Disclaimer: All characters belong to me Tianna Shepherd and if they resemble another character stop lying because I thought them all up on the toilet.
Violence: Yes a little.
Special thanks: Tanai Walker ..she encourages me to write .and thats my sister yall!
Synopsis: This story is about a young black slave whose father got shot while trying to escape the plantation. She has vowed revenge on the man who did it and has become a gunslinger in order to bring him to a swift end.
A small girl threw her rag doll down on the ground. Her hair slightly nappy and caramel skin that was being tanned slightly by the sun. Her curly locks swung in front of brown almond eyes and her white, greasy gown licked at her dusty, dirty feet.
"Get in this house ya chores need be done right nah!"
The girl ran into her small shack and began to help her mom prepare a meal for the master.
"We got to show our worth around here, dont want none of us to get soled roun here."
"Ma wheres dad?"
"Who knows....hanging round dem trouble makers....trying to scape dis here plantation."
The robust woman laughed heartily and stirred in the pot which smelled of stew.
"Live life like it is...an let it go."
"He just wanna be free."
"You is free girl...free enough."
A handsome dark skinned man walked through the doorway with sweat dripping in all areas. He took a scarf and cleaned his forehead then stood next to the counter where the food was being prepared.
"You can never be free enough baby girl....we all gon get free...tonight if thangs work out like dey sposed to."
"Dont talk that nonsense round this chil....she need to know we just aint got the thangs a white man got."
"Tonight baby girl...shell be singing a different tune.....now scoot.....me and ya mama got things to talk about."
The girl shook her head and left but turned back to eavesdrop a little bit before truly leaving.
"Betsy tonight da night we gon get out...me and Pete got it all figured out."
"You sure bout this John...if they catch us..."
"Dey not....just be ready....when i calls fa ya."
"You know the price fa tryin ta leave..."
"I know...we just got to be careful....now i got to go finish cutting up dis wood....i feel ya in tonight."
Katherine ran off so as not to be caught by her dad being nosy but she smiled on the inside knowing tonight, freedom would truly be hers.
It was pitch black outside, everything was still until five shadows came running from behind one of the shacks.
"Hurry on naw Pete get ya wife and my family threw...ill stay behind a bit."
"Be careful John."
The four departed and the still of the night was shattered by the sound of a rifle. A bell began to clang and a dozen white men sprang from everywhere cornering them. One stepped forward a cigar on his lips and a smile from ear to ear.
"Well....we heard of a break tonight looks like that boy was right."
He eyed the group and puffed on the cigar.
"What am i gonna do....Betsy...ya know the price....you were a good girl..."
He shook his head.
"Ill leave this in Lees hands....i just...."
He looked down.
"The girl and the women are sparred....grab Pete....drag em back there with John.....call Lee...hell do the rest."
The men grabbed Pete roughly and led him back.
Betsy ran forward and fell at the mans feet.
"Please...let em go...dey wont do it no more...wes promise...."
The man slapped her backwards.
"I spoke highly of ya...and ya do this....im disappointed Betsy."
He signaled for the men to take them back to the hut but Katherine broke through them and ran back to the plantation. She ran into the clearing and saw her father and Pete in the missionary position hands tied at there sides with a man pointing guns at the back of there heads.
She ran forward screaming and a shot was fired and then another. The girl stood shocked covered in blood and brain matter and looked at her fathers half of head. She watched his body fall over and Petes and fell to her knees. She saw a middle-aged blonde white man clean blood from his face and smile at her and begin to laugh. His piercing eyes cut through her . those cold green eyes. She saw her mother run over to the man with the gun and get pushed to the ground and shot in the chest twice. Tears welled in her eyes and she was scooped up by someone and carried away.
Katherine awoke abruptly, breathing heavily with a thin layer of sweat forming on her body. She opened a flask and took two heavy swigs from it. She looked at the still roaring fire, it was hours from sunrise but the dreams, when she had them, did not allow her to return to slumber.
She cleaned the sleep from her face and put on black leather pants and a leather jacket over her sleep short and shirt. She ran a hand through her slightly straight and nappy hair that didnt fit a "nigga girls standard", how she got it....she didnt know. She was fully black and didnt have the "mulatto skin", but somehow she was a bit lighter than normal. Her almond shaped eyes and full lips complemented her well and everyone had always thought she a pretty girl. When ever anyone made remarks about her even being a bit of white or accused her being a mutt, she was quick to shoot and asked questions later. People knew of her, in fact, in the last town she won quite a bit of money in a duel tournament, but not enough to get her where she needed to go. Which was where ever Lee Anderson was. She laced up her leather boots with a metal toe that knife could slide from. No one knew this of course but her. She put her black cowboy hat on and tilted it just right so that the sun, when it came up, wouldnt get in her eyes.
