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Historical Earth Blood Moon Gulch: A Supernatural Western

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Reynar_Tedros, May 8, 2019.

  1. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    IC: Lizzy Brewer
    Blood Moon Gulch Sheriff's office


    The mules were not happy to be moving again. Not Horse grumbled, and Sleepy Feet brayed out loud.

    "Not long now," murmured Lizzy reassuringly, petting their white noses. It was odd to see a woman running the Sheriff's office --did she have any authority?-- but she had confidence, and walked like a warrior. If the elder man was still there, then three against four, Lizzy might be able to get her house back by sundown.

    Dog got to his feet with a deep sigh, but he was an uncomplaining sort, and the small cavalcade headed out of town. As they passed the last building, Lazy Cat appeared, tail in the air. He observed them, then jumped to Dog's back, and from there to the pack on Sleepy Feet.

    As they made their way along the road, Lizzy looked at the woman. The man had called her Jodie, and Lizzy had a hundred questions, but she settled for a simple one, that the woman could not take offense to.

    "Who is this Grievson man?" she asked. "What is it he has done?"

    TAG: @Reynar_Tedros
     
  2. Reynar_Tedros

    Reynar_Tedros Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Jodie Felton
    Blood Moon Gulch

    "Who is this Grieveson man?"
    Lizzy asked Jodie as they rode along the road towards the outskirts of town. "What is it he has done?"

    "You mean besides trespass on your lawfully acquired property?" Jodie mused. She turned her head and spat into the dirt, realizing her mouth was a little dry. She thought back to the water she splashed on Earl's face and wished she would've saved some for herself to drink. "Well there's more than one of 'em unfortunately, but their leader is John Grieveson. Most folk call 'im Grave Johnny on account of his penchant for stealing from the dearly departed. Damn fool is what he is, but he's a good talker. Good enough to convince his cousins to follow 'im, anyway.

    "You said there were two others with 'im? One of 'em big and ugly, other one a little runt? Yeah, that'd be his cousins, I reckon. Big one'd be the one you'd have to worry about, Wayne. Johnny just robs dead folk, but Wayne's the reason a lot of 'em are dead in the first place. The young'n they call Treat, he's about as harmless as they come. Still, any livin' Grieveson is a dangerous one considerin' their kin. Been a while since we've seen 'em 'round these parts, but Johnny's daddy Virgil ain't one to trifle with. Makes Wayne look like a saint, least from the stories I've heard. Ain't run into 'im myself, but that's one I'd surely like to put down given the opportunity."

    Jodie wasn't sure how far from the Gulch Lizzy's new home was. She wondered if the farm she'd bought was the Hoovers' old place, but she shelved that thought for now. The woman looked like she had native blood in her. "Where are you from originally, Miss Brewer?" she asked.

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  3. Master Vo'Un'Var

    Master Vo'Un'Var Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Jack Logan
    Outside Blood Moon Gulch
    Farmstead


    He watched as Johnny became drenched with his own blood. He began to walk towards him as he fell to the ground. He looked down at the pale face of Johnny and shook his head.

    "You were dead when you decided to live this kinda life, kid..."

    He looked over to the other dead body and wondered how much he could fetch. He may well have had a price on his head if he hang with this crowd. Jack reloaded his gun and went over to the house, kicking open the front door. He scanned around the house, and found the scared kid's gun. Kid must've run. Jack decided to let him be. He seemed harmless to him.

    He went back out and gathered the two bodies. Hoisting them onto the back of his horse and securing them. He pulled himself up and began to trot back towards the road, to Bloodmoon Gulch to get his reward.

    Billy Ware
    The Silver Bullet Saloon

    Billy smiled slightly as she talked about his unnatural looks.

    "What can I say, I ain't like most folk, but I ain't unnatural."

    Billy went over to the desk and sat in Hudson's seat, kicking his feet up on the desk.

    "I hope I didn't scare ya." He said, grinning at her.

    @Reynar_Tedros
     
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  4. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Lizzy Brewer
    On the road back to the farm


    Lizzy was alarmed by what Jodie had told her. This Grievson stole from the dead? She could not think of anything more horrible. Among her people, having the possessions of a dead person could bring sickness and terrible misfortune. Someone who was dying would usually give away everything they owned first, so that their things wouldn’t bring illness on their kin. And they were often carried outside, to die under the open sky. To die inside their home usually meant that the wikiup would have to be destroyed, burned, with everything in it, to keep the bad medicine from being passed on. Lizzy wondered what she would find if they were able to free her house.

