Saturday, July 20, 2019
#saturdayscene July 20 ’19
I am cheating a bit on this SaturdayScene and doing a repeat from last Aug. Which is why I added the year to the date. Most everyone who does read these most probably has not seen these already. If so please excuse the repeat. This set of four flash tales take place in other places. The first is Africa, second is somewhere around Norway and the North Pole, third is Africa too-a different part and time than the first story, and last Japan. You probably have seen a longer version of the viking story but still there other I don’t recall posting here before. As I implied before if I am wrong excuse me. But do not forget my novels for sell, four great adventures, fun to read.
So without further adeu here is story one:
The boy and girl, tall and lanky, even though in their early teens, walked toward the end of the hills. For now they were called Esiankiki and Loiyan, but that would change as they grew.
Both felt not right for the mountains they were leaving were strange to them. Not at all like the Savanna. They feet ached from the hard rough surfaces they had walked on.
They stood the beginning of one side of the part of the Savanna where they came from. The trees they knew still grew here and some of the animals they killed or competed with came here too. The air felt warm as it should. The scents of grass, the droppings of lions, and desert air all grew as they walked closer to the natural border. Loiyan thought he heard the cough of a lion far in the distance, but little of any other sounds.
It would be good to get back to the foods they knew, bread made from the grains they had grown with.
Before going home though both had wanted to see the Tower. It looked manmade shape under many and many years of grime, but very few stories passed down to the next generation told of it. No one knew when it had been built or why. To worship the Red god or the Black one maybe. Loiyan thought it was something the evil Red god would like. Esiankiki wasn’t sure. It had different levels, each one with what looked like walls that swooped up to a sharp point. The oi-boni had never restricted the Masai from going there but he had given warnings, as far as they knew no one had climbed to the top-fear maybe or that it was just different?
Both had some honey to eat so they did not worry about food. Water might be a problem later. It took them two hours or more to get to the tower. Up close it looked both man made and natural. Neither knew how that could be but each agreed on that.
Loiyan placed the palm of his hand on it: rough like the huge rocks they had just climbed over but warm. Esiankiki placed her ear to it. She thought she heard something but so faint she couldn’t be sure: she said that she didn’t like the roughness against her ear’s skin. She pulled Loiyan back when he wanted to taste it with his tongue. Too rough for that she said.
Around the other side they saw a way in, or up. What could be very old steps, worn smooth by feet and weather. With very careful steps they went up. The first level had a place to walk but they couldn’t see over the edge of the wall even as tall as they were. The same with the second level. As far as they could find there was no way in, and no places to sacrifice offerings mixed with grass. Maybe that was on the top. But once they reached as far as they could go still nothing. The inside of the walls looked and felt smooth. The bottom had smelled of age and something neither one liked. But up here only air. They saw lions and tall grass further on, for the walls had grown shorter on the way up.
No blacken areas with very old ash so no sacrifices up here either. So what was this used for? To watch the lions, to see if any enemies were coming? The People did sometimes fight.
They examed the walls carefully for long minutes. Loiyan found lines in the inner wall like a doorway, The People used curtains over doorways, but they knew others had wood and metal doors, some with metal and what was called glass. They both had been to cities, ridden in cars and a train. They had seen a helicopter land. That had been noisy, worse than a very large pride of lions Loiyan had been trapped in when very small. All of the beasts roaring at once had deafen him. The helicopter’s noise had been louder than a big rain storm with lightning and thunder. But if this was a door he nor Esiankiki had seen any way to open it. He tried to slide his fingernails into the cracks but something stopped them. Esiankiki noticed the indentations near waist level on one level, but they didn’t seem to do anything. Loiyan who had the hearing of a warrior thought he heard clicks from inside when he pressed then indentations, but nothing happened. Both felt tiny vibrations in the door but they did nothing. Esiankiki thought she tasted in the air something like what flavors the air when lightning strikes. The space in-between the lines grew warmer but only a little. That made no sense.
After a while they gave up and walked down. Back at the bottom they saw more lines in the tower but they were shaped wrong for a doorway for any person. And they all went into the ground. So they knew the Tower went deeper like a huge rock. These doors looked like something that slid out maybe. Esiankiki stated that she wasn’t sure why she thought of that. Loiyan thought it would be something larger than a hut if so. With a final shrug-that the People had picked up from the shorter white visitors-they left and finally headed home. The People or someone else had lived in the Tower many many ages ago, they were now sure of but who? And how did they get the doors to open? They would never know. Maybe The People had climbed those steps and but they came away with more questions that could not be answered so they either forgot them or decided not to bother others with unanswerable questions. Maybe when Loiyan became a warrior he would ask and come back with others who knew more than he did. For now though they would just go home, it had been too long since they had seen family.
The Last Viking
The Viking looked over the side of his ship. The mountains rose out of the ocean, higher than he would want to climb anymore. The day looked cloudy and cold even though he was viking and therefore used to cold. While not as deep as in some places the water here was still deep enough to hide monsters, or even an angry whale.
Askell glanced along his longship. The wood looked aged, it had nicks, claw marks, and blacken areas. That last fire they barely got out in time. He supposed he could get one of the new style of ships with multiple masts but he, and his crew, were too old to change that much.
He stroked his grey beard, looked down.
"To port now!” He shouted
Something scraped the hull as the longship turned too slowly.
So this ocean was not deep, those rocks were hard to see. Movement under the water, Oh oh, something huge lived down there.
It neared the surface and before he could cry out for them to raise oars, three of them hit it. It thrashed, caused water to splash into the longboat. Cold water that soaked their footwear. The oars didn’t break, thank Odin.
