Monday, May 26, 2014

Tuesday Tales - Author

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 'Author’. In this excerpt Clayton and Zeke`s search for Boyden ends.

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!

A Negro lad appeared in the yard. He was carrying a slop bucket. He paused, scanned the grounds, and upon sighting us, went about his duty after throwing his shaved head in the direction of the rear door. We wasted no time in gaining access to the kitchen. Angry voices now echoed through the house. The food preparation area was large, neat, and thankfully empty. A wide door hung open. My deputy and I framed it, each looking out into the corridor.

The shouting grew louder. A young man replied. He was slapped soundly. I pointed at the hall with my Henry. Zeke slipped out of the kitchen, his revolver handle tickling his fingertips. The house smelled of lemon wax. I stepped out into the corridor. Soft crying could be heard ahead. The adult, a deep-voiced man with a thick lisp, asked the whimpering child if he understood how bad he had been. The lad answered in the affirmative. I ran my sights over the hall, searching for a door that would lead to the basement.

“Lower your panth, William,” the lisper commanded. Zeke looked back at me. We went into the study shoulder to shoulder. One wall was filled with books, the author`s golden names glowing in the lamplight.  The boy spied us first. He drew back in fright. The lisper, a reedy man in a finely tailored suit of dark grey with wild golden hair, spun around when I spoke.

“I`d suggest you drop that,” I said, my eyes on the bullwhip he clutched in his pale hand. “Furthermore, I suggest you turn to face the wall with your hands behind your back. I`m placing you under arrest for various acts of depravity and vice,” I informed the man. 

He seemed torn for a moment, as if he contemplated using the whip in his hand upon us. My rifle, and Ezekiel`s revolvers, aimed at a spot between his shifting eyes nudged him into making a sound decision. The whip tumbled from his fingers. He turned to face the wall. The boy cried out a warning.

 Zeke and I dropped instantly. An oil painting blew apart when a bullet slammed into it. I dove for the young boy. My arm went around his waist. We rolled towards the nearest shelter, a large settee. Shielding the child the best I could, I rose up, found the open doorway and then fired in the general direction of the door. Zeke had taken refuge behind a table that was far too small to protect him. The man in the doorway fired into the room. I heard footfalls as well as the lisping man shouting orders to his underlings.

“Where is the lesson room?” I asked the cowering boy at my side. Zeke was peppering the doorway with shots. The young man pointed a crooked finger at the door that we now fought over. His hand was nothing but a claw, not unlike the hands of the elderly. I thanked him, told him to keep his head down until he knew it to be safe, then meet the other boys at the barn. He covered his head with skinny arms and hands that were swelled at the joints. I found Zeke reloading his revolver. We looked at each other. I stood up after a brief silent glance. My Henry decimated the doorframe as well as the wall in the corridor. Zeke used my cover fire to slip around the doorframe. He put a neat hole in the head of one of the lisping man`s underlings.

“Follow me!” I barked to my deputy, shoving bullets into my rifle as we ran towards the end of the corridor. We were fired upon several times, and spent a few tense moments crammed into a small closet that contained canned goods. We both fell to our knees when a mason jar of beets exploded all over us and the closet. Zeke went high, I went low, and we managed to get to the basement door. The door was solidly locked. I put my boot beside the knob twice. When it buckled but remained locked, I used the Henry to pick the damned lock. 

Zeke dropped another henchman as I shot the lock. I kicked at the doorframe. A sharp crack echoed down the smoke-filled hallway. The acidic stench of gunpowder was strong. Zeke went first, as he was out of ammunition. I fired thrice into the gloom of a smoky hall then rushed down a dark set of stairs. The air was cooler down here, moister. I ran into Zeke.

“It`s locked,” he hissed, rattling a knob in the darkness.

“Break it down.” Children on the other side were calling out for assistance. “Break it down now!” I shouted as the heavy trample of men running upstairs reverberated down to us in the basement.

I was rudely shoved aside. The dull sound of a man`s shoulder hitting a door filled the small area. The second attempt to bust down the door loosened the hinges. The fourth impact tore the nails from the frame. The hinges screamed. The door fell inward, the bottom hinge hanging fast despite its pummeling. A soft glow blinded the two of us for a moment. I called for my nephew, my heart hammering behind my ribs in fear that he would not be here. If the boy had indeed been sent overseas I did not know how I would . . .

“Uncle Clayton?”

I pushed around Zeke wrestling his way through the young men that had bubbled out of their lesson room like ants from a disrupted hill. The room was a tiny, stinking, underground pit. A lone kerosene lamp burned. Beds were blankets on the damp ground. The outhouse was an overflowing spittoon in the center of the room. Boyden was seated on a blanket, his eyes wide with fright, his cheeks hollow from poor feed. His sandy-blond hair was lank and hung around his gaunt face. I tripped as I rushed over to gather the boy into my arms. He stank terribly. I held him to me as tightly as I could. We both wept uncontrollably.

 Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey


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See you next week with more from the old West!


Sarah Cass said...

So glad they found him...I just hope they manage to get out safely!

V.L. Locey said...

I hope they can as well, Sarah. Thanks for stopping by!

Ros Nazilli said...

Yes they need to get out now. Nice writing..x

Jean Joachim said...

inWow! What an amazing scene. So exciting, riveting, I couldn't look away, though my heart was in my mouth. Fabulous!!

V.L. Locey said...

Thanks for coming by Ros and Jean!

Davee said...

beautifully written as usual! :)

V.L. Locey said...

Thank you so much, Davee.

Iris Blobel said...

Henry's back :-) LOL ... Sorry!

Great post, Vicki. Beautifully written.

V.L. Locey said...

Ha, ha, ha! Iris, you scamp!

Anonymous said...

LOVED the scene! Great job. A ton of action, all beautifully written. I'm glad he found his nephew - had a knot in my stomach waiting to see.
But my very favorite part - the mason jar of beets exploding all over them. Very descriptive.

V.L. Locey said...

Many thanks, Trisha! I can just imagine what a mess those beets made.

morgan said...

"his revolver handle tickling his fingertips" What a great description instead of the usual his hand rested on the butt of the gun.

kathleen ball said...

glad the found each other

V.L. Locey said...

Thank you Kathleen and Morgan!

Jillian said...

Oooh, I like this one! Lots going on and finding Boyden is awesome.