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 Prequel to TBOS #3 Kid Curry and the Ride from the Gates of Hell ...2,100 words

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Cal

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Join date : 2016-10-21

PostSubject: Prequel to TBOS #3 Kid Curry and the Ride from the Gates of Hell ...2,100 words   Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:30 am

---oooOOOooo---

Kid Curry and the Ride from the Gates of Hell
By Cal

---oooOOOooo---



DAY: Thirty-seven

Kid looked across at Heyes, he still hadn’t moved.

“OK Heyes?” 

Nothing. 

Kid blew out a long sigh shaking his head at the dog. “What’s eatin’ him now do you think?” 

The deaf dog didn’t answer.

They’d been working the claim for thirty-seven days. Kid knew this because he’d gotten in the habit of adding another scratch to the table top each evening.  When he saw that big gash Haff’s blade had made, that day the law was here, he thought he’d add to it. Keep count. 

Kid chuckled to himself, thinking of Haff’s face when he realised that the Kid was going to throw him to the wolves. ‘That knife was in his hand so quick …like a fast draw ...don’t think he was actually set to attack me with it …no …He was just taken off guard.’  

Kid nodded to himself.  

‘Shame we drunk all the whiskey that night though, that Indian must have hollow legs. This stream’s so cold …we could sure use us a drink to warm us up…’

Kid looked across at Heyes, he still hadn’t moved.

---oooOOOooo---

‘Why would they know who I was?’ thought Heyes.  ’I don’t know who I am…’  

He’d been going over that day, stood right in front of four lawmen, set on finding Hannibal Heyes in these hills. Came here specifically for that purpose. He was stood right in front of them, and they’d looked right through him. 

‘…like I was nothin’…’ thought Heyes ‘…Am nothing….’

‘Less than nothing!” Answered the vicious voice in his head. ‘Nothing wouldn’t drag kin down too. That …before …playing the leader …that was all show …so no one would see …what you really are…’

Heyes closed his eyes and preyed the cold would finally numb his brain and kill the voice.

He hadn’t moved.

---oooOOOooo---

“I’m callin’ it for today!” called Kid “Tomorrow …I’m starting to look at that bend down there where the bank’s real cut into …I’m fed up of looking at the same grit here …think I know each piece …personally …I get to know them any better …I’m gonna have to marry some of them … HEYES!”

Heyes hadn’t moved.  

He looked pale and blue, his flesh shivered.  He slowly blinked across at Kid.

“Aww Heyes…” 

Kid looked really annoyed but resolved.  He stalked across the stream towards his partner. Grabbed the empty pan from his hands and dragged him up the bank to the cabin.  

Without a word to Heyes, who sat motionless at the table, Kid set about getting the stove lit and brewed coffee. While the pot boiled he started rubbing Heyes’ ankles with the red shirt that now doubled as their only towel. He sighed heavily…

“How long you going to be like this …this time?  Huh! This isn’t good fer me you know …ain’t just you up here …I got to talk to a deaf dog…” 

He tried a smile. 

Nothing.

“Here …get this inside you …or you may just get your wish and freeze to death…”

Kid plonked the coffee onto the table beside Heyes’ hand, biting back the cruel taunt. Heyes like this always made him feel angry, useless …angry.

“We need more wood …I’m takin’ the mule down to drag up some more… Be a coupla hours…” 

Nothing.

---oooOOOooo---

DAY: Seventy-one

“Ain’t yer finished reading that damn book yet Kid?” chuckled Heyes.

He threw a small pebble at the top of Kids floppy brown hat.  They were sat out on the bank, letting their legs warm up in the midday sun.  

Kid had the dog under one arm, his dime novel in the other. “You know I have …but it’s been long enough…” he mumbled.

“Long enough for what?” Heyes was bored. 

He’d come out of his malaise about a week back, and was trying to make it up to Kid by acting cheerful, but he was finding it heavy going unless he kept himself distracted.  There weren’t many distractions up here and he hadn’t got anything else to read himself.

“Long enough …so its excitin’…. again.” Kid sounded annoyed “Hush up I’m getting’ to the good part.”

“Excitin’! Yer only gotta read the title to know what its about.”

“Yeah?” Kid turned to face Heyes.  He’d bite.  He preferred this Heyes.  “Well go on genius, tell me what its about…”

Heyes smirked.

“Kid Curry has to go to hell …probably gets shot in a gunfight… to get someone back …probably a love interest …a big bosomy red head, of loose morals …and in order to do that …he makes a pact with the devil …has to have a gunfight with him …he’s faster than the devil …devil don’t like it …Curry has to high tail it through Hell’s Gate …probably on one of those apocalyptic stallions …you know the black ones with the red eyes …gets chased by demons and hell hounds …only just makes it through …kisses the girl…the end!”

Kid throws down the book. “When did you read my book Heyes?”

“I didn’t have to…” smiles Heyes “One look at that stupid picture on the cover …it’s all there…waste of time readin’ it.”

Kid studied the cover picture …carefully, and ‘humphs’ loudly.  

“Well you didn’t get it all right…” he smiles back at Heyes “That lump in front of my saddle …that ain’t no bosomy red head of loose morals …that’s you!”

---oooOOOooo---

DAY: Ninety-nine

Kid holstered the Colt with a smile of satisfaction.  That last round was back to his best. He’d been worrying he could have lost it. The cold water and the long hours of work had left him stiff and aching. Today he had declared a holiday.  His horse also appreciated the long ride, maybe Kid wasn’t the only one feeling stiff.

Kid looked at his horse.  He pursed his lips wondering where Heyes was.  He knew Heyes was going down again.  He didn’t do well …isolated …he needed people. Kid blew out a long slow breath and addressed the horse.

“Think I’ve had my fill of prospecting.  What do you say we pack up, go find ourselves a drink, a woman and some poker?”