He snarled, spat bile out. Nothing would sink them in this cruise.
Once the water settled again he ordered them to head for the distant bit of land. It had what looked like a strip of land they could beach the longship. Further in lay the base of a tall cliff They might be able to build housing right next to the cliff and have fish, birds and seals and maybe even smaller whales to eating and to use for tools and clothes.
He looked around. No one would be chasing them this far, but if they did they would pay for that with their blood, for his crew still kept their weapons sharp.
Askell double checked the depth and for any other movements. He would have to be on his toes to make sure nothing else hindered them.
Jacob snarled, he wouldn’t let them smash him into the mud. He shoved against one man the same age as himself. That worthy went “ufff” as another two bodies jumped on top of the others. Some of them let out exclamations too. His lighter brown skin could easily be identified among their black skin. They all were from around here while he came from somewhere different.
He twisted his body one way then another, kept his legs moving so they couldn’t be grabbed. He sneezed: someone wore an awful cologne. Probably Kensu.
Someone used both hands to shove him harder, forced his face toward the mud patch on the parade ground. The whole area was plain dirt, not even grass. Mud holes were not rare even though most of it was dry dirt. Light metal bleachers filled one side. But they would be of no advantage to Jacob, nor would the various light and speaker poles around the area.
Jacob surged his back upward to flip off whoever was on his back. It didn’t work. He thought it was time to start punching and jabbing. A second thought, no one used fists, hands or feet as weapons. They all depended on brute strength, and their weight, to get his face into the mud.
Their grunts and heavy breathing filled his ears, but no name calling or obcentaites, which surprised him. He managed to get his feet and hands on the ground: one hand and knee splashed the mud around. He shoved upward and managed to stand as his attackers fell off. However his victory lasted one-second for someone tackled him and rolled with him toward the mud. Kerrich, he thought for. Sweat matted his hair, the clothes of those that touched him were clammy with it. He spat out the mud in his mouth-at least they used fresh water and mostly clean dirt.
Again he tried to get his hands under him so he could shove off the ground, but two more joined in the, what was still called, a dog pile. His face inched closer to the mud. No! These guys weighed a lot even though he had proven himself the better, stronger fighter.
With a snarl he surged upward, but only moved an inch, more poundage landed on him. He could smell the mud, at least it seemed to be just water and dirt. Before he could take a breath his face smashed down into the mud. It filled his mouth when he breathed in, splashed up his cheeks, got in his ears and hair. A roar of victory followed that and with a suddenness that surprised him all of the weight vanished.
He jumped up, turned to face them. Eight young men stood in badly formed semi-circle. Their formation instructor would not be happy with that a part of his mind said.
Half of them looked unsure, would he attack them?
The leader stepped forward but only so close.
He said, “Congratulations, you will be the first cadet to become Captain.”
Jacob blinked, they knew that?
“We honor you with our traditions.”
He nodded, for he knew of this one where they congratulated another cadet to raise in rank, but never expected to have it done to him. They had never really excepted him.
He spat though, to get the taste of the mud out of his mouth.
Jon-Wel said, “The commissary has a new batch of Mars Malt beer. You can wash out your mouth with a bottle. I will buy the first one.”
Jacob didn’t know if that was part of the tradition or because Jacob didn’t usually have much money unlike them. But…
He smiled, “I would be happy to wash the mud out that way,”
Some of the men looked relieved.
The leader nodded and motioned toward the store.
Jacob thought, He may never be one of them, but he had their respect and well wishes, that was good.
The Way Stop Castle
Jounn turned in his saddle to face his friend Brock. He felt glad they had stopped. The horses hoofs had been stirring the sand dust. It made his mouth dry when he breathed it in, not to mention making him cough.
“There is the castle I told you about.”
After he spoke he looked back down from the small dune they both had stopped on. Night covered the desert which is what they wanted. It cooled quickly here after the sun went down. But the dark made it better not to be seen.
The castle, a ruled by a neutral Duke far from England, sat on a hill. The neutrality though will probably have to change to one or the other roses, he thought. The structure looked gray tall and narrow with a full moon behind it. A village in front of it. Guards walked the wall. The gate looked still open even this late.
Brock said, “That wall, most be a good ten feet hight and what? Three feet thick. It would hold an army for a while. If one came here at all.”
“I am not fearful of armies, but of sudden changes of neutral Dukes. Or of an assassin.”
“You think they would really send one after us?”
Jounn shrugged, “They have done it before. During the last bit of fighting, which I can barely recall, my cousin was challenged to a duel by someone who turned out to be en expert swordsman. After the duel the man disappeared but left a rose. I have heard of that all my life with warnings to be watchful.”
“But if you don’t trust the Duke, why stay here?”
“We are not staying here. We present ourselves and the Duke gives us a suite of rooms. He knows me so will not think it strange that I would come here. We say we need to mediate over the conflict so we need to stay in the rooms without being disturbed. Once settled we change to less conspicuous clothes, bathe and be rid of traveling odors then head down to the stables. In my last two visits I learned that there is a back gate through the wall. It is small but a horse can get through. We get our horses and leave that way. Even if a guard sees us and if he should report it the Duke would be still able to say that he gave us rooms and then we left without even a proper thank you or good bye. That he knows not when, or where we went. Or even if we left the castle. We could be hiding among the vassals and others that live here.”
“Do you think that will work?”
“I believe it will, but we still need to be on our toes and watch. We will be able to get supplies for a long trek through the desert, but we hide our trail and head South, which might further confuse anyone that is sent after us.”
