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 Let's Ride! Elfwest is back

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Libra Snake
Posts : 571
Join date : 2015-03-29
Age : 31

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Ride! Elfwest is back   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyFri Dec 30, 2016 9:50 am

Oh I have more coming up, don't worry about that. Hoping to finish some more of the ladies' wardrobe, and some other art. And some stories as well Wink I have a few surprises in my own truck. Hoping to have them up soon. I'm very exited what people will say about some of the things I have plans to show.

Thanks for putting up the two other pieces of Dewshine and Tyldak. Very Happy
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Posts : 640
Join date : 2012-06-23

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Ride! Elfwest is back   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyFri Dec 30, 2016 9:42 pm

@Rainflower wrote:
Oh I have more coming up, don't worry about that. Hoping to finish some more of the ladies' wardrobe, and some other art. And some stories as well Wink I have a few surprises in my own truck. Hoping to have them up soon. I'm very exited what people will say about some of the things I have plans to show.

Thanks for putting up the two other pieces of Dewshine and Tyldak. Very Happy

Alright, I can't wait for more art and stories then Rainflower

And, it was my pleasure to put up the Dewshine and Tylday backstory...

Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
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PostSubject: ElfWest Day Five - Part Three   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyWed Jan 04, 2017 1:03 pm

And now, back to Day Five. This part was written by me, Wiseshaman

Day Five - Part Three

Now I used some of the names off of the 'Getting a Holt' link so I hope no one minds...and it's now two days after Strongbow Disappeared

As boom towns go, there were the usual ones like Ringgo, River Twine, and Thornwood which sprang up to accommodate the drovers on the long cattle drives from the south, cowboys who needed a respite from the trail. Shadow Wood, Mist Valley, and Three Lakes popped up along the Stage Coach road that travelers used to come and go back east. Each had its own taste, from the big city feel of Shadow Wood and Mist Valley with their large town squares and theatres to the gritty feel of the west with saloons and cowboys, like in Ringgo and Thornwood. Boom towns came and went on the frontier providing places to stay and play.

But then there was Silver Springs.

From the moment those trolls Scrum and Scrap happened along that vein of pure silver, the very north end of the valley was nothing but booming. The need for the mineral back east, to make everything from jewelry to a set of forks, just drove the boom. Trolls, men, and elves alike just didn't flock to Silver Springs, they ran as fast as their legs or the legs of whatever they were riding or driving could take them. Overnight there were saloons everywhere it seemed, a pitched tent even passed as one, along with a shack that served as the land administrator's depot and another that was the bank. There wasn't an immediate need for a school, a restaurant, or mercantile. There was only digging, breaking the silver into chunks, then spending the money you got from the bank at one of the saloons.

Yes, the necessary priorities of life were straight at Silver Springs.

Seven years later, the vein was still putting out the silver and some had come across small pockets of gems. The folks in town who didn't want to dig for their share of the wealth finally got around to building the school, though someone burnt it down, twice. They put in a couple hotels so the working girls didn't have to use tents to make a buck and the visitors didn't have to remember which tent was theirs. They put in the mercantile because, those few hours you didn't dig or spend in the saloon, you had to make sure you had the basics of life, what you needed to live someone had said when they were putting the store up. A scraggly miner named Rube called back with a mouth missing most if not half of its teeth.

"Hell, I got all I need in my wagon. You don't need more than beans, bacon, whisky and lard to live off of."

The mercantile was a hit much to the consternation of Rube.

Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Vignette

The morning sun was about half way to the noon hour when Cutter rode into Silver Springs with Skywise and Redlance in tow. The trio wove through the mass of humanity that was Main Street on their way to the Miner's Mercantile, dodging a pair of men who were solving a dispute with their fists. They spotted the mercantile easy enough, but decided on swinging into the first saloon nearby tethering their horses to the hitching posts and looking around.

"All right, let's get a quick drink and then go see Annie." Cutter ordered.

"We got time for a quick game of cards?" Skywise asked.

"Later, after we speak with Annie." Cutter replied with a smile. He knew his brother in all but blood too well.

"Okay but I'm gonna hold you to that." Skywise winked before heading into the saloon

They moved through the usual swinging doors to find the inside of the saloon unusually full for it to be this early. Cutter noted some looked like the party had started the night before and was still going on. There wasn't an empty table and even the poker table only had one seat open. The Major looked over making sure his captain kept to his word and didn't bolt for the chair. He could see the look in Skywise eyes though, the one that said he really wanted to take that seat but my brother needs me more. Cutter turned around a little farther looking for the tracker and he came across Red by the door still, a working girl with one hand around the back of his neck while the other hand twirled one of his braids seductively. He thought what might happen if Nightfall or Crescent saw this, and held back the laugh as the working girl leaned in, whispering something in Redlance's ear. A second passed and then all of the sudden the tracker blushed as red as his hair and ran away from the girl, past him, and straight for the bar. By the time, Cutter and Skywise reached him Redlance had his first shot down and was pointing for a second.

"What did she say to you?" Cutter asked worried just a bit.  

The tracker took his second shot, looked around embarrassed, and then leaned in motioning for them to follow. Cutter barely heard the words, but what he did get made his mind rush with impure thoughts and rapid speculation.

"Whoa, that's something new..." The Major whispered taking a shot.

"Yeah, I gotta try that one out." Skywise said with a slyy smile.

Only in Silver Springs, Cutter thought, as the sounds of guns being fired in the street suddenly echoed in the saloon.

Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Vignette

He saw her waiting calmly in the small parlor of the house as he approached. Rayek held the monthly ledger in his hand, as well as the large leather book that he wrote the checks from for various bills. As he walked up Aroree turned to him with a shy smile holding her own ledger in her hands.

"Good morning Senora." Rayek spoke with his best charm.

"Good morning sir, I thought I would be meeting with the lady of the house." Aroree answered.

"Well, Senora Winnowill has been called away on business I am afraid, so you are left with me, which is I know, a fate you do not deserve." Rayek replied.

"Oh no, it's not a bad thing, please don't take it that way." Aroree said with a gasp while pleading.

Rayek laughed, which put Aroree at ease immediately, before speaking. "It is quite all right Senora, I took no foul intention. My accent has already caused an unexpected issue this morning, and it seems to have done it again." Rayek said with a smile.

"I don't have a problem with your accent. I like it, a lot." Aroree whispered with a smile that was no longer that shy.

"Thank you very much for that honor Senora Aroree." Rayek said with a nod of his head

The two stood in silence for a second as Aroree was lost in a thought for a moment. It took a small prod in the form of a cough from Rayek before she snapped out of her other world. She giggled and waved a hand in the air. "I'm sorry...I get a little flighty sometimes." She confessed.

"Do not worry. I have the same problem. What is the issue with the monthly bill?" Rayek asked again with a smile.

"Well, the main bill was paid with no problem, but there was a side bill that was forgotten. Greymung has been on tear since the store was shot up. Any elf with a debt has had their chit called in. He's even been pouring over the old books, finding every nickel and dime he’s owed." Aroree explained.

"Hmm, well what was on the bill? It is not that I do not trust you Senora, it is I do not trust your boss." Rayek asked, leaning in close to see the ledger, his arm brushing hers.

Aroree coughed to clear her throat from nervousness before speaking. "Umm, well, there were bandages, bed sheets, and some extra food. The total came to thirteen dollars and forty-five cents."

"Greymung made you ride up here to the ranch for that much? That seems a waste of your valuable time." Rayek offered, opening the check ledger.

"I know, but like I said, Greymung has been on tear with the elves. Winnowill saved Strongbow and Moonshade, but I don't know who's going to save Rainsong and Woodlock." Aroree said with god bit of worry.

"Senora Winnowill did what?" Rayek asked with surprise, his hand came to a stop in the check book.

"You didn't hear? She gave Strongbow four hundred dollars to cover his bills with Greymung, basically getting him out of trouble." Aroree whispered.

Rayek thought back, ran his mind over all the entries his eyes had seen for the last few days in the daily and monthly ledgers. There wasn't one thing about four hundred dollars, not in either one. He stood perfectly still thinking so hard he forgot about Aroree and the check he was writing. It was only her small cough that brought him around.

"See Senora, I have those moments too." Rayek nodded with a rakish smile.

Aroree giggled and blushed from the smile while watching him finish writing the check and handing it to her. After she was gone, Rayek turned his thoughts to why Winnowill would pay four hundred dollars to save someone from a debt. Why would she care when it was obvious she had other concerns? It had to be something special, secretive, if she didn't want it on the books. And what would she need with the food, blankets, and bandages. Too many things to think on, too many open paths to walk down. Rayek shook his head to clear it and pulled out his watch. The hands told him it was ten-thirty in the morning, but he was counting time backwards today.

Four and a half hours till P.W.'s and his meeting with Khavi.

He was going to see her, he had to. What other choice did he have?

Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Vignette

The feeling of riding in the sun kept his spirits high, even as what he knew was coming tried to drag him under. Sun Toucher saw the meeting place, a spot he had not been called to in some time, but was now being used once again to conduct business. It was an old campsite, when they first met, and after all this time it still looked like one. He saw the tall stoic posture and form of Voll and knew whatever it was that drug the old bird out of his house, it had to be bad. Then he saw the squat body of the other one and Sun Toucher felt a knot start to cinch in his stomach.

He would never use the word hate to describe how he felt for someone, but then that someone wasn't Guttlecraw. Sun Toucher didn't hate anyone, he wasn't sure if he could, but he really, really, really disliked that troll. As he pulled his horse to a stop, both of the men, who stood at opposite sides of the meeting circle, turned to him. Sun Toucher tucked the reins into his saddle letting his horse go to eat some grass before turning to the pair.

"Good morning, gentlemen." He proffered, using the term loosely.

"Alright, we’re all here, now tell me why?" Guttlecraw spat, obviously agitated at being summoned. He stood with both hands on his hips letting the small riding whip dangle from his wrist.

"We have some business to take care of which has yet to be finished." Voll said putting his hands behind his back.

"What business? We haven't had any business since..." Guttlecraw said letting the last bit drop off as it dawned on him what business Voll was talking about.

Sun Toucher remembered too, but was unsure why it was coming back at them now. It was all done and through with, thank the High Ones. He looked to Voll and asked voicing his concern. "What has happened to bring this back up Senor Voll?"

Voll waited a second before answering, knowing what effect the news would have on them. "Rayek has returned, the prodigal son has come home to Two-Moons."

The old bird watched every ounce of color drain from the Hidalgo rancher's face while it barely made the troll blink. Just as I assumed Voll thought, Guttlecraw was as thick headed as ever, even after all these years. The troll scoffed and held up his hands while speaking. "What is this to me? I got no skin with that elf?"

"We killed his father!" Sun Toucher yelped.

"Now wait a second," Guttlecraw countered holding up his hand, "I had no part in that. My boys said what happened in the barn that night was out of their control!"

"We bargained with the devil senor and we still pay the price! Do you know the suffering that night has caused my family?" Sun Toucher barked.

"There wouldn't a been a problem if you had kept that elf out of the damn barn!" Guttlecraw yelled.

"Please," Voll snapped bringing the two under control and some back to the meeting, "the past is done with and all the sordid pieces with it. What we have to do deal with is Rayek and his return."

"Like I said, what's it to me?" Guttlecraw said crossing his arms over his chest.

"Rayek has taken up the job of running the finances of my Ranch, at my wife's request. How long do you think it will be before he starts to look into his father's death? How long do you think it will be before the rumors and stories of that night make their way back to his ears? What if he finds out about our part in what happened, the cover up of what happened, and your part in this little venture?" Voll asked coldly.

This was the second time something dawned on the troll and as it flashed in his mind. Guttlecraw realized just then what Voll was driving at, and in true fashion, he only puffed up his chest and sneered. "Let him come after me, I ain't scared."

"He is not the one to be scared about." Sun Toucher huffed getting himself under control.

"What, you two going to back him? I'd suspect a bunch of no-good four-flushing elves to stick together." Guttlecraw spat.

"I would be more worried about all the people, and I mean everyone in town, who lost loved ones and family members in the war with Djunsland. They would do who-knows-what with someone who bartered and conspired with the Djun." Voll explained.

There it is, the third time truly is the charm it seems, as it all finally sinks in, through all that thick brain matter, Voll thought to himself. The troll's arms fell away from his chest and his voice went up an octave or two as he spoke.

"I didn't track with no Djun! I just delivered them horses to the place you told me to, and handed them over to that man named Clayton like you said."

"Please senor, what did you think was going on? You cannot keep your eyes closed any longer about this. We conspired with the devil, on both sides, all of us, or do you think the men who bartered this deal have will be nice enough to let us go free? Do you think these men of the railroad will leave you alone if word of what we did for them sees the light of day?" Sun Toucher said shaking his head while starting to pace.

Guttlecraw looked from Sun Toucher to Voll. stepping forward while speaking. "Well, what's your plan? Are you gonna get rid of Rayek? I pay my part of the money to Dave to keep his bunch shut up every month so you can't leave me out in the wind on this."

Voll shook his head and held up a hand. "No, there will be no more deaths over this unless it is ours. And you have been well compensated for your part. All that land you now have, that was your due, and the fact Sun Toucher and I have left you alone to acquire that land in ways we find less then proper, that was for your part as well."

"Then, what is it that we are to do?" Sun Toucher asked.

"I will keep an eye on Rayek, ensure we have nothing to worry from him. I need you, Guttlecraw, to contact Dave and his group, tell them the meeting spot has changed to the small hunting lodge on the hidalgo. There will be a little extra in this month's payment for any inconvenience, agreed?" Voll asked.

Sun Toucher gave a quick short nod but Guttlecraw took a moment before only nodding and mumbling after feeling the weight of Voll's eyes. "I still don't see why we don’t just shoot that damn rustler and the whole gang..."

"No more death's Guttlecraw. Now go and do as I ask as fast as you can. Any delay could cost us." Voll ordered.

"What costs?" Guttlecraw stammered.

"Do you need to ask?" Voll replied.

The troll only shook his head before jumping on his horse and riding off leaving Voll and Sun Toucher alone. The Hidalgo rancher stood in silence knowing now why Leetah had started to ask about Rayek. The two must have seen each other in town when he arrived, gotten reacquainted. So many years ago, he had told Voll this would happen, that the best laid plans of men always unravel and fall apart. That bringing in that troll, who was nothing more than a common thief and rustler at the time, was a risk and a liability. But now, it had gone from having to lie to cover up his friend's death and destroy another's reputation to wondering if his precious daughter was getting dragged into this. He sensed the old bird approach but didn't say anything, choosing to try and just keep his head above water.

"I find that taking deep breaths helps in these situations." Voll said.

"My daughters Senor, both of them, and my wife...what have I done to them?" Sun Toucher asked back.

"You did what you had to, what I had to do, to keep our land and livelihoods intact sir." Voll answered.

"I am no fool senor. I know the men back east and their reputation. I just cannot understand how we thought this would not come back to haunt us." Sun Toucher said fighting off his fear and getting his head back into the fight.

"I, for one Sun Toucher, would make the same decision again. I would rather face a dozen Rayek's then the railroad and all its power." Voll said.

The memory of what the men back east had planned for the small town flashed back to Sun Toucher. Being in the center of the Valley was Two-Moon's blessing, and its curse, as the railroad bore down. To be in the middle of such a prominent valley was too much for the men of the railroad to pass on, and they had every intention of taking it, by hook or crook did not matter. The plan was to make a junction station, the last stop before turning around and heading back. Two-Moons would become a hustle and bustle spot; two days away from the growing Silver Springs. The population would explode. The city would grow and expand. Yes, the pristine land and culture of the valley would disappear, but that was a small cost. There was a profit to be made. It would make the men and the railroad rich, money and coin, hand over fist.

Offers were extended to buy land, but the intention of each deal was always there. They would take it all, Voll's land and his; using whatever means it took to secure deeds and rights. So, the two ranchers had approached the men, tried using diplomacy first to save their town before trying to gain political favor back east, but neither plan worked. Voll had then made the threat he wouldn't leave his land without a fight, vowing to battle them to his last breath. Sun Toucher had gone along with him, not as enthusiastically mind you, but more than ready to fight for his home.

But then it all changed. The men decided to pass on the need to turn Two-Moons into a booming junction station for the railroad. A small junction depot just outside of Silver Springs would be better. They would forgive and forget, for a price...for a simple task.

To save Two-Moons, the ranchers just had to deliver five perfect white stallions, Arabians, for a special client...in Djunsland. In exchange for completing the task, and the obvious need for discretion, dealing with an enemy of the state and all,  the reprieve of Two-Moons would be granted.

Nothing was ever that easy Sun Toucher thought, yet this decision was. It had taken only a nod and nothing more.

"Si, so would I..." He whispered to Voll.

"We'll be fine Sun Toucher. We have weathered the worst of this. We will make it through." Voll said heading for his horse.

Sun Toucher wasn't so sure her thought going for his.

Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Vignette

"Are you boys ready?" Cutter said knocking back his final shot.

"Yep, let's ride." Skywise said with a smile.

"You have the coin?" Cutter asked Redlance.

"Yep, in my pouch." Redlance answered patting his chest.

"All right, let's ride." Cutter said mimicking his brother.

Yet, as the trio was walking out, another group popped in, their leader wearing a deputy's a star on his chest. The human looked from Skywise to Cutter to Redlance finally stopping on him.

"You're an injun, right?" The deputy asked.

"Yeah, what's it to you?" Skywise asked stepping forward in a protective stance for his friend.

"You can track, right?" The deputy asked Redlance ignoring the captain.

"Yeah, why are you asking?" Redlance countered.

"Listen deputy, we'd like to help out and all, but we came into town to talk to our friend Annie over in the Miner's Mercantile. Maybe afterwards we can help?" Cutter offered, and explained, intent on keeping to his plan.

The deputy only smiled though while speaking. "Well then, you'll be wanting to team up with us."

"You who?" Skywise asked suspiciously.

"Our posse," The deputy explained, "some men just robbed the bank and grabbed a hostage off the street as they rode out."

"Aww hell..." Skywise sighed already connecting the dots.

"It was Annie, wasn't it?" Redlance asked, not really expecting an answer since he knew it already.

"Yep, now are you with us?" The deputy asked excitedly

"Let's ride..." Cutter said not sure what other option there was.

Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Combo_1
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Posts : 2792
Join date : 2014-03-15
Location : On a rooftop, contemplating the moon

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Ride! Elfwest is back   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyWed Jan 04, 2017 5:35 pm

Let's ride!

afro flower afro 
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Libra Snake
Posts : 571
Join date : 2015-03-29
Age : 31

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Ride! Elfwest is back   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptySat Jan 07, 2017 1:33 pm

Oops...Shocked think I messed uo with days here with my part. Didn't realize untill now.
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Libra Snake
Posts : 571
Join date : 2015-03-29
Age : 31

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Ride! Elfwest is back   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptySat Jan 07, 2017 3:37 pm

Here's another post.
Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Shensh10

Last edited by Rainflower on Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Libra Snake
Posts : 571
Join date : 2015-03-29
Age : 31

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Ride! Elfwest is back   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptySat Jan 07, 2017 3:37 pm

Anyone knows what happened to this one?

Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Starsh10

Last edited by Rainflower on Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Join date : 2012-06-23

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Ride! Elfwest is back   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyMon Jan 09, 2017 2:13 pm

@Rainflower wrote:
Anyone knows what happened to this one?
Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Skann0001-1

I think that was the drawing for Starshine (?). She added a few pieces to ElfWest later one...

@Lunakat wrote:
Let's ride!

Yes, Let's Ride, with the next piece of Day Five. This part was written by me, Wiseshaman.