    But Jodie’s other question put her on alert. "Where are you from originally, Miss Brewer?" she'd asked.

    Lizzy hesitated. Her people had been moved to Oklahoma, years ago. Her marriage had given her a certain amount of protection, but now that he was dead, would she be forced back to the reservation? She needed to be here. “Mrs,” she said. “I’m a widow. I was born here, actually.” It wasn’t called Blood Moon Gulch back then, of course. “My family had to go to Oklahoma. I was married a few years later, to a cavalry soldier. He died of measles, with my children, last year. I used his pension to buy this farm, and I will send for my two daughters, the only ones left. I want to be here; I have always considered it home.”


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  5. Reynar_Tedros

    Reynar_Tedros Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Jodie Felton
    Blood Moon Gulch

    "Mrs.,"
    came Lizzy's response, and Jodie tipped her cap as a gesture of apology for her mistake. "I’m a widow. I was born here, actually. My family had to go to Oklahoma. I was married a few years later, to a cavalry soldier. He died of measles, with my children, last year. I used his pension to buy this farm, and I will send for my two daughters, the only ones left. I want to be here; I have always considered it home."

    "I'm sorry for your loss," Jodie said in a solemn tone. She'd been around death plenty in her life, from fairly early on. Most of it she didn't feel bad about, but Lizzy seemed to be a good woman, and the way she spoke of her husband made Jodie believe that he was a good man, and in a world such as this, the death of a decent person was something to mourn.

    She also knew that navigating this frontier of the American west alone was hard enough for a man, but for a woman trouble seemed to come tenfold. Jodie'd learned to conquer it, and now where once men dismissed her as they would a clod of dirt on their boots, they feared her instead. But she knew Lizzy couldn't say the same. "You ever need anythin', you come find me at the sheriff's office just like you done today," Jodie said. "I ain't there, someone'll know where to find me. Got a feelin' you won't find this place to be the same as it was when you and your family left it."

    As the two of them traveled further along the road, the farm inched closer on the horizon. Jodie lifted her head at the sight of a man on horseback in the distance, and squinting her eyes she could see that he had some kind of cargo on the back of his horse. She quietly unclipped the gun holster on her belt as a precaution as they got closer, and moved her horse ahead of Lizzy's. Then she lifted her hand and waved, a gesture of good will. She hoped the other party did the same. If he didn't, he was either someone to worry about, or severely near sighted.

    Tag: @Mistress_Renata, @Master Vo'Un'Var




    Sadie
    The Silver Bullet Saloon

    "What can I say,"
    Billy began, "I ain't like most folk, but I ain't unnatural." Sadie watched as the pianist proceeded to stroll over to Hudson's seat and sit down on it, kicking his feet up on the desk in the process. She wasn't sure if he was just confident or foolish. Maybe a little bit of both. "I hope I didn't scare ya." Billy grinned at her, and it was a far cry from the look he'd given Byron downstairs before beating him to the floor with his fists. He was handsome.

    "Well," Sadie half smiled, pulling a loose strand of hair behind her ear, "I reckon I'd be lyin' if I said it didn't make me a little nervous." She left the window by which she stood and walked over to the opposite side of the desk. She carried herself with such elegance that it almost seemed like she floated across the floor. She sat down in one of the two chairs there and looked at Billy, kicked back and comfortable, and wondered what Hudson would say if he walked in with him positioned in such a way. "Now tell me Billy Ware, what do you mean you ain't like most folk?" Sadie had been told before that she wasn't like most women, but hardly anyone who told her that really knew how true a statement it was. She wondered if Billy, too, had such a nature about him that he kept hidden from the world. And if he did, she doubted he'd tell her, but it couldn't hurt to try.

    Tag: @Master Vo'Un'Var
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  6. Master Vo'Un'Var

    Master Vo'Un'Var Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Jack Logan
    On the road to Bloodmoon Gulch

    Jack lit a cigar as he trotted down the road. He looked up and saw in the distance two folk on horseback. One of them waved. They seemed friendly enough. Perhaps they didn't want trouble? He rested one hand on his revolver, and the other he waved with. He took a long draw from his cigar and sped up, coming closer to the group. When he was in earshot he called out to them in greetings.

