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 Nov 2016 - Tomorrow...

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Calico

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PostSubject: Nov 2016 - Tomorrow...   Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:17 am

I know I'm late and the poll is not up and...

Oh, sigh.

I'm drowning in real life.

However - one day late here we have your November Challenge (cue Mission Impossible music)

A nice easy one for folks as talented as you crowd.


Tomorrow


(Stories featuring cute red-headed singing orflings may be penalised)
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WichitaRed
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PostSubject: Destiny's Cycle: Part Three - Tomorrow   Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:56 am

This is a continuation of the story I began in September, each one is being linked together by the challenge word and not written, 'till I read what Calico posts.


Letting out a long breath, Heyes turned his face to the searing, orange ball of light sinking below the tree line; concentrating on shaking whatever that had been, back in the saloon. When he was jerked backwards, his feet becoming entangled, he stumbled, crashing into Kid Curry.

“You ‘bout got yourself ran down.” Curry stated, pointing at a fast moving buggy.

“Oh.” Heyes replied, his gaze drifting toward the crooked batwing doors.

“What the hell happened in there?” Curry asked, jerking a thumb at Schnitzler’s Saloon.

Heyes shook his head, “think I’m ready for bed.”

“It isn’t even dark!?”

His voice sounding distant, Heyes distractedly replied, “yeah.” Stepping up on the raised boardwalk, he started walking. “And, tomorrow, we’re leaving Wichita.”

“You said this would be a lively town to rest our heels in.”

“Changed my mind.” And, moving faster, Heyes tugged his hat down, “we’re leaving tomorrow.”

Curry shook his head, “Well, I ain’t tired, so once I see where our room is, I’ll leave you to your rest.”

Heyes stopped.

And, so did Curry.

Heyes’ dark eyes slanted to his cousin who was glaring at him. He took in Curry’s broad, tight shoulders and thick build; seeing his irritation up close reminded Heyes that Kid was too big to be bossed around. Still, what he had seen in the saloon had his nerves on edge and he felt, he should at least try to talk him into not going back out. “Why don’t you stay in, you’ll just get yourself in some difficulty.”

Curry’s mouth formed into a hard frown.

“Kid, I’d just feel better if you stayed in.”

“And, I’d feel better if you told me, what got you all twisted up.”

Heyes rubbed a hand across his face, “maybe, tomorrow.” Seeing they were in front of the Southern Hotel, he pushed through its green front door, and slapped the brass bell on the counter.

An overly, tall woman emerged from behind a curtained door, “Can I help you?”

“Like a room, preferably one that looks out over the street.”

“Two dollars,” she stated, pulling a key from the hook and spinning the ledger book for Heyes to sign.

Digging out the coins, he laid them on the counter, signing Joshua R. Reynolds on the next empty line.

“Check out is at ten.”

He nodded, passing her a weak smile, and taking the key.

Curry moved to follow him.

The woman snapped, “Sir,” tapping the ledger, “city requires we keep track of who stays over.”

Smiling, Curry picked up the pen, dipped it in the inkwell and scribbled out a signature.

The hotel clerk’s small eyes went to the sound of Heyes’ boots clumping along the upper hall, “He feelin’ all right, seems a bit pale. I don’t want no illness here.”

“He’s fine Ma’am, just a bit over-tired.”

She frowned, deep lines appearing between her brows, “if you say so.”

“I do.” Curry responded, and touching his fingers to the edge of his hat, he hurried after his friend. By the time, he reached the room; Heyes was sitting on a bed, toeing his boots off.

“You sure, you don’t want to talk?”

“Tomorrow.”

“Now, Heyes—“

His eyes snapped hard and black to Curry, “leave me be, Kid.”

Recognizing the look, Curry held up his hands, and backed from the room, “I’ll check on you later.”

“Do what you want.”

Exhaling out a sigh, Curry shut the door and locking it, placed the key in his vest pocket.


________________________ ASJ ______________________________


“Didn’t hear you come in last night.”

“That was my intent, figured you needed the rest. Uhm, Heyes…”

With his straight razor hovering near his jaw line, Heyes eyed Curry in the mirror’s reflection.

“It’s tomorrow, you want to talk?”

The rasp of the razor, removing the dark stubble, was louder than Heyes’ grunted reply.

“All right, well, how ‘bout you tell me over breakfast?”

No answer.

“Most days, I can’t get you to pipe down, but ever since you jumped that gunny, yesterday, I ain’t been able to get more than a couple words out of you.”

“And, you’re complaining?”

Kid Curry paused from buckling on his holster, “Don’t feel natural is all.” A smile erupted from Hannibal Heyes, large enough and real enough, that Kid thought, ‘maybe, he’s coming back to himself.’

Stepping from the Hotel, Curry squinted at the bright morning light. The angle of the sun, telling him they had slept later than he thought.