The horse snorted and nodded its head, making Kid smile. 

“I like the way you think…” 

He patted the horses neck and sighed. 

“Sorry boy …but this means the mule’s gotta go.  Where the mule goes, the dog goes.” Kid smiled wistfully, he’d gotten fond of the dog.  He smirked at the horse.  “I saw the way you been lookin’ at that mule…” 

Kid looked the horse in the eye with earnest.  “Now don’t go getting’ offended or nothin’ …but you’re not much of a conversationalist …I got to have me a conversation, with someone who can talk back …and soon…”

The horse stretched its back legs and began to hose the ground, narrowly missing Kids boots.

“That’s it! That mule’s toast!”

---oooOOOooo---

Heyes spun the barrel. One bullet. 

He stared, with unseeing eyes, at the huge panorama below him.  

The dog whined.

Click. 

Heyes shrugged. ‘Not today then.’

---oooOOOooo---

“Where did you go today Heyes?”  

Nothing. 

“Do you want to know what I’ve done today?“ 

Nothing. 

“I’ve made a decision …for both of us.  We’re going down the mountain …We’re going to cash in our dust at the Denver office. We’re going to get ourselves drunk. We’re going to get ourselves laid. You know, I’m not even sure if my pecker is still working after freezing it off in that damn stream fer months…”

Nothing, not even a hollow smile.

“And then …you’re going to double our stake at one of them big swanky casinos.” Kid stared at his lethargic partner and swallowed the anger rising in his throat. “And we can go visit Clem.” 

Heyes roused at talk of Clem. “Yeah …OK.”

“So you’re going to have to help me pack up …I want us off this mountain before Fall…”

“Let’s go first light.” 

Kid smiled. A whole four words.  

He didn’t want to jinx it by saying more.

---oooOOOooo---

DAY: One hundred and six (but Kid’s no longer counting)

“It’s walkable …just.  Glad we sold the mule.  Wouldn’t like to try cross that with a short-legged mule.  What do you think Heyes?” Kid watched the rush of churning water in the swollen riverbed.  Here and there, the tops of larger rocks were still visible above the foam marking the safe passage of the ford.

“Come on” Heyes started his chestnut mare towards the flood.

Kid quickly put his bigger gelding between his partner’s horse and the bank.  “I’ll be going first.  He’s good at staying on his feet …he’ll help her over.”

No argument from Heyes.

No argument from Heyes? Kid gave a huge sigh, and turned the big black back to the river.

---oooOOOooo---

“HEYES! …. HEYES!” Kid was incredulous.  

Heyes’ mare was veering off into deeper water and stronger currents.  His partner looked slow and unfazed by the danger to both horse and rider.  He pulled the mares head round to face upstream, her eyes were wide and white in fright, as the current took her backwards, back towards the centre of the rivers flow, and the fastest currents.

“She’s lost her feet …it’s too strong for her to swim …I’m staying with her.” Shouted Heyes, but he was calm, almost casual.

“HEYES!” Kid sounded angry.  He plunged his gelding through the last few feet of the river and up the far bank, pulling the big horse round to a gallop along the edge of the torrent, keeping Heyes and the mare in his sights.  

He quickly passed them, and was exasperated to see that the river ahead, started to twist and plunge into white water proper.  He pulled up, to shout back to Heyes, but he saw that the mare was looking much closer to the bank.  He left the saddle, grabbing up a long branch and waving it at the mare’s head, snagging up her reins.  Her front feet suddenly found ground, and she lurched up the bank at Kid, knocking him off his feet as she pushed past him in terror.  He was only dragged a few feet as she came to a shivering, quaking, dripping stop under the protective gaze of Kids solid black gelding.

Kid pulled himself up, desperately scanning the churning river for signs of his partner.  He got the briefest glimpse of a black hat disappearing over the rim of the white water falls.

---oooOOOooo---

‘You decide …I’m done fighting it …’  thought Heyes. 

“Better for everyone if you never came out of this river….” Said the sneering voice in his head that sounded an awful lot like Heyes.  “This way the Kid won’t even have to bury you… it’ll be like you never was…”

“Kid?” Heyes gulped air just before his head went under again. “Kid’ll be angry … “ 

Heyes started using his hands and feet to push himself off passing rocks. 

---oooOOOooo---

Hours later

“You warming up buddy?” Kids smile was warm as the suns.  

Heyes’ eyes flickered shut again, but not before he stammered out “£$...%&…£$% fre…ezi…ng!”

“I got you as close to the fire as I dare …Don’t worry now I got all the wet stuff off you, I can get all your dry stuff on… I been drying it round the fire.” 

Kids voice also betrayed a shiver, and Heyes could feel water dripping off Kids beard, onto his face. “Bee….een …swi…mm…ing ….Ki…d?” he whispered between chattering teeth.

“Now you’re a comedian! Just get warm Heyes …I’m going make us both some coffee.” Kid let out a huge sigh “And we ain’t going swimming again, till next summer!”

---oooOOOooo---

That night

“I think Sherville’s the closest town, what do you say we head straight there in the morning.  I’m gonna drink me my fill of the good stuff, and I’m sleeping in a real bed, with a warm, willin’, woman!” 

Kid grinned devilishly.

“Sounds good Kid, think it’s time we both did ourselves a bit of livin’.” 

Heyes sipped at the scolding coffee, his hands still shaking, despite wearing nearly all the clothes he owned, and being covered by Kids old sheepskin coat.  

He gazed into the fire. ‘Yes sir, I’m ready to do me a bit more livin!’ He thought.  

Mercifully there was no answer from the voice in his head.

---oooOOOooo---
The End
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Prequel to TBOS #3 Kid Curry and the Ride from the Gates of Hell ...2,100 words
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