Paid in Blood (A Chuck Wendig Challenge)

Posted: February 8, 2016 in chuck wendig challenge, Fiction, Uncategorized, Weird West
Tags: , , , , ,

This week’s challenge: a subgenre mash-up. Lucky, lucky me ended up with Weird West (wich I have done before) and BDSM erotica (which I haven’t). The scale is more heavily weighed to the former than the latter, but then I had around 1500 words to work with and I went a bit over by about 100 words.

That said, there’s a bit more sex in this than you might otherwise expect from things I write and the violence does get fairly gory. Fair warning right? All that said, this could be the kind of thing I come back to.

“I’m sorry it’s come to this.” Dylan pressed the barrel of his Colt to the back of Stone’s head.

Stone smiled, little more than a twitch of his lips under his handlebar moustache. “Better make sure you don’t miss, Dylan. Besides, I’m sure we’ll be seeing each other in Hell before too long.”

Dylan shook his head. “I’m planning on making you wait a good long time.”

The Colt thundered and Stone fell forward, the back of his head blown open from the gunshot, his face a ruinous mess leaking into the soil.

“Mount up,” Dylan shouted to the other three riders. “We’ve got money to spend, and I don’t know about you but I’m sick of nothing but you ugly fuckers for company.”

“What about him?” Carson, the youngest of the gang, pointed at Stone’s body. “Are we going to leave him like that? Seems, I dunno, wrong somehow.”

Dylan spat into the dirt. “Half-breed trash like that? Doesn’t deserve the effort. Scavengers’ll take care of the work for us. Not like anyone is going to come out here looking for him. Let’s get going. I want to make town before dusk. Can’t speak for the rest of you, but I’m damn tired of sleeping on the ground.”

The four riders moved out, headed east toward the town of Prosperity. Stone’s corpse lay in the clearing, his blood cooling, then congealing. First one fly, then a second buzzed around, landed on the back of his head, nibbling on his flesh. A coyote entered the clearing, sniffed around the corpse. It froze open hearing the snap of a twig, then sprinted away. A cold breeze whipped through the clearing, scattering the flies.

A woman stepped into the clearing. A black parasol with a handle the yellow of old bone rested on her shoulder. She stepped deliberately toward Stone’s corpse, her high laced boots more appropriate for a saloon than traipsing in the woods. She stared down at Stone for a while. No sound entered the clearing. She rolled the body over with the tip of her boot, tutted at the destruction of Stone’s face.

“You never were a looker, were you Stone?” Her voice rasped from behind her veil. She knelt down, placed a gloved hand on Stone’s chest. “But you’ve seen better days than this.”

She lifted her veil, revealing the skull-like contours of her face, the hollow cheekbones and sunken eyes. She placed her cold lips against Stone’s bloody mouth and breathed into him. Stone’s good eye opened, the greasy film of death clearing away.

“What-?” he gasped, scrabbling to his feet. “Who are you?” He reached a tentative hand to his face, felt as the flesh knitted itself back together.

The woman stood, letting the veil falling back across her face. “Would you believe I’m your guardian angel?”

Stone spat a bloody gob onto the ground. “No.”

The woman laughed. Stone reached out for her, tried to grab her around the throat, but the woman was too quick. She sidestepped his clumsy grab and sent him sprawling to the ground. Stone blinked. He’d never seen anyone move so fast before. Before he could get up, she was on top of him, the full weight of her on his chest. He struggled to get up, but stopped when he felt her hand grip his manhood through his pants.

“Shh.” The woman shifted her grip, a not unpleasant sensation for Stone. “Here I go and bring you back and you attack me. What kind of gratitude is that?”

Stone tried to shift against her, but her grip was too strong. He rached up to grab her arms, but they felt like iron bars under his hands and as warm. She shifted on him, hiking up her skirt until she guided him into her. Stone gasped at the cold of her, at the feeling of being inside of someone. He tried to remember the last time he’d been with a woman, but a sharp slap to his face brought him back to the present.

The woman smiled beneath her veil as she rode Stone, as he felt himself nearing completion in spite of himself. Her hand tightened on his neck, and he felt his vision blurred as he climaxed, bucking against her.

She stood up, rearranging her skirts as Stone gasped for air. “If you hurry, you might catch them today.”