“You want to grab some food?”

The corners of Curry’s mouth curled up.

Heyes shook his head, “why do I even ask?”

“Let’s go find that German place.” Curry said, looking first left, and then right, trying to recall where they had been told it was. “You figure the food is as good as them guys was sayin’?”

“Why?” Heyes asked, taking the lead. “Do you actually taste what you shovel down?”  

“Funny, Heyes.” Curry snarled, following his cousin east along Chicago Avenue. It came to him there was a good number of cowboys gathering on the streets, enough they had to weave around them. “Hey, you, recall where it’s at? Or, do we need to ask someone.”

“Other side of the river and we have to pay a toll to cross.”

Curry’s mouth twisted to the side and hurrying his step, he grumped, “it better be good then.”

“From all reports, it is and it's said to have fruit danishes.”

“What’s that?”

“Rolls that are sweet and delicious according to that drunk peddler, who kept bending all our ears at the poker table, rather than just playing.” Heyes replied, coming to an abrupt halt.

Curry peered around him, at the muddy alley and on to where the boardwalk restarted on the other side.

Frowning enough that his lips pursed out, Heyes avoided the muck by altering his course and stepping into the main thoroughfare; where he fussily steered himself clear of standing water, which he suspected was not water at all.

Hearing a racket behind them, Curry turned to see what was happening. And, what he saw was a team of horses charging their way. His eyes bulged. Without hesitation, he leapt back onto the walk, dragging his cousin after him. Who was nimble enough, this time, to keep up, despite being snagged by surprise.

“You need to break off snatching hold of me like---“ Heyes’ voice trailed off, his eyes focusing beyond his cousin’s shoulder.

“If you—“

“Would you look at that!” Heyes exclaimed, interrupting Curry and forcibly turning him to face the street.

Kid Curry’s mouth popped open. “I never seen anything like it.”

Giving up on trying to count, how many saloon girls were crammed in the wagons, that were barreling by, Heyes leaned into his pal, “You think their running ‘em out of town?”

Half under his breath, Curry replied, “Lord, I hope not.” Then, with a grin, he peeked at his cousin, who was wearing a smile that had completely taken over his face. “They can’t be. Let’s see what’s up.”

Nodding in agreement, they hopped into the street, joining the crowd of cowboys trotting after the wagons. “What day is it?”

“Sunday…” Curry’s brow furrowed, “yeah, Sunday.”

“Why you think, they're all out here?” Heyes asked, motioning to the large herd of cowboys.

“Does seem awful strange, don’t it?”

As they neared the large, wide toll bridge, the wagons they were following, veered toward the banks of the Arkansas River, where the teamsters hauled in their leads. Before they had hardly stopped, saloon girls were leaping to the muddy ground. The whole lot of them were laughing, like they had been told the best joke in the West, while flinging their clothing, piece by piece, into the wagons; to a rising chorus of hooting cheers.

Curry’s blue eyes widened, darting from one bare body to another, “Uhm, Heyes, am I seein’, what I think, I’m seein’?”

“If ‘n you’re seeing ladies stripping to their skin…” Heyes elbowed Curry, his dimples creasing deeply into his face, “Then we’re seeing the same thing.”

A man wearing an orange plaid jacket, strolled close, “You want to place a bet, Sonny?”

Heyes tore his gaze from the naked women, “a bet???”

“Yup! Anything you like… who’ll finish first, last, most out of breath, most covered in mud… you think it up and I’m sure others will join in on the bet.”

“We're just passing through, what exactly is going on?”

“Why, by golly, it be the running of the Doves. See, once they has plucked off all their feathers, them Doves will line up, and when the signal be gave, the race will begin. They be all heading for Rowdy Joe’s place. Now, you wanna bet or not?”

“Think I’ll pass.” Heyes answered.

“What about him?”

Heyes nudged his cousin.

Curry squeaked, “uh, hum… what?” His eyes never moving from the giggling, jiggling, crowd of women.

“Don’t think his minds on bettin’, thanks anyway.”

With a loud chortle, the man popped Heyes on the shoulder as he moved on, “maybe, next race.”

Startled, Heyes blurted out, “next race??”  

But the man had moved deeper into the crowd, hollering odds and taking bets.

“Heyes, wouldn’t you think this was all, well…”

“Illegal.”

“Yeah.”

“Cowtowns don’t always follow de rigueur Victorian etiquette.”

“What!?”

“Never mind.” Heyes pointed at how the men were creating a corridor along the street, “figure we best choose a side.”