“Well, that plan is better than no plan, or just running.”
“As I said we will watch and keep our hands close to our swords and daggers. If he portrays us we will sell our lives dearly. If he is still neutral than we go as I said and leave him with an excuse.”
His friend nodded and said, “Than we should make sure we have no roses on us then he can say he did not realize we had chosen sides.”
Jounn nodded, picked off a brooch off of his chest, while his friend ripped off a fastener on his cloak, and started his horse down the dune.
Way of the Samurai
“You are late.”
“I know, Father, I have no excuse,” even though I did-saying good bye and finding my round hat had not been easy. I had tied my waist long hair into one braid. My long dress would be help against the cold. I wore a lighter outfit under it, if it warmed. I suspect that my Father had on something under his armor. His helmet with the grimace face hid his face as it should. He wore his two favorite swords and I am sure a third. He stood between the posts of the gate as the sun sank. He looked magnificent.
He grunted and nodded once.
Our road led between two tall strands of bamboo over a rough surface. No one had come this way in years so they had not kept it up. The wind blew leaves around.
Father was a hard man, but a tough, experienced, brave and honorable warrior. He showed his love in training me well so I would be able to defend myself and in teaching me honor. I have only the one sword though. I am not a Samurai so can not wear the armor but I am not sure I would want to.
The air smelled strongly of bamboo and growing things. Maybe we should take some of the shoots to eat later, but Father is ready to leave now.
I sighted, I have already defended myself. That group of three thieves had shown surprise when their heads rolled to the ground. The last one had been a fair fighter-he lasted five swings. And months later, the first man I had killed for trying to dishonor me-he had been someone important. Later when questioned Father acted like he didn’t know who had killed him.
Now we go-to somewhere else. He has not told me where but I trust him. Maybe it was to protect me, or because he was tired of this place and just wanted to go to some place new, or he knew of something bad coming to this area soon. He would train me more in the way of the Samurai as we go. Maybe I would be able to make my own armor by the times we get there-if I decided to wear some.
I am glad I had brought two skins of water and two bags of nuts and cooked rice, they would last if we found nothing else to eat later and didn’t collect the shoots here. He would have something on under his armor too.
I kept my eyes on him and did not turn for one last look.
Saturday, July 13, 2019
#saturdayscene July 13
Last week I didn’t post a SaturdayScene for I was busy again with the new house. But this week I can do one. This one is a bit different for it has two short Western stories. One is part of a story set I will be Indie publishing whenever I can get the cover done. Set titled Deputy Marshal Gray Dobson. I finally found one that isn’t bad even not quite what I wanted. But I have spent hours on it and decided to take this one. Anyway, I will also be doing a second Western set once I find them all. I thought I had a file with they all in it but so fat nothing. So Here are two Western tales. One with Marshall Dobson showing he uses his brains not just his sixgun. The other is the first Western I wrote many years ago. Revised half a dozen times as I learned more about how to write.
Deputy Marshall Dobson finds a Burnt out building.
Gray Dobson looked the burnt building over. Small tendrils of smoke still drifted toward from two placed. It sat by itself a number of yards from the end of the town. From what he could see of the unburnt wood, no one had painted it which meant some of it looked while a good percentage had a blacken charcoal color.
He liked the angle better from higher than ground level, so he stayed on his horse to study it. His legs though were tired from the long ride to this town.
It looked like the building had two storefronts. This half of the roof of this section had collapsed. The air still had a strong scent of burning wood, so he wouldn’t be surprised if something still smoldered in there.
A wagon rolled by behind him. He heard the horse hoofs, and wheels turn. The townspeople would be up by now with their daily routines. Someone walked on the wooden walkway. That would make it twenty feet away from the burnt building in front of him.
Another breath and he almost coughed, ash still drifted in the air. Water would be good.
After the drink from his canteen, he looked at the building again. The town’s people had done a good job in saving the part in the back that was a different store. He figured that some of them must have had some training. At least a couple of lectures. This section would have to be completely rebuilt though, possibly the whole thing, but he thought they could save the rear store. The rest of the town hadn’t been touched by the fire since this building sat so far away from the others.
Dobson looked to his left. The main part of Freshwell consisted of eleven stores on one side of the street with ten on the other. Each block appeared to be one long building but he could make out newer wood on the end store. They must have added to this one to the original construction when the population grew. Now they had two general stores, one much smaller than the other. It could be new, he thought. A fairly large saloon took up space in the middle of one side. He could make out three other buildings that sat by themselves not connected to either side. From their spacing the town planners might have wanted a street there to go east eventually.
The blacksmith had been built far down the road in the other direction. He could still see it and hear the pounding of the blacksmith, smell the hot metal when he rode by it. But this building may have been the border of the town in this end.
Gray looked down at the dirt. One bad thing was that the town’s people had cluttered up the dirt of the street with their wagons, horses and feet: covering and marking out any tracks left by those who had done this. But it couldn’t be helped, the fire had to have been put out. He rode around the building and studied the dirt back of it then came back around from the opposite end.
The building didn’t look like a smithy or a saloon, which left a store of some type, a church or even a school house. The town looked large enough for one. He had ridden through Freshwell three times the last year but knew nothing about it even though he had met with the Sheriff as a common curtasy. He was a Marshal passing though his area after all. They had a nice size jail, larger than he thought they needed, but he may make use of it this trip.
He looked around again. The Inn was actually larger than the saloon. It had rooms on a second story and a kitchen plus storage, he assumed, in the back, and four rooms on the street level. They were bigger and more expensive or so he had been told when he stopped for lunch one of those three times.
