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Postby Brad Hawkins » May 16th, 2012, 9:51 am

CHAPTER 45

"Final asking I am for good gold hidden you?" Wu Yun knelt beside Jesse's supine figure, dingering his gun.

"Which was it they sent you to fetch," the outlaw spat, "me or the gold?"

"For sheriff is you," Wu Yun smiled. "For Wu-Yun is gold having times."

"Yeah. Yeah. Lots of gold having times for Wu-Yun." Jesse turned his face away. "You mind taking these chink leaves off me? They're getting a mite gamey."

"TELLING ME WHERE IS GOLD!" Wu-Yun cracked Jesse across the teeth with Killer of Bad Personss. Regaining his composure, he added "Please."

"I can take you to it," Jesse whispered.

"OK! Get erect now all night!" Wu-Yun pulled Jesse to his feet. "Marching!"

Jesse began plodding towards the cave entrance.

"Hey! You are for where go?"

"I never said the gold was in the cave."
The silver knives are flashing in the tired old cafe. A ghost climbs on the table in a bridal negligee. She says "My body is the life; my body is the way." I raise my arm against it all and I catch the bride's bouquet.
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Postby acrouch » May 17th, 2012, 1:18 pm

CHAPTER 46

"Well ain't this a kick in the pants." McCray was waiting just outside the cave, Red Boy muzzled tightly by the lawman's free hand while the other casually trained a glittering .44 on Wu Yun and Jesse. "Looks like I got me a two-fer-one."

Wu Yun instantly flicked the business end of Killer of Bad Personss from Jesse to McCray.

The three men silently regarded each other.

Finally Jesse raised his bound wrists "I can't help feelin' a little disadvantaged here, boys."

"Stow it, Jesse, and step away from the dead Chinaman," McCray drawled.

Wu Yun narrowed his eyes, "Your computer records all your actions and stores the evidences. Anyone can see where You’ve been on the Internet. Everything You did on your computer would leave traces on your hard drive."

McCray's eyes went wild for a moment before he wrestled his face back to a stony calm. "That's between me and my god, boy. You'd best make your peace with yours." He raised his gun with intent. Wu Yun did the same.

At that very moment Jesse quickly reached into his duster and both men swung their guns on him. He froze, smiled mysteriously and then proceeded to draw two small packages out of his breast pocket. "Gentlemen, I tell you what, the gold is in a crevice about 40 feet south where we stand, but I have something I think you might be more interested in."

He tossed the packages on the ground between his half brother and the inscrutable bounty hunter.
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » May 18th, 2012, 3:58 pm

Chapter 47

Cassandra blearily stumbled her way upstairs from the saloon to her private lodging, singing snatches of something that might have, under more sober conditions, slightly resembled "Oh, Shenandoah."

She fell through the doorway shoulder first, barely maintaining her footing, and stared at the bed she and Jesse had shared. Her eyes never moved from it as the bottle reached her lips, the final drops of whisky scorching her throat. She wasn't sure how long she stood there, studying the bed. It seemed foreign to her now. An unwelcome invader in her home. She walked to the side of it, gazing down at Jesse's pillow, malformed from the nights she'd clutched it tight in his absence. She half sat and half fell in a heap to the floor and with a precision that defied her besotted state placed the empty bottle meticulously on the nightstand.

She stared out the bedroom window at the storm clouds and the small patches of sunset that had broken through on the western horizon. She wondered what was unfolding out in that wilderness, and who it was might return to her with the tale.

Her hand clumsily reached for the drawer of the nightstand and pulled it open. Inside were three items: her wedding ring, which Jesse had made her vow not to wear until his return; her revolver, which Jesse had made her vow not to fire unless he didn't; and the last of the three packages he'd brought back with him.

"Don't open it until it's time, Cass," he had said that last night.

"When will I know it's time?"

"When the last tear falls."

She brushed her hand across her cheek. It was dry. She carefully opened the package.

Ten minutes later, she was heading towards the storm and the setting sun. She never glanced back to watch the saloon burning.
Sweetness Prevails.

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Postby happywaffle » May 23rd, 2012, 11:31 pm

(I started re-reading from the beginning to write the next chapter, and…)

CAST OF CHARACTERS

(See Page 4 for updated cast)
Last edited by happywaffle on July 2nd, 2012, 12:00 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby happywaffle » May 24th, 2012, 12:19 am

Chapter 48

McCray took it the easiest. He set the package meant for him down in the dirt, wrapping-paper flapping in the wind, illuminated by lightning in addition to his torchlight. McCray looked up at Jesse, then back to the parcel, then back to Jesse. "Ten years you been waiting for me to show up? Just so you could give me this?"

Jesse smiled; McCray had always been the wiser of the two, and for once, it was McCray who had things wrong. "Waiting, hell," he said. "I knew you were coming. You think I stole that gold for itself? I knew if I took it, you'd be coming. I figured they'd send the Chinaman as well." It wasn't exactly the truth, but Jesse was poorly acquainted with the truth anyhow.

At the mention of Wu Yun, they turned to look at him. He held his own package precariously, as though he might drop it. Impossibly, he'd set his gun on the ground. His braid flew madly in the wind, betraying the turmoil in his head.

Wu Yun detected the silence, and looked at them both, a tear seeming to form in his eye. He struggled to form the words. "Which if sally mount housewives…" he took a deep breath, and indeed the tear fell. "…improved performance saucepan security?" Again Jesse smiled. Wu Yun was just as thunderstruck as he'd hoped. The Chinaman lifted his gun, but not in anger; he holstered it, climbed onto Happy Beauty Pony, and rode off into the mounting lightning storm.

