Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Starting Today: Hellfire
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Episode One of Hellfire

Hosea Rimstead bowed his head in prayer before he stepped into the Quick Dollar Saloon. He would need the Lord’s protection. Beau Rawlins, the owner of the saloon, had him pegged as a trouble maker. After finishing his prayer, Hosea felt more confident than ever that God was directing his steps and Beau Rawlins be damned.
So to speak.
Hosea stepped into the saloon and saw the woman he had come for. Gail was standing up from a round table and wishing two cowboys luck as they ambled toward a roulette wheel.
All of the men inside the Quick Dollar were called cowboys, even though there hadn’t been a ranch in the area for at least three years. The clientele at the Quick Dollar, along with most of the population of the border town, consisted of outlaws on the run from the law.
“I need to talk with you,” Hosea spoke to Gail as she was walking back to the bar.
The expression on the woman’s face could have been anger, hope, or sadness, maybe a combination of all three. “I told you never to bother me again, Hosea.”
“Yeah, you told me a lot of things.”
Hosea looked about anxiously. So far, no one was paying them any mind. He had to keep it that way. “Look, I got me some money. I want for us to go upstairs. Just to talk. But I’ll pay you just as if…”
Gail pressed her lips together and looked down. “Okay.”
As they moved toward the stairway, Hosea noted that the Quick Dollar looked like a typical western saloon. The second floor was horseshoe shaped with plenty of rooms where commerce was conducted. The stairway on one side of the saloon was wide, allowing for a lot of traffic. The bannister which ran up the stairway and across the second floor was strong and ornate.
“After we talk, I’m gonna do some preachin’,” Hosea said in a loud whisper. “Warn these people about the comin’ judgment.”
“These people don’t want to hear nothin’ you say! These jaspers have themselves enough troubles with the law here on earth. They don’t need to hear about some law ridin’ down on ‘em from the sky.”
The couple reached the second floor and entered one of the rooms. The room was blue, dirty and didn’t have a window. The only furniture in the place was a bed and a small side table which contained a vase and a lantern that was already lit.
“There ain’t enough space here to turn around in,” Hosea groused,
“People don’t come here to turn around.”
“Guess not.”
“Say what’s on your mind, you’re payin’ for it.” Gail tried to sound harsh but couldn’t quite manage it.
“Gail, you need to come back to me and be my wife!”

Tomorrow: Episode Two of Hellfire