Day Five - Part Four

The noon rush at the restaurant had just finished leaving Longbranch the afternoon to get back to his office, and work on those new rulings by Judge Timmain. She had denied the arguments from Guttlekraw's lawyers, that the four parcels of land had been divided up wrong and were actually his. She had stated, that even though the Land Administration had been off when setting the property lines, it did not grant Mr. Guttlekraw specific ownership of said land because he paid taxes on land that was now not his. And when Guttlekraw's lawyers brought up the fact he did, and had in the past, paid taxes on these now defunct lines, Timmain said that she would see briefs on the merit of whether Mr. Guttlekraw was due a recompense for said taxes, but land ownership had been adjudicated. He knew of some case law that would help set the president that it is up to said property owner to check and make sure of their property line come tax time. Longbranch felt confident he could make an argument that old Guttlekraw was out the tax money as well. As he approached the building he used as an office in back, and Spine as a barbershop up front, he saw the jovial Wavedancer out front talking to a few friends. When he gave a wave, and went to the side door, Spine followed with a nervous step and a smile

"Afternoon Mr. Longbranch!" He called out walking up

"Afternoon Spine, how's the barbershop doing?" Longbranch called back.

"It's a good day, might be better one later on. Hey, Wavecatcher stopped by looking for you." Spine remarked.

"Really, what'd he want?" Longbranch asked, already knowing the answer. Any lawyer worth his salt never asks a question he doesn't already know the answer to one of his teachers back east once said.

"I think he just wanted to talk, after checking in on Mrs. Moonshade and all." Spine answered.

"Yeah, and how's she doing? Did he say?" Longbranch asked with genuine concern.

"She's doing about as expected. Wavecatcher says she having nightmares and such, it's a bad thing to deal with." Spine said.

"She's a strong one, Moonshade. She'll be fine once she gets past the shock. I know it hurt like hell when my brother went missing. It'll take time, but she'll be okay." Longbranch offered.

"Yeah, I wish I had more time to get to know One-Eye better. Has there been any word on him?" Spine asked.

"No," Longbranch sighed opening his office door, "once the military says your missing it's just like being dead to them. I haven't heard a word in five years, and he's been gone almost six."

"So, no one's looking for him?" Spine almost yelped.

"Treestump has a friend who keeps an eye out over in Djunsland. They have some code worked out or something; if he finds him he'll tell Stump." Longbranch answered with a nod.

"He hasn't heard anything then?" Spine asked.

"Nope, I keep hoping that one day they'll find him, for his son and Clearbrook's sake. I hate like hell thinking that boy's growing up without a father." Longbranch said shaking his head.

"I know, well I'll let you go sir. If you need a cut stop on by and we'll get er' done." Spine ended with a wink.  

"I'll do that," Longbranch laughed, heading in and closing the door. His office was a mere ten-by-ten-foot space, small and cozy, just the way he liked it. There was a desk along the south wall with floor to ceiling book cases running along the east and west as you entered. He stopped and stared at the shelves, remembering when he and One-Eye put them in, how they had laughed and joked with each other while doing it. He put his files down on his desk and moved over to the bookcase taking a small picture frame from the shelf at eye level. In the frame was a drawing Brownberry did when she was younger, when they had just moved to Two-Moons with his brother and Clearbrook. It was a hand drawn sketch of him and One-Eye sitting on the steps of what was to be the restaurant, dressed in their old work clothes with the sign for ‘Brownberry’s’ over their heads. One-Eye had that small grin he always had, the one their mother said would get him in over his head one fine day.

It did finally. One-Eye had joined up with the Abode Army when the tensions had started to build, along with the number of men in the armies, with Djunsland. He enlisted in a small artillery unit, took the job of loading the canons. He joked in his usual fashion that he hoped they didn't expect him to aim the damn things with only good eye. Everything would end up right of the target Longbranch had joked with him. It was the last time they talked, the last time he saw his precious brother before that fateful day.

It wasn't even a real battle of the war where One-Eye went missing. The Army classified it, officially, as a skirmish at some courthouse in a grey area where the border shifted only a daily basis. His unit was overrun in minutes by the Djun's forces. There were no survivors or prisoners believed to be alive, but there was always the possibility. When the two men from the Army came to inform them of his disappearance they never stopped by the restaurant. They went straight to Clearbrook's, where she almost passed out, shutting down from hearing the information. He was in court and only found out when he went back to the restaurant to celebrate a win. It was like a tomb in there, he thought, as he walked in, and when they told him he almost passed out with the news as well.

"What would think of this whole thing with Strongbow missing and Dart lashing out our son, eh brother?" Longbranch whispered waiting in the silence for an answer.

There wasn't one. There hadn't been one for so long...

He had been waiting for six years...he figured he'd have to wait longer.

Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Vignette

"There, now flip it quick!" Brownberry instructed.

Leetah slid the spatula under the pancake and with a deft flip, as Brownberry had shown her, sent the disc of half-cooked batter spinning over, landing back on to the stove top raw side down. She smiled broadly and flipped the second and third one with the same motion. She turned to Nightfall and Crescent with the same smile and winked. happy with herself while the pair helped cut up vegetables for the next day’s roast dinner. Crescent smiled back and laughed while speaking.

"Watch it, or Mrs. Brownberry might put you to work."

"Si, but then she would lose customers as I would probably poison them!" Leetah laughed back.

"Oh, that only happened once, when Papa made the sausage with his 'special' seasoning!" Nightfall pointed out

"Was it bad?" Leetah asked trying to hold back her laugh.

"I had to promise everyone that came through the front door that he had no hand in making dinner that night. It was the most embarrassing, and funniest thing of my life." Brownberry said with a laugh.

All four had a good laugh, then the kitchen fell into a deep silence as each dropped into their own thoughts. Leetah took the three pancakes off the stove, putting them on a plate, before moving to the table where Nightfall and Crescent worked. She poured on some syrup then looked at the other three who looked back apprehensively. She could read their thoughts in their eyes, you’re going to have to eat the first bite they all said. So Leetah took out a fork and cut off a small bite, sticking her mouth over the plate to keep from dripping on the work table. She chewed and then swallowed hard, more than ready to shoot the pancake up and out at the smallest sign of a queasy stomach. Nothing happened though. It was actually quite good, almost as good as Fernando's, the Hidalgo chef. At the sight of the smile the others took a fork and dove in taking small bites off at first before upgrading the size of the piece. When the stack was done, Nightfall licked her lips and winked.

"That was quite good Rose, and I'm relieved I'm not dying!"

The others laughed until the kitchen fell into that deep silence again, but this time there was no pancake to hold back the depression. Suddenly Crescent spoke up looking to Nightfall. "What do you think they're doing?"

Nightfall shrugged her shoulders before answering, seemingly unaffected by the silence. "Cutter and Redlance are probably trying to drag Skywise out of some saloon before he gambles away all his money."

Leetah stabbed at a crumb on the plate while whispering. "I miss the Major."  

"And I miss the tracker." Crescent whispered right behind Leetah.

"Oh now," Brownberry sighed throwing her towel on the table, "look at you two moping. My Nightfall made it longer when Redlance left that time."

"Yeah, that's right. I forgot about him being gone." Crescent remarked starting to smile.

"What happened?" Leetah asked.

"Redlance was sent on a, what did he call it?" Crescent looked over to Nightfall.

"A vision quest."

"That's it, and he was gone for three long years." Crescent finished with a raised eyebrow.

"Three years? How did you make it without him?" Leetah gasped, looking to Nightfall.

"I was touring with the show," Nightfall remarked with a smile, "which helped, and that's when Tyleet came to me, gave me back some hope I had lost. It was hard, but with Momma and Crescent and my daughter I made it through."

"So Tyleet, Redlance is not the father?" Leetah asked.

Nightfall stared at her for a second before answering, speaking softly. "Yes, he is the father. He's been the only one I have ever been with, the only I have ever wanted to be with. But he doesn't know it. The only ones who know are in this room and Papa."

"May I ask why you have not told him?" Leetah continued with a whisper.

"To protect him. At first, I didn't say a thing because I didn't want him to feel like he had to stay around because of some duty for Tyleet and not love. And then, when I knew he was staying for me and her out of love, I tried to tell him, but the war came along and scooped him up. I couldn't have him out there, in some distant land, doing who knows what worried about her, and I didn't want to put her through what Papa went through when Uncle One-Eye went missing. I just kept it all in, worrying enough for the both of them." Nightfall said letting the room fall into that deep silence again.

It stayed that way until Leetah spoke up on the verge of tears.

"Thank you for trusting me Nightfall with this. I will keep it a secret for as long as you ask me."

"We're friends Rose, good friends. I trust you, as much as anyone here." Nightfall whispered back also almost crying.

"Oh, will you two stop it, or you're gonna make me cry." Brownberry said shaking her head.

The four laughed before Leetah looked to Crescent and Nightfall. "Will you come and hear me sing tonight? I know I am not as handsome as the tracker but I would enjoy your company."

"Well, I guess looking at you will have to do." Crescent said before the room broke out in laughter again.

Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Vignette

Guttlekraw pulled his horse to a stop by the front steps of the modest house he kept on the outskirts of town. He hopped down and handed the reins to a young troll boy, who took them, and ushered the horse around back to the barn. He climbed the steps by twos and went on in with a quick step. Inside it was just as modest as the outside, almost cold feeling, if someone should remark on it. The troll had few guests over, choosing to make visits at others homes and conduct business in town. Guttlekraw moved through the foyer, and into the back room, which served as his office. Another troll was already waiting for him.

"Itchback, have we heard any news yet?"

"Nope, but I'm keeping my eyes open for any sign." The troll answered.

"You do that. I'm expecting some important news, a direction to go in you might say." Guttlekraw said sitting down in a high back leather chair.

"Really? What kind of direction?" Itchback asked scratching his head.

"The kind of direction that keeps me one step ahead of everyone else in this town." Guttlekraw stated absently, sitting down behind his desk.

"I don't follow," Itchback remarked confused.

The troll turned to the young buck and sighed before remarking. "Listen up, because I'm about to give you some good advice Itchback. You never walk into a room, or a deal, that you don't know the way out of, or who's in the deal with you, understand?"

The young troll shook his head and looked even more confused, making Guttlekraw sigh and wonder why he even tried. He leaned forward on the desk and spoke as clear as he possibly could. “I never get into a business deal without knowing who I'm bartering with. Those two fools Voll and Sun Toucher think I just delivered the horses to Clayton, and that's what I've wanted them to think all these years. They look one way while I work the other."

"Why?" Itchback asked, leaning in as well, eyes wide with anticipation.

"Because they would have gotten a little bent if they knew who the horses were really for and why. I made sure to find out about the real ‘who’ in the deal while they just looked the other way. I made a new friend with this person, and in the end I got to feel a little safer in future business dealings, you could say. You see, you can never have too many friends in high places, especially ones who have other friends in high places." Guttlekraw explained with an evil grin.

"Okay?" Itchback said starting to understand, rubbing his chin absently.

"Don't kill yourself trying to understand, just remember that I'm making sure that when the railroad crosses over into Djunsland, we'll be on the side making all the money." Guttlekraw snorted turning away from Itchback.

"So, the note was warning someone about Rayek and getting us a train ticket?" Itchback asked with a dumb-founded look.

The troll only shook his head giving up. Guttlekraw didn't have the patience of trying to explain everything to the young troll. He didn't have enough paper to draw it out either.

Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Vignette

The shop was quiet, and that's just what she wanted, with no one to come around asking how she felt, how she was doing, or how she was going to make it. She was going to be just fine, even better when Strongbow came back. And once he was back, they would fix all the problems, and she would stop having those awful nightmares. She hand-sewed a sleeve onto a shirt, refusing to use the sewing machine, as the door to the shop opened with the usual jingle of the bell and Moonshade looked up to see Clearbrook and Treestump walk in together, each smiling broadly but sympathetically. She was starting to get tired of that smile.

"Hello Mrs. Moonshade, how are you doing?" Treestump asked.

"I'm good, getting back to work has helped. Where's Dart?" She asked back.  

"I'm having him checking on some reports of vandals breaking fences and such. I'm keeping him busy and away from Longbranch." The Marshall said.

"Why? He needs to be in there apologizing Treestump!" Moonshade demanded.

"You know the whole incident opened a deeper wound Moonshade. It's not that simple for Dart to walk over say he's sorry. And anyway, Redlance is out of town for the next day or two." Clearbrook said.

"I know, and that's the other thing that has me upset. How could we have missed all of that Clearbrook, with Redlance? What kind of friends have we been?" Moonshade asked.

"I don't know, but Longbranch was right though. I can see it all as plain as day now, it was like we avoided them like they had the plague." Treestump sighed.

"Well, when Strongbow gets back, we'll fix all of that. We'll make it better with them that's a promise." Moonshade demanded, and instantly noticed the sad looks she got from both. She was starting to get tired of those too.

"He's coming back." She said confidently, defiantly.

Clearbrook only nodded while Treestump smiled. They weren't sure how to handle this defiance to what was becoming obvious. No body and no sign, that was never a good thing. But Moonshade felt, no knew, that Strongbow was coming back and whatever walked through that door she would love.

Then they would fix this.

Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Vignette

The posse turned out to be six, which included them. Cutter wasn't starting to have second thoughts. No, he was way past that and onto a fourth thought. Redlance rode in the front seeing markings that passed by everyone else unnoticed. When they went searching for Strongbow he was amazed at what the tracker saw and deduced, and it was happening again. They were following a three-man gang at the start, but then a fourth joined in, and the whole bunch had broken off the main trail going north out of town, up into the hills through the brush and trees. At first the trail was clear as a bell, but then the group of four started to hide it, and Cutter along with everyone but Redlance lost it. Only the tracker kept them moving, until they stopped at the top of a rise by a small open flat. At the back of the clearing was another steep climb up into the hills, and at its base was a small shack with a small stove pipe out of the top. The posse stopped in the trees to take a look around before advancing on the shack.

"So, what's the plan?" Cutter asked the deputy.

"Well, I say we sneak over there and take em' by surprise." The human answered pointing with his Winchester 30/30.

"That's not a plan, it's more like a guess!" Skywise hissed.

Cutter shook his head signaling for the captain to stay quiet. This wasn't their fight, and he wasn't about to get them involved in it. So, the deputy was in the lead and the Major only waved his hand out letting the human take the lead. The posse got itself together, tethered their horses, and then using the tree line as much as possible, maneuvered over to just about 30 yards on the right from the shack. Cutter looked to the human who looked back with an unsure expression. The Major sighed and had a fifth thought about this whole damn thing before whispering. "The deputy and his two partners take the front. I'll take the captain and go through the back. Redlance, stay back and catch anyone trying to get away."

Redlance nodded, as did the humans, and then with quick steps the five moved out going toward their appointed spots. Cutter got maybe seven steps toward the shack, when he heard the first shot ring out followed by the barrage of blasts, all coming from the left. The clearing turned into a shooting gallery as a whole bunch of guns opened up on them. Cutter and Skywise broke for the shack firing back, trying to lay down a suppressing fire to stop whoever was shooting at the posse. It was their only chance, to keep moving and firing back to hold down the other’s heads long enough to get away.

One of the deputy's friends, a burly man with an old six-shooter stopped and returned fire with three rapid shots. Just as Cutter was about to yell to keep moving or he was going to get shot, that's exactly what happened. Two bullets from what sounded like a Colt tore into the human's chest making him pinwheel like a big old straw dummy. Cutter saw it and cursed, thinking he should have said hell no to this idea. They were almost to the shack, and some cover, when the front door opened and he saw two guns pop out, one in each window. Damn, now we're gonna get shot from this side.

This was a bad idea he thought just as the guns from the shack fired. The Major felt the bullets whiz by and knew instinctively the people in the shack were providing that all important lifesaving suppressing fire. With one motion, he went diving in through the door followed by Skywise and the two humans.  

The inside of the shack had light for a second, and then whoever it was who was on the inside slammed the door shut, and it all went dark. Cutter instantly noticed why, they had put up a tied together bunch of boards, what you might call shutters, over the windows to give them some kind of protection. He looked around and saw that the occupants were two elves, male and female, a human woman and a human man and a boy. The man and boy stood watch by the covered windows while the woman and the elves sat back by an overturned bed. Now, with Skywise and him and the deputy and his friend, it was a little tight. If Redlance was in here it could get kind of cramped.

"Who the hell are you?" The human man by the window asked. He wore what looked like the overalls of a miner, as did the boy. They both had old musket ball Enfield's, great gun, if you only had to shoot once every other minute.

"We're the posse come to get Miss Annie and take you boys to jail." The Deputy said pointing his 30/30 at the miner.

"Why thank you much deputy, for saving me and all!" Annie said speaking up. Her long straight blonde hair was tied back and there was a long tear in her dress Cutter saw.

"Oh, we had a great plan...the emphasis on ‘had’." Skywise asked.

"Well, you might have to wait to take me to jail Deputy! Sam Boone and his boys are out there and I think they didn't take to kindly to the hold up this morning!" The miner cracked.

"Who's Sam Boone?" Skywise asked with shock and confusion.

"He has a stake in the bank. He's the one who controls what you get for ounce of silver or gold or a gem around here." The elf in the back answered.

Cutter looked over from the spot by the window he had taken up, trying to figure out just how they were going to get out of this mess. He was immediately drawn to the elf's strikingly grey hair and deep eyes. "Who are you?" He asked.

"We were in the wrong place once again." The female whispered absently, who had curly bright yellow hair, and who was staring at Skywise. Cutter had seen many a female stare at his captain, but this was different. It bordered on a motherly look almost.

The grey hair saw this and shook his head speaking softly again. "I'm Shale and this is my wife Eyes-High. We live here in Silver Springs. Who are you?"

"I'm Cutter, and this is Skywise." He answered. Almost at once he saw both elves jump at the name of his captain, a small subtle move that Skywise didn’t miss in all the confusion, though he tried to hide the quick glance over at the pair he gave. Cutter was busy trying to decipher what it all meant when he heard the miner scream out.

"There goes one of Boone's injuns! Get him son!"

The Major looked up just in time to see the boy level the Enfield musket out the window along with the 30/30 of the deputy. He saw Skywise jump up to stop the pair instantly, recognizing the danger. Cutter was about to scream for them to stop when both opened up with their rifles. He looked out the window just in time to see a shadow that was running from the spot they had come from suddenly spin out of control obviously hit with a bullet or musket ball. The shadow flopped to the ground and stopped moving. He could see a moccasin sticking out of the dark of the bushes, the kind Redlance wore. Cutter looked over to Skywise just in time to hear the captain whisper the words he never wanted to hear.

"Damn, they just shot Red..."

Before Cutter could say a word though, Sam Boone had his boys open up on the shack one more time, with full force. The clearing resounded with gun and rifle fire, hell it even sounded like someone was firing a canon. The Major and Skywise dropped to the floor just as the bullets started flying into and through the walls around them. He barely got to the floor when he heard the scream. Cutter looked up into the surprised expression of Shale, blood all over his hand that was pressing to his side.

"My sweet, I've been shot..."

"No," she whispered sticking her hand over his trying to stop the bleeding, "please...Please No!"

The bullets kept coming pinning the major down.  

Shale and Eyes High tried to stop the bleeding.

And somewhere out in the woods Red was stuck, probably shot, and maybe dead.

I just should have said no Cutter thought as the bullets kept coming.

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Ride! Elfwest is back   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyWed Jan 11, 2017 12:46 pm

Starshine, that was it.

OMG, this gets exiting. Can't wait
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Ride! Elfwest is back   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyWed Jan 11, 2017 1:39 pm

@Rainflower wrote:
Starshine, that was it.

OMG, this gets exiting.  Can't wait

Oh, this is just the start of the excitement Rainflower. I can promise it gets even more intense...

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Ride! Elfwest is back   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyWed Jan 11, 2017 2:26 pm

Keep on riding!

afro flower afro 
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PostSubject: ElfWest Day Five - Part Five   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyThu Jan 12, 2017 11:42 pm

@Lunakat wrote:
Keep on riding!

Hell yeah, let's keep on riding!

Because here's the next piece of Day Five, written by me, Wiseshaman

Day Five - Part Five

They say the bullet that's got your name on it makes a different noise. They say, old veterans of war, you can hear it coming for you a mile away. Cutter never put much stock in the saying, and he had been on enough battlefields with everyone shooting at him to know. A bullet going by your head sounds just as bad as the one that slips by your leg. It was a proven fact. He'd been shot in the war, and the bullet that hit him never made any stranger noise then the one that hit another man on the line.

But he knew the one that afternoon was coming right for him.