As he recalled from when he rode by, there had been nothing in this building to start a fire except for a wood burning stove. He didn’t recall ever seeing the pipe that exhausted it sticking out of the roof. Now, however, one lay bent, twisted and black with soot, on top of a pile of smoldering wood. Part of the pipe looked darker than another part. In fact this whole section of the building looked in worse shape than the other sections.
He shook his head and wondered if someone had really started the blaze. With that thought, he looked closer. Why would anyone burn this building especially if it had been a school? Than again maybe he was just buying trouble. He shrugged, that was his job. He wouldn’t be a US Marshal if he didn’t like trouble: creating and finishing it for those who started it. Now though he he hadn’t smelled any kerosene or alcohol when he rode around the building.
Fires could be caused by accidents, acts of carelessness, or drunks, as well as on purpose. However it started this one was a shame especially with the loose of books and supplies inside, if this was a school. It could take months to get new supplies and the cost for shipping them out here would make it much harder to get them.
He swung his horse around and headed for the Sheriff’s office. This fire pricked his curiosity.
It didn’t take him long to pass the other end of the block and to approach the jail. It sat by itself about ten feet from the end of the walkway, which supported his idea of this being a street corner. He looked round him to see if anyone carried a gun near him. The three people he saw with any weapon of any type, looked like upstanding citizens which probably meant that the town was fairly safe, but he would stay on his toes. All it took was one person who didn’t like US Marshals, or was drunk.
The street had its share of road apples, some of which smelled and looked fresh, which meant it about average horses here. It looked like Freshwell needed someone to clean the street once a day though. He shrugged that really wasn’t his concern though. Once he got to the jail he tied his horse to the railing and stepped up to the wood sidewalk it also had.
He glanced in the other direction and noticed that the larger general store rested at this end of the line of stores. That could be to help farmers and ranchers with wagons load better.
Dobson nodded to the two men who stood outside of the Sheriff's. They didn’t look like trouble, just as if they waited for someone. He opened the door and closed it fast for a wind followed him in. Inside, he saw a wide room with two desks each with a new looking, comfortable, padded chair behind it and two half way comfortable chairs on the other side. A portrait hung on the wall of the President of the United States and one of an older lady. She was dressed in a very nice, blue dress. A local person he thought. Maybe she had been a rich widow who had paid for the building of the office.
Two doorways led to the back. He thought he could see bars through one doorway. The other might lead to the outhouse and/or to a kitchen near by. Or to another cell for certain types of prisoners.
The sheriff, Tony, a tall skinny, older, weather beaten fellow with shoulder length brown hair, stood talking to a nicely dressed man. The man smelled of cigar smoke, an expensive brand the Marshal thought. He must have paid a pretty penny to have some shipped here. He knew from experience not to get too close to the man when he blew smoke out, it could be strong enough to taste.
The Sheriff said, “We will catch the person who set the fire.”
The man said, “Why would anyone set fire to a school house?”
“I don’t know maybe they didn’t like that their children have to go—we have a couple of those type people in this town—or maybe they had an argument about what should be taught. Could even that they got the wrong end of that building and it was meant for that new bookstore. It’s hard to see the burr under a man’s blanket at times. But I want to speak to the new teacher and see what she has to say. Miss Sanderson has been upset over certain details and ”
The man said, “I know that there are citizens that disagree with store just to sell books half of which would be penny dreadfuls, I am not all that excited about it myself but to burn it? That is crazy.”
The Marshal thought, good I was right.
Sheriff Tony said, “Some people are that crazy. Isn’t that right Marshal?”
The two turned to him and even as his eyes widen. He thought he would had wait until they were done with their business, but this opened the door.
The Sheriff said, “This is Marshall Dobson. He has been in these parts for a few years. Marshall this is John Whitmore.”
Dobson nodded to John and said, “Yes, there are crazy people out there. I wouldn’t have as much of a job if there weren’t. I was sent here to go after a train robber. However, sometimes it isn’t a person that causes the problem. It is also my job to make sure we know the difference.”
Whitmore raised his eyebrows and the Sheriff looked puzzled and a touch irritated.
“I looked at the remains of the school. I believe it was just an accident.”
“What?” The sheriff said.
The man said, “We looked it over ourselves.”
“I thought you had. But was it before sunrise?”
“Just after the sun started up.”
“After a night of fighting the fire?”
Whitmore nodded. He still had bits of ash on his pants, so he may have really helped.
The Sheriff said, “Where are you going with this?”
“I saw that part of the chimney for the stove looked blocked. I think that is where the fire started.”
The man spoke before the Sheriff could even he open his mouth, “Someone could have blocked that on purpose hoping that would happen.”
Dobson nodded, “Yes, someone could have, but by the looks I still go with my theory that some animal, or other built a nest in there. I know of a few times when that has happened. It has been warm the last few months and the weather just started to turn. I suspect that it was just carelessness. No one thought to inspect the stovepipe.”
The man nodded with a thoughtful look on his face. The Sheriff didn’t look convinced though.
“I can explain what took my thoughts down that road. The stovepipe has a deeper burn in one section about halfway. You might even find some cooked little ones; rats or squirrels in the pipe.”
The Sheriff and the man had a disgusted look on their faces but the other Lawman said, “Come to think of it I thought I smelled meat cooking. Maybe you are right after all.”
They went outside to the burned building and the Marshal showed them where he thought the fire started and the pipe. They both looked convinced when he finished.
The man said, “I believe you’re right. You are one smart Marshal. No wonder you have a good repetition in these parts.”
“Thank you. As I said it is my job to figure out when it was a person and when it wasn’t and to protect people that are innocent.”
