Welcome to Tuesday Tales! This week I`ll be sharing excerpts from my 2013 NaNoWriMo novel, Laco Law – The Gnarled Oak. Laco Law is an M/M historical western romance, set in the fictional county of Laco, Texas in 1867.
This week our word prompt 'Nudge'. In our excerpt this week, Clayton and Zeke ride the rails to Galveston.
A note for my readers: This is a gay romance novel, and so the romance that occurs is man on man. If this is not your cup of tea, no one will think less of you if you read no further.
As this is my NaNo work, it is quite rough. I do ask that you overlook any glaring mistakes you may find. Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thanks for stopping in!
It was noon before we roused ourselves. There is many an odd thing a man will face in his days upon this earth. Waking naked beside a Tonkawa scout, your hand cupping his genitals lovingly would be one for many a male. For me, it did not seem odd. Out of place, perhaps, but perfectly right for a man such as me.
We dallied as long as we could. Madame Moon fed us well, stuffing us on rich foods such as oysters, creamy soup, and delicate sandwiches with frilly lettuce. The room cost us the very last paper money we had, but it was worth it. Now when I looked at my deputy, or he me, our gazes were warmed with shared affections. Having that knowledge helped the guilt nestled in my chest some. Mayhap I was not so terrible a being if a man such as Zeke Fire Sky could love me.
In return for his fondness, I allowed him to enter the train depot at a little after two in the afternoon. A man must give the man he has fondness for some small trinkets to show he cares. Within moments Zeke exited the depot, his smile bordering on what some may call evil. I did not ask about the conversation with the clerk behind the barred window. Ezekiel did not relay anything.
We gathered our horses, paid the stable-master with our last silver dollar, and then boarded the Price Railways luxurious cattle car. As people moved from the train or onto it, we garnered many a befuddled look. I even had a porter, round as a spittoon he was in his dark blue uniform, dash up to inquire as to why I felt the need to ride with the lesser animals.
“I`m not riding with the lesser, you are,” I replied then took the strong hand of my deputy. Zeke tugged my lanky backside into the stock car. He whistled for Dog. The canine leaped into the cattle car. We closed the door on the puzzled porter.
“That was so touching. You almost made me cry, Pan,” Zeke said. I slugged him soundly in the arm. With a clatter the train jerked. I was lurched forward and back as it came to life. The steam engine`s whistle pierced the air. Massive steel linkages connecting one box car to another slammed into each other. Zeke staggered towards the sliding door. He pulled it open wide enough to see. The crack was perhaps a foot wide, just enough to allow sun as well as fresh air into the already fragrant train car. “Many say these will be the death of my people,” he said as another short burst of steam signaled our impending departure. He slapped the doorframe to indicate he spoke of the train.
I walked over to stand at his side, my hat resting low on my brow. “I thought your people were almost wiped out as it was.”
“Not the Tonkawa, the Indian nation as a whole.” He stared out at the station. I pushed him to elaborate, but as he was known to do at times, Zeke withdrew into himself. I left him at the door after I patted the back of his corded neck tenderly. Taking a seat on the rough plank flooring beside bags of grain, I spread my legs out before me. Hands resting on my thighs as we slowly pulled away from Carson Butte, I came to the conclusion that if it were the Cajun that was facing extinction, I would be prone to solitary reflection as well.
I smelled the cheroot. The wind coming in the cracked door carried the smoke back to where I sat. Some time passed. I dozed. Sleeping was easy as the wheels clattered in a steady rhythm over the newly laid tracks. Zeke woke me with a nudge to the ribs. He handed me a biscuit that was hard enough to use as a bludgeon. We sat side by side picking patches of green mold off our biscuits. We shared water from a barrel with our horses. We took turns sleeping. When the railroad men came to tend to the cattle, we assisted in the chores. The train made many stops. It took us well over thirty hours to arrive in Galveston.
Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey
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See you next week with more from the old West!