The one that hit his upper shoulder had a sound all its own, and it wasn't because of the ricochet off that small stove. Yeah, years later sitting in front of the fireplace at home thinking back on this afternoon he would recall with perfect clarity that the bullet had in deed made a noise he hadn't heard before, or after that day. It sounded so different. Above all the din of the other guns, and people screaming, Cutter heard it with no problem. There was a shrill scream that caught his ear just as Skywise laid into the miner's son and the deputy for shooting Redlance.

"You stupid Sons-of-bitches! You just killed our man!"

Then the bullet slammed through the paper-thin walls, into the stove, and bounced off like some kind of marble shot. It struck him with enough force to knock him over, making him scream from the pain. Cutter fell down by the elf called Shale as another bullet went through the front wall and out the back. The Major reached up, grabbed the hole where the bullet went in, right on the fat of the muscle, where it made a ball. The shirt was wet and as he pulled back his hand he saw it was red with his own blood.

"CUTTER!" Skywise screamed in panic.

"I'm Okay! Get down and watch out!" Cutter screamed back holding up his hand on the arm that was shot. At least nothing was broken the major thought

The shooting stopped mercifully, but that's when the ones outside started yelling and taunting.

"That was a damn good shot boys!" One voice called out.

"Yep, took that poor injun right off his feet! Too bad he wasn't one of ours!" Another voice called out with a laugh.

The captain complied with the order as Cutter heard the elf named Shale talk to his wife Eyes High, as she pressed on his side where he had been shot just seconds before. "Help him Eyes High. He needs help..."

"To hell with him! He hasn't done a thing for us! Just quit talking and help me stop the bleeding!" The elf female with the long curly blond hair screamed.

"No Eyes High..." Shale mumbled already getting weak form shock.

Cutter ignored the glare Eyes High shot him as he slid over right next to Shale and called out to Skywise. "Captain, do you remember what Redlance told us about when he got shot during the war? How'd he stopped the bleeding again?"

Skywise thought for a second then spoke back with a smile that seemed very out of place in the din of the battle. "He used the gun powder from a bullet to burn the wound shut and stop the bleeding!"

"That's it! We have to find me a pair of tongs or something?" Cutter yelled back.

"What are you doing?" Eyes High yelped.

"We're going to save his life, and then figure a way out of this death trap!" Cutter spat as another voice yelled for them.

"Hey, was one you boy's an elf? Damn, I can't tell with his head all blown off! I was hoping to get an ear for keep sake."

"Keep talking mister! I'm going to find you and put a bullet right in your-"Skywise was yelling back when Cutter stopped him in mid-sentence.

"Tongs Captain!"

The fierceness of the order made Skywise jump, and he began to look around for the tool, and by the stove he came across a set. He tossed the metal grips over to Cutter who pulled out two cartridges from his ammo belt. With a hard twist, he pulled the bullets out leaving only the jacket with the powder inside.

"What are you going to do with those?" Eyes High asked with a mixed tone of anger and worry in her voice.

"Like I said, I'm going to stop the bleeding, and hopefully save his life." Cutter said moving both of their hands from the wound.

He wasn't sure if Red had told them how he did it, and just the thought of his friend out there in the clearing shot made his anger rise, but Cutter pushed it all aside. He turned both caps over in and around the ragged bullet hole then called out.

"Anyone got a light?"

No one answered back for a second, and he couldn't believe no one in the room had a match. Poor Shale here was going to die because no one had a match. And then he remembered the stove and the smoke that was coming out of the stack

"Get me some fire out of the stove." Cutter asked Eyes High.

"What?" She asked back lost for a second.

Skywise didn't wait though. He reached over and grabbed a small piece of splintered wood off the floor and got one end burning from the door of the stove. He passed it over as the miner screamed back to the clearing.

"Hey, how'd it feel Boone, when I shot your bank up ya damn bilk?"

"This is going to hurt like hell Shale, but the bleeding will stop and you may live through this." Cutter explained.

Shale only nodded as the voice from the clearing yelled back. "Yeah, I'll feel better when I see you swingin' from this tree out here, you old skunk!"

The Major put the burning wood to the powder causing it flare up with a bright flash, and a small bang. Shale screamed from the pain and jumped, but Cutter forced him down and still. The shack filled with the smell of burnt flesh, but no one had a chance to say anything as another barrage of bullets began to fly through the old wood. Cutter pulled Eyes High down onto the unconscious Shale just as he saw Skywise take a wing to the side from a stray bullet. Then Eyes High yelled out as she was hit in the leg and the deputy fell back from the window with two new holes in his chest.

Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Vignette

The afternoon wind was welcomed as he stepped off the stage coach. The ride from back east was only one of the things he detested about coming to the frontier, with the number one thing being the people. They stared at him, which drove him crazy, always looking and some pointing. Didn't any of these damnable heathens have any manners or courtesy?

But he was here for a reason, a purpose that had to be met. As soon as it was done he'd back east again.

He was pale white with stark white air pulled into a pony tail, with the sun hurting his eyes and skin. His friend, a prominent doctor, said his hypo-pigmentary congenital disorder was due to recessed genes his parents carried, or so some prominent scientist across the great sea said. The lack of pigment in his skin made the sun an enemy, a killer if he stayed out to long. Which was another thing he hated about the frontier, there was no libraries out here that he could go to, sit in, and read to stay out of the sun. No, there was nothing but dirt and the grass out here on the prairie. His eyes were red irises lacking the melanin to make them colored his friend also said. All his life he had had horrible sight, and for the rest it would get no better. He wore special dark glasses and dark clothes that covered up every open spot of skin. A large, wide brimmed hat, helped hold off the rest of the sun that the clothes didn't cover. Yes, he was a little out of place with his look, but it was necessary. There was no need to call attention to it every five seconds.

The Stage coach driver dropped his bag down form the top of the coach to him after he straightened his thigh length black coat. He sat the large carpet bag down on the walkway, brushing off his black pants then checking his string tie. He looked around making a mental note of the layout of the town before picking up his bag and moving on down the walkway. A little girl stopped walking alongside her mother as she was drawn into his appearance, so much so she had to be pulled along down the walkway going the opposite way like a doll.

He paid the girl no attention as he crossed the street and headed for the other side, toward a dress shop and haberdashery. People who saw him coming moved over as he stepped up onto the walkway, something telling them to give this man a wide berth. There was the Mercantile run by a troll named Greymung. He personally hated trolls, couldn't stand their smell. As he turned away and walked down the way, he looked through the large plate glass window of the dress shop to see a pretty little elf working behind the counter, sewing away at a shirt. He stopped and stared, memorizing the large eyes and facial features. She suddenly ceased working, a visible shiver going up her spine, and she turned to look out the window. When she did, he had already turned and moved off with easy steps, leaving nothing behind but the vapor. Moonshade wasn't sure what caused her sudden fear, it had been a hell week, but this was something different. It felt so different.

He kept moving down the walkway, noting everything he saw. Where the walkway dipped, where it creaked, and where it needed to be repaired. He passed the local restaurant, looking in, and tracking the two waitresses and what was obviously the owner who directed the other two. As before, he noted their facial features, hair color and style, and that they were all elves. He noticed a group walk out from the back, three more female elves, one Spanish looking one while the other two seemed close like sisters. One of the two, the brown haired one, stopped and started to look in his direction. Like the other time though, he was gone before she could see him.

"What is it Nightfall?" Leetah asked.

"I don't know," She whispered silently, "something just crawled down my back."

"Okay, enough with the bad feelings this week. I can't take it!" Crescent said rubbing her sister in all but blood back.

"Si," Leetah whispered.

The rest of the town was pretty much laid out as he was told. He found the jail with the Marshall and two young deputies. He saw the saloon, the Hammer and Tongs, and figured how aptly named for such a hole while passing by. There was the Father Tree Press, run by an elf called Aurek, he would be paying him a visit very soon. And then finally, he came to the boarding house, run by one elf named Savah. He crossed the street again, watching the people make him a path right to the doors of the boarding house. He stepped in through the portal and walked right up to front desk. A pretty little elf was behind it, her brown eyes were twinkling, and the beginnings of a smile was playing out on her face as she looked up.

It all froze cold when she stared into the dark glasses.

"Afternoon sir, may I help you?" She asked in a stammer.

"I hope so little lady, I am in a desperate need of a bed and some quiet. I hear, from some friends back east, that Miss Savah here runs a fine establishment. You do have a bed open, don't you?" He asked with a wide smile, all his teeth making a prominent appearance, which he could tell scared her really bad. The words came out with a slow drawl, dripping with hospitality that seemed to lull one into complacency. The smile, and the drawl, worked against each other, trying to cancel the other one out it seemed.

Ahdri swallowed and checked the ledger. She knew there was an open room, there were four actually, but she didn't want to tell him that. Ahdri passed her eyes over the ledger, trying to build up the courage to tell him no, there were no rooms available. She could do it, lie and say it, but facing her grandmother was the real problem. Savah would not stand for her passing on giving a room to a visitor, even one that smiled like a rattle snake. Ahdri forced a smile out and handed over a key.

"You'll be in room 8, on the second floor. I can bring you some finger foods to tie you over until dinner is served at Brownberry's restaurant, if you want?" Ahdri asked, hoping against all odds he would say no.

She breathed a sigh of relief when he did say no.

"Oh, no pretty lady, I can wait till dinner time. What I could use, though, is a little information. You see, I had a friend in the Army, a Captain Skywise, that said he was coming to this little town to settle in and play some cards. Do you know when he'd be at the saloon?" He asked with that smile that made her cringe, but with that drawl that worked against it.

"Skywise left town for Silver Springs two days ago, the day after Mister Strongbow went missing. I'm not sure when he will be returning." Ahdri answered, wondering why she did when that smile had her scared to death.

"Oh really, well I am sad to hear that. I mean this mister Strongbow going missing and everything too. I'll be in town for a few days and I was really hoping to surprise my dear friend Skywise, so if you see him before I do, can we just keep me a secret, you know, between us?" He asked, the smile now going crooked.

"Sure thing sir, I just need you to sign the ledger." Ahdri said pushing the book forward on the desk. If she could have, she'd have him sign it outside on the street.

He made a quick scribble in the ledger, tipped his hat with that smile, and then headed up the stairs to his room. Ahdri pulled the book back, then wiped her fingers on her dress while reading his writing. She called out as he disappeared up the stairs, trying to get herself back under control.

"Enjoy your stay Mr. Pettimore."

Pettimore didn't answer her. He made a bee line for the room, getting inside, and locking the door with one motion before dropping his bag on the bed. He undid the string tie around the collar of his shirt, and undid the button deftly, as he moved over and sat on the edge of the mattress. He pulled out a small leather bound notebook from his coat pocket and opened it, pulling a pen from the holder in the crease of the binder. He jotted down some notes in the pages that were already full of information about Two-Moons and its occupants. He closed it back with the pen back in place. Then he put it in his coat pocket again before pulling out his watch.

He had time to take a nap before Mr. Clayton arrived.

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The two stared at each other for only a second, which was all the time they needed or wanted, before they screamed and charged. After Cutter had left, the tracker decided to follow the tree line a bit to get a better vantage point of the shack. Redlance wanted to make sure he kept an eye on the back too, but then he stumbled onto the renegade, and the fight was on. The human was a Shoshone, but an obvious cast out, one of the groups who were breaking free from the tribes and deciding to wage war on the settlers. Today though, it was Native against Native, in a pitched battle for life.

"Aii! Aii!"

The renegade was big, bigger than Redlance, but the tracker didn't slow one step as he raced right into the Shoshone. The two slammed together like two Elk bulls with their shoulders, each trying take the other off balance. In Redlance's right hand was his tomahawk, the knob end up instead of the blade, as he didn't want to cut into the renegade, at least not with that blade. In his left was the Bowie, reversed so the blade ran down his arm. He was ready for the impact of the human, only it was worse than he expected. All at once he was going backwards, his feet sliding in the dirt. The renegade's right hand held a hunting knife, that was only about an inch from the tracker's neck, as Redlance held the renegade off with his left hand, pressing his fist into the human's shoulder and collar bone, his own Bowie an inch or two from the Shoshone's neck.

"Aii! Aii!"

The renegade screamed twice again, pushing harder with a sudden burst of energy, but then with a twist he swung the club in his left hand up with a vicious arc. Redlance barely got his tomahawk down to stop it, but the renegade wasn't finished. The human stepped in and with another scream gave the tracker a hard head butt that stunned the elf. For a second the world spun with bright lights flashing off all around, leaving Redlance disoriented and vulnerable.

The renegade saw the opening and attacked again. He drew back with his club and swung it right into the tracker's side with a loud whack. The blow took Redlance up off the ground, and just when he was touching back down, the renegade went for a second swing. This time though, the tomahawk met the club halfway stopping it, stopping the attack cold, and ending any chance the renegade had at beating the tracker. All at once Redlance gained his own burst of energy, but instead of trying to push the human around the clearing, he opted for two quick attacks. With his own twist, he took the Bowie and sliced across the face of the renegade, feeling the blade cut into the ear and jaw. The Shoshone gave a scream as Redlance continued to move, kicking to the back of the knee of his foe, driving the renegade down to a kneeling position. Then, with a vicious move meant to finish the fight, Redlance took his tomahawk overhead and brought it down on the renegade's shoulder with a huge crack. The blade still up, the ball on the back of the tomahawk broke the Shoshone's collar bone rendering the knife arm useless. A solid punch to the jaw with the Bowie still in his hand ended the fight as the renegade collapsed at the tracker's feet.

Redlance stepped back from the prone form holding his side, trying to force back the pain that was exploding there. His breaths were short and agonizing, more than likely a broken rib or two. Then he saw the second renegade approaching. There was no time to run, only time to get a deep breath that hurt like hell, and to get ready for the next attack.

The renegade though had other ideas. He took one look at his comrade, then to Redlance, and decided it was time to get the hell out of there. The Shoshone turned and bolted for the other side of the clearing, which made Redlance very happy. He bent over at the waist still fighting the pain when the twin shots happened. He looked up to see the renegade flip and flop on the ground then stop. Damn, he thought, that could have been me! And then the clearing erupted in gun fire again.

The tracker bolted for the shack, ducking quietly through the trees, ignoring the pain in his side and abdomen. He had to climb up the steep hill a bit to keep out of sight from the men, and Natives, shooting at the shack, which added time that he didn't have. Cutter and the captain were caught in a bad spot and he had to get them out.

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His watch said Two PM, he'd have to leave now to get to P.W.'s for the meeting with Khavi. Well, he could leave at 2:15 and still make it on time. Yes, it wouldn't be his usual proclivity for being early, but he could make an exception in this case. Rayek shook his head and looked out of the barn with Leila standing next to him, saddled and ready to ride. The Arabian pawed at the dirt floor of the barn and whinnied loudly.

"I know, I am being silly about this Nina, but it is not your body that is being sacrificed for the sake of the truth." Rayek said agitated.

Leila whinnied again and stomped at the floor this time.

"Excuse me Senora? Are you questioning my machismo now? Are you saying I need to be an elf about this?" Rayek spat at his horse, holding its bridle.

Leila whinnied a third time and bucked her head hard up and down, as if agreeing with her master.

"Oh, is that it? Well Nina, I'll show you how much machismo Rayek has." He said jumping up into the Arabian's saddle. The afternoon sun was warm as he rode out, and away, from the ranch while still chastising Leila for questioning his courage.

Rayek didn't notice the eyes watch him ride away, or the fact that Olbar was keeping close tabs on his comings and goings. The foreman watched as Rayek faded away in the direction of town noting the time.

Mr. Voll would want to know this.

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PostSubject: ElfWest Day Five - Part Six   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyThu Jan 19, 2017 2:48 am

And here is the next piece of Day Five, written by me, Wiseshaman

Day Five - Part Six

Savah sat quietly in her chair in her office, by the roll top desk she used to keep her daily ledgers and papers for the boarding house, deep in thought, running over what had happened earlier at Rancho Del Sol with Sun Toucher. She knew the meeting wasn't the usual happy assembly, it didn't feel that way the moment she got the invite from the rider Thiro, who worked at the ranch. And when he, the Hidalgo rancher, asked for a favor, a single unbelievable request, it took her breath away

"Mother of Memory?" The voice called to her.

They called themselves the 'Seekers of the Lost Arts', and she was they're beloved Mother of Memory, their guide in the search for the lost elven powers. She came to this valley because she had seen it in a dream when she was young. It was at the center of a particular energy conveyance, the spoke of a mighty wheel that emanated from the ground to the sky. This place of serene beauty was the center of it all, drawing her to it with her mother so long ago, then pulling Rain the doctor and Willowgreen the Vet shortly thereafter.

And it pulled Winnowill here too...

The society could use the energies from this place to aid in their search. She had told them each this as they came to her, drawn to her and this valley. Those powerful emanations from the wheel could help them find those lost elven powers Savah had said. They were so close they felt, maybe just one step or two away she had explained. She had told them all that the circle was working, what they had practiced was working. For one though, she had felt her impatience with it all, and she was afraid of what that might make her sister go and do.

And then there was the other one in the dream world they had just found, the one who made her feel...less when he appeared.

But her friend Rain had asked for attention and she pushed away all the other thoughts focusing on him. "Yes Rain?"

"Why did you want to see us?" He asked concerned

"Oh yes, have you seen Winnowill these last days?" She asked getting back to the here and now.

"No, but then I never see her except when she comes to the circle." Rain replied.

"I think she's up to something." Willowgreen replied, reserved and cold, which was her nature it seemed.

Rain looked to the vet with an expression that was part love and part hurt, and it didn't go unnoticed by Savah. The doctor had a soft spot for the vet, and it showed more often than not these days. The Matron Mother only smiled and asked a question of Willowgreen.

"Why do you say that? Is it because she missed the circle the other night?"

"It's not just that," Willowgreen responded, "it's the way she's been acting this last month, how she used to be so impatient with our progress and then suddenly it doesn't matter. It feels like she's going out on her own."  

"She's right Mother, it almost feels like she's got a plan of her own." Rain agreed.

Savah looked to them both with her usual warm smile and spoke. "There is nothing to worry or fear from sister Winnowill and her work. I will inquire to what she has been up to sister Willowgreen, and brother Rain, so please do not burden yourselves with any more worry then is necessary."

"Thank you Mother Memory." They both replied, rising from the chairs and exiting her room together.

She gave them a nod and watched them leave. What she thought of next scared her, but it was necessary. She unbuttoned the collar of her wingtip shirt and undid to the cuffs as the room was a little stifling, or it may have been the fact her heart was racing like a young colt running across the prairie. It had to be done she thought.

It had to be.

So, she rose from the chair, and moved to the door with silent quick steps. She walked to her room in the upper levels of the boarding house and right to her bed. Savah laid back on the small bed, getting comfortable quickly. The key was the dreams.

He always appeared in their dreams...

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The pocket watch chimed perfectly at the time he had set it too. The small angelic sounds of the timepiece didn't wake him though, the alarm was just a backup, and he had no need of it for years. John Lee Pettimore was a creature of habit, a follower of strict rules that guided his every movement in life. There was his condition, being an albino, which regimented his life outside in the world, such as staying out of the sun. There was the maxim of his profession, what he was paid to do by a select set of men, which was be polite and friendly at all times, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet. And then there was the axiom he had been raised with by his mother, a strict religious woman who believed in being punctual, and that you had to look your best at all times.

Oh, only if sweet little old mother knew, he thought sliding on his dark glasses after sitting up on the edge of the bed.

John Lee cracked the knuckles on his hands, cracked the joints of his wrist, and finally his neck and shoulders. He picked up the jet black wide brimmed hat checking to make sure there was no dirt on the round open crown or the banded brim. Once it met his approval he stood, straightened his waist coat, and then put on his coat. He reached into his bag and pulled out a smaller one that he carried in his left hand as he exited his room in the boarding house. John Lee checked his watch once again, noting that he had ten minutes exactly, as he walked down the stairs and into the lobby of the boarding house. He saw the small elf female behind the desk still, and stopped to look at her, noting the high cheek bones and large eyes she had. The beauty of the elf female had always intrigued John Lee, all his life he was taken with them. It was quite unfortunate that they didn't like him in return, but not many of his own kind did eiether. His mother had said elves were evil, rotten to the core.