Whitmore said, “That is a good way to see your job, Marshall.”
Sheriff Tony said, “I’m glad we will not be bothering someone who is innocent. And I will declare that every business inspect their stovepipes to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
Dobson nodded and after some more talking he said, “I will take my leave now. I need to get a room for the night so I can get an early start to go after one who is bad.” He thought, even if the rooms are costly it should be worth it for one night.
They each nodded and shook his hand and he left. He got his horse and on the way to the town’s corral past the blacksmith shop he gave himself a small smile. It felt good to think through something like that and to know that an innocent person would not be questioned for something they did not do.
Now for Not All Good Deeds Are Punished.
Bill strode over to his horse, with long, quick steps. He looked in his late thirties, and wore a light yellow long sleeved shirt and gray trousers. No gun weighed down his hip, he didn’t need one here-most days.
He stopped near the railing in front of the town’s hardware store, his eyes narrowed. Voices from a commotion had attracted his attention. It looked just like the same situation as in the last town he had lived in. He breathed in, snorted. The air was filled with, dust, road apples, spilt grain and the flowers that grew near each store front. A cold beer would be good right now to wash the dust out of his mouth, and the horse dropping smell out of his nose. A quick glance showed him the town, he liked Wardsville. However it looked like he may have to move on.
With a sigh, Bill pulled a rifle out of its holster, which rested on the side of his horse, and turned. He hoped he wouldn’t get into trouble again, but he knew it wouldn’t stop him. He cocked the weapon while still in the turn.
After two long steps with the rifle aimed from his hip, he said, “Back off.”
A young man, dressed in an undershirt and denim pants, with his hands on a woman, looked up. That man’s brown hair was very short and his eyes were bloodshot. Even though her yellow dress looked very proper he still pawed her like he thought she wore a low cut barmaid’s outfit. Bill knew her husband was out of town for a couple of months.
Everyone froze for a moment. He felt a breeze on his face and could smell the man from here. He must smell like a wagon load of broken whisky bottles to her.
The young man said, “You must not know who I am.”
The first man rolled his eyes, “That is my comment. I’ve been here a week, but obviously you don’t know who I am. I don’t care who you are. I know what you are. A snake in the grass. Now act like a gentleman, a true man, and get your hands off of her. Her husband won’t be back for another month and he won’t be happy if you mess with his wife.”
“I am a man, you horse droppings, more than you.”
“Not the way you are acting now. You’re acting like a spoiled snake. Now remove your hands!”
He pressed his finger on the trigger. The other man let go of the woman.
Bill said, “Now miss, give him what he deserves-slap him.”
She looked surprised, but at the same time like she wanted to carry out the order. The younger man looked shocked. When the woman moved he stepped back from her-out of arm’s length.
The brown haired man looked at the man with the rifle again, swallowed and said, “Hey, I didn’t mean anything. Just being friendly. I just thought she might be missing her man.”
The man with the gun cocked his head to the side, for the other man mumbled and slurred his words. It took him a second to figure out what he had said.
Bill said, “She probably is, but she sure ain’t missing you, now leave!”
The drunk glared at Bill, but after a moment walked away. Bill watched him until he went around a building. Three moments later he came back out on a horse. After another glare at Bill, he rode away.
The woman half-ran to the man with the gun, but stopped a few feet away.
“Thank you... I don’t know you but I’ve seen you around the past week but Dan, my husband, will want to shake your hand and have you over for dinner when he gets back.”
Bill tipped his hat and said, “I am called Bill-no, not Wild, that’s another Bill. I could always use a home cooked meal, fresh cornbread is mighty tasty, but I didn’t do this for thanks.”
The store owner came up, wiped his hands on the white apron he wore. Bill tensed and waited for an angry tone like the last time he chased a rich man’s son away from a woman. The man, however, reached out his hand.
“I want to shake your hand, Bill and add my thanks. She’s a good costumer and a good citizen of the town. Toby shouldn’t have done that to her.”
He paused for a moment than said, “If you need anything come on in to my store, I will give you half off for the next couple of days. We don’t want that type of thing happening in our town, or to be known for being a town afraid of wealthy citizens.”
Other townspeople came by to say how much they appreciated his actions. Even Jim, the sheriff came by, probably when he saw the citizens hanging around. It turned out he had been getting a shave during the incident.
After his explanation he said, “Thanks, Bill for taking care of young Toby. He isn’t usually that bad. If I had seen he was drunk earlier, I would have put him in a cell to sleep it off. He’s dad will deal with him. He doesn’t like his sons behaving that way in public. He may make him apologize to Mrs. Tanner.”
Bill felt his mouth drop and his eyes go wide surprise, but he said, “Is that all?”
The expression on the sheriffs face changed to businesslike; oh oh, here it comes, thought Bill.
Jim said, “Yeah, there is one more thing. I could use a deputy, this town is growing like a weed. I’ve watched you around town. I saw how you act around other people and after today I believe you would make a good deputy. I think I can convince the town council to spring for the pay for one. Probably only half of what I get, but your bullets will be free. On top of that if the townspeople like you they might just give you a free meal, or a cut rate on hardware, just don’t expect it all the time.”
Bill nodded, even as awe filled his heart. He stood there
to let his heart adjust to what he had just heard, then with an effort he nodded, smiled, and said, “Yeah, that sounds good.”
They shook hands and the sheriff said, “Good, I’ll make the rounds and talk to everyone. Come by tomorrow morning and I will give you a badge.”
