Saturday, April 26, 2014
KICK UP YOUR SPURS FOR A RIP ROARING GOOD TIME!....
The golden morning light breaks, as a statuesque figure creates the perfect hour glass inside the frame of an open gilded door.
“Ms. Kennedy. Welcome to Cristobel island,” says the elegantly dressed man, standing behind a hand-carved Chippendale mahogany desk. “I do hope you had a pleasant flight.” He flourishes is arm toward a Louis the XIV chair.” Please sit down.
She steps into the office. “Good morning, Mr. Cade.” Her ruby lips curl into a smile, revealing perfect white teeth. “Yes. Thank you. It was a very enjoyable flight.” She drapes herself into and chair like a curtain of fine silk. An open-toed stiletto catches the light as she crosses her long legs in one swift movement.
“I have made all the arrangements. You leave the day after tomorrow. You will be most pleased. I’m sure.”
“I do hope so, Mr. Cade. I am desperate for a change of scenery.”
“You have definitely come to the right place, my dear.” He beams at her.
“Please follow me to your suite…”
* * * * * * * * * *
Muscles stain, pulling back the chestnut appaloosa. “Whoa, Trevor.”
The horse snorts, slows, and takes his stance. Spurs jingle as heavy booted feet hit the dirt road. Dust kicks up with each step of the broad figure, as heads up the wooden stairs and enters the sheriff’s office.
“Howdy, Sheriff. Any news on Alanna McCleod?”
“Yup. She hit another train this mornin. Over in Beaver Creek.” He furrows his brows. “Third robbery this week. You gotta catch her, Jake.”
“Yes, Sheriff. I’m working on it.”
“Well, work harder. You’re the best bounty hunter in the West.”
“I figure, she’s gonna hit Willa Grove next. Leave it to me Sheriff.”
“I’m countin on ya.” He reaches into his drawer and pulls out a small leather pouch, tossing it on top of the desk. “Here’s your pay for the cattle rustler. It’ll be a hell of a lot more when you bring in McCleod.”
“Thanks Sheriff. I’ll be back soon to claim the reward.”
Jake tips the wide brim of his Stetson and heads out onto the porch as the sun dips low in the sky…
* * * * * * * * * *
Hooves strike the hard earth, kicking a cloud of dust into the early morning sky. Steam billows, mingling with the dust as the train chugs down the tracks.
“Move, Killer! Move!” shouts a feminine voice, kicking the flanks of the horse. He brays and increases the speed.
She pulls the reigns to the right, keeps pace with the train, stands, and leaps onto the back of the car, grasping the rail. Straightening her five foot, nine inch frame, she pulls out her pistols and flings the door open…
She walks through empty car after empty car and stops in the center, eyeing the massive iron safe. A uniformed guard asleep, leans against it.
She kicks him hard in the side. He gasps and blinks his eyes and stares at the gun only inches from his face.
His face splits into a grin. “Allana McCleod. A pleasure Ma’am. You’re more beautiful in person. And may I say, you’ve got the wickedest green eyes.”
“Cut the small talk…Open it. Don’t let me tell you again.”
“I’d like to oblige you, Ma’am, but I don’t know the combination.”
She shoots him in the foot. He howls as blood stains the wooden floor.
“What the hell is wrong with you bitch!” He growls, pulling out his gun, shooting into the air.
“What did you call me? No, matter. For the last time. Open it. The next bullet will lodge in your heart.
He waves his gun.
She laughs. “Like that’s gonna stop me.” She aims and shoots him in the shoulder just above his heart. He collapses to the floor. Allana reaches into her satchel and pulls out a stick of dynamite.
“Don’t bother,” Jake says through gritted teeth. “There’s nothing in there. This is a set up.”
“What? You’ll pay for this…”
* * * * * * * * * *
Laid out on the bed, a corset, pantaloons, crinoline, garter, black stockings, and a moss green poplin dress await Katherine Kennedy as she steps out of the shower and heads toward the bedroom.
Her emerald eyes glance at the clothing and her lips twist into a grimace. “What’s the meaning of this?” She slips into a satin robe and picks up the phone.
“Connect me with Mr. Cade at once.”
“Good morning, Ms. Kennedy. Is something troubling you?”
“Yes. Why did you leave those vintage rags on my bed?”
“That is your travel ensemble.”
“You’re joking. Right? I never wear anything but Chanel.”
He laughs. “My dear, Ms. Kennedy. Where you’ll be traveling to, Coco Chanel hasn’t even been born yet.”
“But I don’t understand. I paid you a mint for an unforgettable trip.”
“Trust me, Ms. Kennedy. It will be. Meet me upon the hour in my office, dressed in the appropriate attire.”
He hangs up.
“But Mr. Cade…”
As the clock strikes noon, Katherine arrives at Mr. Cade’s office. The stiffened crinoline rustles as she steps into his office.
“Mr. Cade. Would you please explain what this is all about. Am I going to costumed ball? If so, this dress is much too simple.”
“No, my dear. You are going to the old West in the year 1881.”
“I’m what? Are you mad?”
“Not at all. This way please.”
He leaves his office and Katherine follows. He opens a gilded bronze door.
“Step inside my dear. Close your eyes. And count down from twenty-five.”
“Fine. If I must. But this is freaking me out.”
“Just relax and have a good time.”
Katherine peeks through the door and sees nothing but an empty space.
“Please, my dear. Inside. And don’t forget to count.
Katherine squeezes herself in and pulls the rest of her dress inside. Mr. Cade closes the door.
Twenty-five, Twenty-four, twenty-three…the floor vibrates. Twenty-two, twenty-one, nineteen, eighteen…the walls tremble…Seventeen, sixteen, fifteen…Katherine’s heart beats faster. Fourteen, thirteen, twelve. Her throat constricts. Eleven, ten, nine, eight…
The door springs open.
She steps out.
The bright sunlight blinds her. A breeze carries the scent of manure into her nostrils.
Her eyes adjust and she can’t believe what she sees. A train awaits at a station. The thick pumped steam emitting from the smoke stack paints over the sky.
Someone grabs her arm and spins her around. “Gotcha, Allana McCleod. I’m taking you in.”
“Who are you?! Take your hands off me.” She tries to pull away and his grip grows stronger. “I’m Katherine Kennedy. Let me go.”
“I’m the bounty hunter you shot a few days ago and you’re coming with me.” He drags her down the dirt road toward the sheriff’s office.
“Let me go! I’m not that woman. I wouldn’t shoot anyone!”
He pushes her up the stairs, onto the porch, stopping abruptly in front of a pinned up sign. “Take a good look. Deny that’s you.”
Katherine locks her eyes on the poster. Her jaw drops. The eyes looking back are hers…
WEST OF PARADISE
Will Katherine be hanged for robberies she didn’t commit?”
How will she convince the bounty hunter of her true identity?
What’s Jack’s real story?
He has a lot more in common with Katherine than he realizes…
Okay, First let me apologize for the length. Marcy wove a very intricate tale and I wanted to do it justice. So many fascinating story lines…
Mistaken identity, romance, murder, historical fiction, fantasy, and time travel. What more can a reader want?
I know you’ll be adding this one to your TBR for sure. I know I will. ALL the best Marcy with this rip roaring tale of the old West!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!