Then she strapped on her holster and stuck the twin pistols in her holsters that had etched on the sides of each gun: bang, bang. She packed up her things, mounted her horse and rode off.
After a some-what long ride she reached a town called Sun Valley and tied her horse to the saloon post outside and walked in. The smell of musk and thick, bass filled, whisky voices filled the air. She sat at the bar and ordered, knowing some drunk would recognize her from another town or some heresy and challenge her to a duel.
"Aint no nigga...ever beat me in a duel."
He turned her towards him and she could smell the liquor on his breath. She could see he was drunk and wanted no part in killing him, because she knew she would.
"Let me guess, some fella told you who i was...and you decided to come over here and test me...well gramps...not today...i dont feel like killin ya."
"Girl dont forget who i am...nigga...look at the floor when im talking to ya."
"You can look at the blackest part of my ass."
The whole saloon gasped at her actions towards the man.
"Come on nigga-bitch...i want to fill you full a lead!"
"Yeah...i aint never been beat by no nigga and i aint gonna let some free half nigga strike fear in my heart or any mans!"
"Youve been warned.....now i got to kill ya...for two reasons....for callin me a bitch....and for callin me half white...because the day i have some of your blood running through my body i will gladly end my own life!"
"Well....its gonna end this evening girl....right now."
"Lead the way cracker."
The man stumbled into the dusty road and Katherine followed. They stood back to back and began to walk. A crowd had gathered interested in this new woman who challenged not only a man but, a white man. They continued to walk and when they reached ten Katherine shot the gun from the mans hand. She then shot his belt and his pants fell to the ground. The crowd erupted in laughter as the man tripped and fell scurrying towards his gun. Katherine ran over and kicked the gun far down the dusty path that ran through their town.
"Leave me be...cuz next time..."
She took the pistol and twirled it around her finger then flipped in the air and caught it then flipped it back into its holster.
"Ill shoot you like a lame horse."
She kicked dust into his face then turned and went back into the saloon and sat at the bar.
"A bottle...and how much ya rooms go for?"
"Aint got no rooms left.... next town over gots some."
"Thats a days ride!"
"Better get going huh."
The bartender leaned back and roared with laughter and she could see his hurriedly decaying teeth, gleaming in the sunlight. She began to laugh with him and then reached across the bar and slammed his head into the counter three times and blood poured out of his lip that split like a seam and he fell to the floor.
"Thanks for the free whiskey....ill need it for the ride."
She walked back through the doors and stuck the bottle of whiskey in one of her saddle pouches and untied her horse. She hoisted herself up and looked at the crowd of people staring at her. She smirked at them and gave her horse a light kick in the sides.
The horse lurched forward and trotted through the town til they reached the limits and disappeared from sight.
"South Fort sounds homey." She said as she took another drink of whiskey and trotted slowly into the town.
She surveyed the area and met the eyes of a white woman who stared back at her in disbelief. She came to a run down shack that read inn on the front. She avoided the bar not wanting any trouble, besides she had gotten enough booze from the last town. She was tired from the long ride and just wanted to lie down, so she tied her horse and walked into the quiet inn to see an old white man sitting at a desk whittling some wood.
"How much for a three day stay?"
"That be about five dollars."
She was about to debate the price knowing he jacked it up a bit but she went with it to avoid trouble."
She slid him the coins and he gave her a room number and a key to her room and the washroom. She nearly collapsed on the dusty, smelly bed and let out a sigh of relief. She blinked a few times and slowly her eyes closed and she fell into a deep slumber.
She saw herself running now as an adult to her father who was kneeling with the gun behind his head. She made it to him and tried to push him out the way but her arms went straight through him. She turned in time to see his head shatter and saw herself as a little girl covered in blood.
She sat straight up breathing heavily and cleaned sweat from her brow.
"Ive got to stop doing this."
She got out the bed and headed for the washroom, where she undressed and eased into the surprisingly warm water. She laid back and closed her eyes but heard a gunshot in the streets.
"What in the devils name is going on down there?"
She peered out the window and saw a greasy fat man with two other miscreants demanding money from a man and his family.
"I told ya to give me the money and I wont hurt ya."
The defenseless man yelled back in complete terror. "Im telling you . we dont have any its all in the bank and it aint much since the bank got robbed the other day!"
The fat man backslapped the poor man and Katherines memory of her mother being pushed and shot flashed through her mind. The greasy man continued to threaten the other man and Katherine had had enough. She dried and dressed and walked downstairs and into the streets.
"Hey biggun why dont ya put that gun down and leave them people be."
The fat man turned to see who was speaking to him and grinned when he saw whom it was.
"Not you again!"
She now recognized who this heathen was. It was Jack and his brother John and Joe, this wasnt the first time she had ran into them trying to harm some one and last time it didnt end pretty. She shot his brother Joe in his big toe and they all ran like cowards.
