gun"
"You've got 8 seconds"
"Mister you don't appear to understand, I've got the gun"
"You've got 7 seconds"
The cowboy laughed but not as bravely as before, looking around for some kind of help, He found none.
Frank whispered to Big John "Shouldn't we back him up?"
"No I want to see what this guy is about, let it play out"
"Michael Please, Hedi whispered in his ear"
"Hedi your in danger, get behind me"
Michael moved her from his side to behind him
"Oh I see how this is" the Cowboy said,
Looking around the room he said, So this is his girl friend.
No one would look him in the eye, worrying that they might be brought into the mix
"Well you chicken shits are in for a treat because I'm gotta kill this sod buster"
"You got 6 seconds" Michael said
"Michael please, he didn't mean any harm" Hedi whispered to him
"He does now and he has a choice"
"You've got 5 seconds"
With a nervous laugh the cowboy said in a lowerd broken voice "I just wanted a kiss"
"You don't treat women like that" Michael boomed as he fought back the urge to kill this man in front of him.
The room was dead silent, as the time ticked past 5 second mark
Michael had hesitated twice now, in the past he would've been dead , and the cowboy sensed it.
Looking over at Big John and Frank he Stood taller, the cowboy grinned at Michael as he thumbed the hammer back.
Bursting through the swinging doors was the Sheriff and a Deputy with a double barrel shot gun pointed right at the cowboy.
"Hold on there son, no one is dying tonight unless you want want to be the first."
The cowboy looked at the Sheriff and back to the shot gun pointed at his head
what voices were in the back ground, now became completely silent.

"No sir I don't see a need for that ,we just had a misunderstanding Sheriff"
Looking over at Michael the Sheriff said, "Is that right Michael?"
"Yes Sheriff it was was but I think there needs to be apologize for Hedi"
Looking back to the Cowboy, he said "Well"
Dropping his Colt back into his holster the cowboy was more than happy to apologize and get out of the Saloon.
Frank motioned for Big John it was time to leave.
Michael noticed the two leaving and filed it back in the back of his brain.
"Sorry for the trouble Sheriff", Michael said
"I'm not sure what you were doing Michael going up against a man with a gun and your not carring"
Smiling at the Sheriff , "I was hoping you would get here in time"
Shaking his head the Sheriff said, "Well I've had enough fun for the night"
"Hedi you ready to get out of here?" Michael asked her
Smiling she said, "I was wondering when you were going to get to me"
Stepping into the street Michael heard the swinging doors behind him.
"Michael can I have a word with you"
Looking back at the Sheriff "Sure Sheriff"
"Hedi I'll be along in a few minutes"

Sunday, June 4, 2017

*Rough Draft*

The Promise

Michael watched the camp for the dark, until the fire was almost out
Finally he said, "Come on Boy let's get home"  the horse hesitated for a moment
"It's OK nothing going to happen tonight"
Reluctantly the horse turned and headed home.

