A SKY IN HIS EYE.
BY Stephanie Rademacher
Chris and Vin are a little tired as they look for a place to camp for the night. Up ahead in the distance they see something that catches their eyes. They decide to change direction and ride towards this site. Upon arrival, they see a dead man shot through the head. Not Far from him is an Indian woman mutilated. Chris and Vin look around to see if there is anyone else.
The trail shows a lot of horse tracks and footprints. They look at each other and decide to bury the pair. Vin wonders what happened they both moves cautiously. Chris walks over to a nearby hill and sees a wagon surrounded by three bodies. He calls to Vin, to tell him what he sees, and the pair decides to investigate.
As Chris and Vin get closer a bullet whizzes by they dismount and take cover. Vin tries to determine where the bullet came from. Then he catches a glimpse of the gun that fired the shot.
"Hey, We don't want to hurt you."
He realizes that the person holding the gun is a woman. Not really a woman, a young girl maybe eighteen or nineteen she is scared and looks mixed maybe the child of the white man and the Indian woman. He asks if the people a ways back were her relatives. He tells her that he and his friend buried them. Then reassures her that they don't want to hurt her. He slowly comes from behind the rock with his hands up and keeps up the steady stream of
reassuring words trying to convince the frightened girl that he doesn't want to hurt her.
Finally she responds. "She was my mother, he was my father, and they killed them."
Vin gets close enough to get the gun from her hands and he holds her in his arms and lets her cry. She tells them that the men attacked them and she was asleep in the wagon. When she realized what was happening her father gestured to her to hide like he taught her. So she did. Her father tried to convince the men to leave them alone, but they just beat her father and tortured her mother. She could hear her screams. Then she didn't hear anything. She stayed hidden. Her father always told her to stay hidden no matter what. One of the men found her and tried to rape her but she got his gun and shot him and two others that came and she shot them also. One of the men ran. She was afraid that Vin and Chris were with the others. While she told her story, Chris checked out the area retrieved anything of any value,which were a four horses and some supplies. Vin told Chris that they couldn't leave the girl.
Chris said, "I know. We'll have to take her with us. Try to find some of her people."
With that, they prepared the horses for the long journey ahead. Chris and Vin stood close by as the girl knelt beside her parent's graves and said goodbye. With the horses saddled and the supplies loaded the trio road off in search of a safe place to hold up for the night.
They road for about an hour or two twilight was approaching and they finally found a spot they could camp for the night. During the ride not much was said. The girl gathered branches so that they could make a fire. Vin made the fire and Chris took the first watch. In his mind, it bothered him that one of the men got away. He like the girl believed that the man would return. Meanwhile Vin talked to the girl. He found out her name was sky. Her mother named her sky because of her eyes. She found it easy to talk to him. He found himself feeling quite easy around her. It was odd considering his profession. He felt he must have been getting soft after his latest adventures with Chris. He listened intently to the things she said.
When Chris finished his watch, he went to awaken Vin to find that Sky was curled up in his arms and both were asleep. He laughed, then woke Vin for him to take his watch. Vin didn't even realize that Sky had curled up next to him. He told Chris, that she is scared maybe needed the comfort. Chris replied, of course, she just lost her family. I know that she must feel alone. I guess you're her family now.
They set off early the next morning. After many days of travel they finally came to a town. By this time the bond between Sky and Vin had grown. He felt very protective of her. He found out that her father had a brother in California. That's where her parents were heading when they were attacked. Vin and Chris decided to see if they could find him. Vin secured a room in the local hotel, while Chris got supplies for the long journey. While hunting down supplies, he heard the locals talking about the man who ran the town.
Someone was going to be in trouble. Shooting his sons like that. Even though they probably deserved it. Too bad they didn't get the oldest. He was the worst of the bunch. They always terrorized the people of the town and had a hand in raping most of the young women. One storekeeper advised Chris that he should get his supplies and depart. The sooner he left town the better off he would be. Chris decided this would be sound advice. He quickly found Vin and Sky and they checked out of the hotel and decided to leave town before it was known that they were there. He didn't think that staying in this town would be too good for any them.
While riding out, Chris told Vin what he found out and they decided that they should find a safe place to hold up. On the way out of town, they both saw an old friend, Colby who was also on his way out of town. He informed Chris and Vin that he worked for Mr. McDermott. He was the man who owned the town. Colby was a little bit of muscle that he hired to keep the people in line. Colby decided though the money was good the taste was bad and it was best to be getting while the getting was good.