A bull of a man with flaming red hair and a large curled mustache, wearing a vest, that was gaudy enough to match his style, stepped into the street. Holding up his hands he bellowed, in a friendly fashion, “If ‘n ya happen to be new to our 'Peerless Princess of the Plains', I’m Rowdy Joe, proprietor of the biggest saloon here. And, I gotta say, I’m right glad to see y’all. And, furthermore, y’all are gonna be right glad, you came out for Delano’s Running of the Doves. Weather permitting, our Doves have been racin’ along Chicago Avenue, since the spring of ’72.” He pointed east across the river, “much to the peevish annoyance, of all those who got their nose up in the air, over there.”

A long-legged blonde came over and draped her arm about Joe’s rounded shoulders; her nude body curving and bulging in all the right places.

“Now boys, this little filly here is Katrina and she is our most frequent winner, hope y’all betted accordingly.”

With a large, laughing smile, Katrina spun in a circle and Joe popped her plump backside, “best get to the line, sweets.”

A ripping, bawdy laugh erupted from her and she dashed to elbow herself a spot in line of women.

“Y’all Doves ready?” Joe called

A chorus of squeals and yahoos rose up from the doves and cowboys alike.

Jumping up onto one of the wagons, Joe raised a nickel plated Colt, high above his head, and with a mischievous grin pulled the trigger.

The women took off in a bouncing, shoving, shrieking rush of flesh.

The cowboys trotted alongside, urging them on; until only Heyes, Curry and a handful of other dumbstruck, new arrivals to Wichita, were left behind with their mouths hanging open.

Exhaling so hard his lips flapped, Heyes said, “Well, hell, I believe, I can say, I’ve seen the elephant.”

“That you have, Sonny. You gonna bet on the next race.”

“What time tomorrow, I need to be down here?”

“Tomorrow, HA!” the man slapped Heyes on the back, again, “Ain’t you the eager one. Doves only run on Sundays.”

Curry looked around the man, to his cousin, “We ain’t still leavin’, are we?”


For those of you feeling shocked that I wrote of naked women racing in the streets....the most shocking part is, this is part of my town's history. The Running of the Doves was an actual event, not often written of and I'm sure not spoken of in polite society. But, it is like they say reality is stranger than fiction. WichitaRed bandit

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Wichita Red, "I'm not really a rebel, but I take chances. I have a good time, and I live life the way I want to live it."  


Last edited by WichitaRed on Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:25 am; edited 3 times in total
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Alias Alice



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PostSubject: Re: Nov 2016 - Tomorrow...   Mon Nov 07, 2016 6:49 am

“What do you see?”

The three teenaged girls who had entered the fortune-teller's booth giggling, having dared each other to go in, now gazed expentantly at Madame Margharita.  Madame Margharita, who was really Maria McTavish from the town's mercantile, had been asked to act as the fortune-teller at the annual Lawrence fair.  Dressed in a black velvet cloak with a sequined scarf around her head and large gold hoop ear-rings in her ears, she had so far thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

A midnight-blue, star-sprinkled curtain was draped behind Madame Margharita in the small candle-lit booth.  A flickering flame from one candle was reflected in the heart of the glass witch-ball  provided for Maria to gaze mystically into.  The tent seemed to have exactly the right mysterious atmosphere and Maria had enjoyed inventing stories of tall, dark strangers, sudden windfalls and long journeys for her slightly apprehensive customers.  Now three young friends, all farmers' daughters from some of the town's outlying farms, had come in to see what the future might hold for them.

“Who wants to be first?” asked Maria, using the husky voice with which she was trying to disguise her own.

The girls glanced at each other, beginning to giggle again.

“Go on, Yvette!”

“ You first, Stella!”

“Not me!  You go first!”

Eventually, Julia Robertson found herself edged to the front of the group.

“All right, I'll be first,” she said, looking around at the others.

Maria looked at her, trying to decide which particular story to invent for her, with what details and little touches to make it seem personal and true.

Suddenly, she was completely amazed to hear herself saying: “You'll be married and with a baby of your own within eighteen months.”  She fell silent, aghast.  Where on earth had that come from?  She didn't feel as if she had invented it, and yet she had said it.  Said it quite authoritively too.  It was nothing like the little tales she had made up so far.  Maria felt baffled and also slightly embarassed at what she'd said.

Julia was silent too.  She looked very taken aback, and not at all pleased with the prediction.  The other girls were watching for her reaction before they began to laugh and tease her as they wanted.  Then Julia laughed and the tension of the moment was broken.

“A baby!  Me!  I can't believe it!”

“Well, you're a dark horse, Julia!” said Yvette.  “We didn't even know you had a boyfriend!  Come on, tell us!  Who is he?”

“No-one!”  said Julia. “I mean, I don't have a boyfriend.”

She hadn't.  Julia, eighteen years old and pretty, was a girl who loved dancing and flirting.  But nothing serious.  She had no particular boyfriend of her own, and didn't really want one, not yet. She was enjoying herself too much.  Later, perhaps, but not now.  For the present she was happy just to tease and set at logger-heads the young men she had no difficulty in attracting.