    "Howdy, if you're heading over to the farm you ain't need to worry. Trouble there has been dealt with."

    @Mistress_Renata @Reynar_Tedros

    Billy Ware
    Hudson's Office, the Silver Bullet Saloon

    Billy chuckled quietly.

    "I just ain't. I don't fit peoples' idea of normal." He stretched his arms as he looked around the room, observing his surroundings.

    "I'm just a piano player to most though, nothin' too interesting."

    @Reynar_Tedros
     
  7. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Lizzy Brewer
    On the road out of town


    "You ever need anythin', you come find me at the sheriff's office just like you done today," Jodie said. "I ain't there, someone'll know where to find me. Got a feelin' you won't find this place to be the same as it was when you and your family left it."

    Lizzie nodded. That was already true. There were two farms and no town at all when she'd left, and it wasn't called Blood Moon Gulch when she'd left. She started to say thank you, but a rider appeared a head of them. Lizzy stiffened. She'd seen him before, riding up to the farm. Now he had a cigar in his mouth, and there were two bodies slung over the back of his mount. She peered at them, although they were face down. Neither seemed to be the ragged older man, for which she was grateful.

    "Howdy, if you're heading over to the farm you ain't need to worry. Trouble there has been dealt with," he said.

    Lizzy looked from the bodies to Jodie, uncertain. She wasn't sure what this meant. And she wasn't sure this was entirely true. She got the feeling the trouble was only starting.

    TAG: @Master Vo'Un'Var, @Reynar_Tedros
     
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  8. Reynar_Tedros

    Reynar_Tedros Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Hudson Atwood
    The Silver Bullet Saloon

    After getting the Silver Bullet back into the swing of things following a brief distraction with a drunk, a whore, and a pianist, Hudson mounted the stairs leading up to the second floor of his establishment. Tall and well built, Hudson's steps were lighter than one would expect of someone his size, and he climbed with the elegance of a man accustomed to moving carefully through whatever environment he found himself in. Sadie and Billy wouldn't likely hear him approaching.

    He entered his office and the first thing his dark eyes fell on was Billy Ware laid back in his chair with his feet kicked up on the desk. Hudson stood there for a moment, bewildered by the man's nerve. He'd never had cause to invite Billy up, and he never exchanged more than a few professional words with him. He was the pianist, Hudson hired him to do a simple job, and up until today, they'd had no issues with this agreement. But Billy had assaulted a paying customer, and it didn't take a man of Hudson's intelligence to understand that that wasn't good for business. His eyes moved to Sadie, who looked at him with caution, understanding that Billy may have aggravated an already agitated Atwood.

    "Get your feet off my desk and your ass out of my seat, Ware," Hudson said with a calm ferocity as he approached the musician. "Then you can tell me what the hell happened down there."

    "Hudson, he-" Sadie started, but the glare she received from Hudson stopped her in her tracks, and she looked down at her hands folded in her lap.

    "Him first."

    Tag: @Master Vo'Un'Var





    Jodie Felton

    Blood Moon Gulch

    Jodie gave no visible reaction to the man down the road waving back, her hand still resting on her sidearm. As they drew closer, she could see a cigar in his mouth, and once they were in earshot of each other, the man was the first to speak.

    "Howdy, if you're heading over to the farm you ain't need to worry. Trouble there has been dealt with."

    As it turned out, as Jodie had suspected, the cargo she'd seen on the back of the man's horse was a pair of dead bodies. Jodie looked from the corpses to the horizon towards the farm. Two bodies. Lizzy had said there were three men on her farm. Jodie guided her horse to the side of the man where the heads of the bodies slung limp over the side of the horse, who gave no indication that this was its first time transporting the shells of men who no longer drew breath. With a gloved hand, she grabbed each one by the hair and lifted their heads so that she could see their faces. Johnny. Wayne. It was the runt, Treat, that was missing.

    "My companion here," Jodie spoke to the man and nodded toward Lizzy, "said there were three men takin' up residence on her farm. You say the trouble there's been dealt with, but I only count two bodies here." She stared at the grizzled man with a furrowed brow and awaited his response.

    Tag: @Master Vo'Un'Var, @Mistress_Renata
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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  9. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Lizzy Brewer
    just outside of Blood Moon Gulch


    The man with the cigar said the trouble had been dealt with, and there were two dead bodies slung over the back of his powerful horse. The mules threw back their ears and shied at the scent of death. Lizzy soothed them with a pat, and peered closely. One was the Grievson man, the evil one. The other older man on the porch was there, too.