The sun shone right into Ben's face.
 It felt like a huge hand was pressing down on his chest, he rolled over and puked up blood
Wiping his face Ben fell back onto his back, "Where I'm I?"
"Your about as far as you got" Michael answered
"What?" visibly shaken Ben looked over at Michael "Who are you?"
"Well it looks like I'm your guardian Angel at the moment"
"How did I get here?" Ben asked
"Well by the looks of it, you got here by yourself"
Ben felt some relief when he looked into the strangers eyes, "I have to leave, they are coming for me and I don't want to bring trouble to you"
"And I don't want any trouble, but I think your safe for now"
Ben turned and looked at the ceiling....closing his eyes, he felt like he was home again...soft cooking..bacon
"Son what are you running from?"
The question jolted Ben back to reality
"I don't want to talk about it"
"It's OK son, we'll have plenty of time"
"Quit calling me Son, my name is Ben"
"Ok Ben, I'm Michael" Michael smiled
Standing up Michael asked,
"Ben you hungry?"
"Does possum make good stew?" Ben asked with a grin
"I take that as a yes and I'll scoop up you a plate of possum stew"
"Ben laughed" it's been a long time since he laughed and it felt good he thought"
"Michael I'll be on my way soon, but I thank you for helping me"
"Ben your busted up pretty bad, and the Doc said you'll need to stay in bed for a couple of weeks to mend"
"The Doc?"
"Yea I had him fix you up and pull the bullet out of your arm but it's the ribs he was worried about, said that if you moved around to much you could perice a lung or even your heart"
"Shit" Ben exclaimed
"Ben I don't like that language"
"Sorry your right, I was raised better than that"
"Good" and Michael went back to stirring the eggs and adding bacon.
"Ben, I want to know who those men are camped out across the field"
Ben was enjoying the smell of a home cooked meal,
Jolted out of his food dream "What men?" Ben asked
"Two Men, a Smithy and Jake"
Ben froze, "they are across the field?"
"Yea, are they looking for you?"
"They are going to kill me, they already tried "
Michael thought for moment "Well worrying about it on a empty stomach isn't going to do neither of us any good.. lets eat and we'll talk after"
Ben attacked his meal with a vengeances, and Michael smiled "I ain't that good of a cook" 
Between gulps Ben said "I have no idea about that but I'm starving"
"Well eat up, we are having some visitors soon"
Ben lifted the spoon for another bite but stopped "What?"
"Visitors, they'll be here soon"
"Well I guess it'll be those men that are looking for you" Michael said
Ben dropped his fork and stared at Michael
"Well you good for nothin' pig farmer, why in the hell did you fix me up only to hand me over too them?"
"I didn't"
"The land is mine, Ma gave me the Deed, She made me promise"
"Promise what?" Michael asked
Ben didn't have a chance to answer, When a knock came from the door
"Keep quiet Ben; I'm not handing you over"
Ben had a confused look on his face
Another impatient knock turned into pounding
Michael approached the door, "Hold on, I'm coming"
Michael opened the door and stepped out onto the porch closing the door behind him
"What can I do for you gentlemen?"
A big man, sitting tall in the saddle asked "Have you seen a vagabond coming through here? He might need medical attention"
The four men smiled at each other
"Smitty spoke up, Hey your the one who came into our camp last night, asking for coffee, See I told you Big John"
"So you've met each other than" Frank said
"Yea, Jake said but it seems funny that he asked for coffee when he lives so close to our camp, you a drifter? he asked Michael
"I'm not drifter, I own this here farm and I only asked for coffee, so I could get a look at you two"
"I'm not sure I like being lied too" Smitty said as he edged his horse closer to the front 
A cold blast of wind encircled the men for a moment, causing each of them to shriver to the bone
"Jesus this weather is weird here" Jake exclaimed
"Don't use the lords name in vain again" Michael said
"Who in the hell do you think you are?" Jake asked
Michael just stared at them
Their horses were getting jumpy and started to sift away as if they wanted to break into a run
"What the hell is wrong with the horses, something is spooking them"
Big John judged the man that stood before him and in some kind of eternal decision, he turned to the others and said.."Let's go, we need to search further down the ravine"
Frank turned back towards the porch "Make sure you let us know if you see any drifters, we'll be at the hotel in town"
Michael just stood his ground while staring them down...
After they had ridden for a few minutes Smitty said, "That guy gives me the creeps"
Jake laughed but he looked a little shaken too "Smitty what about that cold wind?"
"It was like death had wrapped around us" Smitty finished as he stared out into the distance as if he was thinking of another time.
"You two muffin heads shut the hell up" Big John yelled
"So what do you want to do" Frank asked
"Well if you all weren't shaking in your skirts, you might of noticed the blood trail leading up onto the porch"
The other three turned to look at Big John "That a fact" Frank asked 
"Yep it's a fact"
"What are we going to do?" Frank asked
"We are going to take our time and watch for our chance to get into that farm house to see if Ben is in there and if he is we'll kill him and pin it on that do gooder"
They all starting laughing...
"What are you too laughing about?" Big John asked..
"Well we thought that was a great idea" Smitty volunteered 
"Well you ain't going to like this" Big John said
"You too go back and pull camp, and than set back up closer to town but were you can see went he passes, everyone needs extra grub or other things from town"
"Boss come on, we want to go to town too.." Jake said
"I won't tell you again, now the both of you listen up...When you see him going to town, one of you come tell us but without being seen and the other go check out the farm house and if you find Ben, Kill him and get that Deed."
"Yes Sir"
"Now get the hell out of here"