“I don't believe you,”  said Yvette.  “Go on, tell us.  We won't tell anyone else. I  promise.  I know - I bet it's Alexander Heyes!”  She named the oldest of the boys from the Heyes farm near to the Robinson place.

“No, it isn't,”  said Julia, though she blushed slightly.  “I can't imagine who it can be.”  She looked at Maria, smiling.  “Who am I going to marry?”

“A soldier,” thought Maria immediately, but she didn't say so.  She didn't know where that idea had come from either.  She began to feel distinctly uneasy about these two predictions she had puzzlingly found herself making.  Her mood was not improved by a strong feeling she was beginning to have that they were definitely true.

She pretended to look into the flickering flame at the centre of the witch-ball.

“I don't think I can get any more for you at the moment, “ she said, hurriedly.  “Who's next?”

“Me!” said Yvette.  “Am I going to be married and have a baby soon, too?”

“No!”  said Maria, more loudly that she had intended, but she was unnerved by the certainty that had flooded through her from somewhere.  “No!  You won't be married soon. Not for a long time. You're going to need to leave Lawrence first.  You're going to have to get right way.  You'll finish up back east somewhere.   You will be married eventually though.  Afterwards.  In the end.”

“At the end of what?” said Yvette.  She didn't like this future.  She didn't like Madame's expression or tone of voice either.  It was actually rather scary.  Yvette began to wish they hadn't come to have their fortunes told.  It wasn't fun at all.  She knew that she didn't want to leave Lawrence anyway.  It was her home.  She'd been born here, lived here all her life.  Her family was here and all her friends.  No, definitely, Yvette didn't like this prediction.

“What about Stella?”

Maria looked at the tall, pale, truly beautiful young girl in front of her.  Her dark blonde hair fell curling onto her shoulders.  She had a sweet smile and eyes of an intense blue.  Maria thought she was from the Curry farm that was also near the Heyes place.

What could she tell her?  Maria racked her brains for a nice, pleasant little story she could tell, just like the ones she had been making up all morning.  Nothing came.  Nothing at all.  

“Your mother will give you that fan you want, but you won't use it,”  she heard herself say.

A stir ran through the girls.  What sort of a prediction was that?  But Stella had begun to smile.  So mother was going to let her have the cream lace fan!  Mother loved that fan.  She hardly ever used it.  Pa had given it to her when they were courting, and she had treasured it for years. It was usually laid away in a drawer, packed in lavender, rarely appearing except on important occasions.  She should really have used it more.  It still looked as good as new.  Now she was going to give it to Stella. - Stella hadn't even realised that Mother knew she wanted it.

“How lovely”, she said.  “But don't say I'm going to find it too precious to use too!”

“No, I'm not saying that,” said Maria, dryly.  She didn't quite know what she was saying about it.  She only knew she didn't like it – not one bit, none of it.  She felt terrible.

'Can you tell me anything else?' asked Stella, smiling.

"No.  Nothing."


The girls began to gather up shawls and bags and gloves, ready to leave.  And when they'd gone, Maria knew exactly what she was going to do.  She was going to blow out the candles and leave the fortune-telling booth.  She was going to go straight home, pleading a bad headache.  Someone else could  borrow the black cloak and the sequinned scarf, and try to look into the future instead, if they wanted too.

She herself wanted to know nothing more about tomorrow, or the tomorrows to follow.  As far as she was concerned they could keep their secrets.
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cac



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PostSubject: Re: Nov 2016 - Tomorrow...   Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:27 am

I can't believe it, but I wrote a story. This is actually the second one-last month I finished it too late, so it will have to wait for the right subject :)

Here you go....



“Lord, Heyes, I can’t wait for tomorrow to get here.” Kid rubbed his face as he sat down with the newspaper. “I’m so sick of this governor’s election. Half the people think the one guy’s a crook, and the other half say the other guy’s worse than Satan himself.” He threw down the newspaper with the prominent headline on top reminding everyone to vote.

Heyes nodded and motioned for the waitress to come over. They’d met for breakfast every morning in the cafe for a few years now, ever since they got the amnesty and settled down. Heyes lived in town near his office, and Kid worked a stagecoach stop with his wife just outside the town limits. “Kid, they’re politicians. They’re both crooks and both have a little bit of the devil in ‘em. Can’t expect much else.”

Kid grumbled. “I know. I just thought that once I could vote, I’d like who I was voting for!” He took a bite of some eggs, drank some coffee, and then paused. “You know, Heyes, you should run next time. Think about it. You’re an official ex-crook and you ran the Devil’s Hole Gang. That must make you the Devil.” He grinned at his old partner.