    Jodie shifted. "My companion here said there were three men takin' up residence on her farm. You say the trouble there's been dealt with, but I only count two bodies here."

    Lizzy considered. It was the boy, Treat, Jodie had called him, he was the one missing. Jodie had said he was harmless. Lizzy wasn't entirely sure of that, but from what she had seen of him, she was pretty sure she could handle him, if she had too. Where was the older man, the ragged one she had spoken to? Had he taken the warning to avoid the farm? She was half-certain he was a spirit himself, maybe one of their victims.

    What of the things they were said to have stolen? Their horses? Lizzy kept her face impassive, but she sat and waited to see how this spun out.

    TAG: @Master Vo'Un'Var, @Reynar_Tedros, @HanSolo29
     
  10. Master Vo'Un'Var

    Master Vo'Un'Var Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Jack Logan
    On the road to Bloodmoon Gulch

    Jack looked with his eyes narrowed to the two.

    "Like I said," he murmured, "trouble there's been dealt with. The third kid ran after I killed his friends here. I don't think he'll be coming back."

    Jack reached into a pocket and pulled out a gun.

    "This was his. He musta left it."

    @Reynar_Tedros @Mistress_Renata

    Billy Ware
    Hudson's Office, the Silver Bullet Saloon

    Billy Ware slowly rose from Hudon's seat and calmly replied to his question.

    "Well, Sir, that fellow down there, whatever his name was, was bein' rather rough this nice lady here. I told him to back away, but he just wasn't gonna listen, Sir. I had to take matters into ma own hands so that our staff didn't get to beat up."

    Billy made his way from behind Hudson's desk and nodded to him.

    "I can say that stuff like this shouldn't happen again."

    @Reynar_Tedros
     
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  11. Reynar_Tedros

    Reynar_Tedros Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Jodie Felton
    Blood Moon Gulch

    "Like I said,"
    the rugged man murmured, "trouble there's been dealt with. The third kid ran after I killed his friends here. I don't think he'll be coming back." He reached into his pocket and pulled a gun out by the barrel. "This was his. He musta left it."

    Jodie shook her head as she took the gun from the man, opening up the chamber to see that it was loaded and snapping it shut again. "He'll come back," she said, looking out towards the horizon. "And hell'll be comin' with 'im." And she left it at that. She didn't see any need to elaborate on the fact that Treat Grieveson was likely headed straight for wherever his uncle was, the infamous Virgil Grieveson, father of Johnny, who would be none too pleased to find out about the fate of his boy. She could see it all playing out in her mind. Little Treat stumbling into camp, gunless and breathless, spilling his guts about what happened on that farm on the outskirts of Blood Moon Gulch, too naive to realize the chaos he was about to unleash. And Virgil, big angry Virgil Grieveson, standing up from the log upon which he sat with veins bulging from his forehead and his neck, riling up his gang of murderers and thieves to storm the town in an act of terrible vengeance for the death of his son at the hands of some bounty hunter. No, no need to elaborate at all.

    As Jodie turned her head to face Lizzy, she noticed a new rider approaching in the distance behind her. It took hardly a second for her to recognize that unmistakable shape.

    "Well I'll be," she mused to herself, leaning forward on her horse, "Earl sent the mute after all."

    There came a prodigious white man saddled upon an equally prodigious horse, each the biggest of their kind in Blood Moon Gulch. As he approached, Lizzy and Jack would see a man who could easily be mistaken for a giant, wearing a wide brimmed hat that sat upon shaggy black hair that fell down to his broad shoulders. His face was heavily scarred, as if he'd lost a brawl to Death itself and had gone back for a rematch. His eyes were sunken, his nose large and crooked, chapped lips turned down into a permanent frown that was only accentuated by his thick black eyebrows. It was a face children would stare at in fascination. The horse he rode upon was as black as his hair, with a large, strong body and legs that looked like they could carry a train.

    While he was still out of earshot, Jodie leaned over to Lizzy and spoke quietly, "If you'll allow it, I'd like to send Gene," she nodded toward the approaching giant, "back to your farm with you for the night. I know he may look fright'nin', but there ain't a soul in this world I trust more'n him. I'd put my life in his hands a thousand times over, and I have, Lord knows. If you'll allow it. It'd sure make me feel a hell of a lot better, anyway." She looked at the gun still in her hand that Jack had handed over, the one that belonged to the youngest Grieveson. "And I don't suppose you'd wanna take this as well," she said, offering the firearm. "Better to have it and not need it..."

