Monday, April 28, 2014

Tuesday Tales - Flying

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 'Flying’. In this excerpt Clayton and Zeke discover that fate sometimes smiles upon lawmen.

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!

            As it turned out my deputy had not removed the man`s hair from his head. He had stabbed him repeatedly when the drunken sot lunged at Zeke upon entering the building. I should have made contrition for leaping to the wrong assumption but I did not. I rode in steeping anger. When we came back upon the good Dr. Dante, I was beyond foul-tempered. I was a cauldron filled with churning resentment. 

          I pulled the head of the Negro up. Dr. Dante made the identification. We allowed the victim to take back his money, as well as any that the gang may have had upon them. He was ecstatic to have his old swaybacked nag back. He spoke to the horse loudly, sometimes in rhyme, as he hooked her back to his wagon. Zeke was smoking on the other side of the wooden-sided wagon. I sat in the shade, picking at the heel of my boot like it was a scab. Dr. Dante hurried around the wagon smiling widely. I got to my feet.

            “Truly you and your rather taciturn deputy are saviors!” Dr. Dante beamed while shaking my hand. His grip was stronger than I would have assumed. “If not for your timely intervention, I would have been delayed beyond repair to pick up the lads for delivery to--”

            “What did you say? Picking up what lads?” I asked. Dr. Dante`s pale blue eyes grew wide with alarm. The lid upon the bubbling cauldron inside me rattled ominously.

            “Lads? Heavens above, no! Lads! I cannot – Well, the word was simply a mistake spoken in a rush of gratitude that – there are no lads to pick up! None at all! No!”

            The wagon shook terribly when I slammed the snake oil salesman into its side. I heard Zeke grunt in shock. I tightened my hold around the stammering mans collar. His neck and jowls began to grow scarlet.

            “Lie to me again and I will bring my deputy over to remove your hair from your skull,” I growled into Dr. Dante`s pock-marked face. Sweat appeared on his brow. His upper lip twitched. Fear seeped out of his pores.

            “There are unwanted children that I deliver! I swear upon the holy face of God that all I do is transport them from one place to another!” he whimpered. I twisted his collar. He gagged. Spittle was flying from him as his arms flailed aimlessly. “I do not . . . soil them in any way! No . . . scalp . . . please!”

            “Where are you meeting them for pick-up?” I asked. He blabbered uncontrollably. The sight of my deputy coming to see what the disturbance was loosened Dr. Dante`s tongue. He relayed the name of a certain man, a Caldwell Emerson, in San Antonio that was fond of young boys. He used them as house servants as well as bedroom enjoyment. He was known to be fond of the whip. “Did you make a delivery to this man, this Caldwell Emerson, within the past month?”

            “Yes, just a few weeks ago! There was . . . but two children! Apache girl . . . bastard white boy!”

            I then drew back my fist. I drove it into his face relentlessly. Blood coated my right hand, my forearm, and my clothes. It rained over my cheeks. I beat upon that man until Zeke forcibly pulled me from him. Then I kicked out at the snake oil salesman. I longed to drive the toe of my boot into his ribs hard enough to make the bone crack. I attempted to stave in the side of his skull. Zeke dragged me further away, his arms locked around my waist. When the writhing Dr. Dante was out of my reach Zeke threw me to the ground. The ensuing wrestling match was unseemly for two lawmen. My blood rage burned up quickly. I stared unseeing at the man lying on top of me. His hair was in my mouth. My fists lay on his wide back.

            “I am a poor excuse for a lawman,” I confessed breathlessly. Zeke slowly pushed upward, his elbows locking. His bottom lip had been split. “That was . . . unseemly.”

            “You`re human,” he replied with blood coating his teeth. He expectorated a mouthful of blood to the dirt then got to his boots, his clothes coated with dust. I remained on my back, squinting into the brilliant yellow orb in the sky.

            “He deserves to die,” I panted, my head spinning from exertion and mental stress. I felt myself stepping precariously close to that rippling landscape that sometimes engulfed me. “Does he not?”

            “Yes, he does,” Zeke said after he took a moment to light a cheroot with trembling hands. “He delivered innocents into the hands of those who abuse them. A man like that . . . he deserves to die, but not by your hand. He has no bounty. There is no reason legally for you to end his life.”

            “I agree,” I said. “I did not mean to assault him so. It was . . . rage that propelled me.” My voice sounded distant to my own ears. The rushing sound blew in on a dry wind. Dog padded past, his tail between his legs. Zeke called to me. I rolled to my side. I covered my head with my hands. The sounds of a hundred cannons rolling closer vibrated through my soul.

            Zeke did not allow me to fall into the madness. He pulled me to my feet. Shook me, yelled at me, slapped me, held me close. I clung to him with my eyes wide open. I looked at the pummeled face of Dr. Dante. Zeke`s voice beside my ear slowed the pounding of a soldier`s heart. When the worst had passed, I remained in his embrace. His palm moved over my arm tenderly. He cradled the back of my head. He whispered endearments. I thanked him on a reedy exhalation. In his arms the terror was less.

Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey


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See you next week with more from the old West!


kathleen ball said...

great story- love this line-I was a cauldron filled with churning resentment.

V.L. Locey said...

Thanks so much, Kathleen!

Jillian said...

churning resentment and swayback nag. Love both of those phrases. Really makes the story come alive and speak to the reader. Well done!! You have a real knack for these type phrases.

V.L. Locey said...

Aw, thanks, Jillian. And thanks for stopping by!

trishafaye said...

I wondered how you were going to fit 'flying' into this period. Excellent job! And a great scene - as usual.

Iris Blobel said...

LOL - I had the same thought as Trisha, wondering how you fit flying into the story ;-) Well done.

V.L. Locey said...

Tee-hee. I thought long and hard on it, rest assured! Thanks for coming by Trisha and Iris!

morgan said...

I love the traveling tinker portrayal.