I’m not going to lie. I almost gave up on this one. I never imagined I would write about the ‘weird west’ or anything to do with a ‘heist’, but I swore after I re-rolled on an earlier challenge that I wouldn’t do it again. Plus, I commented on Chuck’s site what I rolled, so I was pretty much stuck with it. I knew it was going to be a challenge, and it was. Anyway, as I have already stated, the challenge this week was sub genres in 2000 words or less. It’s my first real try at actioney type things and a fight scene, so please be kind; but any and all criticism is welcome as always.
My take on a “weird west heist” in exactly 2000 words:
The sun beat down on Katie, sweat making her dress stick to the curves of her hips and legs. There was no hiding from the heat, even with how thin her dress was. Standing on the porch of the dilapidated building, she watched as the boys brought the new one in.
The woman’s hands and feet were tied and it looked like she’d been drugged. Katie wasn’t sure where they were getting them these days; something about the shape of their eyes and their presence screamed ‘not human’. There had been a ruckus at the cave just outside town a few months back. She would have asked but didn’t think her position was close enough to the boss to warrant it, even with her new title.
Jake the Snake, they called him; mean, murdering boss of their little ghost town. No one dared to cross him or even look at him wrong lest he get it in his head to shoot. He was known to do that, for no reason at all.
She followed them into the dilapidated building. “Take her upstairs, first door on the right.”
Even inside, the heat smothered the air like a blanket on a fire, making it hard to breath. The fan circling in the main room did little to help, only serving to stir the heat around.
She followed them up the stairs and waited for them to deposit their load on the only free cot in the room. She looked over and smiled at Misha who had sat up when the boys had walked in.
“Still in bed, Lovely?”
Misha looked slightly abashed. “It was a late night, Mistress.”
Katie rolled her eyes and shut the door behind the retreating men, leaving the three of them alone. “Don’t call me that.”
“Boss said you were Mistress now. Wouldn’t do to let him think I was taking liberties.”
“If you must, but only when we aren’t alone. Besides, we won’t be here much longer.” She sat on the cot next to the drugged woman and began removing the rope.
“Katie, tell me again what we’re going to do if the plan works and we get out of here.”
She laid a cool cloth on the womans’ brow and looked over at Misha. “If everything goes as planned, we’re going to ride until we can’t ride anymore, then we’ll walk if we have to. I hear there’s a town about two days out. We can stop there for supplies, then we’re heading to the ocean; as long as it takes or we’ll die trying. But I’d rather die trying than wasting away as a whore in this hell-hole.”
Misha looked like Katie felt, scared as hell, but she couldn’t let it mess with her resolve. “It’s going to be okay, Mish. We’re going to get out of here, but I’m going to need your help. He’s leaving at dawn tomorrow and only planning on leaving Stan behind. I guess I’ve wormed my way into his confidence and he trusts me to keep you girls in line. Funny thing, that.”
There was just the three of them now what with him killing the last one and Heather dying from fever the week before. It would have been easier without the extra one, but hopefully she wouldn’t be a burden.
Misha drew a shaky breath. “What if he finds out?”
“What if he does? He can’t hurt us more than he already has and death would be a blessing. Besides, he won’t be back until after sunset. We have plenty of time.”
“I guess you’re right.” Misha sat up and pushed back her thick black curls. She really was a pretty girl, but she had started wasting away once they had brought her in a few months back. She couldn’t be more than 100 pounds soaking wet at this point.
“Remember, I’m going to get the key from Stan and get the stash while you get the horses. Hopefully this one here won’t mess things up.”
“I can’t believe we are really getting out of here.” The look of terror that was always plain to see in her too-bright eyes faded into what could have been hope.
Katie couldn’t allow hope yet. She kept her brown eyes steely and her mouth set in a grim line. “It isn’t a sure thing yet.”
It took until almost sundown before the drugged woman finally woke up. She looked a little green and Katie wondered how much of the drug they had given her. She wasn’t much of a talker, either. It didn’t matter what she said or how many times she and Misha asked a question, the woman didn’t say a word. She just slowly rocked back and forth on the bed, her eyes darting around the room.
“Well, hell. Looks like we might need to leave her behind.” Katie was throwing her one extra dress into a burlap sack. They couldn’t take much, but with the stash waiting in the Snake’s room, it didn’t really matter.
Misha was handing her extra set of clothes to Katie but she stopped at her words. “We can’t just leave her here. He’ll kill her.”
“I don’t know what else to do. It’s like she doesn’t speak our language or something, and we’re running out of time.” Katie waved dismissively in the womans’ direction.
“I’ll handle her. You’ve got enough to worry about.”