Bill nodded again still in a good shock. As the sheriff walked away Bill felt the breeze again, smelled the street-even the fresh road apples didn’t smell so bad-and smiled. He thought, yeah, this is a good town.
#westerns #freestory #indie #funread #freestuff #fires #shortstories #action #drunks
Saturday, June 29, 2019
#saturdayscene June 29th. After my birthday and two days before the end of my E-book sale-which is Sunday the 30th. Great adventures with a twist-fun reads. Urban Fantasy and Steampunk action adventures.
Someone one a writers’ group on FaceBook wanted to see my cyberpunk story about two “sisters”. Here are two very short tales about them. The first one is more an introduction than a story and I may have a third tale someone but I have to find it. Both were inspired from a picture.
For quite a few months I wrote short stories from pictures. One set was a weekly challenge: writing a story less than 600 words based on a pic of the week. Another set were inspired by Charlie Hoover’s Geekscape daily picture. I seem to have lost touch with the web site so I have not done any for a while. Others did the same but my tales ended up being the longest usually. A couple did some very good 125 to 250 word mini stories. Mine usually began with 250 to 400 words but than later I expanded on them to make stories 500 words to 3,500 words or so.
So these two I believe came from the Geekscapes pics. I describe the scene in the pic in every story which is one reason, but not the only one, they were so long.
Both of these two together have 908 words. I might expand on the second one later. Or if I find that third one.
I am a pryotech and my metal friend can make holograms appear, some are very solid and can hurt if they hit you. Sometimes they explode with the same energy that makes the hologram.
She is from a Western City-perhaps on another earth-while I grew up, as a half breed, in an Eastern city. The poor section of that city.
I do not have almond eyes but I still have an Asian cast to my skin and face. My hair would be good for a lion's mane even though I am fully female. My braids go down past my bosom almost to my hips. I have the forehead cut high to look alien.
My companion has no hair, even though her measurements might be the same as mine. She even likes to show off her belly and her bare arms as I do. They are blue, though, and show the metal panels and joints her limbs are made of. She likes to tie a sweater around her waist though while I like a belt with pouches. Powders, food and weapons fill the pouches. She doesn't need those. She does have a couple of hidden panels with weapons-two of the same type I carry.
We met by accident. Some type of rift opened between our two cities. They happen at times and no one knows if they are natural, the result of an accident, or if someone does them on purpose. When this one opened we stood there and stared at each other. Ready for a fight but somehow we each knew we would not need to. We talked and later reveled to the other our childhoods, struggles and powers. Now we get together to go on missions; sometimes to help someone, sometimes to smuggle or do a two story job. Of course that last is more like a ten to fifty story jobs, but everyone still calls that type or work a two story job.
We take turns in the other person's home-if you can call them that. Mine has many buildings two to ten stories high, even though few past five, and those in the richer areas. There are staircases and tents plus awnings on each level for most of the levels are open or have very large and long balconies. Hers buildings are taller, even though they have short ones too, with holographic and 3D signs that show what you can get on any level. Hers city has laser cars and holographic neon signs everywhere. It does have a few markets like mine does but most are on the street level with a couple on second and third level what was once parks.
My city gets much of its water from a small lake they built it next to. Hers does to even though they have other sources too for it is a larger city. We are both wanted, and unwanted, we have each other's backs though. We could be sisters.
Second mini story
We were in town together again, we like to visit other cities even other earths to do our work. My sister from another city and me, who has a power not like mine. She has no hair though, even though she can use illusions to make it look like she does.
This time we had gone to a big city in my Eastern World. The market in this city was lighted with glow sticks, energy bubbles, battery torches, and whatever light floats down here from the tall buildings that surround this area. It smelled strongly of herbs and spices with apothecary added on. Strangely an odor of Rosemary was strong here. There is an added scent of the pollution of the city here but that wasn't what I smelled. That could be why the one booth owner we saw had an air mask on. I burnt the air in front of me to make sure. I tasted when I breathed in. My sister could stop her breathing when needed.
Maybe the odor came from the man in the white robe who stood there as if he waited for us.
A warlord who lived here had something we wanted. A very small, basketball size, fusion reactor. He uses it for emergency energy. We know someone who seems to have their own continual emergency, and so would pay for it a lot for it
Evidently one of his guards found out that we take what we need, especially from the likes of him. I think this guard does not know us that well, which isn’t surprising. This will be tricky but we can outclass him. Once he is out, or worse, we will head directly for the Warlord's place, high in the building ahead of us. That building has a bridge high up to another highrise. We can use the bridge to escape but not the usual way.
My sister looks at me, I nod she produces the ball of blue light between her hands I prepare a concussion out of my powders, and filings. I wait to activate my heat power until he is distracted.
At my nod we come out of the shadows and head his way as if we were just out here to buy something. He may suspect us but his stance shows arrogance therefore overconfidence. He has won too many battles but that is good for us.
We near him ready for whatever unfolds for we make a good team.
#indie #freestories #shortstories #fun #reading #cyberpunk #femaleleads
Sunday, June 23, 2019
In an earlier post I mentioned a late birthday sale. Which is now. All of my E-novels are now on sale for one week-to June 30th. Each of these books is an exciting, fun adventures and three have received good reviews. Follow Kara Stronggear as she finds danger in storms, street gangs and an international criminal as she delivers the packages trusted to her. Or find out how NA uses her mage abilities to help abused women but then has to find out who is killing other mages which is really above what she has done before. See how a new Lieutenant works with his special squad to protect his home country.
For summer reading, fun reading, gifts for birthdays, other celebrations or just for yourself. I have paper versions too but I cannot place them on sale.
All are good, solid adventures with twists, suspense and action.