    Tag: @Mistress_Renata, @Master Vo'Un'Var




    Hudson Atwood
    The Silver Bullet Saloon

    Billy did as he was told, standing up from Hudson's chair and walking around to the other side of the desk.

    "Well, sir," he started, "that fellow down there, whatever his name was, was bein' rather rough to this nice lady here. I told him to back away, but he just wasn't gonna listen, sir. I had to take matters into ma own hands so that our staff didn't get too beat up. I can say that stuff like this shouldn't happen again."

    Hudson looked at Billy for a moment, then to Sadie, sitting there in the chair with her feet crossed over one another and her hands folded in her lap. "Well?" he asked her.

    "You know Byron, Hudson," Sadie said. "That was a long time comin' for him."

    Hudson started to walk around to his side of the desk, running his finger over the surface and bringing it up to his face to stare at it for a moment, as if to study the dust that may have settled there. "I know Byron as a paying customer. Has been for a long time now." He slowly sat down in the chair that Billy had vacated a moment prior and leaned back, arms resting on the sides. "And I also know that Byron knows who your kin is, and I can't imagine he'd want to test those waters. I wonder what made him so upset."

    Sadie shuffled in her seat.

    "I don't suppose he was requesting your services?" Hudson asked, knowing full well the answer.

    "Yes," Sadie said, eyes locked with her employer.

    "So?" Again, Sadie knew that he knew exactly the situation, but was making her elaborate all the same.

    "So," she started, "me and Byron already done it once."

    "Ah. And you have your... rule. Billy, has Sadie told you about her rule?"

    "Hudson..."

    "Kind of a ridiculous rule for a whore to have, don't you think?"

    "Hudson. Billy's had a long day, I think you should let him leave." She looked at Hudson, determined. She knew she'd have to tell him the truth, or risk losing her job for good. But she didn't want to do it in front of Billy.

    Hudson looked at Sadie, then to Billy. Then he motioned for the door. "You can go, Ware. And the next time you assault one of my customers, we'll be having a much different conversation."

    Tag: @Master Vo'Un'Var
     
  12. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Lizzy Brewer
    Blood Moon Gulch

    Lizzy considered the gun. "Thank you," she said. She had a Colt revolver that her husband had given her at Cold Spring Harbor, when they feared the Confederates would overrun the camp. And she had the Henry rifle that she'd traded with Bridie O'Doule after Sergeant Jimmy's death. But it wouldn't hurt to have more firepower, and the boy was still alive, after all. She looked up at the massive man, who was called Gene.

    "I will be grateful for your protection," she said. "I cannot pay you, but I can feed you." Maybe. She had supplies for a few more days, but they would go fast trying to fill up that man. She looked at Jodie. "If they left evidence, the things they stole... what do you want me to do?" Especially if these things were stolen from the dead, the less time they were at the house the better.

    TAG: @Reynar_Tedros, @Master Vo'Un'Var
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
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  13. Master Vo'Un'Var

    Master Vo'Un'Var Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Jack Logan
    On the road to Bloodmoon Gulch

    Jack listened silently to the two talking, not really paying much attention. He just wanted to get his pay. When their came a pause in their conversation, he interjected.

    "I'll just be headin' to the Gulch now, gotta collect my reward." He said, nudging his horse and continuing his way down the path.

    @Reynar_Tedros @Mistress_Renata

    Billy Ware
    Hudson's Office, the Silver Bullet Saloon

    Billy stepped outside of Hudson's office and closed the door. He stood there for a second, smiling to himself. He was beginning to like Sadie. He wasn't that interested in her physically, but he found her interesting. Perhaps, he thought, she wasn't so different than him. Maybe they had a bit more in common than they both realized.

    Billy made his way downstairs, and back to his piano. He sat down on his stool and began sliding into a song, going back to his work.

    @Reynar_Tedros
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
  14. Reynar_Tedros

    Reynar_Tedros Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Earlier...

    The girl's skin was pale, almost translucent, and her simple lace dress was as white as snow. Her hair was such a bright blonde that it was almost silver, and as she sat there upon the edge of the plateau, it fell all the way down to the grass behind her. She looked down with icy blue eyes at the feverfew flower she held in her hands, slowly picking off the petals one by one. She couldn't have been older than nine, maybe ten years old.

