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Monday, June 17, 2013

Which SARAGOSA Character Are You?

Brody McNeel stood in the doorway of the jail, his six foot two inch bulk filling the entrance. One broad shoulder leaned against the doorframe as he took a last drag on his cigarette, flicked it into the street and pulled the jailhouse door closed behind him. The sun had set an hour ago and the saloon lights lit up the town. His town.


A man filled the doorway. His clothes were tattered and covered with grime. His hair hung well past his collar and a week's worth of growth clung to his chin, his face showed the scars of several cuts. A single holster rested on his hip, tied down with a rawhide strip. Orin stood his ground and let Brody come to him.


Dub watched him long enough to make sure he'd go, then retrieved his Henry rifle from the jail. The stock fit smoothly into his palm and he tested its weight. He only carried it now when he began to miss the feel of it, but there was a time he'd carried it everywhere he went - back in the early days with Brody, when they were targets for every hard case with something to prove. The bark of that old Henry was the last sound many of those men ever heard. Dub checked the load, closed the jailhouse door, and stepped out into the night air.


As he looked up, Ricky saw the man's gun already clearing leather. The barrel slid smoothly from the holster and began to draw up level. In slow motion he saw the man's thumb move toward the hammer. He had to move, but the pain in his side was too great. Like a blacksmith's hammer striking the anvil, he heard the pistol cocked. An explosion filled his ears and resounded off the walls. From somewhere, there was a cry of pain and the man before him fell. Ricky looked down in confusion and found a gun in his hand, a small drift of smoke rising from the barrel. Holstering his father's pistol, dizziness tilted the world and Sarah grabbed him just before his knees gave out. There was blood, and there was a lot of it.


That was District Attorney Rynerson from Santa Fe. Of all the men who's passed through Bristol's court, there was no one he loathed more than the district attorney. A more sinister man, the judge had yet to encounter. Turning from the window, he slowly walked to the crowded table, shouldering his way into its mist. He despised these men, and yet here he was a part of them, a part of The Ring and thus detestable by association.


The gunman crossed the plank sidewalk and stood close to Cross, trying to stare him down. It was the last mistake he would ever get to make. With the speed that was nearly imperceptible, Cross rammed the blade deep into the man's belly. The gunman's eyes flew open wide. He gripped the hand holding the knife, but Cross yanked the blade up, tearing open the man's abdomen. The gunman screamed, and with the scream came a steady stream of blood, bubbling from his mouth. Cross put his shoulder to the man's chest and shoved him off the walk into the alley beside the saloon. The gunman made no sound as he fell facedown into the dirt. He was dead. Cross nudged the toe of his boot under the man and rolled him over. Without finesse, he pulled the blade out and wiped it on the dead man's clothes. 'Nobody tells me what to do,' he said.

saragosaWill Cross

"I may be a woman, Brody. But I’m a strong woman and I don’t need to be protected. I wont take being lied to, so please don’t do it. Not now, not ever.” Sarah spoke gently but firmly. This was a hard land and it bred hard people. She’d watched her father die and never knew, not until the very end, that his body was racked with cancer. He too had protected her from the truth and she’d been left scared, confused, and alone. The truth was a powerful thing and one she needed no protection from. “I’ll not be protected anymore.” She told him. “Ignorance only breeds fools.”