Mother was sweet, and just a tad eccentric, John Lee thought with a smile. It was really too bad she had to die...

Ahdri looked up to see him standing out in the lobby, staring at her, almost admiring her she thought. A sudden thought ran through her mind, and it made a shiver climb up her spine inch by slow inch.

Mr. Pettimore actually looked attractive...and downright evil.

"Can I help you with something Mr. Pettimore?" She asked with a weak smile

“Not at the moment ma’am,”

"Well, if there is anything I can help with, please don't hesitate to ask." Ahdri said forcing herself to be polite. She really, really, really hoped Mr. Pettimore didn't need anything on his really, really, really, short stay.

"I will keep that in mind ma'am." John Lee said before tipping his hat and walking out the front doors.

He only smiled more as he heard Ahdri let go of a sigh of relief behind him. John Lee ambled across the street with the small bag in his left hand, seeing the looks he drew from the passer-by's. One child stopped in mid-lick of a lollipop, and dropped the candy, when her mother gave her hand a quick jerk to get the child moving. Only when mother looked up to see what her daughter was fixated on did the nice lady understand. Mother pulled the little girl again, only this time it was to get her away from the strange man walking across the street to the restaurant. John Lee walked in through the door of Brownberry’s, took a seat at the counter, and dropped right into the middle of a conversation.

"We'll figure something out Rainsong, I promise." Woodlock said with a whisper standing on the other side of the counter.

"Not in time Woodlock. Greymung is going to call in our markers and then what? We'll loose everything." She responded, on the verge of tears, turning her head and catching sight of the new customer.

Rainsong quickly gathered herself and walked over to take the order of the new customer, and it was only when she was across from him did she notice the dark glasses, the pale white skin, and the stark white hair pulled back in a pony-tail. She froze for a second, totally taken back at the sight, and then John Lee smiled at her and spoke.

"Afternoon ma'am, I hear the food here is wonderful! What would you recommend?"

She took a second to answer, to gather her thoughts. "We just started dinner, but the roast is good and there's some ham and beans left over from lunch. It’s all great really, just flip a coin."

"Hmm, well that does sound like a paradox, but you know what...I'll just have some coffee and a slice of that apple pie over there." John Lee said.

Rainsong gave him a small nod and went to work getting his order for him as John Lee turned to Woodlock. He was amazed at how pretty the men elves looked too, almost as pretty as the women. It was no wonder they laid with each other in bed, not caring if you were male or female.

"Can I help you sir?" Woodlock asked, noticing the way John Lee was eyeing him.

"I'm sorry," John Lee replied taking the cup of coffee from Rainsong and the small plate that held the apple pie with a fork, "I eavesdropped while you two were talking. I would like to make up for being such a cad and give you this."

A ten-dollar bill almost appeared out of thin air on the countertop as John Lee's hand moved so fast. Woodlock barely caught sight of it, but responded before his stunned wife could. From behind them the door to the back swung open and the three elf females John Lee had seen earlier came walking out, the Spanish one and the two sisters. The whole gang was here.

"It's okay mister, there's no need for all that." Woodlock said with a forced smile. Every fiber of his being was tensed and set due to the stranger.

"Well, how about we make a trade? I'll give you the money in exchange for some information." John Lee offered taking a bite of pie.  

"What kind of 'information'?" Rainsong asked before Woodlock could. The three females, John Lee noticed, had moved in close enough to hear every word.

"Oh, nothing bad I assure you. I'm not some evil gunslinger!" John Lee said with a laugh watching all five laughs with him, all uneasily.

"No, I'm a collector of old documents, you see. I have everything from old books to pictures written on old hides. But what I have always been on the lookout for are maps, and I hear one of great value and significance just popped up here." John Lee whispered watching all five lean in closer.

"Maps...that sounds like a unique profession mister." Woodlock responded licking his lips nervously.

The elf was the worst at lying John Lee thought, couldn't play a hand of poker to save his life. And the only one worse was his wife and the three ladies standing just behind them.

"Is that what brings you to Two-Moons mister?" The female with the jet-black hair asked. She looked just like the one from the dress shop earlier John Lee thought, oldest daughter probably.

"Yes ma'am. You see, I have a friend back east, he's a historian type, and he has a friend who received a telegram from a Mr. Aurek here in town just a few days ago. Mr. Aurek said he came across an old map, and of course a friend of a friend relayed that to me, and here I sit. I'm going to go see him once I finish some other business." John Lee said with a broad smile taking a sip of coffee.

Then everything he needed to know was answered in two reactions. He didn't even need to go see Aurek anymore, which probably saved the elf his life. The blond male elf looked at him with an expression that was full of confusion and suspicion. He had seen the map, even held it probably, but he didn't have it now. And then there was his wife, who suddenly turned white, gasped, and looked back to her friends. There's the map. Oh yes, John Lee thought, not a single poker player among them.

"Are you looking to buy this map senor?" The Spanish girl asked. Her eyes were a deep green John Lee noticed, unbelievably beautiful.

"Well ma'am, I would need to look at it first, you know guarantee its authenticity. But if it's real, and it's old, I just might tender a generous offer for it." John Lee answered taking the last bite of pie.

The blond girl tried to turn back to her friends subtly, to see what they would say, and she got a subtle shake of the brown-haired sister in return. The worst spies on the face of the Abode John Lee thought. He finished up the last of his coffee just as the sun seemed to disappear from the inside of the restaurant, something huge blotting it right out of the window. He took a quick look up to see all five elves staring at the window to the outside with eyes like saucers and smiled. He heard the door swing open with the small ding of the bell and then a small voice call out.

"Momma, do you see that man? He's bigger than Olbar!"

He turned to see a little elf girl, maybe eleven, turn to look at him just as the black-haired sister spoke up. "It's okay Tyleet, come over here sweetie, sit by us."

John Lee looked at the girl, and the other children, as they filtered in and gave a small smile. "Tyleet? Why that's a pretty name."

"Thank you." She said back walking over to the seat by the brown haired one. She was 'momma' from the way she stared back at him, that look of protection from such pretty brown eyes.

"May I ask you nice folks another question, if it's not too much trouble?" John Lee asked suddenly.

"Sure, what can we help you with?" The brown-haired sister asked holding her daughter's hand securely.

"I heard there's a Sheridan Scout that lives in town, a famous one at that. He has red hair and two long braids on either side of his face." John Lee inquired.

"He's my Papa and he lives here, upstairs with us." Tyleet answered proudly with a smile.

"He does! Well, do you think I could meet him?" John Lee asked.

"He went out of town 2 days ago, to Silver Springs. He won't be back for a few more days, probably after you've gone mister." The brown-haired sister answered quickly so her daughter couldn't.

"Oh really, I'm truly sorry for that. Well, I need to be going now, it has been a pleasure and maybe I'll see you folks round town." John Lee said with a tip of his hat as he stood up, still carrying the small bag in his left hand.

"Maybe we will mister." Woodlock replied with a tip of his hat back. They stood in silence until John Lee left.

He stepped outside letting the door close, imagining the group was now busy in conversation on what to do about him and his associate. John Lee turned to his left to see the man the little one Tyleet was talking about. He knew Mr. Clayton. They were very well acquainted with each other by task and reputation. John Lee was six foot one and Mr. Clayton was a good six inches taller than him with shoulders that looked to go about the same distance apart. A hat that a baby could probably take a bath in sat on top of his large head, and did nothing to hide the scar that ran down the right side of his face, from just above the eyebrow to the jaw. Pettimore heard that Clayton got the scar from a fight while doing away with the Maquis, and a few elves, at Maysville. If he had the gumption, he'd ask the man mountain if that was true, but he never would. Clayton couldn't talk to answer it anyway.

"Good afternoon Mr. Clayton, are we ready to pick up my package?" John Lee asked knowing full well there wouldn't be answer. He took out his pocket watch as he walked back in the boarding house direction toward Two-Edge's.

Five minutes. He figured that's how long it would take for those four women to go running over to Aurek's to have a talk. Woo, would he like to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.

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She sat in her high-backed chair drumming the arm repeatedly, absently while in deep thought. It had gone wrong, so terribly wrong.

Why? What happened?  

Winnowill closed her eyes to try and clear her mind, gather all her focus and apply it to the problem at hand. Why wasn't it working? It should have worked she thought forcing her mind to think. She sat in the chair concentrating for a minute or two more before her eyes opened.

There was only one answer. One obvious solution to the equation you might say.

"Doric, are you there?" She called out.

"Yes Madame" The answer came back.

"We need to talk with our friends again." She said.

"Are you sure Madame? It may be time to re-think this plan?" Doric responded from where he stood by the wall.

"I know Doric. I wish I could take back what has happened. I would take it all back if I could, but I knew from the beginning there might be complications. I cannot stop when we are this close!" Winnowill said with sympathy and conviction.

"Yes Madame. I will contact our associates." Doric whispered.

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P.W's didn't look like any Funeral Home Rayek had ever seen, not in all the towns he had ridden into or through. P.W. for that matter was not like any Mortician he had ever met, or anyone he had ever met for that matter. The small person greeted him at the door after the bell rang, led him to a set of stairs, and then politely pointed out that Khavi was up in one of the spare bedrooms.

Rayek tipped his hat to P.W. and then went up the stairs with the enthusiasm of a convicted killer on the way to the gallows. Hanging by the neck or sleeping with Khavi, one in the same to him he thought, climbing each step slower and slower. Finally, he reached the top and stood for a second contemplating going back down and coming up again just to delay the inevitable. He swallowed hard and thought back to Leila just before they rode out here.

"All right Nina, I'll show you my machismo." Rayek whispered moving down to the first door and grabbing the knob with force.

The knob stopped cold in his hand as he turned it though, with a loud click, locked.

"Wrong door sweet thing!" Khavi called out from across the hall.

"Ai, ah maldice...(aw damn)" Rayek whispered.

He turned slowly and wiped his hands on his pants, walking across the hall while whispering, chanting a mantra. "Puedo hacer esto...(I can do this...)

Rayek opened the door opposite the locked one, and as it swung open, he spotted Khavi sitting on the end of a bed that was against the wall with her legs stretched out to their full length leaning back on one of her arms. She was smiling like a Cheshire cat playing with one of her braids and eyeing him like a starving person would a steak.

"Hello..." She said with a wink.

"Buenas tardes. (Good Afternoon)" Rayek replied.

"Ooo, I love it when you talk like that." Khavi whispered with a wide grin and a purr.

He coughed and turned back to close the door, all the while thinking that if another word of Spanish left his mouth he would rip out his own tongue and throw the offending organ out the window. Rayek turned back to see Khavi's shirt was now unbuttoned along with the first two buttons on her riding pants.

"I think I need that scratch now sweet thing," she purred again, standing up off the bed and walking forward to get him. The shirt parted just enough to show the inside curves of her breasts and the pants were so open he noticed she wasn't wearing knickers like most respectable ladies, and disreputable ones too.

"Whoa there," Rayek said backing up against the door while holding up his hands and wondering if he could draw his Colt fast enough, "before we do anything I need to know what I am fighting for, you might say."

She stopped in front of him and put her hands in his, mimicking the stance while whispering. "Most people think I'm a whore while the others call me a no-good thief sir, and that may just be the case, because I don't care what people think of me. But I am no liar and what I'll tell you is the truth, or you can hang me right in the middle a town."

The look in her eyes was conviction, a simple stand on principle. Rayek knew whatever he learned in this 'endeavor' would be the truth, yet, still, it kind of felt like a wholesale mugging to have to do this.

"Tell me what you know and then we can partake of each other as we see fit. You know, how much of my body you see as a price of the information." Rayek countered.

"No, I'll tell you what. For every piece of clothing you give me I'll tell you what I know, and then after we have 'consummated' our deal, you might say, I'll take you to Dave and you two can talk. Now, that sweet thing, is more than fair value, eh?" Khavi said with a deep purr.

There were no other options, no different terms he could negotiate here. It was plain and simple, do the deed amigo. So Rayek nodded and decided to go along with her and this 'deal' if could call it that. Twenty minutes later P.W. heard a whoop loud enough to bounce off the rafters of the house and echo. Yep, those sheets were getting thrown away...

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Mr. Pettimore and Mr. Clayton made a stop by Two-Edge's, giving the small attendant Jarrah a slip of paper. She went and got Two-Edge, who looked at the paper with a skeptical eye, before looking back to John Lee.  “He arrived yesterday. The charge for pick-up and boarding is five dollars." Two-Edge said just as the cash was laid on the table.

"Thank you," John Lee replied with a certain disdain, walking past the troll, and into the stables of the livery.

Jarrah had already brought out the horse Pettimore was here to pick up. The large pale Appaloosa matched its rider in color and disposition, she thought, handing over the reins to him. John Lee tipped Jarrah, which shocked her because few people ever tipped her, before leaving out of the livery, heading east out of town with Mr. Clayton riding a very tall and large copper Quarter horse.

The pair only slowed when they were away from all the town occupants. Mr. Pettimore turned to his colleague and spoke with what some might call a joyous tone.  "Well Mr. Clayton, I say we start at the bottom of the list. Do you know why I like to start at the bottom?"

When there was no answer, and John Lee knew there wouldn't be, he spoke up while sliding on a pair of black leather gloves to protect his hands. "It’s because when you work down the list you complete the important things first, and by the time you reach the bottom, you’re at the dregs, the mindless chaff that makes the list because someone just wants to make sure they've covered all the possible outcomes. So, before you know it, you get to the middle and you're done with the important things leaving just the crumbs to sweep up and no real sense of satisfaction, know what I mean?"

Mr. Clayton gave a nod, but if it was an acknowledgement or just because his horse took a hard step no one was sure. Mr. Pettimore didn't mind and just kept talking.

"But if you go from the bottom up, then you have something to strive for, an achievement to reach for. My mother, bless her soul, always said if you're not striving to be the best then you'll just end up old and plain."

Mr. Clayton looked at him with a stoic stone face and nodded again, just as the horse took a hard step.

"Good! We'll start at the bottom and work our way up!" John Lee extolled turning to the small bag he had been carrying.

He opened it up and the sun gleamed off two bandoleers of throwing knives. A cruel smile crossed his face as he spoke up, knowing full well there would be no answer.

"Let's get to work Mr. Clayton."

The pair rode off to an unknown destination. Woe to the ones they were coming for Clayton thought quietly.

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PostSubject: ElfWest Day Five - Part Seven   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyMon Jan 23, 2017 1:23 am

And here is the next piece of Day Five, written by me, Wiseshaman

Day Five - Part Seven

The boys get out with a blast, the girls find out about the code, and someone new shows up...

It took less then 5 minutes...

It actually took 3 minutes and 24 seconds...

That's the time that ticked off the old clock after Mr. Pettimore left the restaurant to when Aurek's door to his office was flying open with Nightfall in the lead. Leetah, then Crescent, and finally Rainsong came in closing said door more gently than it was opened. He looked up from where he standing by his desk to see the females and smiled brightly.

"Good afternoon ladies, I was just going to bring you a note my friend back east sent. It looks like we are in luck."

The smile on his face dropped at the look he got from the women. Nightfall stopped in front of him while Leetah and Crescent stood in front of the desk and Rainsong by the rail that separated the office in two. This is probably what a wanted fugitive must feel like when the Marshall approaches him Aurek thought, that feeling of pending doom that grew with each passing second.

"What did you tell your friend back east Aurek?" Nightfall asked quickly, suspiciously.

"I gave him the code as we agreed." The historian, and reporter, answered slowly, cautiously with the looks he was getting.

"Did you say anything about the map?" Crescent asked.

"Would this friend talk about the code?" Leetah followed right behind.

"Yes, I told my friend about the map. No, I asked him not to talk to anyone about it or the code, and I trust him explicitly not too." Aurek answered even more tentative.

Crescent let out a gasp of frustration while Rainsong shook her head. Leetah closed her eyes with a worried look and Nightfall bit her bottom lip. The last straw was broken you might say as Aurek looked at the women with an agitated expression now.

"Ladies," he began eyeing them all, "I get the ominous feeling that you’re not telling me something that might just be vital information."

"Why did you tell your friend about the map?" Nightfall asked calmer, not so accusing.

"It helped him break the key, something about narrowing down the mathematical formula to crack it. What happened to all of you? It looks like you saw a ghost?" Aurek answered, more open and not so cautious.

"You don't know the half of it." Crescent replied.

"Someone came into the restaurant, asked Rainsong about the map, and he mentioned that your friend told someone else and they told him." Nightfall explained.

"He is pale white with dark glasses Senor Aurek. He sounds like he came from back east, maybe the southern part." Leetah spoke up.

"Pale...like an albino?' Aurek asked.

"Yep." Crescent answered eagerly, anticipating an answer to everything.

Aurek thought for a second before speaking. "I do not know any albino's, and I assure you my friend did not say anything about the code or the map. How could this man have known to ask you four about it?"

"He didn't, I was making small talk, and when he said he might be willing to pay for it I looked over at Night and Crescent, like some old mule. I should have just stuck a sign around my neck saying 'I know about the map'. I'm so stupid!” Rainsong spoke up quickly, but then letting the last die off.

Crescent immediately stepped over and took one of friend's hands in hers and put her arm around her shoulders speaking comforting words. "No, you're not stupid. Anyone of us would have been lost with that fella."

"Yes, he was very scary, but how did he know about the map?" Leetah asked with a shake of her head.

"Well, if Aurek's friend didn't say anything I don't know how he knows about it. The only thing is he might know we have it." Nightfall answered.

"That is not good." Leetah responded.

"I know it sounds crazy, but I don't think he knows we have the map." Crescent spoke up suddenly.

"Well, it's too late now. We'll just keep our eyes open and hope for the best. What did you friend find out Mr. Aurek?" Nightfall asked.

"Si, anything is better than thinking about that man." Leetah said.

"Come, sit at the table and I'll explain." Aurek said motioning them all across the room to the table. They followed and readied to hear what hopefully could be good news.

Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Vignette

"The Deputy's dead. You Sons-of-bitches killed D.W.!" The last of the three law men screamed out the window. He fired off two shots from his pistol just in case they didn't get the point.

The shooting had stopped again giving those inside the shack time to look around and check themselves out. The wing that Skywise took was small, more of an annoying pain than a threat to his life Cutter thought. He looked over to Eyes High and tried to see how bad she was hit, but the dress and undergarments hid the damage from him.

"How bad are you hit?" He asked her.

"I'll be fine in a minute." She hissed, biting back pain.

"Are you okay?" Cutter asked Annie, all but forgotten when the lead started slingin'.

"Yeah, all them damn bullets missed me!" She spat.

"So, tell me, before I die for nothing, why did you go and shoot up the bank?" Skywise asked the Miner.

The Miner rose up and fired a quick shot out the window, at some shadow probably the Captain thought, before dropping down to reload. As his hands went to work on loading the Enfield again the miner spoke up.

"Boone's been cheatin' us for years. I just got my due is all!"

"You sure got more than your due!" Skywise shot back.

"Does anyone know how many of them are out there?" Cutter asked reloading his Navy Dragoon.

"We had two chase us out of town. I think I saw Boone come up with three more in tow." The Miner's son said.

"Damn..." Cutter whispered realizing what had happened.

"What?" The Miner asked.

"We followed their tracks in thinking it was you. We came here to help arrest you" Skywise answered.

"Well, if there's anything left after this is over, you can slap the chains on it!" The Miner laughed showing a nice set of black teeth. His son joined in and for a second their crazy laughter bounced off the walls of the shack, which was better than bullets Skywise thought.

Cutter smiled, understanding in some macabre way, they deserved this. He just should have said no when they were in town. This wasn't Two-Moons, and acting all trustworthy like it was just got them neck deep in a lot of trouble. He slammed the breach closed on the Dragoon and looked to Skywise.

"What'd you say? One charge out the front door then we make a dash for the woods?"

"I'm in. What about Red?" Skywise asked.

"We'll find him," was all Cutter said in a reply.

"All right." Skywise said with a nod.

"What about us? You ain't leavin' us are ya'?" Annie asked with a yelp.