    The man who watched her from afar had skin as dark as the night sky, and he wore a top hat upon his head to go with the finely tailored suit adorning his lanky frame. He stroked his pencil thin mustache with a bony finger as he studied the girl sitting over there. He reached into his coat and pulled out a small black book, opened to a page and studied it for a moment, then put it back in his coat. He looked up at the sky and squinted his eyes at the brightness of the sun, looked back at the girl, and walked towards her.

    The plateau overlooked distant paths of two roads that converged into one, and farther on, a small farm where three men sat shaded beneath the porch. A few others were approaching the crossroads, one woman and two men, but none of these people had any awareness of the young girl and middle aged man up on the plateau far behind them. If they happened to turn around, which they had no reason to do, they would merely be specs on the horizon, indistinguishable to the naked eye.

    The man with the top hat stood next to the girl on the ground picking petals off a flower, knelt down and took a seat next to her. He took off his hat, held it away from him and looked inside it, and set it down on the ground next to him, upright.

    The girl finally looked at the man with a smile on her face that could melt a soul with its purity, eyes as deep as the cold ocean. "Hello," she said with a voice so soft that it glided through the air like a dream.

    "Hello yourself," said the man, reaching up and tipping the hat that he no longer wore. There was no sweat upon his bald head. "I was wondering when I might see you again."

    "I am pleased that our paths have crossed once more."

    "Likewise." He looked out upon the farm and the six people there who looked like ants so far away.

    The girl followed his gaze. "I suppose someone down there is not where they should be?"

    "No ma'am, he surely is not. You will have to wait a little longer for him, I'm afraid."

    "Hm. A little." The girl plucked another petal off the flower, and despite how long she'd been at it, it still appeared to be healthy and in full bloom.

    The two sat there for a while, the man casually watching the scene below them unfold, the girl slowly working on the flower.

    "Guess I had better get to it," the man spoke, reaching over and picking up his hat. He set it on his head, adjusting it carefully until he was satisfied. He stood. "Don't want to be late, now."

    "It was nice to see you," the girl said, turning her eyes from the flower to the man who stood silhouetted against the sun next to her like a wraith.

    "I suppose you will be following along shortly?"

    "When the time comes."

    "Right." He began to turn away, but looked back at the girl again. "Say, you ever been late before?"

    Neither the girl's expression nor her demeanor changed in any discernible way, but the man could somehow feel the air enclosing around him, as if the girl's cold blue gaze bore into his very existence. "Never," she said, voice still as soft as ever.

    "Right," the man said, tipping the hat that he actually wore this time. "Be seeing you, then."

    "Farewell."

    And with that, Top Hat Man left the girl to her own devices, and started down the gentle slope of the plateau and down onto the dirt path that led to Blood Moon Gulch. He'd never been to the town before, but had heard tell of it many times. He was anxious to see it for himself. But before that, he had a job to do.

    There were six people in the nearby area that he approached, but he was only there for one. The lone woman had started toward town, and one of the other men was approaching the farmstead where the three others waited. That left one straggler, Henry White. Top Hat Man pulled a silver watch from his pocket, checked the time, and returned it to its place. White was seated atop a thoroughbred with his back facing away from the man who watched him, completely unaware of his approach.

    Once the man was close enough to Henry, he reached his hand out and touched the older man's leg and spoke the word, "Sleep." Before he had any time at all to react to this sudden appearance, Henry White fell into a deep slumber, his body slumped over the neck of his horse. Top Hat Man then placed his hand upon the horse, who'd begun to stir from this unexpected visitation, and said, "Calm." The horse's restlessness ceased in an instant, and stood there silently, unbothered.

    "Okay now," the man said as he reached up and shifted Henry's body so that he lay securely on the back of the horse, unconscious, peaceful. He then lifted his left foot into the stirrup of the saddle, grabbed hold of the horse's reins, and swung his right leg over the saddle that he now straddled. He looked back to check on Henry. All of this had transpired beyond any living creature's notice. He softly kicked the side of the horse with his foot, and they were off along the path toward town.