Jesse knew it wouldn't be the last they saw of the Chinaman. It would be for Red Boy, who'd scampered off into the darkness as well. Just then he wheezed, coughed, and spit his tobacco juice. It came out redder than usual. He realized then that there was a bullet still in his chest.

"Audie, I take it your plans to kill me are off for the moment?"

McCray nodded and reached for a fresh cigarillo.

"Then I'm gonna need a doctor."
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » May 24th, 2012, 8:48 am

happywaffle wrote:(I started re-reading from the beginning to write the next chapter, and…)

CAST OF CHARACTERS

Wu Yun: Bounty hunter hired to capture Jesse. His horse is named Happy Beauty Pony. His gun is named Killer of Bad Personss.
Jesse: Fugitive from the law who exerts mob-style protection over Mission's End. Thief of some quantity of gold, and owner of three mysterious packages.
Red Boy: Apache youth who hangs around Jesse, and yet shoots him in the chest when given the chance to split the stolen gold.
Cassandra: Barkeep in Mission's End, Jesse's secret wife who has betrayed him to both Wu Yun and McCray… at Jesse's request.
Sheriff Brettsdick: The cowardly sheriff tasked with recovering the missing gold.
Judge Horatio Dicks: Federal judge. Well-loved by the people. Jesse was his prisoner.
McCray: Federal marshall hired by Dicks separately to capture or kill his estranged half-brother Jesse.
Unknown: The shadowy figure who is the source of the gold. Missing his left hand.


NICE! though it should be noted the shadowy figure is missing his RIGHT hand. i don't know if that will be important plot wise, but for continuity's sake. ;)
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Postby happywaffle » May 24th, 2012, 5:34 pm

D'oh! Edited.
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Postby acrouch » May 25th, 2012, 1:04 pm

Chapter 49

Happy Beauty Pony raged through the storm as if she were exercising all of the blistering emotion that her master kept so firmly bottled. Wu Yun's dispassionate gaze dropped only once from the horizon. Only once did he allow himself to take Jessie's gift from his pocket and reassure himself of the horrible, hopeful truth.

It was a grainy tintype, the photograph not so blurry that he couldn't make out the beautiful China-girl who died five years ago in the slums of San Francisco. And yet here she was, older and more beautiful than ever, still wearing his family's traditional braid in her hair - and not much else. It was a picture taken in a brothel, and standing over Wu Yun's degraded sister was Dicks. Judge Horatio Dicks.

The Chinaman whispered, "Would greatly help."
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Postby happywaffle » May 25th, 2012, 6:32 pm

*updates cast of characters*
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » June 7th, 2012, 10:28 am

Chapter 50

Of Red Boy's tribe, little more is written. Some say after he fled he was able to find the gold and that he took it back to his people. And, indeed, there are legends of a peaceful and prosperous group of Apache out past the Badlands who thrived in the months that followed.

But scouts riding out to investigate such claims just one year later could find no evidence of any such tribe or, indeed, evidence that anyone had ever lived out that far. Just one patch of ground, a few dozen acres or so, that seemed darker than the surrounding land, a deep brown or almost black, as if it had been stained.

And through the years and every storm, it has remained so to this day.
Sweetness Prevails.

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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » June 15th, 2012, 10:39 am

Chapter 51

Doc Jenkins liked the solitary life. He'd had enough of folks knocking on his door at all hours in his younger days. He hadn't minded much then. It was his pleasure to help. It was his duty. An old Mexican woman, a strange and wise bruja by all accounts, had told him he had a healer's hands when he was a young boy. Those words had haunted and driven him all his life. A calling, his brother used to say. He had a calling.

Friends often asked him why he never married, never started a family. And he'd smile and wave them off with some sarcastic remark about giving up his thrilling bachelor life. On a few more somber occasions when the question was raised he explained his career took up too much of his life. This was true, so far as it goes, but the deeper truth he never admitted was that after seeing so much blood and suffering, having women and children die under his care, he could never open his heart fully to anyone for fear they would wind up the same. This thought only increased after the war, all those young men with wounds that would never close and tears that would never dry. He knew he walked with Death now, and that he'd always be on the losing end.

The cottage wasn't much. A couple of rooms and a roof between the treeline and the river. He read and tended to his garden. Medicinal herbs, yes, but mostly ingredients for his nightly stew. It was a quiet life. It was a good life. Yes, a good life, he thought, as he sipped his tea and stared out at the river, freshly surging from the passing storm.

So why there was some filthy stranger with a rotting chest wound on his kitchen table at that moment was a bit beyond him.

"Doc?"

He turned to see the taller of the two, the one with the badge, standing in his doorway.

"He's out. Whatever you put in that whisky did the trick."

"Mmm. Best have a look then."

A healer's hands, she had said. He walked with Death.

Fuck it, he thought. Bastard's gotta take a day off some time...
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » June 27th, 2012, 10:34 am

where have you gone, Wu Yun? a lonely nation turns its eyes to you...Wu! Wu! Wu!
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Postby happywaffle » June 27th, 2012, 4:31 pm

It's funny--twice I've started to write a new chapter, then been scared away by the amount of thought considered. Wu Yun has become a great and serious responsibility for us all.
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » June 28th, 2012, 8:48 am

indeed. i felt bad enough writing two chapters back to back, i don't think i could ever get over the guilt of doing three...
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Postby happywaffle » June 28th, 2012, 1:35 pm

I'll jump in eventually if nobody else does. You can't rush quality.
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