"We're going to circle around and take out those boys with the guns. Then we'll get everyone here out. I'm not leaving anyone behind." Cutter told Annie and Eyes High.

Suddenly something crashed against the back wall with a loud crack. Everyone nearby jumped except for Shale who was unconscious as Cutter caught site of a black metal hatchet edge poking through the wall. The hatchet head disappeared and then hit the wall again with another loud pop. Annie and Eyes High jumped again while the Miner's son turned and got ready to fire on the spot.

"Wait!" Cutter screamed holding up his hand.

"It's them trying to get the drop on us!" The boy yelled back.

A third loud pop sound along with the sound of cracking and breaking wood, as whoever was out there was cutting a hole in the wall. Cutter had a guess, and so did Skywise, as he grabbed the boy's musket and pushed it down toward the ground.

"They wouldn't make all that noise if they were trying to sneak up on us!" Skywise spat.

A nice chunk of the back wall was pulled out on the last hit creating a nice sized opening, big enough for someone to crawl through. A familiar face with two long red braids suddenly appeared with a large smile.

"I think you boys need a backdoor?" Redlance asked.

"Hell, yes we do!" Skywise said with a big smile of his own.

"Here, Annie goes first then we'll take Shale. He's hurt bad so take it easy." Cutter ordered as Annie scooted out.

"All right, pass him to me." Redlance said, carefully pulling the limp body out of Shale out of the shack.

It was almost as if someone was watching the escape attempt from across the clearing because all the shooting started up again. Bullets crashed through the shack, one caught the last of the law men right over the right eye stopping him in mid action. The Miner's son watched him drop and then screamed while shooting out the window.

"Come get me if you can Boone!"

"Get me out of here!" Skywise whispered crawling over to the back wall as Eyes High slipped out the hole. He stopped long enough to get the 30/30 the Deputy dropped when he was shot.

"Here, you and Annie take him up the hill and find some cover to get into." Redlance said waiting for Cutter to climb out.

The two women each grabbed an arm of Shale's and then started up the hill toward safety and life hopefully. Eyes High ignored the pain in her leg as she climbed, intent on just getting her husband and herself away from all these idiots shooting.

Redlance turned and helped Cutter out of the hole as a bullet winged by with a high screeching sound. The Major turned and yelled into the hole. "Time to leave Skywise!"

The Captain crawled on his stomach to the hole about ready to slide out before looking back to the last two in the shack. He was going to tell them it was time to go, to get the hell out. Only, one of the many bullets ripping into the shack struck the Miner's son square in the chest, throwing him back on the ground. Skywise stopped and spun around to where his feet were by the hole as he saw the boy fall to the ground. The Captain had seen enough death in battles to know instantly the Miner's son was dead, gone before he hit the dirt floor of the crumbling shack.

"Johnny!" The Miner screamed dropping his rifle and crawling to his son's side.

"We have to go!" Skywise called out.

"Johnny!" The Miner yelled, ignoring the Captain. He knows his son is dead, Skywise thought at that very second, watching with a sudden need.

"Come on!" Cutter called looking into the hole for his Captain, his brother.

"We have to go." Skywise called to the Miner, only not so demanding now.

The Miner paid no heed to the bullets flying around and cradled his now deceased son, tears starting to stream down his cheeks. He slowly, lovingly, stroked the dead boy's hair while talking amidst the chaos. "Oh Johnny...I'm so sorry son..."

"Captain!" Cutter screamed for Skywise.

"Skywise!" Redlance added in

"You have to leave him. We got to go..." Skywise whispered with a want he couldn't understand at the moment.

"He's all I had left...the only one left..." The Miner whispered before pulling the boy into his face and crying hard.

Skywise started back to get the Miner out. He wasn't sure why, he didn't owe the human anything but a swift kick in the ass for getting them into the middle of this damn mess. He heard Cutter and Redlance call out to him to come back. He heard a bullet whiz past, felt the rush of air as it passed by his ear within a couple of inches. He just started back when a thump sounded against the window and a taped bundle of two sticks fell into the shack. A second thump echoed in the shack and another bundle of sticks dropped right by Skywise's head. He recognized the burning fuse and the orange sticks for what they were and screamed out to Cutter.

"Run for It! DYNAMITE!"

The Captain felt two different hands grab his ankles and pull hard, so hard he was flung flat to his stomach and drug out the hole in the back wall. Skywise barely got his hand on the 30/30 before he was out the hole. His last sight was the Miner still kneeling holding his son sobbing uncontrollably. The image would stick with the Captain for the rest of his life, never seeming to slip into the mist like the others.

Cutter had one leg while Redlance had the other, and both ran as hard as they could, dragging a wrong-ended Skywise up the hill. They didn't see the blast, or the shack simply disappear in a spray of orange fire and black smoke, but the Captain did. All they felt was a hot wind right before the roar of the explosion and the concussion wave plowed all three right into the hillside like a couple of loose sacks of flour. The explosion echoed off the hills for a minute before it all went quiet.

Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Vignette

Aurek spread out the note, which was on three sheets of perfectly folded Bean paper, and pointed to the first one. "My friend says it was a rare cipher key, not used by any one or any organization he's aware of. He's seen military ciphers and some Djun keys, but this one was totally different. It was very unique, but he did crack it."

"What does that mean?" Rainsong asked.

"It means this was a message not meant for any eyes except a very select few. Not even the military or the Djun could have broken it I think. My friend is very exceptional with numbers and formulas." Aurek answered

"So, what did it say?" Crescent asked.

"The code mentioned a town called Dells Junction just south of Crest Point. It gave a date and a time long since passed. It also gave out three numbers, like a code or a combination. My friend did not know what those meant." Aurek explained.

"All this is about some meeting in the past?" Leetah asked.

"Maybe someone left something there for someone? Maybe the combination is to a safe?" Crescent asked out loud.

"That's what it sounds like to me." Nightfall agreed.

"But why bury it in a new sophisticated cipher?" Aurek asked.

"Because," Rainsong said with a whisper that sounded just a little scared, "whatever is in that safe is probably worth a lot of money."

"Enough for someone to go to all this trouble of making a map," Crescent whispered with the same tone.

"Enough for someone to come looking for the map," Leetah carried on.

"Someone from back east,” Nightfall finished with a gasp.

"Oh dear, the strange albino?" Aurek asked with worry.

The tension in the office went up tenfold as they all fought to get a breath and get a hold of their run-away minds. Nightfall spoke up first taking a small lead in the group. "I say we keep this to ourselves, no one else needs to get dragged in. And we keep our eyes out for our special friend."

"I second that," Crescent responded with a swallow.

"What about the information? What do we do with what we know now?" Leetah asked.

"Until the albino leaves town, we don't do anything. We don't change our routines or anything, it’s business as usual, all right?" Nightfall asked.

"Fine by me," Rainsong said with a weak smile.

"Si, I agree too." Leetah said with a nod.

"I'll go along with that." Crescent said finishing out the table.

What do I do?" Aurek asked, a little worried but also a little excited. Being a historian wasn't exactly all fun all the time you know.

"The same, nothing changes until our friend leaves town." Nightfall answered.

Aurek only nodded feeling his heart begin to race. His journal will certainly have a nice log entry tonight he thought.

Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Vignette

She rode up to the large shack and paddock on her Morgan, eyeing the structure with a set of angry eyes. Vaya was looking for Khavi, and it wasn't for a friendly talk. Her mother had some explaining to do. There was a certain outfit in Silver Springs wondering where their hard-earned money had suddenly disappeared too. Now, it didn't bother Vaya that Khavi occasionally robbed a man or elf of his money, or that she liked to get a 'scratch' from men all over town. Her only rules were very simple and easy to follow.

One - never steal from her or her business partners unless she was in on the take.

Two - never get a 'scratch' from a man she was getting a 'scratch' from. It just got too messy sharing a man like that.

Well, good old Khavi, her momma, had broken the first one a week ago, by taking off with some money that she had worked for with her partners, providing protection to some miners from claim jumpers. And as for the second...Vaya didn't have an 'itch' so there was no need to worry about that rule.

She jumped off her horse by the paddock, which was empty for some reason, but Vaya was too angry to really notice. She stalked around to the front door of the place and gave it a quick kick to gain entry while calling out. "Dave, you bilk! Where's my momma? We need to talk!"

The door swung closed slowly with a loud creak, the same one it always made, as the wind picked up and whipped the grass. The shack was quiet as the wind died down.

And then a blood curdling scream erupted from inside...

Long and cold, the cry rolled over the grass as the wind suddenly gusted, almost in response to it...

But after a minute the scream died away and the wind went back to normal. The grass on the prairie swayed back and forth gently, as if the scream never happened

Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Ride! Elfwest is back   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyMon Jan 23, 2017 2:54 pm

Oooooh, I've been waiting for this part; Vaya's entrance.
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Ride! Elfwest is back   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyMon Jan 23, 2017 3:15 pm

@Rainflower wrote:
Oooooh, I've been waiting for this part; Vaya's entrance.

Yes, Vaya is here and now we can start the sweet romance between here and Mr. Pike...

Let's all howl for joy!

Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
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PostSubject: ElfWest Day Five - Part Eight   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyFri Jan 27, 2017 2:03 am

And here is the next piece of Day Five, written by me, Wiseshaman

Day Five - Part Eight

Have the boys survived? Are the girls in for a surpise? What about Savah and the strange 'dream world'...

She 'woke' laying in the usual open field, the sweet swell of honeysuckle on the air, and the grass clinging to the skin her dress and shirt did not cover. Savah wasn't ‘awake’ in the real, physical sense. A small part of her knew this, realized that her physical body was actually back in her room at the boarding house, fast asleep in her bed. The metaphysical part of her being, the one now looking up into a crystal blue cloudless sky, knew she was walking in the 'dream world', the place where she and the other seekers would come when meditating. She rose to a sitting position feeling the grass gently let go and the wind begin to blow a constant pleasant breeze. Savah slowly turned and saw the large white wolf standing just a foot or so from her. It was the most beautiful creature she had ever seen, stealing her breath for a second. Back, in the world where she slept, Savah would have been scared of the wolf, but not here. She reached out with a gentle slow hand and rubbed its face feeling the soft fur run through her fingers. It yawned and took a seat next to her laying one large foreleg over the other.

"Oki Pretty Bird,"

Savah knew the voice instantly. It was as familiar as her own heartbeat. She turned to see him walk up, almost floating through the grass to her. He was dressed like a Native with deer skin pants that were tied just below the knees and at the ankles with leather strips, and a pair of moccasins covered his feet. He wore no shirt and she could see the taut muscles of his chest and stomach as he approached, all under a bone breastplate tied with more leather strips. A smile, warm and inviting, slipped across his face as his jet-black hair cascaded down with four large feathers twirling in the back, the tips colored and alternating from red to blue then red again. His eyes looked wise, much wiser than the age or the tone of his body told her. He gave her a small wave as he squatted down by her and Savah felt a warm sensation start to spread out from her heart.

"I can understand you." Savah whispered back in the tongue of the Abode.

"Yes, Pretty Bird, and I know what you are saying to me. The medicine of the wolf is strong, it lets us talk to each other in words we both know." He said.

"Are you real, or are you a spirit from here?" Savah asked quietly, hiding the excitement she felt at the moment.

He gave a small laugh that sounded like music to her ears before answering. "Yes again Pretty Bird, I am real. I am as real as you and the other three pointed-ears that you come here with on your visits."

"Who are you then?" She asked quickly.

"I am Black Feather, Shaman to the Siksi from the hills, and brother to Red Hair. Who are you?" He replied with his smile growing bigger.

"I am Savah, Mother of Memory and matron to the Seekers, the other ones who come here with me." She answered, smiling back to him warmly.

"What is it you seek here Pretty Bird?" Black Feather asked with a curious look now.

"I am looking for another of my seekers-"Savah started to say when Black Feather broke in stopping her.

"The black haired one, she walks a path that is not safe for her. She is in danger from the darkness here."

"I know, I need to help her Black Feather, but I do not know how to help her." Savah responded quickly.

"Then I will help you Pretty Bird. Go, and get the other ones who walk with you. We will need their spirit medicine too." Black Feather said slowly reaching up with his hand to touch her cheek

As the hand crept closer, Savah's eye lids began to shut and she slipped away from the dreaming world inch by inch. The last image she saw was his smile, and for some reason, a feeling in her heart really, she felt it would all be right in the end.

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The front door to the restaurant opened with its usual bell ring as Nightfall and the others arrived back from Aurek's. She moved through the entrance easily with Leetah right behind and Crescent behind her. They were busy talking about nothing when those green eyes settled onto a person at the counter and Leetah froze. It was the biggest shock of her life as she felt her knees start to buckle. She felt Crescent walk right into her, and if it wasn't for Crescent grabbing her waist, Leetah might have fallen like a huge stone right to the floor.

"Whoa! What's wrong Rose?" Crescent gasped.

Nightfall turned to see the shocked look on her friends face and naturally followed the line Leetah's eyes made, followed them right to the person seated at the counter across from her mother Brownberry.

She was a dead ringer for Rose.

Shenshen waved back to Leetah with a small smile.

"What's going on?" Rainsong asked from the very back, lost in it all from her blind spot.

"Do you know her Rose?" Nightfall inquired with a whimsical smile, noting this was the first time she had seen Rose off balance in any situation.

"Ah, si, she is my-"Leetah started when Shenshen finished for her.

"Sister Marisol."

"Yes," Leetah coughed getting herself under control, finally, and pushing the shock of seeing Shenshen away, "this is my dear sister Marisol."

"I didn't know you had a sister Rose." Crescent remarked with a little surprise.

"Neither did I." Nightfall added with a curious look.

"Oh, I'm just the bebe (baby) of the family. No one ever worries about me, right Rose?" Shenshen said with a play-along-or-we're-dead look.

"Si, my sister Marisol is the good Nina our family, which is why I am so surprised to see her here. Why are you here my dear sister?" Leetah stated with a forced smile and raised eyebrows, trying to cover the fear and anger in her voice.

"Papa asked me to deliver you a present my dear sister. It is over at senorita Savah's, if you come with me I can show you." Shenshen answered with both eyebrows raised also while sliding off the stool and walking over.

"Oh really, well, let us go and see what our beloved Papa has given me." Leetah said reaching out and taking Shenshen's arm quickly in both her hands.

"That would make me so happy dear sister." Shenshen smiled as both left the restaurant heading for the boarding house. Everyone all watched the pair leave before Rainsong turned to them with a confused expression.

"Have you ever seen her sister in town?"

"I didn't even know Rose had a sister. How long has she been waiting Momma?" Nightfall asked after turning to her mother.

"Not long," Brownberry said then leaned in with a whisper, "I think she's been in that shelter longer then Rose."

"Why do you say that?" Crescent asked.

"Well, she wasn't sure where to go. It was like someone dropped her off on the walkway and just left her. I had to go out and ask her if she was okay." Brownberry explained.

"Oh," Nightfall said, the look of confusion on her face matching all around.

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"What are you doing here Shenshen?" Leetah asked quickly once they were away from the restaurant.

"Papa sent me here to stay with Savah at the boarding house. He sent you too." Shenshen said shaking her head.

The news was a like a load of cold water to Leetah's face. She loosened her grip on her sister's arm while feeling the energy go out of her legs a second time. Sent away? What was happening Leetah's mind screamed?

"I think it has something to do with Rayek." Shenshen suddenly whispered.

"What?" Leetah whispered totally lost.

"Leetah, you just asked me what was happening." Shenshen said with a worried.

She was lost, swept away by the news and sight of her sister, but with characteristic strength Leetah forced the fear and worry down, taking back control from both. She looked at her sister with a determined look that Shenshen knew was trouble, a small brewing kettle of anger is what always came to mind. "Papa did not tell you why he sent us to stay with senora Savah?" Leetah asked walking with Shenshen toward the boarding house.

"No, he only had me pack our bags and leave with her for town." Shenshen explained keeping up with her sister.

"Why do you think it involves Rayek?" Leetah asked again.

"I do not know, it just felt that way. He tried to send Mama away too but she refused." Shenshen explained again.

The pair stepped onto the walkway and started past the door to the boarding house and Shenshen stared at it then back to Leetah confused. "We are not going to our room to talk?"

"No dear sister. I am going home to have a talk with Papa." Leetah stated quickly.

"He will not change his mind. I tried all afternoon." Shenshen cried.

"You are not me Shenshen, I will not leave my family when they need me." Leetah said conviction. She was about to step off the walkway heading towards Two-Edge's Livery when she felt her sister's hand grab her arm and stop her.

"No, please do not..."

"Shenshen," Leetah looked to her sister and saw the fear there in her brown eyes which froze her for an instant, "Papa may need us. We cannot just leave now..."

"You did not see his eyes Leetah. I have seen Papa frightened, but he was truly scared this time, and then when I agreed to leave I saw it disappear. He was relieved that we were away." Shenshen said with her voice full of emotion.

"Shenshen, I cannot leave him when he is in trouble." Leetah whispered.

"I know sister, I know, but if being away makes it easier on him at this time then I will do that, for Papa. In time, he will tell us why, but please do not wring it from him like you always do, not this time please." Shenshen whispered back earnestly.

Leetah stood for a full minute in silence contemplating it all, every option and choice, and its possible outcome. In the end, she had to agree with Shenshen. As much as she wanted, as much as her heart said to ride back to stand at her father's side, it would make him worry more. He had asked Savah to keep them because he wanted to face whatever was coming without that worry. She sighed and looked at Shenshen with a forced smile.

"I will stay..."

"Gracias Leetah, there is one good thing to this." Shenshen said with a shrug of her shoulders.

"And what would that be my dear sister?" Leetah asked with a smile that wasn't forced.

"I get to see Rose perform. Do you do the can-can dance?"

"Si, and the cowboys scream with joy!" Leetah nodded with a smile.

The two laughed and headed back to the restaurant. Leetah had no worries about her sister making friends with the others. If anything, Shenshen was the epitome of a sweet Spanish senorita.

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His first breath was filled with smoke and tasted like the bottom of a campfire. Skywise inhaled and coughed immediately, expelling whatever was blown into his lungs when the shack went up in a fiery red burst of smoke and debris. He rolled over grimacing against the pain in his whole body as the acrid smell of something burning hit his nose and he started to cough again.

"What's burning?" He called out.

"Me," Skywise heard Redlance call out.

The Captain turned over to see the Tracker rolling onto his back, putting out several smoldering spots of ash that had settled on the back of his velveteen shirt and started to burn. Skywise thought the tracker looked good and turned over to look for Cutter.

"Cutter, you all right?"

There was no answer and Skywise saw immediately that his Major wasn't going to answer his question anytime soon. Cutter was flat out on his stomach, a large piece of the shack lying across his back and head. A stark wrenching panic hit the Captain's heart as he thought the worst. Some dumb yokel had killed his best friend, his brother. Almost before he could think it he was screaming and moving.


Only the tracker was at the Major's side first throwing the board away and then checking on his friend. He pushed back the white hair, which was turning red with blood, and saw the eyes start to flutter.

"He's okay Captain, he's just stunned.” Redlance spoke up, grimacing from his own pain.

"Really, Cutter?" Skywise asked feeling suddenly elated while the anger ebbed.

A low groan answered him as the Major began to stir and shake off the explosion while Redlance patted Cutter's back in relief. That anger, the spark that was slowly fading out, flashed into an inferno consuming Skywise's elation. He reached down and grabbed the 30/30 rifle and got to his feet as the smoke from the shack started to blow up the hill toward them.

"I'm gonna end this." He spat turning and heading back.

"Skywise wait," Redlance called out trying to stop the Captain then gave up noticing the elf had no intentions of stopping, "Damn it to all!"

Three men walked out the cover of the trees across from the clearing, two on the left with Spencer repeaters braced on their hips, business ends pointed to the sky, while the other on the right walked with a shotgun pointed at the ground cradled in his arms. The two on the left laughed at the sight of the destroyed shed while the one with the shotgun just smiled cruelly. The shack was gone, no more, except for the base stuck in the ground, and that was in jagged pieces which looked like a set of broken teeth. No one could have survived that they thought, not a soul.

That's why they didn't move when the shadowy figure of Skywise walked right out of the smoky destruction of the shed and start firing.

