A couple of readers commented that they might like more background or additional information about my Fall challenge, titled “Autumn.” This is an attempt at creating the beginnings of a storyline to go with that brief scene. Who knows where it might take us? I simply go along for the ride.
Gales of November (written for the challenge “A Matter of Honor”)
“Gettin’ cold.” The young man’s voice held a chill more biting than the November wind.
Hannibal Heyes wrapped his new coat more tightly around himself, shivering despite the warmth it provided.
“I been thinkin’ on ridin’ south.”
Heyes closed his eyes, wishing he could thwart the conversation that loomed imminent, as easily as his coat repelled the weather. He weighed words which might sway his cousin’s decision, ‘Don’t go,’ topping the list. “Give it another week,” he chose instead.
Jed Curry dug a toe into the dirt of the corral outside the livery. Without looking up, he shook his head. “A week won’t change nothin’.”
Heyes touched his friend’s shoulder, then met his eyes. “Seven days. That’s not too much to ask, is it?”
“You don’t understand, Heyes. You got a job.”
“You have a job too.” The argument was flimsy at best Heyes knew, considering Jed’s disdain for his position as “hired gun” for a local rancher intent on expanding his claim. Unintentionally, his gaze dropped to the weapon strapped to the sixteen-year-old’s thigh and he silently cursed his young partner’s prowess with the hunk of iron.
“Look, I know you got it good here in White Ridge, workin’ at the bank and all. I don’t expect you to up and leave. I’m just askin’ you to understand why I gotta go.” A blue-eyed glare reminded Heyes that pride ran deep as the Colorado River, though Curry’s veins.
Pride, Heyes understood. Pride and Honor. Quickly-dwindling commodities for a young man with a growing reputation as a gunman. “If you wait a week, I’ll come with you,” he tried.
“No you won’t,” Jed chuckled. “You got dollar signs dancin’ in your eyes every day and that banker’s daughter fillin’ your dreams every night.” He shook his head. “You’d be a fool to leave.”
So much to say, yet so much remained unspoken. The two joined hands in silent agreement. Today, their paths would part.
“Send word when you’re settled. Come spring, I’ll join you.”
Curry mounted. “Heyes…” he began, then looked into the distance, toward something, or perhaps away. Changing his mind, he tipped his hat.
Heyes lifted his hand to the retreating figure on the horizon.
Jed never looked back.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.