They talked well into the night, going over and over their plan. The more they talked, the more the other woman seemed to pay attention. She never said anything, but her eyes stopped darting around the room and started focusing on Katie and Misha as if she were listening.
They were able to catch a few hours sleep before daybreak when they were awakened by the sound of the men leaving outside the window. Once awake, they watched until all they could see was the distant plume of dust on the horizon from the horses’ galloping hooves. Katie and Misha quickly splashed water on their faces and arms, the other woman watching them silently.
“Here goes nothing,” Katie said as Misha gently took the other woman’s arm and led her out of the room. “I’m almost positive Stan is the only one here, but keep an eye out just in case.”
Misha nodded and continued walking down the hall towards the stairs at the back of the building, the other woman’s arm still in her grasp. Katie was going down the front stairs to confront Stan in the bar. Before they disappeared around the corner, Katie whispered, “good luck, Lovelies, see you soon,” and they were gone.
Katie took two deep breaths (one just didn’t cut it) and slowly started walking down the stairs trying to ignore the sweat trickling down her back. She had donned her best dress of the two she owned and made sure to tighten the bustier so her ample chest strained at the seams and threatened to spill out entirely. As her boots clunked down the stairs, she grabbed her stringy blonde hair and twisted it to the side so it all fell over her right shoulder.
She reached the bottom of the stairs and started making her way to the bar. “Stan, pour me a shot of whiskey, would ya, hon?”
“Now, Katie, you know the boss wouldn’t like that.” Stan was behind the bar. He wasn’t much to look at. He had a days’ growth of hair on his face that was starting to show his age; his hair was a silvery brown mop that was constantly in his eyes; and his belly hung over his pants, a stained white shirt straining to cover it. Why they left this guy in charge was a mystery she didn’t have time to ponder.
“The boss isn’t here, is he?” She walked over to him and leaned over the bar, letting her breasts strain against the thin fabric barely containing them. “Come on, Stan. Have a drink with me.” She winked at him and leaned even farther, brushing his arm with her breasts.
His breath caught in his throat and he swallowed hard. “Shucks, Katie. Why d’ya want to do something like that to an old guy like me?”
“Don’t be such a spoil sport.” She hoisted herself on top of the bar and lowered her face to his. Without looking away from his eyes, she ran her tongue across his lower lip. Still holding his eyes, she reached over and grabbed the whiskey bottle that just happened to be sitting on top of the bar. She must have caught him drinking while the boss was away. Good. Maybe this would be easier than she first thought.
Lifting the bottle to her mouth, she whispered “open up, big boy”, took a swig and leaned over to dribble it into Stan’s mouth. As if in a trance, he swallowed it down and was just reaching for her hips when she smashed the bottle as hard as she could against his ear. While he was still reeling from the first blow, she lifted up onto both knees and, using both hands this time, smashed it on top of his head. He fell to the ground with a groan.
Knowing she didn’t have much time, she jumped down next to him and started going through his pockets. He was holding his head, mumbling, giving her just enough time to find the keys in the second pocket she searched in. Just as she was about to jump up onto the bar, his hand snaked out and grabbed her ankle. Using her other foot, she kicked him as hard as she could in the chest, loosening his grip on her ankle. Yanking her foot free she brought it down on his groin. As he curled into a ball, she kicked him hard in the face for good measure before jumping up on the bar and swinging herself over.
She jumped down and high-tailed it up the stairs and down the hall to the Snake’s room. She fumbled with the keys but finally found the one that opened the door. Without pausing, she made her way to the small lock box he kept hidden under the mattress. She didn’t bother opening it, just grabbed it and turned to leave.
Stan was standing in the doorway.
There was no way she was getting past him and the only other way out was the window. She knew the window wasn’t an option for obvious reasons, so she scanned the room for something she could use as a weapon. Nothing.
“You ain’t getting away from old Stan, you little bitch.” Frozen in place, Katie watched as he spit blood on the ground and slowly moved toward her. He made it a total of two steps before he dropped to his knees, his eyes rolled up in their sockets and his hands grabbed his ears.
Stunned, Katie looked around but didn’t see anything and didn’t take the time to wonder what had just happened. She ran past Stan, through the door and down the stairs as fast as she could. She thanked any God who would listen that Misha had done her job and was waiting in front of the building with the horses. As she jumped on her horse, box firmly in hand, she looked over and noticed the silent woman. Her eyes were glowing green and she was staring at the building Katie had just exited, her mouth moving silently. Before Katie could make sense of it, an ear-shattering scream coming from the building made them all jump. It sounded like Stan.
Katie was hoping for an explanation at some point, but they were running out of time. Nodding her head in the direction of the strange woman, she turned her horse and galloped away, the other horses close behind.
She couldn’t help herself. She let out a wild yell that echoed across the horizon. They were finally free.