Heyes rolled his eyes. “Oh sure, like anyone would vote for an ex-bank robber. Look, Kid, there’s a list in the newspaper of the main points for each candidate. What would my list look like? Can open several models of bank safes? Knows how to handle dynamite?”

Kid pulled the paper over to him. “Let’s see. Economic experience. Well…hmmm. We were always broke, so maybe we’ll skip that. Or maybe not. You were always good at getting money out of rich people, one way or the other. And you were good at spending it, like getting us out of trouble, winning at poker, or…. Well, I bet if you’re governor you’d find good things to spend it on.”

“Experience working with ranch owners, railroad owners, and other influential people.” Kid paused and then looked intently at Heyes. “Seriously, Heyes, you’re good at talking to people. You’ve got that silver tongue, and even though you robbed a bunch of ‘em, they’ve been cheated far worse by other regular businessmen. You’ve had a clean record for years now, and they know you won’t be robbing them in the old way again.”

He read the next item. ”Reforming the justice system. Heyes, no one knows better than you what led us to stealing. You could use some of that money that the Governor gets to spend to help people find good jobs.” Kid was getting warmed up. “You could give more money to homes for wayward kids so it wouldn’t be so miserable and the kids might not run off and get intro trouble like we did.”

Heyes was silent, holding his cup in mid-air.

Kid kept going. “Heyes, you could get rid of all the bad sheriffs out there who don’t give a damn about real justice. Remember Joe Sims? If there was a decent sheriff in that town, that white man wouldn’t have felt so confident about shooting him.”

The men looked at each other, thinking of Joe. Then Heyes raised his coffee. “To Joe. The most professional bounty hunter we ever met.” They clanked their mugs, drank, and set them down. Heyes said, “Kid, have you thought more about buying that new colt from Adams? He’s shaping up to be a fine horse….”
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Cal

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PostSubject: Tomorrw   Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:26 am

Oh come on...someone had to quote the Scottish play...

Tomorrow

A darkened shabby hotel room.  Kid is lying face down groaning quietly trying to sleep. Heyes is burning the mid-night oil, reading.

Heyes has found a passage in his book he’d like to share…


Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time; and all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!  Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

“If the tale is told by an idiot Heyes …why are you feelin’ the need to share it with me?…It’s late …quit readin’ and go to sleep.”

“Surprised you CAN sleep Kid…under the circumstances…It just seemed fitting…is all…what with Charlie…..and what he faces tomorrow….”

Kid thumps his pillow and turns his head to face Heyes, with a huge sigh.  He fixes his cousin with a sceptical stare.

“You sure …that’s the tale you want to stick with Heyes? It’s Charlie being hung in the morning that’s keeping you awake? It ain’t nothin’ to do with $100,000 in gold bars…you sure you don’t want Charlie to light our way to a dusty desert …to dig up some gold?”

“No! Of course, not…”

Heyes gives Kid a scowl, as he watches Kid thump his pillow and settle the curly head for sleep again.

“Well like Shaky said….” mumbles Kid, “Out, out brief…LAMP…I gotta sleep. I had enough of Shaky when you and Soapy made me sit through BOTH halves of it in Frisco…”

Heyes folds the book in his lap, looking troubled.

“No… no… We discussed it … We decided… No, I just thought it was fitting …what Shakespeare said…about life being full of sound and fury, signifying nothing… It’s such a waste….”

“What is?” Kid’s eyes shoot open again and his eyes roll as he realises Heyes wants to talk about something.  

His head stays firmly on the pillow this time.  

“What is? Charlie being hung …or $100,000 in gold bars being buried in a desert till Judgement Day?”

“Well… both…” says Heyes, squirming just a little at admitting to himself that he was thinking more of the gold.

“Hah! I knew it…”

Kid shook his curls into his pillow.  

“You can’t sleep thinking about Charlie’s buried gold, can you?  You should ‘ve just let him tell us where he’s buried it.  Don’t mean we have to go dig it up … not ourselves anyway … We could just tell Lom where it’s buried… He could go out there …dig it up …keep us out of it…”

Heyes slowly looks in wonder at the back of Kids red Henley-adorned shoulders, the beginnings of a huge larcenous, gold-fuelled grin starting to play across his face.

“Yes we could…” his eyes sparkle.

Kid smiles, burying his head further into his pillow.  He knows exactly what effect his words are having on his wakeful partner.  

Gold and Heyes:

They went together like steak and potatoes.  He didn’t need to turn and see Heyes. He could practically hear the cogs working in that big brain of his, as he convinced himself that they would only go find out the location of the gold, just so it wouldn’t go to waste.  

He stifled a chuckle.

