Some Write It Hot

October 18, 2010

Tom’s Story by Debbie Vaughan

Filed under: Free read — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
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Chapter One

2010. I sat in my new office inhaling the scent of leather and suntan oil waiting for the applicant to arrive. What a winding road led me to this place–my newest business venture. You’ve heard the old cliché, just before you die, your entire life passes before your eyes? Well, I can honestly say it’s true. I thrashed and struggled to no avail as slender arms pinned me to the cot, long dark tresses swirled around my face as her mouth latched to my throat drawing out my life’s blood. She was a mere wisp of a thing, yet I was unable to free myself from her embrace. Truth-be-told, in the beginning I hadn’t wanted to. I hadn’t bedded many women in my life and it had been well nigh two years since my last. Even had that not been so, I don’t think I could have resisted. There was something in her eyes…a dark need…that drew me to her and, to my death.

*****

1842. Momma screamed again and I covered my ears against the sound. She was dying. I knew it. Another cry came in the dark, a weak wail growing stronger as he drew nearer. Pa held a my baby sister out for inspection.

“Can ya’ hold her a bit Tommy boy, while I see to yur Ma?” He placed her in my shaking arms and turned, flipping back the quilt dividing the room.

I stared at the tiny red thing wrapped tightly in the blanket. Ma couldn’t have had a boy? The bundle wriggled and I clutched it tighter, fearing to drop her and risk a switchin’. A tiny fist appeared from the folds of cloth, poking at the rosebud of a mouth. I nudged it with my finger and hers latched round mine. I had a baby sister.

*****

We grew wild and free, like the prairie critters, inseparable. By two, Colleen followed me everywhere. At six I had chores to do and she toddled along every step of the way making everything take twice as long to accomplish. I didn’t really mind although I never said, matter-o-fact, I complained and hollered about it most of the time. Everybody ignored me, Colleen most of all. She remained my shadow for years.

Even as more folk settled the grasslands either side the river, most times we kept to ourselves, unless there was a barn raise’n, weddin’, birthin’ or buryn’. Those times called for a party and no one did a party like the Irish. Everyone was invited, including the injuns. We got on peaceably, with our red neighbors. Us kids playin’ with theirs. Mom would’a tanned our hides if’n she knew we skinnydipped in the Miller’s stock pond. Bad ‘nough fer me. Colleen, never to be outdone by a boy, shucked her shimmy and jumped in not known’ how to swim a lick! She sank to the bottom like a sack full’a stone. Took me and Little Eagle both to pull her to the bank. Collie got her first kiss when he breathed air back into her. He got his first black eye when I laid into him. It was one thing to give her air, ‘nother entirely, when he kept his mouth on hers after. That summer I turned fifteen and Collie would have turned twelve in the fall. Would have…

The cholera took Colleen just shy of her twelfth year and Ma and Pa not long after, leave’n me to run things. Not that there was much left by then, between bad weather, the sickness, goldrushers scrapin’ the land bare on the way to California and the starvin’ injuns picking the stock off one by one. With nothing to hold me to the place but sadness, I saddled up and lit out. No interest in gold, I headed east.

I wasn’t a crack shot, but fair to middlin’ when I left the farm, which kept me fed, more or less. When I came upon a homestead or settlement I occasionally found work fer a spell. Years ran slowly, one into another and I became a man in all ways that counted. The widows took more than a passin’ interest, and not just in the chores I could accomplish for them. After a time the wanderlust always took hold and I would drift to the next place.

I wandered through to Kentucky in the spring of 1862, managing to stay out of the way of the war raging all around me, only to wake surrounded by union soldiers, one foggy April morn. Imagine my surprise opening my eyes to a ring of rifles pointed at my head.

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