Colby informed them that one of his sons just got back into town, and said some mixed breed girl had killed his brothers. McDermott now is on the trail of that girl. Chris was hesitant but informed Colby that Sky was that girl. Colby asked Chris if hanging with him was ever easy. McDermott was a powerful man and getting a fair shake or help from this town was impossible. People are just afraid of him. He looked at Sky, I can't believe she took out three of his sons.
They rode out of town quiet most of the way. But Colby's comment about Sky was nipping away at Vin. When they stopped to give the horses a rest he went to Sky to ask her where did she learn to shoot. She told him, her father taught her how to handle a gun. He made her practice every day. He said that the west was too wild and she needed to be able to protect herself. Vin smiled, and thought he was a smart man and she was lucky to have a dad like that.
As they rode into the next town they heard more rumors about McDermott looking for Sky. Chris thought it was best for them to find a place to hold up. In this town, he also decided to get a few friends to help them out in case of a showdown. From what he was hearing, he realized that McDermott wasn't going to give up on finding Sky until he was dead or she was. He just couldn't allow this man to hurt her.
He sent Sky and Vin to get more supplies especially ammunition; he and Colby went to the local saloon to round up a few bodies. Colby told Chris about an abandoned ranch not far from here. They could hold up there and face McDermott down. Chris was trying to think of a safe way to do this. But realized if they didn't get this situation ended, they would be on the run forever. Colby and Chris sauntered up to the bar. Scanning the crowd as they
went. Colby recognized a man that he had worked with at McDermott's ranch. He wondered if he was out looking for the girl. The man called Jake called Colby over. Colby told Chris that he would try to find out what was going on. Jake asked Colby if he had seen the girl. McDermott was offering 500 to the man who could bring her back dead or alive. Jake didn't care about the circumstances, but that money could bring him a lot of fun. Colby told him
he hadn't seen anything, and worked his way back to Chris.
Meanwhile Chris had met up with two old friends Red and Caleb. They had heard about this girl who put a hurting on McDermott. Red thought that the scum deserved what they got. It was God's hand that guided that child's gun. With that, Chris asked them to meet him at the stables, and then Colby joined the trio.
At the stables, Chris let Red and Caleb know the situation. They both agreed to help while they were talking about the situation, Vin and Sky came in with the supplies. Vin told Chris that staying around here might shorten their lives a little. So, they mounted up to ride out of town, but before they could get out, some men blocked their way. Jake led the gang of men.
Chris told them to get out of their way; Vin took the straps of his guns. Caleb cocked his rifle. Red told them, there was no need to get killed, but Jake insisted that they give him the girl and ride on. The silence seemed to last a lifetime, neither side wanted to back down, a door slammed and the lead began to fly Vin grabbed Sky off her horse to get to cover, he was shocked to see that she had already drawn her gun and was firing. There was obviously more to this little woman than he thought. He was thinking she was lucky, maybe luck had nothing to do with it. She took aim and Jake was the first to get mowed down. Not to be out down by the damsel in distress, Vin took out two more. Horses scattered with the noise of the gunfire and the band of six kept firing until their obstacles lay on the ground motionless. When the guns stopped, the six were still standing and their opponents lay at their feet. They gathered their horses mounted and rode out of town.
Chris thought, "So now it begins."
They headed west out of town toward the abandon ranch that Colby told them about. They wanted to figure out what the plan of action would be with McDermott. They knew they would be up against a lot of guns both good and bad with that kind of reward offered and there wouldn't be any quitting until the job was done.
When they arrived Chris sent Colby and Red to check out the ranch. He figured that the main house would be the best place. Whoever built it built it like a fortress. He wondered why they left it. Vin and Sky took the supplies inside and Sky started to clean up the years of neglect that she found inside. Caleb decided to help. He hadn't taken his eyes off of Sky
since he saw her with Vin. He thought she was some kind of beautiful and was hoping to get her alone before long. It didn't bother him in the least bit to sacrifice his life for hers. Vin also noticed the way Caleb looked at Sky. He didn't like it at all. During the days that he had known her, he felt himself getting softer for her all the time. He couldn't believe that he was really feeling jealous. He decided that he would keep Sky close and not let her out of his sight.
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