“Yes… that’s right Kid… That wouldn’t be dishonest… “ argued Heyes, more to himself than Kid.  “Not just knowing where the gold is… That would be like some sort of public service… Saving it from going to waste … From signifying nothing … just like Shakespeare was saying.  And it would make Charlie happy… before…”

Kid had to bite the pillow to stop from laughing and interrupting the genius’ efforts to justify his intentions of saving Charlie’s gold from obscurity just for the public good.  He wondered if he should just get up and get dressed now, or wait and enjoy more of Heyes’ tortured reasoning.

---oooOOOooo---

Out on the street not long after that

“OK Heyes … you go to the window … I’ll keep watch… It’s gonna be dawn real soon … so don’t talk too long…”

Colt drawn, Kid watched the street as Heyes walked up to the window and whispered.

“Charlie… Charlie… It’s Heyes… You awake?”

“Well I am now… Why’d you go have to wake me up… I was dreamin’… about this pretty little chanteusey… why she was …”

“Never mind about that now Charlie…”

Heyes whispered trying to motion to Charlie to keep his voice down.  

“Me and the Kid’s been thinkin’ about your gold going to waste… seems like a shame…”

“Now don’t you worry yourself about that no more Heyes…” says Charlie.  “I been doing some thinking of my own… and what you and the Kid were saying to me about the Governor …and him promising you amnesty…  Weren’t right fer me to tempt you like that… I was like that mean ol’ snake in the Garden of Eden…”

“You weren’t being no snake Charlie…” smiled Heyes.

“You and the Kid came to see me in my hour of need… and how’d I repay you …With temptation! … weren’t right … I see it now… Funny how things get clearer just before the end…”

“No Charlie … Me and the Kid … we talked it over …”

“I really appreciate you and the Kid sticking around for my hanging Heyes… you being on the dodge and all … Its more than I deserve after what I did …”

“But Charlie… the gold’s just sitting out there…”

“HEYES NO MORE TIME FER TALKING!”

Kid grabs Heyes’ arm pulling him from the window, back to the dark alley between the buildings.

“Deputy on his rounds.” He whispers pointing back to the street with his chin. “I sure hope you left Charlie enough room… to fill with directions …to that gold.”

Heyes looked like he may cry.

“Err… Kid….”

---oooOOOooo---
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Penski
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PostSubject: Re: Nov 2016 - Tomorrow...   Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:58 pm

November 2016 - Tomorrow

Hannibal Heyes walked into the dim saloon and waited a moment for his eyes to adjust to the light. Taking in the bar he noticed his partner nodding so made his way over to him.

Kid Curry slid a beer to his partner. “What took you so long checkin’ into the hotel? I got the horses settled at the livery and almost finished a beer.”

“I decided to send a telegram to Lom on my way here.” Heyes took several gulps of beer. “A message came back almost immediately.”

“And?”

“We’re supposed to go to Cheyenne right away and meet him.”

“Cheyenne?” Curry’s brow raised.

Heyes looked around, noting no one around them. “Kid,” he whispered, “I think we’re finally gonna get it.”

“You sure? Did Lom say so in his telegram?” the Kid questioned.

“Well, he couldn’t just say it since telegrams aren’t exactly private, but he said there was good news and to come to Cheyenne as soon as possible.”

“Joshua, we did it!” Curry slapped his partner’s back. “We really did it!”

“It appears so!” Heyes grinned and lifted his glass. “To the governor!”

Kid Curry raised his glass and clicked Heyes’. “To the governor!”


~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The stagecoach rocked as it swallowed up the miles. Two men rode in the stage quietly watching the landscape go by.

Heyes pulled out his pocket watch and checked the time. He grinned. “Just think, Kid, we’ll be free men this time tomorrow.”

“Free!” Curry sighed contently. “We’ve waited so long for this day and it’s almost here.”

“It sure is.”

“Almost worth those years of tryin’ for amnesty.”

“Starving, roaming from town to town…”

“Watchin’ our backs and runnin’ from posses…”

“Being forced to take all those different jobs…”

“Includin’ all those jobs for the different governors.”

Minutes went by in silence.

“Heyes?”

“Yeah.”

Curry looked earnestly over to his friend. “What are we gonna do once we get amnesty?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, are we gonna continue bein’ partners? We won’t have to watch each other’s backs no more.”

Heyes replied, “Well, of course we’re gonna continue being partners!”

“Are we gonna settle down?”

“I don’t know. Can’t see myself settling down. Do you want to?”

“We’ve been on the run for so long I’m not sure if I want to or not.” The Kid sighed. “What about jobs?”

“There is a lot of jobs we can do.”

“Like what? What kind of job can Kid Curry get?”

“Well, we didn’t do too bad helping Mary Cunningham run that saloon.”

“True.” The Kid nodded. “And both of our skills were used doin’ that.”

“We can continue doing delivery jobs,” Heyes added.

“Yeah, but separatin’ always seemed to get one of us in trouble.”

“You in trouble,” Heyes clarified.

“It wasn’t always me! You got into plenty of trouble by yourself, too.”