The first human on the left never got a chance to fire back. He never got the repeater off his hip where it was so casually placed. The bullet from the 30/30 hit him mid-thigh and took his feet right out from under him, sending him face first into the ground with a splat, but Skywise didn’t stop. He let the recoil from the first shot push the barrel of the rifle upwards as he simultaneously cocked the lever, ejecting the spent cartridge, before swinging the 30/30 to the next man and squeezing the trigger not pulling the mechanism. The captain saw a bright orange flash, heard the crack of the cartridge being fired, and the second man was spinning backwards as the bullet struck home just at the shoulder joint. Skywise kept his hands moving, bringing the barrel of the 30/30 back down from the second shutter of recoil to the chest of the third man and cocking the lever.

And that’s when he noticed the human had the drop on him, twin cold steel barrels of a shotgun pointed right at him. Skywise was a second too slow, and he readied for the roar of the greener to split him two, when from the side, out of sight, a whirling tomahawk came crashing into the human. There was a loud crack, not as loud as the 30/30 by any means, but just as bad. The human went backwards, almost flipping, while the tomahawk fell back to the ground, sticking into the ground blade down with a 'whup'.

Skywise lowered the 30/30 from his shoulder as the moans of all three humans started to make it past his numb ears, because of the very loud reports of Winchester rifle. He looked over to see Redlance trot over, grab his tomahawk, and then check on the human while tossing the shotgun away to the side

"Are you okay?"

"You broke my damn shoulder injun! Hell no I'm not okay!" The human spat.

"At least I didn't shoot you!" Skywise yelled back.

Redlance stood up, kicked both Spencer rifles away from the other humans, and then went back to Skywise. “Are you okay Skywise?" He asked with a little worry.

"Yeah, I'm good...I'm good now." He mumbled back, getting himself back under control.

Suddenly, from the spot where they had entered, what ten minutes ago Skywise thought, not sure about the pace of time anymore, another group of men rode up with rifles and shotguns held on them. The Captain was about to raise the Winchester again, all by instinct, when he saw the glint of the setting sun off the big metal badge of the large human riding up. As soon as the humans came to a stop by them Skywise dropped the 30/30 to the ground as Redlance did he same with his tomahawk.

"What the hell is going on here?" The Sheriff yelled. He was a large man, towering over the elves and his entire group for that fact. He wore a tan hat that was bent down in the front covering his eyes and a large Peacemaker on his hip.

"They robbed the bank! I got a posse together and went after them!" The man with the broken shoulder screamed, standing up now. His right arm hung limp at his side.

"Me and my deputies are the only ones who can wrangle up a posse Boone. The only thing you can do is get up a lynch mob!" The Sheriff spat turning to the elves.

"We rode in with your Deputy, who was trying to arrest the men who robbed the bank. My friends started across the clearing when they opened up on them." Redlance said pointing to Boone.

"They were in cahoots with them sheriff." Boone growled

"Where is D.W.?" The Sheriff asked the elves, ignoring the whining of the banker.

"They shot him after we took cover in the shack. One man took two out here, died on the spot, and the other one died alongside D.W., in what’s left of the shack." Skywise said pointing to the shack's remains.

The Sheriff spun and faced Boone with fire in his eyes. "You shot D.W.?"

"He was shooting at us, impeding me from retrieving my money!" Boone spat back.

"What happened to the shack?" The Sheriff asked Skywise and Redlance ignoring Boone again after he turned back.

"They blew it up. We barely got everyone out before it went up." Skywise said.

The Sheriff shook his head and went back to Boone, maybe to ask just what the hell he was thinking when all this was happening, but the banker started speaking first. "That elf shot my two men and that injun broke my damn shoulder! I want them both arrested and hung as soon as possible!"

"Boone," the Sheriff growled with a deep baritone voice, "if you don't shut up I'm gonna finish what that injun started. And I will make damn sure you're awake to feel each and every blow!"

The banker backed away sputtering with shock as Redlance turned to see Skywise looking up at the sky that was starting to turn dark with the late hour. There was a weird look on the Captain's face, a mixture of dread and acceptance. Then Skywise spoke to Redlance, never looking away from the sky above.

"You okay Red?"

"Yeah, just some sore ribs."

"We better go check on Cutter." Skywise advised.

"Yeah, we better do that." Redlance offered not sure what to do.

Then the Captain lowered his head and looked at Red with that same look, only now it was less dread and more acceptance. "Didn't Cutter say a name for that small elf, the one with the grey hair?"

"He called him Shale. You know him?" Redlance asked back.

Skywise had never seen anything but a few old photos to know what his mother and father looked like, and those were scratchy and barely viewable. Those photos though gave birth to a thousand other different pictures that flashed back now in his mind, a thousand different dreams when he was a boy, of how he would finally meet his parents. He had so many of them he lost count. There was the one of the day he came home from school and they would be waiting in what his aunt called the 'salon'. There was the one where he was outside playing when they would suddenly appear on the lane and he would run to them leaping into their outstretched arms. It didn't matter to Skywise what they looked like, each dream had a different look for them it seemed like. He just wanted to see them, to talk with them. Every dream ended the same though, with him together with his mother and father again. Funny, but he didn't remember a dream of him and his parents meeting up in a running gun battle.

And one image stuck out brighter than all of them, the scribbled signature in his favorite book when he was living back at his uncle's house. The one that taught him all the stars, the one his father left behind before going west.

I love you son...Shale

The sudden crack of a Dragoon sounded from the hills followed quickly by the sound of another. Redlance looked up at the hills then back to Skywise before speaking. "I think Cutter's okay."

"Yeah, but the man he just shot probably isn't." Skywise said calmly.

Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Vignette

"You can rot in hell mister!"

When the limbs of the bush she and Annie had drug Shale to for cover started to part, Eyes High so wanted it to be Skywise that looked in. She wanted to know her son was safe after hearing the explosion down below. When she saw the face of the renegade staring back at her though, a cruel smile forming on the human's face, she felt deprived and so angry suddenly. She watched him draw back a club, ready to strike a death blow, and only calmly turned pulling Shale's head to her breast so at least he would be protected till the last. Her last thoughts were of him, of Skywise, and how for so long all she wanted was to get back to her son and hold him again in her arms. Now, to have him that close for only a blink in time after so many years, it wasn't fair at all. Eyes High wanted to know so many things about him, to hear him tell her everything, but that wasn't going to happen now and it made her last minute on the Abode angry.

She whispered into her husband's ear, hoping he heard it, wishing with everything fiber in her being that he heard her last words to him. "I am sorry my love, so very sorry."

The club was coming.

She could sense it starting the downswing as she closed her eyes.

"I love you Eyes High" Shale whispered one last time.

And then the low growl of a voce stopped everything.

"If you hurt either of them, I'm gonna kill you, real slow."

Eyes High gasped and looked over her shoulder, past the human, to see the soldier, the one calling himself Cutter, leveling his pistol at the renegade. The Native let go of the branches of the bush letting them close, briefly blocking the pair for a second, before she quickly reached out and opened them again watching the two eagerly. The renegade circled slowly as Cutter stood on unsteady legs, watching the Native closely. The renegade wasn't about to give up an easy kill like two elves and a woman, but then he didn't count on the Major's resolve either. The Native gave a whoop and feinted like he was going to charge, a ploy to scare the major.

Cutter pointed his Dragoon and didn't pretend anything.

Eyes High jumped as the pistol roared with a burst and a sharp kick. The renegade gave another whoop, but this time he dropped his knife and grabbed the new hole in his leg, right in the middle of the thigh. The Native did a small dance on one leg while holding the other before yelling at the Major again, pulling his tomahawk back intending to still strike. Cutter shook his head and quickly shot the other leg out from under the renegade with one pull of the trigger. He turned away from the nativ, shaking his head in disbelief leaving the human writhing in pain.

"I sure hope he's the last one, my head hurts too bad to have to shoot another one. Are you okay?" He asked stopping by her.

"Yes, we need to get Shale to a doctor." Eyes High said with a worried smile.

Cutter smiled back noting that even with a dirty face, and after getting shot, the elf looked very pretty with a smile on her face. He leaned in and took one of Shale's arms while speaking softly.

"Come on, the Sheriff finally got here I think. We'll get Shale to a doctor, I promise."

Eyes High let a fresh tear roll down her cheek feeling for the first time in a long time it would be all right.

"Thank you." She whispered back just as soft.

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Ride! Elfwest is back   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyFri Jan 27, 2017 7:33 am

Thrilling, nothing else to say, THRILLING!!!

Now: a little surprise!!! cheers  cheers  cheers

I felt that now time has come to present the wardrobe of our very well known main villain with long, raven black hair. Making clothes for Winnowill I thought would be quite difficult since her wardrobe is limited to mainly black and white. But in truth, one sees more colors in her outfits than one should possibly believe. I've seen, in the feathers of her hair, both a hint of dark dark purple and dark dark blue, and I though this could be useful.

Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Winnow10

The first dress is based on Judy Garland's dress in "The Harvey Girls", only I didn't add the pattern on the skirt. I just loved the top of it, with the elegant wrap at the chest. Since it is so straight up and narrow at the skirt, I thought it would be perfect for her, or what do you say?
The second dress is a party dress. When being Lady Wenovel, she wears turquoise, so I thought she could have something that reminds of that. I chose that color for the party dress so her wardrobe could be in some more bright merry colors. I've even put up her hair the way Wenovel has it, with the same crown, making her look less strict. Like it?

Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Winnow11

Drawing number two show's two dresses where I once again have borrowed design from Sarah Ellerton's comic "The Pheanix Requiem." Number one is a shopping/going to town/travel outfit with a matching hat. I made the coat gray to have a difference from both black and white, and gave it black bands. The coat in itself could have resembled to the white and black dress she wears while making Tyldaks wings, but I thought those colors would be to strict for this dress. The under dress is dark dark purple, for reasons I've mentioned earlier, and the gloves are made of the same silk fabric.
The other dress is inspired by a dress worn by Jeanne Crain in "The Fastest Gun Alive". I had actually thought of the collar for Leetah, but it went to Winnie instead so it would resemble the white fur collar she has originally has. I gave her a dark blue jacket over the black under dress, cause like I mentioned earlier, I've seen hints of dark blue on her feathers. The big white hat matches the collar perfectly and shows off her raven black hair even more.

Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Winnow12

Then, some more. The first on this picture, is another going out/shopping/travel outfit. This is based on the costumes worn in the play "The Spanish Fly", written by Franz Arnold and Ernst Bach, put up in Norway in 1990 and is worn by Anita Thallaug. I just love gray on her since that too straightens her hair.
The other dress is a daily home comfort dress, that also could work for an evening gown for dinner or something like that. It's made of dark purple silk, short sleeves and light gray laces on the neck and the sleeves. I had awful trouble making the wrappings of the skirt, but I made it at last. I gathered her hair in a silver buckle just to give her a homey look, and I thought white pearls would fit her neck just perfect since she has white pears in her headdress in EQ.

Ok I admit I just couldn't stop drawing Winnowill.  

Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 Winnow13

Then, fourth drawing. Here I am inspired by Wenovel again with the green dress. Here is a dark green skirt with a matching dark green waistcoat and a lighter green blouse with details. The outfit is also from "The Spanish Fly" in 1990, worn by Guri Schanke, just with other colors.
The other dress shows a black skirt with a white simple blouse, which I imagine she would use allot to frame her character, and wear at home. I gave her a knot at the back of her head on both dresses here since I imagine it could be practical for several outfits.  This could be the skirt from the first drawing I made of her, the one with the jacket, inspired by Judy's dress. I didn't think of that before I made this one.

I know she was given, as seen above in day 2, a gray riding dress, but I have yet to figure out how that one would look. So I'll add that one, along with another, later. I have an idea of how to do that one.

Last edited by Rainflower on Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Ride! Elfwest is back   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyFri Jan 27, 2017 9:55 am

And, since Pike and Vaya get's a second chance here, I think this can be fitting here as well:

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Ride! Elfwest is back   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyFri Jan 27, 2017 5:18 pm

*blinks and smiles from pointed ear-to-ear* Wow Rainflower, that is stunning art work. I love the dresses for Winnowill, all for matronly and that's exactly the way she would look heading into town to do business. Very Happy

And the art of Pike and Vaya is simply sweet, glad I get to bring those two together again. Cool

Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Ride! Elfwest is back   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyWed Feb 01, 2017 2:20 pm

@Wiseshaman wrote:
*blinks and smiles from pointed ear-to-ear* Wow Rainflower, that is stunning art work. I love the dresses for Winnowill, all for matronly and that's exactly the way she would look heading into town to do business.  Very Happy  

Thank you so much, I have to admit I was satisfied with her wardrobe. Glad I managed to catch her.

@Wiseshaman wrote:
And the art of Pike and Vaya is simply sweet, glad I get to bring those two together again.  Cool

Me too Very Happy So happy that everyone missing gets a second chance here at EW. Vaya, Crescent, Longbranch and Brownberry. Rain. Just love it
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PostSubject: ElfWest Day Five - Part Nine   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyThu Feb 02, 2017 10:36 pm

And here is the next piece of Day Five, written by me, Wiseshaman

Day Five - Part Nine

Rayek and Khavi make a bad discovery...and so does Pike.

The grass of the prairie bent easily under Leila's hooves as the black Arabian trotted alongside the small brown Saddle bred that Khavi rode. They didn't speak, not a single word, but if they did he'd ask her to wipe that satisfied grin off her face. It was reminding him too much of the afternoon spent in her arms...and legs...together on the bed....and the floor...and the dresser. Rayek wondered what P.W. was going to do with that floor rug, burn it hopefully.

The former bounty hunter looked skyward hoping like hell all those images would slide right out of his head and fall to the ground like so many rocks. It didn't happen. He was stuck with them.

"It's gonna rain." Khavi called out.

He took notice of the dark clouds that were rolling in, speeding the late afternoon along to its growing darkness. He imagined the falling rain cleansing his body and spirit, washing away the acts of his past, and not just the afternoon.

"Si, and it looks like a strong one too." Rayek answered.

"Damn, I love it when you talk lover." Khavi purred.

Ay, no more Spanish he chided himself as his companion gave a whoop spurring her horse on, riding over a small rise, and when Leila crested it Rayek caught sight of the shack. It looked like it was ready to collapse. How could anyone, let alone a gang, live in such a hovel? You could at least make it a little presentable Rayek thought. He kept Leila close to Khavi's horse as they pulled up to the empty paddock. He noticed how she looked around with a curious look and felt some relief that she finally got rid of that grin.

"Something is wrong?" He asked quickly.

"The paddock is usually packed with the horses." Khavi responded.

"Maybe Dave and his amigos rode out." Rayek said looking out over the open grass.

Then that old hunter instinct kicked in with a snap, the instinct that had saved his life so many times in the past. Something didn't feel right to him, he thought, as the hair on the back of Rayek's neck stood straight up and his shooting hand began to itch. Someone was watching them, someone out there on the open plains, hiding and watching. He slowly dropped from Leila's back and scanned all around with his sharp eyes, searching for a sign, a flash of metal from the fading sunlight to signal a position, anything to help them.

"Nah, it's late. Dave's inside by now. He don't like riding at night, and Pike probably dropped off a few bottles of his second best homemade wine for the boys. He brings it in those old clay jugs. It's kind of cute and silly, all at the same time. Dave would drink Pike's brew out of an old pig trough if he had to." Khavi said with a laugh hopping down from her horse.

Rayek paid her little attention as he kept looking around. And then, just on the edge of his vision, out on the prairie, he could see a couple of horses meandering and eating on the grass. They looked out of place to him, like the animals should have been in the paddock which was empty. One of them still had a saddle on its back.

"I think we should leave Nina. There is something very wrong here." Rayek whispered with eyes still locked on the horses.

"Nonsense," Khavis replied opening the top buttons on shirt to show off her cleavage, "we're here so let's get this going. Now, let me do all the talking to Dave."  

He looked down at her open shirt then back to her with raised eyebrows. "Who does the talking, you or them?"

"They," Khavi remarked with a sly smile while tucking her shirt in to make it tighter and push up her breast, "just keep Dave calm, kind a like you."

Khavi spun then, walking toward the door of the shack with her smug grin while Rayek only shook his head with a sneer and looked around uneasily. He unhooked the leather catch on his double holster rig freeing up both Colts. He had a bad feeling, that before he was back on Leila riding out of here, he was going to need them. Rayek turned back and started to follow Khavi, who was already at the door and pushing it open with a huge shove while yelling.

"What's up boys? It's too damn quiet in here-"

She froze instantly, at the sight just inside the door. The look on her face made Rayek stop for a second as his right hand shifted to the handle of the Colt. That ominous feeling of being watched shot up right into his throat, but Rayek didn't panic. As Khavi's face took on a look of horror he took two quick steps to the door, looked in, and drew back a step at what he saw.

"Que en el nombre de...(What in the name of)" Rayek whispered in shock.

Death, thick and strong, clung to the air that slowly rolled out of the shack. Two bodies laid flat on the earthen floor, just inside the door, and in the dimming sun light he could see more, all scattered about the inside. Tables and chairs had been flipped over, onto sides and backs, and each one seemed to be draped with some poor soul whose life had come to a violent end.

An unexpected pop sent Rayek spinning, drawing his Colt in one smooth fluid motion, cocking the hammer back with his thumb, to check and see if someone was riding up on them from behind. Suddenly, it seemed, as if there were all kinds of sounds on the wind and he wasn't sure if any of them were real or just his senses spinning out of control. He called over his shoulder to Khavi while watching everywhere at once. “We need to ride away from here Nina. We need to ride right now!"

"Dave?!" Khavi screamed out, ignoring him in her panic, as she walked into the shack.

"Khavi no!" Rayek spat.

He didn't know if whoever had killed these men had left the area, or was still in the shack, or just right over a rise. Rayek felt exposed and outnumbered, two bad feelings for a bounty hunter he thought. There wasn't any time to think though, he followed Khavi in through the door stepping over the two dead men. He left the door open keeping one eye on it and the other on Khavi.

"Nina, we cannot stay here." He hissed trying to get through to her.

"Dave?!" Khavi screamed out again.

A muffled groan escaped from someone to their right and Khavi shot over to it, dodging another body to get there. She found the injured person, a male elf Rayek had never seen before, and gently rolled him off his face into her lap and arms. "Slim? What the hell happened?" She whispered wiping away a streak of blood on the elf's cheek.

Rayek turned away from the pair, but kept his ear to their conversation while surveying the carnage inside the shack. He spotted more bodies on the other side against the walls, noting one human was leaning with his back against the wood, and his face too. Someone had twisted the man's neck so hard it snapped leaving the rustler to look backwards forever. And another had a fork, or some eating utensil, sticking out the side of his neck. There were seven in all, some had stabs and cuts while others looked like a brute simply crushed and mangled their bodies with evil efficiency. In all his travels, nothing matched anything close to this in Rayek's memory.

"They came...in so fast..." Slim wheezed. Khavi looked down to see the elf's stomach riddled with knife wounds.

"Who Slim, who was it?" Khavi asked quietly.

"Two men...one pure white...the other tall..." He wheezed again.

His lung was punctured Rayek thought, it wouldn't be long now. He saw what looked like a separate room, at the end of the shack across from an old stove, the door to it slightly ajar. It was the perfect place to hide and ambush someone coming to check on a friend he thought. With easy steps, he started toward the door with his Colt at the ready, finger on the trigger. He still kept listening to Khavi and the elf talk, taking mental notes of everything Slim was saying.

"Where's Dave?" Khavi asked.

"I...don't...don't know..." Slim wheezed harder.

He passed the last body on the floor, which was missing its left arm he realized, then a shadow passed by the jam of the door. Rayek slowly pulled his left Colt out and took another easy step as the shadow passed by the bottom of the door this time.

"You...got to...go...go Khavi!" Slim suddenly spat grabbing her arm.

"I can't leave you like this Slim." Khavi whispered back.

Rayek watched the door intently, almost staring through the wood the closer he got, knowing if anything or anyone even made a scratching sound he was going to let loose with a barrage of bullets. He was a step away, just one small step, as he heard Slim demand one more time for Khavi to go.