"Thats that nigga that shot my toe."
Katherine curtseyed and winked at Joe. "The one and only."
Katherine walked closer and put her right hand on her gun to the right and eyed them up.
"Now just like last time Im gonna warn you boys .then Im gonna shoot .you got to the count of ten to get out of this town."
She tilted her head to the side. "One."
Jack released the man and turned to Katherine.
"What ya gonna do . throw cotton at me."
The two behind him laughed.
"Or or . maybe she do a little dance like them niggas do you know that dance girl."
The fat man tapped around and the two behind him laughed again.
She laughed. "Ten."
She drew her gun and purposely shot Jack in the arm and shot his brothers gun right out there holsters. Jack cradled his arm and his brothers helped him onto his horse.
"We are gonna get you one day .you nigga-bitch!"
The three rode off and quickly exited the town. She walked over to the family who were still in shock.
"You folks okay."
"Were fine thank you so much."
"No problem .wheres the law round here aint they got a sheriff."
"Youre looking at him well I was his deputy but since he left Ive been running the show."
"Oh .so why..."
"Well .things is real slow in this town .you could probably tell just by looking."
She noticed the lack of people and deserted areas but never really paid attention to it.
"Things were slow ever since that Buddy and his gang rode through these parts."
She wasnt shocked to hear Buddys name attached to anything like this.
"And when was this?"
"A day ago . he rode through took our money and well people just cut out of here cuz theres a rumor that hes coming back to finish the job."
"What do you mean?"
"Well we got a safe in the front but theres another safe for the people the next town over . they dont have a bank so they keep there funds here."
"Thats stupid why would ya put ya money in another town."
"Well they kept getting hit up .so they gave it to us and well ..the rest is history."
"So they caught wind of it and now theyre coming back for the other towns money."
"Yes and I dont know what to do half the towns gone and I..."
"I understand listen I can get you your towns money and keep the rest I know Buddy .he travels with his money because he doesnt trust his gang so when he comes back hes gonna have your money ..but I will be needing some payment for this whole ordeal."
"Ten percent of whatever I recover."
"Now . Im gonna need some gunpowder and all the rest of ya town to stay in doors."
"Should I move the money?"
She pondered a bit and looked down.
"No I will "
The thunder of horse hooves came crashing in on Katherine and her gut went into fifty knots. She had beaten Buddy but before but it was one on one and so much wasnt at stake. Buddy was dangerous, very dangerous and now she was about to go head to head with him and his gang.
"So you think you can shoot huh?"
She turned a bit younger than she is now and frowned at the strikingly handsome young white male who stood in front of her.
"Yeah .you got the money that say I aint."
"Nope just saying you pretty good for a nigga."
"Dont forget it."
She turned the gun upside down and pointed backwards and shot a can off a fence that as at least 100 feet away. She twisted the gun on one finger and put it in her holster.
"Got a name girl."
"Not if you gotta address me like that .i aint no slave."
"Could have fooled me .so where ya get the papers from?"
"From my former master .hes six feet under now but before he went he signed these papers for me."
"Aint that a coincidence."
"Nope just good luck .and good timing."
Buddy laughed and walked closer to the dark haired girl.
"Let me tell ya why youll never take me out girl."
She grinned interested yet disgusted by it.
"Well Katherine do you really want to know?"
He laughed. "Im too fast.
"Draw!." She said gun out in a flash then gone when the bullet grazed her knuckles. She grimaced at the pain and cradled her nicked hand.
"Aww here let me look at it."
She hesitantly let him observe the cut and he kissed the cut gingerly and it sent shudders down her spine.
Her entire face turned red and she quickly pulled her hand away only to be swept into a deep kiss that she returned full heartedly. The gang was what all the newspapers were talking about, shooting out warning and such. She enjoyed her time with Buddy the sex, the money, the danger. Her memory faded away as she saw him dismount the horse and survey the area. He was still handsome, dark curly hair and a moustache that slightly covered his top lip. Blue eyes like the color of the sky and this smile that lit her up inside. But it was something about the way he entered town . he had let his guard down . bad idea. He knew he had them scared and he thought all he had to do was walk in and out. He was wrong.
"Told ya boys, they scare up so easy I "
She saw his mouth curl into an evil smirk and his eyes locked on her. She winked at him and leaned back.
"What are you doing here Katherine?"
how do you plan on doing that?"
"Well I was gonna start by blasting a whole clean through your head . doubling onto the roof and taking your men out . but I got a soft spot for ya buddy .thats why Im gonna talk you out of it."
"Move on girl I got business to handle."
He moved toward her but she stood and drew her gun. He grinned and backed off.
"Youre serious ."
"As a heart attack."