Heyes smiled. “I guess I did.”

The stage wheel hit a rut in the road. Both men grabbed on to the window frames to avoid falling off the seats.

“That driver seems to be in an awful hurry,” Kid Curry commented as he settled back into his seat.

“Yeah, but he’ll get us to Cheyenne in plenty of time to make that appointment Lom set up with the governor tomorrow afternoon.”

“It will be nice gettin’ into town earlier and cleanin’ up. Havin’ a drink.”

“Nervous?” Heyes chuckled.

“Aren’t you?”

“No.”

“I know you, Heyes, and that didn’t sound too confident. What if it’s a trap?”

“You know Lom wouldn’t do that to us.”

“What if Lom don’t know?”

“Kid, from what I’ve been reading in the papers, things are politically better this time. We are gonna get our amnesty.”

“If you say so, Heyes.”

“I do.”

“Well, in that case, tomorrow can’t come soon enough.” The Kid grinned.

The stage turned a bend and lurched to the right. It fell on its side and was dragged a hundred feet. The horses, tangled in the long reins, screamed and snorted as they scrambled. When the coach stopped, the luggage was strewn around and the passenger compartment was unrecognizable. A puddle of blood was forming around the driver.

The Kid opened his eyes and winced in pain. At his side his partner lay unmoving. “Heyes?” He tried moving his arm, but couldn’t. “If there’s a tomorrow…” Kid Curry let the darkness overcome him.




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"Do you ever get the feeling that nothing right is ever going to happen to us again?" - Kid Curry
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PostSubject: Re: Nov 2016 - Tomorrow...   Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:14 pm

Tomorrow

 

“Heyes, you awake?”

“Yeah.”

“What ya thinkin’ about?”

There was a deep breath from the other bunk. “Tomorrow,” Heyes forced out.

“How d’ya feel? ‘Bout tomorrow?”

Heyes didn’t answer for a moment and when he did, the answer surprised the Kid. “Kinda nervous.”

The Kid looked across. The room was in darkness and he could only just make out the lump in the opposite bunk. He put his hand behind his head and stared at the ceiling.

“Yeah. Me too.” He paused. “How d’ya think it will go?”

“Dunno. Have to wait an’ see.”

Silence.

“Are ya looking forward to it?” the Kid asked.

Another deep sigh. “Dunno.” Heyes paused. “I should. It’s what we wanted. Right?”

“Yep,” the Kid agreed.

Two days ago, Lom had given them envelopes containing their amnesty papers. The Kid had hooted, hollered and jigged around the sheriff’s office. Heyes, more measured, read the document carefully, licking his lips and nodding his head as he took in the words. Then Lom had told them it was still a secret and would be for a further six months until the end of the Governor’s term of office. He had advised them, for their own safety, to stay in Porterville during that time.

To help them, he had found them a place to live, a small cabin on the edge of town. However, neither was entirely thrilled with the choice of abode; it needed considerable work doing to make it habitable. But the rent was cheap so they had shrugged and nodded. Lom had also found both of them a job. Heyes, assisting in the Hardware Store and the Kid, in the livery stables. The Kid wasn’t convinced by the job Lom had found for him. Seemed a little hard on the back, he said. Lom had explained. He hadn’t had much time to organise something better. It was the only thing, he knew Curry could do. Heyes, on the other hand, having peered through the window of the Hardware Store and seen the utter chaos inside, felt challenged at the prospect of sorting it all out.

Their first night as free men didn’t exactly go to plan. Having made a preliminary start on tidying the cabin, they had gone to the saloon, intent on celebrating. However, after just two drinks, both found themselves sitting quietly at a table, lost in thought. Their enthusiasm for celebrating suddenly forgotten.

Realisation had settled on them separately; that it was all over. They could stop running. They were safe here in Porterville. What they had focussed on, struggled with, juggled with and fought so hard for over the last two years, had suddenly happened. It had come as a big shock. So what do they do now? Not wanting to tempt fate or jinx it by thinking about what would happen afterwards, it hadn’t been a subject, either of them had ever dwelt on for long. They had no ideas. Now they had six months to think about it. Six months before they needed an answer to that question. Time enough to think long and hard about it. Formulate proper plans. Consider carefully what they wanted to do for the rest of their lives.

However, with the amnesty came an almost overwhelming feeling of loss. Not exactly, like losing a good friend or a relative, but a loss all the same. Both experienced an emptiness and an uncertainty. It was unsettling. Neither of them liked it or knew how to cope with it. Nor was it something they wanted to say to the other. Preferring instead to come to terms with it privately. Yet both knew the other was feeling it.

By unspoken agreement, they had finished their drinks and left the saloon early. They had returned to the cabin that was now their home, undressed in relative silence and gone to bed. To their surprise they slept like the dead. No tossing and turning. No lying awake thinking until the wee small hours. Just sleep. Deep, refreshing, undreaming sleep.