"Get the hell out...now!" Slim coughed.

"You hang in there Slim...you've seen worse." Khavi whispered again knowing this was it. Her friend would be crossing over soon.

He put the butt of his left Colt high up on the door and gave it a push making the hinges creak just a little, like a soft whine. Rayek readied his right Colt and followed the path of the door covering the whole room slowly. The first thing he saw was the bird on the ledge of a square cut out of the wood that acted like a window. The cause of the shadow on the door jamb he thought. The second thing he saw was the body slumped over the upturned box frame of a bed under the window. Rayek stepped back and turned away from the scene, and hopefully any memory of it, looking to the ground. The bounty hunter had seen death, murder and killing, but this...this was so much worse. This was butchering.

A small clacking sound caught his attention and Rayek looked up to the old stove at the back corner, or what was hanging just above it. A slew of those old clay jugs, the ones Pike used that were cute and silly at the same time, the same ones that old Dave didn't care for, were roped together by their handles and swung gently from said rope right over the stove. The bounty hunter followed the rope up with his eyes, seeing it pass over a rafter and back down to the leg of an over turned table. That's when he saw the small piece of wood that was red hot on one end, the end that was now burning through the rope that held the jugs in place, and at the end that wasn't fired yet was hooked to a rope that ran to the front door. It only took a second for Rayek to figure out what had happened, and what was about to happen.

When Khavi had come through the door with a hard push the second rope, attached the cool end of the wood, yanked the log right out of the stove and under the first rope. The red-hot end had almost burnt its way through that rope now, and when it finally did, the shack would probably burn down in a few seconds, it was downright diabolical, and ingenious.

"Where's his head?"

The question brought Rayek out of his thoughts to see Khavi standing just a few feet from him, a look of curious horror on her face as she stared into the small room. He shook his head while answering, a look of curious horror on his face as well.

"Is that Dave?" He asked her back, about the body in the room.

"Yeah...but where's his head?" Khavi asked again looking from Rayek to the room and then back slowly.

"I do not know," Rayek said before turning back to the stove hearing the first rope start to weaken and snap, "I do not think we have time to look either."

"What?" Khavi barely got out when the rope holding the jugs finally snapped.

Rayek wasted no time moving with practiced ease. He spun the Colt in his left hand on his trigger finger, holstering it as it came full circle while he took a step forward. He grabbed Khavi by the arm with his now free left hand and started for the door as the jugs dropped onto the stove and broke apart spilling their contents all over the fire. It took a second for Pike's brew to catch, but once the fumes ignited Rayek felt the whoosh of the flames as the conflagration erupted and the loss of air in the confined space sucked at his lungs. The old dried wood of the shack caught and burned out of control almost in an instant. All at once the room became an unbearable inferno driving him and Khavi back to the entrance, the rear of the shack and the small room where Dave lay turned into a wall of fire.

The pair stumbled forward dodging the bodies, but then Khavi stopped by a large water barrel and tore the top off with a great pull. It was the only thing the attackers left standing upright Rayek thought as he yelled at her.  “We do not have time for a drink!"

Khavi ignored him and plunged her whole arm into the water inside and fished around for a second, sloshing water out as the fire spread overhead across the roof in a wave. Rayek was about to grab her and drag the crazed woman from the shack when she pulled her arm out, and in her hand, she held a bag tied to a brick.

"I ain't leavin' this to burn!" Khavi yelled running for the door now.

The bounty hunter rolled his eyes and shook his head in disbelief following Khavi out as the roof fell in with a loud crash. He had seen the shape of a money belt clearly through the bag as she held it up. Rayek ran to the horses and pulled them away from the paddock as the whole shack fell in sending sparks leaping into the darkening sky. In a matter of seconds, he and Khavi had to back away even farther as the heat from the large bonfire was too much to take. He stood watching it all go up in smoke, his chance at getting answers to his questions about the night his father died, his chance at finding a small bit of peace. Then Khavi was yelling at the fire, at him.

"Why would someone do that?" She screamed.

"I do not know," Rayek yelled back to be heard over the fire.

"It's you," Khavi said pointing to him with the hand that held the bag, "Dave would still be alive if it wasn't for you."

The bounty hunter turned to see a different person standing in front of him. Gone was the free-spirited female of just a few minutes ago, who laughed off dangerous encounters and made love like devil possessed. Whatever foundation of rock she built herself to stand on was fast falling apart. Life will do that to you Rayek thought. It will kick you right in the teeth when you think everything is going your way. He felt a twinge at his heart for her, but then he wasn't about to be blamed for getting seven men murdered and burned.

"Me? I had nothing to do with this senora!" Rayek countered

"You didn't kill Dave, you didn't take off his head or burn his body, but you can bet a plug nickel if you hadn't been askin' about those damn horses he'd still be walking around." Khavi screamed again.

"And who else knew about those horses, senora? Maybe it was not even the horses that your friend was killed over. Maybe it was some other person who Dave transgressed against that decided to extract some revenge? It seems to me that your amigo's past finally caught up with him." Rayek countered back.

She stepped back and stared at the fire that use to be a shack where she shared a laugh with Slim and a drink with the youngin' Cole, who when she felt like it, would let him run his hand up along her leg and kiss her neck. It was all harmless fun, everyone knew she only slept with the ones she wanted and none of them fit the bill. It was only Dave, and only the rustler, that she gave herself to because out of them all he respected her in a strange way. He treated her as an equal, with a gun or a drink. Dave never gave no slack to her, and she never asked for any from him, which in the end was why she loved him. The rustler let her be what she was, a wild Mustang that could run free without a fence or a rope around her neck.

And yet he was a thief, a disreputable person who couldn't be trusted. Dave would steal all your money, strip you naked, and ride off laughing with you tied to a tree. She had seen him do it, but then she had also seen him stop at the first chance to tell someone to go and fetch the unfortunate soul. Dave was no killer, not by anyone's imagination, but here on the frontier all it takes is to make the wrong person mad Khavi thought. You step on the wrong man's toes and you're a done deal, might as well tell PW to get the box ready and the hole dug. Still, sweet disreputable Dave deserved better than this.

"He didn't deserve this?" Khavi whispered coming to that realization.

"No one deserved this senora." Rayek said beside her.

"He was my friend...this was my home." Khavi continued, looking down to the bag in her hand.

"Where will you go now?" Rayek asked staring at the woman. Whatever sorrow she felt was gone now he could see it. She was back to being Khavi again.

"I'll find some place, maybe P.W.'s for the night. I need to think." Khavi replied, tearing the bag free from the rock and putting the money belt in the front of her shirt.

"Keep your eyes up and your ears open Khavi. Whoever did this might come looking for you?" Rayek said calmly.

"You do the same lover." Khavi remarked with nod while hopping up into the saddle of her horse.

Rayek watched her ride off knowing the money she had pulled from the barrel would buy her a place to sleep and she would get her thoughts together. And the fact she didn't say goodbye only meant she was going to pop back up somewhere in his life, probably for a scratch when she got an itch. Of course, as a gentleman, he would not engage in such actions, but the bounty hunter just might he thought with a smile riding off toward Voll's ranch.  

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He turned back from the sight of the rolling black cloud of smoke that raced skyward and only smiled. Someone had come home and finished the work of covering up their work for them. Pettimore shifted in the saddle of his pale Appaloosa and smiled happily while riding next to his companion, the quiet hulk Mr. Clayton. He pulled out the leather notebook from his jacket pocket and looked it over while speaking.

"Well, this is an auspicious start for us sir. We have ensured the silence of the weak link in our endeavor. We have gained the knowledge of who has the map, and we already knew who had the rifle. Yes, not in town for a day and we're already halfway through the list."

There was no response from the hulk, only the whinny of his horse. It didn't faze John Lee one bit.

"I think I'll take in the show of that sweet looking Desert Rose. That way I can have some entertainment and keep an eye on our interests. What do you think of that Mr. Clayton? We can't have anyone distracting our little 'birds' from completing their tasks now, can we? " John Lee asked waiting eagerly for a response.

There wasn't one as usual.

"Well thank you Mr. Clayton, that was a good idea and I'm glad you approved. I would, if I were you, clean myself up before we get to town though. It seems that rustler bled on you when you removed his head." John Lee said still smiling.

The pair rode off into the falling sun, no one around to see them, or to become the wiser to their real reason for being in Two-Moons.

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It was just about right.

Pike could tell by the fact that as soon as his brew passed the lips your mouth, everything started to burn ever so slow. This was perfect for second best. He turned to Homer, the old mangy mutt that was his only companion, and tapped the glass jar he used to sip his brew with while smiling broadly.

"Almost there Homer, almost there!"

Yes, he didn't finish school, but that didn't make him a dummy. No sir, he didn't know all that fancy math and writing, but he didn't need that stuff. He could count his money thank you, pay his bills thank you, and cook up some of the best damn brew this old burg would taste. Who needed to know history when you had his system for brewing?

You see, old Pike had a system, a gauge if you will, that told him what stage his batch was at. If a sip took a few seconds before your mouth started to burn, then it was a third best batch and that usually went to Picknose's saloon and the backroom at Greymung's for the gamblers. If it did what this batch was doing now, burning as soon as it hit your lips, then it was a second-best batch, and that still went to Picknose and Greymung, but only for the customers willing to pay for it.

And then there was the stage he was shooting for tonight.

The one where there was nothing but the crisp smack and outright burn of pure alcohol as the brew crossed your lips and touched your tongue. Now this, his finest brew, wasn't for everyone and he rarely made it because he couldn't sell it. Pike did sell it to P.W. sometimes, but he didn't want to know what the mortician used it for since P.W. didn't drink. Hell, most men in town gagged and just spit it out right back on the ground, bunch of heathens. And the women, well they just passed out when they tried it. Nope, this was all for him Pike thought as he put more wood on the fire under the kettle that the mash was in, upping the heat just a bit would speed up the 'cure'.

Homer suddenly sat up and barked loudly grabbing Pike's attention. It wasn't time for a visit from Marshall Stump or Dart. In truth, he didn't worry about the law, he wasn't hurting anyone and Stump knew it so they just let it go. So, who could be wondering around here?

Homer let out another bark and rose to a standing position. The hair on the back of the mutt's neck stood up in a big bunch and so did the spot along the back by the tail. Pike knew old Homer, he only got this riled up when a stranger was coming, and since he was off in the hills outside of town, up high enough, no one should be looking for him. Pike reached over next to the wall of his log cabin slowly, going for the Spencer repeater that was leaning there. He was sure as hell glad he traded those three bottles of his second best to those soldiers passing through, heading to Fort Stone Holt. Pike pulled the rifle over and cocked the hammer back.

Homer growled deep and howled as something broke a tree limb just out of sight. Pike brought the rifle up to his shoulder, the stock pressing lightly into the joint, and he got ready to fire.

Pike almost pulled the trigger when he saw the horse’s head pop into view. He was glad he didn't shoot as the Morgan walked right up to the house and stopped by the front door, like it expected to be invited in or something. He lowered the rifle while whispering to Homer, who was circling the horse barking and growling still. “Well don't that beat all,”

Then he saw the person tied across the saddle with the bloody rags, or what might be clothes. He walked up in shock, eyes locked on the person draped across the saddle, and all the blood that was everywhere. The horse whinnied loudly and he saw the foamy sweat all across its chest and legs. It must have been running hard he thought.

"Whoa boy," Pike said calming the sweaty Morgan before screaming at the dog, "quiet down Homer, give an elf a chance to think!"

He reached down and gently moved the long black hair to reveal the long-pointed ear of an elf, and the really pretty face that was covered with spots of blood. The elf was a she, a woman, all cut up and dead.

What happened he thought? How did she get tied to her horse, if it was her horse, and all cut up? Pike looked over to Homer and whispered.  "I guess we do need to go and get Marshall Stump. I mean she's dead and all."

He was still wondering about it all when a weak voice spoke up, scaring him damn near out of his skin, even causing him to jump a bit.

"Please...help me."

She was alive, damn, if she wasn't alive.

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Ride! Elfwest is back   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyMon Feb 06, 2017 5:03 pm

WOAH:shock: I had forgotten about the burning at Kahvi's and John Lee's interfearance with that. But I do recall what's coming up after that, OMG I can't wait cheers
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PostSubject: ElfWest Day Five - Part Ten   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyTue Feb 07, 2017 6:48 pm

@Rainflower wrote:
WOAH:shock:  I had forgotten about the burning at Kahvi's and John Lee's interfearance with that. But I do recall what's coming up after that, OMG I can't wait cheers

Oh yes, miss Rainflower, it's about to get real exciting. So, here is the next piece of Day Five, written by me, Wiseshaman.

Day Five - Part Ten

Skywise has the 'talk', as does Sun Toucher and Toorah, and the boys get tossed out Silver Springs with a possible lynch mob on their trail!

The cell was small and confining, but at least it was warm and dry Eyes High thought as she rubbed the side of her husband's head which lay in her lap. He was resting after the doctor had come by and examined the wound in his side. When the doc told her he'd be okay in a few days, as long as the wound was allowed to heal and there was no jostling, she felt the sweet relief of release in her heart, like the cold hand that was gripping it finally let go. The blood loss was the thing keeping him down now the doc said, not the wound. She remembered saying a small prayer at hearing the news while letting go of the fear that she might lose Shale. It wasn't like her to look back into the past, it was almost against her nature, but Eyes High slipped into the fog of her younger days, to the memories for comfort, all the way back to an earlier time back east when this little elf with grey hair kept showing up on her doorstep asking to take her to the candy store, asking to take her to the fair, and finally just asking to court her. She had always said ‘no’ fervently to Shale, she said no to every other suitor too for that matter, but he was so damn persistent. He took all her no's with a smile and a wave, all her negative responses with a laugh, and always came back the next day. He wouldn't let her be alone to retreat from life, from herself.

What would she do now Eyes High thought? What would she do without him?

Then, as if the small elf could read her mind, Shale reached over to the hand that wasn't rubbing his head and squeezed it. She smiled and gave a small laugh thinking that was his favorite thing to do, let her rub his head till it was bald practically. Eyes High heard the voices up front and listened in as it was probably going to concern her fate. She heard the rumble of thunder and wondered if the storm outside was going to be as bad as the one brewing inside. Then, like it was supposed to happen, Skywise stopped by the door to the cell and stood there looking at them.

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"What is wrong my husband?"

The sound in Toorah's voice acted like a truth serum Sun Toucher thought, a drug that he couldn't resist. Where Leetah was a subtle as a sledgehammer with her questions, repeatedly hitting you until you gave in, his wife was the opposite. In her younger days, she had used his oldest daughter's method to get him to talk, but now with the years of maturity on her side Toorah used another tactic, and she used it very well. It was like fine chocolate, you could keep saying no to the delicate chunk on your plate, keep denying to touch it because you didn't need it, and then suddenly, it was gone.

"Your husband has made a foolish mistake and he does not want his precious family to be punished for it." He said leaning back on the couch in his office.

Toorah kept his hand in hers and squeezed it. "The Sun Toucher I love does not make foolish mistakes and I will not hear otherwise. Now tell me why we had to send our ninas' away this afternoon."

So, Sun Toucher told her the whole ugly mess, from start to finish. How he and Voll had tried to fight the Railroad men back east until it was apparent there was no way to save the growing town of Two-Moons from the ravenous beast, and yet out of the dark despair they found a lifeline. The men of the Railroad would leave the town be, build the last station heading west and the turnaround junction a day to the north on a parcel of land that was acceptable, in exchange for a small task that involved five white perfect Arabian Stallions. This way both the growing communities of Two-Moons and Silver Springs could benefit from the new train. Of course, it was all a lie Sun Toucher said with a shake of his head.

"Why is that?" Toorah asked.

"As soon as they approached us with the offer it felt wrong, sinister. And then Senor Voll found out that the horses were to go to Djunsland, to someone in secret. The horses were to be taken over the border to a special location at night. Both Senor Voll and I felt this was too dangerous for us, we had no idea what we were doing, so he suggested we bring in someone to act as a go between for this part, but that we also needed someone to help us discover who the horses were going to. We had to know who the horses were going to so we would not be left in the dark. We were blind and that is never good when doing business like this."

"Who did you bring in?" Toorah asked quickly.

"We went to Guttlekraw first and asked for his help, and in exchange, we would not force him out of the land deals in the area. He found a rustler, a man named Toothpick Dave, to take the horses to the meet across the border." Sun Toucher explained.

"Why did they call him 'Toothpick'?"

"Because he carried a knife in his boot that was long and slender I think, but that is not important right now," Sun Toucher hissed with a shake of his head and hand.

"Well what happened?" Toorah asked agitated, also with a wave of her own hand.

"Ingen was killed the night the men for Guttlekraw came for the horses. He was not supposed to be in the barn at night...he...it was over before I could stop them." Sun Toucher whispered.

Toorah gasped putting it together finally, seeing now what had caused the commotion that morning so many years ago. Yet, she still didn't understand why her husband, who loved Ingen, had turned on his son the way he did. It didn't make sense to anyone and now she wanted to know why.

"Is that why you treated Rayek so awful?" Toorah whispered.

"Si, two days after he was killed Senor Voll called me for a meeting. We met where we always meet, out in the north field at an old camp that the gauchos and ranch hands use sometimes. When I got to the camp Senor Voll was waiting with a box that had been delivered to his house by a messenger." Sun Toucher said stopping to get his breath, his thoughts in order.

His wife waited respectfully understanding he needed to say what was coming, what had been locked away for far too long. Sun Toucher started again as she held his hand letting him talk without an interruption.

"I asked him if we were meeting because of what happened to Ingen, what those criminals Guttlekraw had sent had done. He only shook his head and motioned for me to check the box by the ring of stones for the campfire. When I looked inside...there was nothing but a bloody rag with a pair of ears and a tongue."

"What?" Toorah gasped in horror, but if her husband noticed he didn't stop talking to ask why

"Senor Voll said the body pieces belonged to the second man he hired, the one who was to find out who the horses were going to. The last piece of information the man sent to Senor Voll was a message that it was not the Djun or his son who was to get the horses. It was someone who he was having trouble finding information on. Someone killed the man for asking questions Toorah, and I feared they would do the same to Rayek?"

"Oh, my husband," Toorah whispered with sorrow sympathizing with Sun Toucher.

"Do you see now my wife why I did what I did too Rayek? I could not risk his life; lose him like I did Ingen. These men of the Railroad made a deal with a monster in Djunsland, someone who kills without remorse. To have their train cross the border the men of the Railroad will not think twice to destroy a town or kill a boy searching for justice. " Sun Toucher said.

"No, I do not see my husband. You could have turned them down, walked away from these men of the Railroad." Toorah claimed

Sun Toucher only smiled at his wife knowing well she would have fought them, to her last breath, and that's why he loved her. "My loving wife, you are so much stronger then I was, but would you risk my life? Would you risk the life of our little hijas? These men of the Railroad did not change the course of the tracks the train rides on till the horses were delivered. Whoever took ownership of the horses killed to keep their name a secret. To risk anyone else was foolish."

And then it dawned on Toorah, like the rising sun. Her husband and Voll had two choices to make, one bad and the other worse. If they chose not to take the horses across the border, then the town of Two-Moons was lost and if they did, then it was a deal struck with a person who had no regard for life. As she ran it all through her head Sun Toucher spoke up.

"I did what I did to keep Rayek alive. He would have sought, searched forever for his father's killers. And what would the person who killed Senor Voll's spy do? I could not stand to see his ears or anything else delivered to our front doorstep like that, and yet he has come home after so long doing just that."

"Rayek is back!" Toorah gasped.

"Si, which is why I am going to talk with him and tell him everything I have told you." Sun Toucher said with a smile.

"Sun Toucher..." Toorah said letting it drop off.

"He needs to know the truth Toorah...he deserves it. I will no longer keep it from him, and if that means my ears end up in a box then that is my punishment." Sun Toucher stated.

"So, that is why you sent Leetah and Shenshen away, so they would not be near and in danger. But I will not leave you Sun Toucher. I will stand by your side my husband, even though you are wrong." Toorah remarked with a shake of her head.

"And what am I wrong about my love?" Sun Toucher asked with incredulity.