    When they passed the old wooden sign on the road that read Welc me to Blo d Moon Gu ch (a few of the letters had faded over time or been shot through and never replaced), Top Hat Man took stock of his surroundings. The sheriff's office was there on the right side of the town's main street, with some shops further down the dirt lane. There were various men and women traversing the street, mostly keeping to themselves. None of them paid the man or the horse any mind. On the left side of the road was the Silver Bullet Saloon, and farther on down was the place the man sought, the Moonlight Inn. The man halted Henry's horse in front of the inn by a post, and hopped off the horse's back and tied it to the post with its reins. He looked over at Henry, still fast asleep on the back of the horse, and lifted him off and set him on his right shoulder with seemingly little effort, showing great strength for a man of his slender size. He walked up the small set of stairs and opened the front door to the hotel, where a portly middle aged man with slick backed greying hair stood behind the counter.

    "How'd'ya do, sir?" the man behind the counter greeted Top Hat Man, seeming to pay no mind to the unconscious body he carried on his shoulder.

    "Oh fine, just fine, thank you," Top Hat Man replied with a pleasant smile and nod. "Just looking for a place to rest."

    "Well you've come to the right place! Just one bed for you, sir?"

    "Whatever is available."

    "Right." The man turned around to the wall of keys behind him and picked one off and placed it on the counter. "You know," for the first time, he acknowledged the load on Top Hat Man's shoulder, "I'm not a gamblin' man, but I'd venture our beds are a mite more comfortable than that there bedroll you're carryin'."

    Top Hat Man turned his head to look at Henry's unconscious body laying on his shoulder, and smiled to himself. "I will be sure to give it a try," he said. "But old habits die hard."

    "Oh, I understand that!" The man handed Top Hat Man the key to his room. "You'll be in room twenty-three, just up the stairs behind me and down the hall on the left."

    "Thank you kindly." Top Hat Man tipped his hat with his free hand and headed up the wooden stairs, the bottom step creaking slightly as he mounted it. He climbed them with ease despite the load he carried, and he walked a short way down the hall and found room twenty-three on the left. He opened the door to a quaint room freshly cleaned with a single window in the back covered by a thin white curtain that allowed plenty of sunlight in. There was a small writing desk in the corner with a chair beside it, and a lone single bed in the middle of the room with a dresser on the opposite side. Top Hat Man walked to the bed and carefully lay Henry down in it, resting the man's head on the pillow there and laying him out straight on his back. When he woke in a few moments, he'd find the room empty, with no recollection of the events between then and the time when he suddenly lost consciousness atop his horse.

    Top Hat Man stood over the bed looking down at Henry. "Right where you need to be," he said. He set the key to the room on the dresser, then walked out and closed the door quietly behind him.

    The man behind the counter turned around when he heard someone coming down the stairs behind him, surprised when he saw that it was the man who'd just checked in. "Pardon me, sir," he said. "I forgot to get your name for the log."

    "Henry White," Top Hat Man said, and watched the man behind the counter nod and write the name in a book he had open with names and corresponding room numbers.

    "Thank you, sir. Anything else I can do ya for?"

    Top Hat Man took a few steps toward the man and laid his hand upon his shoulder. "Forget me," he said.

    The man behind the counter's eyes went blank for a moment, his face glazed over as he stared straight ahead at the empty wall opposite him. Then he blinked his eyes quickly, rubbing them with his fingertips, a sudden tiredness coming over him and washing away just as quickly. He turned back to the counter, and there just outside the door of the hotel, he watched a man with a top hat he'd never seen before walk down the road and out of sight.

    Tag: @HanSolo29
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
  15. Reynar_Tedros

    Reynar_Tedros Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Jodie
    Outside Blood Moon Gulch

    Jodie was relieved when Lizzy accepted her offer of the pistol, half expecting her to refuse it. With Gene accompanying her back to the farm, she probably wouldn't need it, but they couldn't be too careful given the circumstances.

    "I will be grateful for your protection," Lizzy told the giant man. "I cannot pay you, but I can feed you." Truth be told, food and shelter was all Gene had ever needed since he arrived in Blood Moon Gulch. Jodie had never heard him speak, which meant she'd never heard him complain. He'd always helped her and the Sheriff around town, and anyone else who might've been in need of a man of his stature and strength. He'd grown into somewhat of a legend around the Gulch. Everyone knew not to mess with Jodie, and they damn sure knew that if they ever got on the wrong side of her back-up, which was often Gene, they'd be begging for a jail cell in which to hide.