Before the amnesty, Heyes had begun to look strained and tired. He had drunk heavily, put on weight and generally looked older than his age. His appearance had become sloppy, wearing his hair longer and his sideburns had threatened to take over his face at one point.

That first post-amnesty morning, Heyes had shaved properly for the first time in months. His sideburns had returned to where they should be. When he had turned from the sink and wiped away the remaining foam, the Kid could see that the tension had gone from his face. The Kid hadn’t realised quite how hard the strain had been on his partner. He smiled and nodded. Him too, if he was honest.

Neither had wanted to speak much during the two days that followed. Instinctively they knew what they had to do and each settled to the tasks in hand. There was no need for words. Repairing the cabin took all their concentration. To their surprise, there was a certain satisfaction in fixing the place up. They found they wanted to do a good job. The manual work provided the perfect distraction from thinking about their future.

They fixed the veranda’s missing planks and returned the hitching rail to a horizontal position. The weeds disappeared from round the house and rediscovered an overgrown flowerbed. The Kid climbed onto the roof and inspected it for leaks. Inside, the floor was swept to within an inch of it’s life. The remnants of the last occupant’s meal was disposed of, the cooking utensils, pots and pans scrubbed and organised on a shelf. The table gave up its pretensions of being a ship and no longer swayed at the slightest touch. Spiders and other free-range bugs and critters summarily evicted.

In the bunkroom, they aired the two bunks. The Kid fashioned a washing line and the blankets and sheets washed and hung out to dry. Mattresses were turned and pillows plumped.

Once repaired, Heyes had several goes at positioning the furniture. To make the best use of space he told the Kid. However, the Kid thought it was more for aesthetic reasons, if he knew what aesthetic meant. He just put it where Heyes directed. Heyes had stood hands on hips, considering and twitching his nose as he studied the layout. The Kid had growled when he had to move it all again. Twice!

Heyes had even found an old glass jar and put some flowers in it. He’d gestured proudly to it as it stood in the middle of the now sturdy table.

“Really?” the Kid had questioned.

Heyes had nodded. “Makes the place looked cared for. This is our home now, Kid. I reckon we deserve to be comfortable in it.”

All done, they reckoned it was good enough for the required stay of six months. Good enough for men used to riding the range and who hadn’t had a place to call home since they were boys.

Now they lay in bed, contemplating what the next day would bring. Tomorrow they would start the jobs Lom had found for them. Neither was too sure, how they felt about it. Could they really settle for a routine existence after so long? Getting up each day at the same time; going to the same place each day; putting in a full day with little variety; coming home; going to bed ….

“Are you looking forward to it?” Heyes asked the silence.

“What shovelin’ sh…?

“Manure!” Heyes interrupted. “Language, Kid. Remember we’re PG!”

“Even now we’ve got amnesty?”

“Especially now we’ve got amnesty. We’re upright, law abiding citizens now. They don’t cuss.” Much, he added to himself.

In the dark, Heyes received the look.

“Still don’t understand why Lom couldna got us both jobs in the Hardware Store,” the Kid grumbled. “That looks like a lotta work for jus’ one man.”

“Lom explained it to us Kid. It’s so we’re not always seen as a pair. Y’know we’re more obvious together.”

“I hate it when we split up. Bad things always happen.”

“We’re hardly splitting up! I’ll be in the middle of town and you’ll be on the edge of town. We’ll see each other every morning and night. Here. In our home.” Heyes flashed him a broad grin even though he knew the Kid couldn’t see it.

“Suppose so.”

Silence descended on Dun Outlawin’ until Heyes broke it.

“Talking ‘bout the amnesty, how d’you feel?”

“Kinda numb.”

“Yeah,” Heyes agreed.

“It’s not like I’d imagined it to be.”

“Nope. Bit of an anti-climax.”

 “Kid.”

“Mmmm?”

“It’ll be alright, y’know. Once it’s sunk in properly and we get used to it.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Heyes said, firmly. “We can do this.” He paused. “How hard can it be?”

The Kid grunted and Heyes smiled as he heard his partner flump round to face the wall away from him. Heyes settled the other way to face his wall.

“’Night, Jed,” he whispered.

In the quiet cabin, he must have said it louder than he thought.

“’Night, Han,” came the reply.

Heyes grinned widely.

Neither had called the other by their childhood names in years. Perhaps tomorrow would put the intervening years to rest and they could resume their lives. The lives they should have had. Be the men they should have been. Tomorrow was the first day of the rest of their lives. There was a world of possibilities out there and some would be coming their way. It was a daunting but happy thought. Two officially reformed outlaws went off to sleep dreaming of tomorrow’s hard work. They didn’t mind one little bit.
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