"Your ears are far too big to fit in a box." She said with a warm smile.

"Ah, las orejas no son eso grande! (My ears are not that big!)" Sun Toucher said with his own playful smile.

He was happy, all though still concerned, that Toorah would not leave his side. Her strength would help him in the days to come, but at what price.

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Cutter stood in the front room of the jail holding his anger in, barely. The Sheriff, a tall amiable human on any other day he was sure, stood just a few feet away with his arms across his chest shaking his head. It was like two Buffalo fighting over the same patch of grass Redlance thought before he headed out of the jail and into the town with a deputy in tow to keep an eye out for him.

"Listen son, I don't want to make you all leave tonight, not with that one elf in the back cell shot and all, but there's no way you all can stay the night." The Sheriff remarked.

"And you can't keep Boone off our backs for one night, one damn night!" Cutter responded grinding his teeth.

"Son, this ain't Two-Moons. Here a man will kill you for nothin' more than whatever coin you got in your pockets at the time. And you can bet your last nickel Boone will be stirring things up, rustling the locals to his side to get even for what happened up at that shack." The Sheriff responded calmly, in control.

The Major stepped back in his mind and started to think for a second. As soon as they left what remained of the shack Boone had been spouting off at the mouth about getting even with Skywise and Redlance. He particularly had a thing for the Captain, something about a gun and shooting him in the gut. So maybe the Sheriff was right in getting them out of town before another shoot out happened, before more blood was shed over nothing but some man's pride. But Shale was in a bad way and needed time to rest, or they could just dig a hole right now for the little elf, maybe a nice one by the side of the road under the spreading branches of some tree. Red had to have a busted rib; his whole side was turning black from where the renegade hit him. Hell, they all needed rest, but it was looking like there wasn't any time to do it Cutter thought as the Sheriff spoke up again.

"Listen, I sent Marshall Stump a telegram about this and told him to get a doc and his deputies riding for the town ASAP. If you leave in a few hours, you'll be on the trail just as they leave Two-Moons and you should hit right in the middle. It's the best play right now Cutter, the only play that keeps my town from getting all shot to hell and back, and your crew alive."

"I don't know, the storm’s gonna come down hard out there. Shale's bad off enough, add rain to that and he'll get a fever. He’ll be dead before we get to Two-Moons." Cutter replied.

"It's gonna be gamble either way Cutter, but the odds are a might better if you get out of town and away from Boone. The man runs the bank, which pays for the silver that’s dug up, and that runs the miners and the saloons around here son. All he has to do is blink and you're fighting off an army before you know it." The Sheriff said.

He was right Cutter thought. At least on the trail they could see something coming for them, here in town there were too many corners and nooks for someone to take a shot at you. His father called it being in a ‘shooter’s coffin’, Cutter just called it downright dangerous. He looked over to see Skywise standing at the cell door to where they let Shale lay down after the town doc looked him over. He thought back to when he came walking off the hill with Shale and Eyes High, the lost look in the Captain's eyes as they helped the two onto a wagon before heading back to town, and then the whisper Skywise let go of just as he walked up.

"They're my parents Cutter...it's my ma and pa."

Then there was that to think of on the trip.

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"How are you two doing?"

Eyes High didn't really know what to say the question. What do you tell the son you left behind so many years ago, to go west and try to make a life, how you're doing? She only smiled and answered the question with a strange sort of separation. She knew he knew who they were, could tell from the look in his eyes when they came down with Cutter, so it was up to him to decide where they went from here. Eyes High wanted to hear him say just one word but knew better then to actually expect to hear him say it. "We're okay...what did the Sheriff say?"

"We have to head out in a couple of hours, all of us." Skywise said stepping in and over to the bunk.

She saw the look in his eyes, saw the concern and worry, and she felt a little better. Maybe he didn't hate them, maybe he could say the word after all. She didn't want to ask him to do it though, everything in due time she thought.

"Shale can't ride a horse. The doc said he has to rest and can't move." Eyes High whispered.

"I'll be okay...I'll do what we need to do." Shale whispered weakly.

"Don't worry. We're taking care of it so you won't have to ride back. The Sheriff said he knew of someone we could get a wagon from and Redlance went to see about it. We're gonna take you back to Two-Moons in style." Skywise quipped, taking a seat at the end of the bunk just an inch away from Shale's feet.

"We'll pay you back once we find some work in Two-Moons, I promise." Eyes High said with a hard nod of her head.

If she expected her son to give in she was surprised as he waved her off and spoke with a sudden firmness. "We won't take anything for this, especially Cutter and Red."

"Will you take our thanks?" Shale asked weakly.

"Sure," Skywise said with a laugh equally as weak and Eyes high could see he wanted to say something but was having trouble getting it out, "I barely remember, I mean I know who you are, just not why and I want to know why. I need to know why."

"I'll answer anything you ask." Eyes High replied with a nod of her

"Alright, how did you two end up in the shack?" Skywise asked with a shrug of his shoulders.

She was thinking ahead before even answering, anticipating the conversation might go farther than just what happened in the shack. That it might be the start of trying to cross a bridge which she had wanted to reach the other side of for so long.

"We've been trying to make money since we got into town a couple of months ago, save up to head back east. We heard Twitch, the old miner you saw, was about to hit a vein and decided to ask if he could take us on for a share. Damn, but if that old man didn’t ride up and drag us into the shack with Boone hot on his tail. If it wasn't for you three, especially you, we'd probably have been blown to bits." Eyes High explained ending it on a hiss.

"We never meant for the miner to die, but I'm not real sorry for it either. He cheated anyone who worked for him, probably would have cheated us." Shale added.

"So, you were heading back east?" Skywise asked, sounding like he was mentally noting it in his mind.

"We've been trying to get back east, back home, for as long as I care to remember." Eyes High commented.

"You must have had something really important to get back to?" Skywise asked carefully, but pointedly

She smiled knowing now what was going on, what he was looking for. "I never wanted to leave you, but Shale and I decided we could make a better life for you and us out on the frontier. We could own land, something that would never happen back east, and we could live as a happy family. The hardest day of my life was leaving you, but all I wanted was more than what we could get back east. We never guessed it would end up like this, all this time away from you." Eyes High answered with a whisper.

"Why did it take you so long to get back?" Skywise asked again with his voice at the same volume as Eyes High.

"It seemed if we didn't have bad luck we'd have no luck at all." Shale said with a smile.

Skywise laughed and looked at his father with a side glance. "That bad, huh?"

"You wouldn't believe..." Shale said taking a deep breath.

"We didn't have much when we set out for the frontier. We had heard and read there was nothing but opportunity out here, as much as you could grab. Well, every time we tried to grab it the thing just slipped away. Shale did every job he could take, I worked anything that a respectable lady could do, and it just never amounted to what we had thought it would be, what it supposed to be. We bounced from burg to burg and it was always the same, not enough money to buy land and just enough to survive on. Then we heard about the cities in Djunsland, how they were like back east and the work there paid a whole hell-of-a-lot more than the frontier." Eyes High stated.

"You went to Djunsland?" Skywise asked with surprise.

"Yep, and we made real good money at the start, until the people we worked for were taken away by the Army and its secret part, the men with the red ties. The people were Maquis, the resistance to the Djun, and because we worked for them, because we were friends, they marked us as Maquis too." Eyes High explained.

"And when the Djun thought you were with the resistance, you were given a slow death." Shale offered.

"Really? Secret Army and red ties?" Skywise asked seeing the frustration in Eyes High and the pain in Shale's eyes.

"They locked us away at first in a cell like this one for a year, kept us away from everyone we knew. When they finally accepted the fact, we were just regular old elves from the Abode, they let us out." Eyes High offered.

"But we might as well have stayed in that cell, that prison. We were as good as Maquis to the Djun and that was it." Shale said with another deep breath.

"Every job we took after that didn't last, and every place we stayed threw us out. We wandered from town to town, living on hand outs and what good will we could get, until it got out we were suspected Maquis. As soon as it got around everything dried up and we had to move on." Eyes High added with a whisper, like some hidden shame.

"Why didn't you just come back home? If you left this fella behind why not just come back home to him?" Skywise asked with another whisper.

This was it she thought, the question that's been burning for so long. The one she didn't want to answer suddenly, so her husband Shale did. "We tried, but the Army was keeping a watch on us. We tried once to get across the border and they turned us back. The men in the red ties wouldn't let us work and they wouldn't let us go home...slow death."

"We tried one other time to sneak back across. We paid a man to help us. He was supposed to be an expert in getting 'packages' across the border without the Army catching him. It didn't work with us. They hung him and threatened to do the same thing with us if we tried leave again." Eyes High sneered.

"So, you've been a prisoner with no prison for all this time?" Skywise asked.

"Yep," was all Shale said with a shake of his head.

"If we could have grown wings and flew back we would have. But we're out now, thanks to the end of the war, and we're back east, but it's no good if we don't have a son who can forgive us." Eyes High offered, looking at Skywise with tears in her eyes.

"It's not a matter of forgiveness. It's a matter of time. I just need to get to know you again, before I can say the words. I just need to open that part of me again." Skywise said with a grin.

Eyes High was speechless for the first time in her life and she hoped her son would take the small nods and tears for the joy that they were. She looked down to see Shale tearing up to before speaking. "Take all the time you need. We're not going anywhere anytime soon."

"Really? That's good to hear, because Two-Moons is growing fast and could probably use a couple of hard workers. Maybe you two should think about sticking around instead of heading back east." Skywise offered with a smile.

"You think so?" Shale asked with a hopeful smile. Eyes High just smiled and closed her eyes afraid this was just some dream and she might wake up.

"Sure, what did you two do in Djunsland before it all fell in?" Skywise asked.

"We were bakers." Shale stated proudly.

"Bakers?" Skywise asked back trying to contain his sudden laughter. In all the thousands of dreams he had about his parents, not a one had he ever pictured them as bakers.

"Stop laughing," Eyes High said with her own giggle, "we were pretty good. We made cakes, pies, and cookies...the whole thing."

Skywise held up his hands in mock surrender while speaking and laughing. "I would never, ever, disparage the vocation of a baker."

"Well that's good. Do they have a bakery in Two-Moons?" Shale asked.

"No," Skywise said with a shake of his head getting the laughter under control, "a small candy store, but not a bakery. I know an elf though that can help. He runs the local restaurant with his wife and he may just be inclined to see about opening one."

"Really?" Eyes High asked this time.

"Longbranch would be more than willing to help, that's if you decide to stick around. I think you'll find us all agreeable once you get there." A voice called to them from the cell door.

They turned to see Cutter leaning against the hinges with a warm smile on his face. The three had been so deep in their conversation they never heard him approach or stand there listening.

"How are you two doing?" The major asked Eyes High.

"If you get the wagon we'll be all right." Shale answered closing his eyes to rest again.

The cell went silent as they watched the small elf carefully, making sure his chest fell from breathing. As soon as they were sure he was okay Eyes High looked to Cutter with a warm smile. She didn't say a word. She didn't need to.

Cutter smiled back joyful, the Captain had his family back, that the little boy didn't have to wait by the door anymore.

But then they had to get back to Two-Moons in one piece and Boone sure as hell wasn't about to let happen.

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PostSubject: ElfWest Day Five - Interlude Two   Let's Ride! Elfwest is back - Page 6 EmptyTue Feb 14, 2017 6:24 pm

Ok, so this piece was written by our great, and missing, friend White Ghost. What sucks, is this piece is the second part of the introduction of the awesome OC Raven, and the first Interlude has unfortunately gone missing. So, we'll just have to roll with this and let our imaginations run wild.

Day Five - Interlude Two

The second piece, or interlude, for White Raven. We find her getting settled into her room at the boarding house.

White Raven stood in her rented room, the oil lamp turned low, just barely enough to see by. A human, she reflected, would probably find it too dark-- but then, she wasn't anywhere near human-- her sight, her hearing-- all her senses-- were better than your average human's. She'd never noticed if she was stronger-- she doubted that-- but she was both faster and lighter on her feet-- a benefit that had gotten her out of more than one sticky situation.

She was unpacking slowly, laying out her few belongings on the broad, flat plane that was the bedspread. It was a pale pink, edged in satin-- no doubt from a catalogue and shipped from the East.

Pink wasn't really to her taste. It was a fine line that took pink from a pretty pastel shade to downright gaudy. The same could be said about almost any colour, but it was pink in particular she despised. It was the one colour her nurses seemed to associate with making her "look pretty" when she was growing up. Pink hair ribbons, pink skirts. Even pink wallpaper. . .

Her uncle had been more than generous, but what did he know about raising children-- or picking out girls' clothing?

Raven smiled at the memories. Hopefully she'd find something suitable to her uncle's tastes and he could move West. . .

There wasn't much on the bedspread, because there was only so much you could pack in a haversack and saddlebags and still leave room for supplies. The clothes were folded still, but rather wrinkled from being packed so tightly for so long. There were two slightly off-white, starchy shirts, a long forest-green velvet tunic, black leather vest, spare britches, warm woolen socks, a matching crimson set of dangling tougue, mittens-on-a-string and a broad sash. There was a knit sweater for cool days, and she was wearing the lace-edged nightshirt. It might be a bit much, but she'd always found it was better to be able to remove a layer than want one and not have it. She regretted not bringing something nice; she had several lovely dresses but had left them all with her uncle. They took too much space and were simply too impractical to bring.

"Town this size must have a seamstress or two," she muttered to herself. Had the lady running the cafe mentioned one? She wasn't sure.

But her description of the boarding house's amenities had been spot on. She'd mentioned that to the young clerk-- Adhri?-- something close-- it made her laugh.

The clerk had stared at her for a moment when she walked in, looking for all the world as if she'd seen a ghost. But she'd happily given her a room-- the last one, in fact. they were full up; several out-of-town guests and some from the Spanish rancheria nearby. The main house was under repair, Adhri told her, and the ranchers' daughters needed somewhere to stay for the time being.

'Raven had thought that a bit odd-- even if the main hacienda wasn't livable, surely there were suitable outbuildings? But she didn't inquire further, it being none of her business.

'Raven had stabled her horse out back without any difficulty; there was an adjoining stable. The two "dogs" were welcome as well-- as long as they didn't disturb other guests or damage the property. She'd locked them in the stable as well. She would miss their company tonight, their doggy breath and fluffy warm fur. Not only were they good company on the trail, but they made excellent guards when she was asleep-- their animal senses keener than her elfin ones could ever be. They had saved her life more than once-- between bears, bandits, and once a stampeding herd of bison.

The clothing went into the chest of drawers beside the bed, all neatly put away. She stared at it and smiled wryly-- it didn't fill even half the available space. "If I stay here long enough, I'm sure I'll have a chance to fill the rest." She ran a pale finger around the bottom edge of the open drawer. It was spotless.

She was expecting a knock on the door, having sent down her traveling clothes to be cleaned and mended-- the long coat in particular. While she was waiting she'd had a bath: the works-- claw-footed tub, bubbles, a jar of fancy lavender-scented soap-- none of that harsh, homemade lye stuff-- and hot water, as hot as she could stand!

It was pure bliss.

She'd sudsed and rinsed and soaked until her fingers and toes went all pruney and wrinkled, the water barely lukewarm. She'd forgotten how nice it was to simply be clean. Bathing in a pond or running creek was fine and good, but in her humble opinion, nothing would beat a hot bath. Plus you didn't have to worry about leeches, or curious animals making off with your clothes! That had been more than a little awkward. You always heard jokes about the squirrel-in-the-pants, never expected to actually have one down there. . .

She pushed the bright window curtains wide and opened the window itself as far as it would go. Rain had been threatening most of the day. It began just after she'd finished her late lunch, the fat heavy drops splattering in the dusty road. A minute later the sky turned black and it started in earnest, a hard, cold downpour. It had tapered off some and was spitting now, just a little. That was a good thing, though-- made for a rich harvest later on.

The dark had come early, with the clouds. There was a slight breeze that had kicked up, blowing in off the prairie-- the scent of damp earth, sage and the sweet, clean scent of the rain itself. You didn't get that smell in the city. Rain there tamped down the busy, city smells but never seemed to freshen it, not really.

Her hair was starting to dry, the wispy ends curling into ringlets. She picked out a split end and began to brush, long, fluid strokes, her reflection in the mirror above the drawers mimicking her. The elf grinned at herself there, a flash of even, white teeth, barely a shade different from her skin and hair. She mentally layered the sweet, smiling face of the blushing clerk over her own, trying to imagine what she would look like with that radiantly tanned skin, with that wild spill of copper coloured hair curling down her back.

It was an old game; she was a little jealous of that kind of skin and hair; always had been.

Her skin was white as milk, her hair a straight fall the colour of new silk. She would never have anything but her pale, plain features. Makeup-- even the tiny amount that was proper for a woman in good standing to wear-- looked silly on her, manufactured to match a more normal skin tone. It didn't bother her much, not any more. When she was younger, suddenly thrust into the bustle of city life, away from all she knew, it had been more of a shock.

She could hear the human women talk, across a room or even a street, about her. They weren't nearly as . . . admiring. . . as the males of their species. Always harping on about her narrow hips, her small breasts, her eyes and ears and hands. . . She wondered if they spoke about other elves that way, of just her, being stranger than most.

The men, on the other hand, often described her with rich-sounding words. Many found her looks enchanting-- an exotic, foreign wonder paraded before them. She'd heard herself compared to an alabaster idol, her large eyes like faceted amethysts, her hair glittering like diamonds, like icicles in the winter sun, like a silver waterfall. . .

In some ways, that was worse than with the women.

She scowled and set the brush down, reaching up past her long and extravagantly pointed ears to begin braiding. There was good reason why she wore men's clothing on the road, not only because she--

She froze, long fingers wrapped thick with coils of hair. Something had moved outside, just a brief, sudden flicker.

'Raven stood on silent feet and slid across the room to stand beside the blowing curtain, her pale form blending with it in the gloom-- a natural of camouflage. The slender elf looked down, puzzled. Her room was on the top floor, the ceiling edged with roof supports. She had a good view of the next roof over and the deep alley that ran between the buildings. She'd cut through it on her way from the stables-- it was narrow, barely wide enough for a grown human man to pass.

It was dark as spilled ink down there, a slight yellowish flair from one of the occupied lower rooms below painting the blank slates of the wall beyond. Something had moved, had been down there, passing through the dark like a shark prowling through the ocean's depths.

She thought about it, frowning. That was an odd comparison, popping out of nowhere like that. It was pale, like someone carrying a porcelain bowl or one of those good quality theatre masks. She'd heard there was a circus-type act based here-- it wouldn't be out of the question to have some thespians along. . . Logical, too. A mask, a bowl-- maybe someone bringing supper home?

Still, it bothered her, more than a little. It seemed out of place.

Maybe she could sneak Yellow Eyes up after dinner so she wouldn't be alone-- in a strange house, in a strange town. . .

"No." She told the open window. "Better not." Then she walked deliberately across the room to her saddlebags, stooped and pulled out a tomahawk, beaded leather loop dangling from a hole in the haft. She tossed the loop over one of the dark, elegantly carved bedposts and carefully tucked the weapon itself out of sight down the slight crack between headboard and mattress. She doubted she would ever need it-- not in a high-class place like this-- but knowing it was there reassured her. And if she was wrong, well, someone was going to get a helluva nasty surprise.

Someone knocked at the door. "Miss? Your things are ready," came a muffled voice.

"Oh-- thank you." 'Raven opened the door and looked at a burdened young elf. She tipped him politely and took the armload of leather and cloth from him, one bare foot pawing the door closed.

She finished getting ready-- hair pulled back into several loose braids, then all into a long tail; clean shirt, clean britches, the black vest and the newly brushed brown fringed boots. She shook out her duster, slid it on,, then buckled her belt up, making sure her long knife was hanging ready at the small of her back. She made sure her money pouch was closed and slung her hat on, back over her shoulders by the string. "Never hurts to be prepared." She laughed.

"I wonder if someone here sells ponchos," she asked the white ghost reflection, stretching. "I've always wanted one." She straightened her collar, made sure she had her key, and trotted out the door.

"I wonder what's for dinner. . ."

Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
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