The e-versions are two or three dollars off depending on the book.
Here are links listing my books.
List of E-sites:
Something happened to the Kindle version of THE COURIER, I am going to have to republish it there.
But you can get a Kindle formatted copy here:
Saturday, June 22, 2019
#saturdayscene June 22 my birthday and a reminder that I will be having a late birthday sale on my e-books. Some good reading there, worth the price of even the paper books. So look for L. E. Doggett at the online sites that sale books, but ignore the calendar guy and the bedbugs, for some fun summer reads. If you like paper or e-books.
I skipped last week because of a ton of new house work.
This tale is around six years old and is still one I like. I have revised it two or three times since I first wrote it as I learned more about writing and I just revised the opening 13, or so, lines.
It is a fun story and maybe a bit serious. 2,458 words.
Hoodwinker In The Wilderness
By L. E. Doggett
Jordan C. Calhoon made his way through the narrow rock strewn ravine. He watched every step for it would not do to either twist an ankle, or get eaten. Rumors had spread that a dragon lived in this wasteland. He considered the chance worth it, for he had needed to get out of the village in a hurry; for his health.
This track smelled of dirt and animal spoors. Yet he still felt the need to travel through it instead of taking the easier, longer way to the next county. A dragon made noise but at the moment the sounds came from snakes and small animals.
A slight rattle sounded, and so he added in his thoughts, and from possible scorpions. Dragon or not he needed to be careful and attentive.
He cursed, took a drink of water from one of his two skins, the place smelled of dust and dirt. The warm water still refreshed him thought. He looked at the sides of the rough ravine, not even though.
Another curse and he said to the rocks, “Damn, its my misfortune to have allowed myself to be chased out of that village I was working in. I almost had them too.”
The beast’s hunting grounds was supposed to be a mile, or two east of here, but one never knew how much of a rumor was true, or not. True or not, he had to go this way to avoid the irate villagers, who wanted to hang him.
He stumbled on a loose rock and said, “People just won’t understand that I have a talent I need to use. It was the gift I was given after all, and I only take money from people who don’t know what to do with it. That village is growing, in spite of the dragon rumors, therefore I thought it would be a good place to practice my gift. The village leaders would have more gold to spend for the village and many of the long time residents would have more gold and sliver then they were used to spending. It was more silver then gold, but it was still worth working for.”
Jordan used one hand to steady himself against the side of the ravine as he made his way around a boulder, then continued with his compliments with a sigh, “It was my fault for allowing myself to be run out of the village like that. I’ve been in this business long enough to know how fickle the emotions of the masses can be. I should have stepped in when Joshua first started speaking against me, but I thought I had a better hold on the villagers. I saw the warning signs and ignored them. Somehow he managed to convince two or three of the citizens that I was up to no good. It took them a few days, but he was able to show more and more of the others the logic gaps in my promises. Most people want to believe what I say. I can sound convincing, friendly and authoritative at the same time while I play on their fantasies and hidden wishes. They don’t allow themselves to see the flaws in my statements, unless somebody they trust gets their attention. Its happened before. I’ve learned how to deal with it when it does, but this time I got lazy and overconfident.”
He shook his head as he spoke to himself, “now I have to make my way through this wilderness to escape those who want to hang me. I have to keep one eye on the rocks, and scrub brushes and the other watching for snakes, and the dragon. If I keep close to the mountain I can stay clear of where the dragon is supposed to be hunting, while at the same time taking less time to make my way into the next country. On top of that, the villagers won’t expect me to take this route.
“There is no talking to people that angry, and I didn’t even take that much money yet”, here he jingled his half filled money pouch, “only a few gold and silver coins.”
Six minutes later he came out of the ravine and into a wide gully. The slope of the mountain made up one side of the gully while the other side was made of dirt cliffs ten feet high. There were bigger boulders near the far side, including one very large one.
Jordan stopped a few steps into the gully. Something wasn’t right. He looked around. Everything looked normal. The floor was covered with small bushes, rocks were strewn all over the place and he could see snake holes. All kinds of things to twist his ankle if he had to run for it.
His breath caught and his stomach froze as he realized what had caught his attention. It was a lot warmer here then in the ravine.
Jordan said, “Oh oh”
The temperature change could be natural, since it would be
cooler in the ravine, but he didn’t think so. His head jerked back as a sudden thought came to him. A quick look showed the sky was empty, except for three, very normal looking clouds. He looked up the mountain side and still nothing. The dragon could be on the top of the cliffs, just out of his vision angle. He didn’t think so, though.
He relaxed a bit taking another step. He thought about picking up one of the larger rocks, but what good would that do against a dragon?
Jordan took another step as he looked around. The stories about the dragon must be making me paranoid he thought.
His stomach sank and his heart froze, when he heard a deep, raspy voice say, “You should give me proper reverence.”
Jordan's head spun around as he looked behind him, nothing. He looked upward again, still nothing. He’s eyes jumped to the large rock against the wall opposite his position. He watched in terrifying fascination as the upper one third unraveled. It went from being a solid boulder to being a long, snake like neck. The bulging end shot his way stopping a few feet in front of him. He had an impulse to run back into the ravine. It wouldn’t be able to fit in there, but the thing could either fly, or leap to the top of the ravine. That neck could reach into it to scoop him up, or bite him in half. He fought his instincts to flee screaming, and moved forward to meet that horrible, ugly head.