He shook his head.
"Well it was nice knowing ya Kat."
He pulled his gun but Katherine quickly darted out of sight with bullets at her heel.
"I just want the money Kat and Ill promise ya Ill leave ya alone!"
She stood up and fired two shots then knelt back for coverage.
"Okay I tried to let ya go . you humiliated me once but not again!"
She tried to shoot again but he shot the pistol out of her hands and ran over to her blocking her from reaching for the other gun. He pushed her against the wall and spoke softly in her ear.
"Ya still too slow that time ya beat me was pure luck."
He brushed his lip against her ear and kissed it softly then whispered.
"I missed you Kat."
He kissed her softly and although this wasnt her idea of romance she returned the kiss but quickly remembered the situation she was in and kicked him in the groin. She then drew his other gun and twisted him towards the back.
"Drop the gun buddy . because I will shoot."
She pulled back the hammer and he dropped the gun and laughed.
"Damn now what."
She nudged him forward and talked from behind him to his gang.
"Make a move and Ill shoot his head clean off."
She kicked the back of his leg to make him fall to his knees.
"Drop the guns!"
They hesitated but Buddy gave them the signal to drop the weapons.
"Kick em over."
She surveyed the gang and looked down at Buddy.
"Gangs changed . wheres Oreilly and Earl . and Daniel?"
"We had some disagreements about the direction of the group."
She shook her head and kicked Buddy down the steps of the bank.
"Wheres the other money."
Buddy went to horses and took sacks of money from them and tossed them to Kat.
"What are you doing!"? One of the members had had enough and was ready to kill Buddy.
"Yeah, why you answering to this nigga!"
Buddy reached over and punched the one who called her a nigga in the mouth and he fell to the ground.
"Get him saddled . ride out Ill meet ya out there."
The men clambered away and Buddy sat on the steps of the bank and Katherine sat beside him and gave him his gun.
"What makes ya think I wont come back Kat."
"Im staying for the night."
"You want them to keep the money that bad well ya got my word I wont be back for a while."
He turned to her and took off his hat and looked her in the eyes.
"I saw Lee."
Katherines jaw dropped and her pulse increased.
"Up in Eastville for the festival .hes in the city .but all his rich friends go up to Hunters Valley after the festival .i know I hit there houses when there gone."
She looked at the sky.
"How long will it take me to get to Hunters Valley and can I get there before him?"
"Yeah but youd have to ride south for three nights and east for two nights . and maybe maybe youll catch em."
She nodded and stood and Buddy followed.
"Kat ride with us we can help ya."
"No i I have to do this alone."
"Well . always the loner type huh . well Kat it was great seeing ya."
He kissed her on the lips softly and put his hat back on and tipped it. He mounted his horse and yelled at Katherine.
He spurred his horse violently and sped out of town and Katherine watched him until he was out of sight as a memory crept into her mind.
"Kat ya sure you want to leave the gang I mean is it me?"
She smirked. "It aint you Buddy .i will always like you Buddy i I just have to.."
"Buddy I just have to.."
"Sort of Buddy i."
"I understand Kat if you ever need anything ."
"Were riding now I guess this is goodbye."
He kissed her softly and mounted his horse then rode off with the gang and she watched him ride out of sight much like this night.
She snapped out of it and turned to the man.
"Thank you for everything "
He reached into one of the bags and handed her quite a hefty sum of money.
She began to walk back to her room but he shouted after her. "I dont care what they say bout your kind youre a good girl!"
He smiled at her but she didnt know if that was an insult or a compliment. Crackers cant live with them . cant leave with them. She laughed inside. They cant humble themselves for a black person even when you save there live. She made it to her room and lay on the bed and in minutes was fast a sleep.
She packed her things up and went downstairs and checked out of the dusty old inn and made her way over to the towns store. She piled gunpowder and some food on the counter and paid the shop keep that looked like hed seen a ghost. Guess he hadnt heard about the whole her saving his town thing. Let it have been a white girl. She put the supplies on her horse and fed him a couple of apples and let him drink from the troth. She mounted her and looked at the town one last time and could see a few faces looking from their windows. She grinned as she saw people coming back into town only a night after the incident. She could stay and see the look on the mans face when he sees the money she left behind in her room and she could stay to see the peoples faces when they saw whom it was who saved their town. But instead she looked forward into the direction she was going. She was going to find the man who killed her father. She was going to meet him face to face and murder him in cold blood. She was going to watch him suffer and not give him the satisfaction of a quick death like her parents. She was going to end him and anyone who got in her way.
"Grow wings Archer."
With this command the horse galloped at full speed with only a dust cloud forming behind it. Katherine was on her way to Hunters Valley with only one thing on her mind revenge.
(To be continued!!!!!)
Part 2: The Path to Hunters Valley
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