Saturday, May 31, 2008

Short Story Saturday

Carley's day began like every other day had for the last month or so. She got dressed, reluctant, and bored with the whole thing. She went, down the rickety stairs, and through the swinging door into the dining area for breakfast. Eggs, bacon, and potatoes, as usual. Sitting down, she began to eat, and was not surprised when Cross Eyed Pete took the seat next to hers. For the last three weeks, Pete had been taking that same seat, and always had the same question.
"May I escort you to a fine dinner, this evening?" he said, trying to look at her.
"No you may not" she answered, as usual. I am a married woman."
"I don't see no husband" he leered back at her.
"David is my husband!" she answered, again. Angrily. "David who?" everyone wanted to know, because they had forgotten about the sheriff who disappeared. She sighed. They had been giving her a difficult time over the last few weeks, insisting that a girl as pretty as her needed to have a husband. Every single man in the area had been showing up at Fanny's boarding house, hoping to 'escort her to dinner'. Each one had been turned away. Cross Eyed Pete was a jealous type, and he discouraged them all from coming back. So now, mainly, she only had him to contend with. But he was proving to be very stubborn, indeed.
"I will not take No for an answer!" he told her, cheerily. "I don't see no man named David here, and I am just as good as any of them other fella's" he finished. "Be ready at sunset."
"I will do NO SUCH THING" she answered, forcefully, slamming her fork down on the table. Unfortunately, her fork still had a bite of eggs on it, and they splattered all over Cross Eyed Pete. Not caring, she got up from the table, and flounced out the door.
"She is going to pay for that" muttered Pete, wiping the egg off his face with a scowl.
"Oh, now, Pete, she didn't mean it" Fanny said, clearing up her plate.
"Yes she did, and I am tired of her stuck up, high falutin' ways" growled Pete. "She thinks that I ain't good enough for her, well, she's gonna see. She better be waitin' for me at sunset, in her prettiest dress, or I am going to learn her a lesson". With that said, he shoved himself away from the table, and stormed out the door.
Carley quickly gained entrance to her shop, and locked the doors. Making sure the blind was securely pulled down, she paced around the small building. Around all the bolts of fabric, and the sewing machine. She had been searching everywhere for a way to get back to her own time and place, to no avail. "I miss my kids, damn-it!" she shouted to the empty shop, her eyes filled with tears. "I want my life back" she whimpered to the dust. Sobbing, she sat down in front of the sewing machine and cried. After a while, she stopped, and wiped her eyes with a dusty hand. Taking a few deep breaths, she took stock of her situation. She was stuck, in the 'Wild West' in some town called Pineville. She thought, because of the gold she earned sewing clothing, that she was somewhere in Northern California. She was alone, with no family, or friends. For all intents and purposes, a single woman, since technically, neither she, nor David were even born yet. But the thought of being with someone else, especially Cross Eyed Pete, sickened her. Vowing that even if she had to run away to avoid him, she would, Carley started to work the sewing machine, losing herself again in the task. She never did raise the shade, or unlock the door. She didn't leave to eat lunch, or dinner. She stayed, locked in, even when (and especially when) Cross Eyed Pete came banging on the door, threatening to shoot his way in. She heard the new sheriff drag him away. Close to one in the morning, she finally opened the door, and snuck back to her room. Once there, she lodged the chair underneath the door knob, and fell into an uneasy sleep. She forgot, however, to bar the window...
Pete heard the soft footsteps on the stairs, and knew Carley had gone back to her room. "I'll teach that stuck up bitch" he thought, grinning menacingly. He waited one hour, two. Then, snuck out of his own room, careful to avoid the loose floor boards that would give him away. Stealthily, he tried the door, knowing she'd probably secured it well. He was right. He was also prepared. Gathering his canvas bag, he entered the dark, warm night. Quickly, he tossed a rope up to his own open window, and scaled the building, swinging his way closer and closer to Carley's. Just as he'd suspected, she'd left it open a crack. Silently, he slid it open. Before Carley knew what was happening, he had her bound, and gagged. Picking her up like she weighed nothing, he carried her out of the building, and tossed her into the travois he had strapped to his horse. Whistling, he rode away in the soft pink ribbons of dawn.
Struggling against her bonds, Carley's mind raced with fear. If she got killed, would her body return to the future? Or would she be an unmarked grave of the past? What about her children? Tears streaking her face, she snuffled against the dirty bandanna he'd used to gag her with.
"Not much longer" he promised her, hearing her struggle. Near the train tracks, a few miles outside of town, he finally stopped.
"You should have married me when you had the chance, Carley-girl" he said, shrugging. "If I caint have you, then no one can. He lifted her out of the travois and slung her over his shoulder. Ignoring her struggle, he strode over to the train tracks, spurs clicking against his boots. Matter of factly he tossed her down, then tied her, across the tracks with good, strong knots. "train will be here in 'bout ten minutes" he said, after he had her well secured. "No one in town will miss your snotty self, least of all me." Having finished what he wanted to say, he jumped up on his horse, and rode away.
Scared almost to the point of fainting, Carley struggled against her restraints. Each struggle she made seemed to make the knots tighter. Suddenly, from the distance, she heard the lone whistle of a fast moving train. In a frenzy she railed against the rope holding her, causing it to burn and strip the skin around her wrists and ankles. Tears soaked the bandanna stuck in her mouth. Able to only turn her head, she watched her doom approach her in 50 tons of screaming black metal. She fainted.
The night clerk of the Time Travel Inn wandered out of the office, chuckling. "Fool" he thought to himself. Some idiot had broken down a few miles up the road, leaving a smoking shell of a purple VW bug off on the side of the road. Rather than spending money to stay at the closer, cleaner Super 8, the young man had chosen to stay at the Time Travel Inn. He'd been assigned to room 1400....
Tripping over a lump in the grass, the night clerk swore. "Damn, I forgot about her!" Standing up, he helped a disheveled, wide eyed Carley to her feet, and wondered if he still had the phone number that David had left with him over three months ago. He was pretty sure he did....


Daryl said...


More please!


sybil law said...

Good, good stuff...
Me likey!

holly said...

that was great!!

Jo Beaufoix said...

Mie, these are so good. I want more time Travel Inn stuff.