For a few seconds he stared at he head of the dragon. It reminded him of an alligator’s snout he had seen once. Only this snout had teeth along the outside of the mouth and it was almost as long as he was tall. It was wider then he was. The rest of the creature’s face, the eyes and forehead, looked very much like a snake’s head. The shape of the eyes, as well how far apart they were, and the slope of the forehead all gave the impression of a snake. The color was three shades of gray with small spots of green and light browns.
He got his mind working again and said, “Great Being, My name is Jordan C. Calhoon. I have a proposition for you that I need to tell you about, before you eat me.”
The great head titled to one side and the gravely voice boomed, “What type of proposition could you have that a being like me would be interested in?”
The breath was very warm and stunk of bunt meat mixed with other unidentifiable smells, he didn’t want to know what it made up that stink.
“One by which you could eat to your heart’s content, while people of all types paid you the homage you deserve.”
“I can eat all I want to now,” it said while moving its snout in a significant manner, closer to him,
“Yes this is true, but you still have to catch what you eat, or wait until something gets close enough to you so you can grab it. What I propose would allow you to eat all you want, without having to work for it. Cows, and sheep would be delivered to you, waiting to be eaten.”
”I can eat everything, including humans, that come onto my land.”
“Of course you can, but cows are larger then humans. They are longer, fatter and weigh three to four times as much as a man would. One skinny human isn’t all that much of meal for someone like you.”
“True, most humans are on the thin side, and I’ve eaten cows before. They are bigger. Humans are usually gone in one gulp, but I have to take three bites to finish off a cow. I like variety though.”
“I would be able to get you an oxen or two. They are even larger then cows and perhaps even a deer now and then. Deer are smaller then cows, but still larger then a person. I might be able to get you an elephant now and then too. You do know how big an elephant is?”
“Yes, I have heard of elephants. My cousin described them to me. They would make a large meal.”
“One fit for the Monarch of all animals.”
“One fit for the Monarch of all animals.”
There was a pause, after which Jordan continued, “And as I said people would give you the reverence you deserve... I would imagine you don’t get much of that out here.”
“I have been getting very little reverence lately. The last maiden I ate punched me in the nose first. While she wasn’t strong enough to harm me of course, she should have felt more awe of me.”
“I agree she should have been too awestruck to punch you. It was a good thing she wasn’t a sorceress though. You do realize there are more sorcerers, wizards and the like throughout the land. They can be very dangerous even to an animal of your magnificence.”
The dragon grunted. The hot air it expelled reminded Jordan of the air billows blew across a blacksmith’s fire.
Jordan said, “You said that a maiden punched you, what would have happened if she had been a sorcerous with a fist full of magic powder. Those sorcerous powders can do all sorts of harm even to beasts of your stature.”
“I know,” the great beast said with a growl of fire, “another cousin of mine was killed be a wizard just last month.”
Jordan flinched at the voice, but said, “I’m sorry to hear
that, my condolences to you. But if you come with me no sorcerer, or wizard would come after you. And as I said you would have all you could eat along with people paying homage to your regalness, great strength and nobleness.”
“Would I be able to eat any of those who come to watch?”
The man shook his head, “That would not be a good idea, if people thought they might get eaten, they would not pay gold to see you.”
“But I like humans.”
Jordan looked thoughtful, “Well... if you really wanted one maybe we could get a village to give us, or better yet, pay us to execute a condemned man. It could save them time and money. I should be able to talk village elders to do that if you promise me you only eat the people I say you can.”
“You promise me that I can eat all I want with little work?”
“I can promise you cows, oxen, a deer now and then, and maybe an elephant once in a while.”
“What would I have to do for this?”
“Let people look at you and be awed. Do a little flying, breath fire now and then. We can set up some logs, maybe build a few huts you could swoop down on and breath fire on.”
The dragon pulled its head back, and asked “People would give you gold to watch me?”
“A magnificent beast like you, of course they would. You would have people coming out to see you now, if they weren’t afraid of being eaten, or twisting a leg on these rocks.”
The dragon titled his head looking thoughtful, “What would you get out of it?”
“I would get to keep half the gold and I would be known far
and wide as the one who was showing such a wondrous dragon.”
He added to himself, and I would not get eaten.
The dragon suddenly snaked its head toward Jordan. It stopped it right in front of man’s. It was all Jordan could do to stand his ground.
The dragon stood there a minute then said, “Its a deal.”
Jordan let out the air he didn’t realize he was holding then said, “We can start in the next village. It might take them a while to see that you don’t want to attack, then to realize they can see you close up if they pay. I should go in first with you waiting outside the village until I call you.”
“I can do that.”
The dragon unlimbered himself and man and beast started walking down the gully together.
Jordan was thinking as he walked next to the dragon.
I am Jordan C. Calhoon. I can charm anyone even a dragon and the villagers who would want to see him. But it’s a good thing that I had heard that dragons were lazy and egotistical. And it was a good thing that I came up with the beginning of what I said while walking through that ravine, just in case I ran into the dragon. With my experience I was able to come up with the rest of it as we talked. I will have to remember to continue my act at all times.
The dragon was also thinking as he waddled alongside the human.
Its a good thing I had heard that humans are egotistical, and that they do think they can talk their way out of trouble. I was hoping to find a human that would offer me a deal. I’m getting old and running down food is getting a little hard, and he is right there are more sorcerers and wizards around these days. I thought I could find some one who I could talk into helping me. I don’t really like eating humans all that much. They are small, and their clothes taste nasty sometimes. They can have all sorts of sharp, or hard objects in their clothes. Swords, and knifes sometimes get stick into my mouth, and any type of metal is hard to digest.
He shook his great head, thinking that he would have to remember to continue his act.
#fantasy #dragons #freestories #shortstories #fun