    "If they left evidence, the things they stole... what do you want me to do?"

    "Gene will have a look around when y'all get back, if that's all right with you," Jodie looked at the stoic faced mute and nodded. "If he finds anything, he'll bring it back to me tomorrow and we'll go from there. Doubt the runt would've left without anything valuable anyway. You can rest easy." The sun had begun its slow descent in the west.

    "I'll just be headin' to the Gulch now," said Jack Logan, who'd been silent through the previous exchange. "Gotta collect my reward."

    "I'll head back with ya," Jodie said. "Best for me not to leave the Gulch alone for too long, lest all hell break loose. Mrs. Brewer, you know where to find me." She tipped her hat to the woman, looked at Gene and nodded a brief farewell, then turned her horse and followed along next to the bounty hunter.

    "Lucky you got to that farm when you did," she said as they made their way down the road. "Was you huntin' Grieveson, or just right place right time?"

    Back with Lizzy, Gene sat on his horse a few yards ahead. With half his tattered face hidden behind his long black hair and the low hat he wore, he was turned around to see her, patiently waiting for her to lead the way back to her farm. Despite his imposing appearance, the man gave off an air of soothing strength that could make even the most vulnerable person in the world feel safe.

    Tag: @Master Vo'Un'Var, @Mistress_Renata
     
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  16. Reynar_Tedros

    Reynar_Tedros Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2006
    The Silver Bullet Saloon

    Had Billy Ware, instead of going back to his duties at the piano on the first floor, lingered outside of Hudson Atwood's office and eavesdropped on the conversation on the other side of the door, he would've been able to hear the following exchange:

    "Well? What are we doing here, Sadie? How much longer do you think you can keep this up?"

    "I don't know."

    "Clientele's drying up. Getting a lot of repeat customers who ain't happy their favorite attraction is no longer available."

    "I know."

    "Look." Hudson leaned forward in his chair and put his finger under Sadie's chin, lifting her face so that their eyes met across the desk. "You're my best girl. And I ain't never questioned you. But I deserve to know."

    "I know."

    He leaned back. "Well?"

    Sadie looked toward the window of Hudson's office, noticing the sun had begun to set on Blood Moon Gulch. "You have to swear not to tell another soul." She looked back at Hudson with a piercing gaze.

    "I swear," Hudson replied with a furrowed brow.

    She looked down at her hands as she nervously picked at a hangnail. "Have you ever heard of a succubus?"

    "A what?"

    "Succubus."

    "No."

    "Doctor Hall told me about them. It's like a legend I guess. They're these women that sorta... feed, I guess you call it, on, well... sexual intercourse." The words were uncomfortable for her to speak as she tried to remember what the doctor had told her. She'd only ever had to explain it to one other person before now. Hudson didn't react. "They hunger for it, more than most people do. They live on it. They survive because of it. But the other person, the person they're with... it's like when they do it, it sucks the life from the other person. Like an exchange. The succubus feeds on the life force of her partner. After one time the other person barely notices it at all. Just might be a little more tired than usual or somethin'. But after two times, well, it starts to wear on 'em. Any more than that, and before long..." She trailed off.

    The two sat in silence for a moment.

    "Ain't you gonna say somethin'?" Sadie asked.

    "So you're telling me you're one of these... succu..."

    "Succubus. Yes."

    "Succubus. And you won't sleep with anyone more than once because if you do, you could... kill them."

    "Yes."

    "But you have to engage in this line of work because if you don't, you'd die."

    "Yes."

    Hudson leaned back in his chair again. "Huh."

    "What does that mean?"

    "What does what mean?"

    "Huh. What do you mean, huh."

    Hudson looked at her without speaking for a second. That beautiful blonde enchantress he hired years ago and watched blossom into the best employee he'd ever had. "I don't know what I mean. I mean this sounds pretty damn far fetched, but in a town like this, far fetched is about as normal as it gets. And I know you too well to think that you're pulling my leg."

    "So you believe me then."

    Hudson paused for a moment as if contemplating something deep within his mind. Then he stood. "No. No I don't believe you. Yet." Slowly he turned, and walked toward the door. Not the door that led outside to the hallway of the saloon, but to the other door in his office. The one that led to his personal bedchamber. He opened it, and stared at the bed that lay there in the middle of the room. He turned to face Sadie, who knew exactly what he was about to demand of her.

    "Prove it."

    Tag: No one.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019