Stone sat up and rubbed his neck. Five blue-black bruises marred the flesh where the woman grabbed him. “Without a horse? I doubt it. And it’s not like they left me my guns. What am I going to do when I catch up with them, let them shoot me again?”

Shaking her head, the woman whistled, low and quiet. Stone shivered at the sound of it, then stared as an ash grey horse entered the clearing. A rifle was slung across the saddle.

“That’s for me?” he asked.

“Consider it a loan. There’s a revolver and ammunition in the saddlebags, along with some money and provisions.”

Stone frowned as he pushed himself to his feet. “So I’m not dead?”

The woman laughed, a low, throaty sound that sent chills down Stone’s spine. “No, not anymore. Though I do suggest if you want to remain that way you get after Dylan and his friends. Bringing back the dead to the living imbalances the books, and a recompense needs to be paid.”

Stone nodded. He was familiar with that kind of balancing. “All right.” He mounted the horse. Checking the saddlebag he found a gun belt, fixed it around his waist. “I suppose I should thank you. Do you need to ride with me somewhere?”

The woman shook her head as she picked her parasol up off the ground. “I think I can manage.”

Stone nodded, grabbed the reins and twisted the horse toward East and Dylan. As he left the clearing, a large black bird winged overhead. Stone swore it sounded like it was laughing.

#

Dylan crested the rise. Down in the valley below, the smoke rose against the darkening blue of the sky. He smiled, sat up a little straighter in the saddle. He tried to remember how long it had been since he’d been in civilization, something more than a trade post or Army fort. Too damn long.

“I’m a get me a whiskey and a woman,” Jimmy said. Dyland tried hard not to look at Jimmy whenever the man spoke. An evil looking scar marred his face, leaving part of the inside of his mouth exposed. He tried covering it with a scraggly beard, but if anything it hurt more than it helped.

Carson sniffed. “You might want to take a bath first. I hear whores in Prosperity can be a tad peculiar that way.”

Jimmy snorted. “I think they’ll only care that we’ve got gold, ain’t that right Dylan?”

“You keep your mouth shut about the gold. We’re going in to get supplies and rest up a bit. You’ve all got some pay, right? So keep shut about that gold or we’ll have everyone and their brother down on top of us. Understand?”

The other riders grumbled their agreement.

“What’ll we say about Stone?” Carson’s voice was quiet and cautious.

“Anybody asks, you tell them he went crazy out there. Took off into the wilderness.” Dylan shrugged. “Not the first time a man’s done a fool thing like that.” He saw Carson shift in his saddle.

“Got a problem with that?” Dylan asked.

Carson shook his head. “No, I-” He didn’t finish the thought, but fell off the horse, a bright red bloom spreading across his chest.

“Get down,” Dylan shouted, dropping off his horse and hitting the ground hard. As he grabbed for his gun, he saw Jimmy fall from his horse.

“You see him Jimmy?” Dylan asked, his voice a harsh whisper. “Jimmy?” He crept closer, only to see half of Jimmy’s head missing.

“Shit, shit, shit.” He looked over at Carlos, only Carlos didn’t speak. Carlos did shake his head and point back toward the treeline. Dylan nodded, started to creep that way over the rocky ground.

More shots rang out, and the horses whinnied, one of them falling down lame and nearly crushing Dylan underneath. He spared a look over at Carlos, only to catch sight of the big man running toward town. He made it five steps before he was brought down.

Dylan made it to a fallen tree. He peered over the top, but there was no sign of the shooter.

“Who the hell are you?” he shouted. “Maybe we can make a deal!”

Dylan froze when he felt the cold barrel of gun press against the base of his skull. “Same deal you gave me, huh?”

“I- We- You’re dead! I shot you. You’re dead. You can’t be here.”

Stone laughed. “And yet here I am.”

Dylan tried to turn, tried to bring his gun around, but there was a sound like thunder and he felt the ground rushing up to meet him.  He saw Stone’s boot in front of his face. He tried to say something, but all that came out was, “Guhguhguh.”

Stone crouched down, ran a hand through Dylan’s hair. “I know how you feel, son. Me more than anyone.” Stone paused, looking up toward Prosperity. “Anyway, I see my benefactor down there, waiting for me. I have the feeling she’s gonna keep me busy for a while. Say hello to the boys when you get down below, will you?”

Then Stone was gone, and all Dylan heard before the darkness took him was the buzzing of a fly.

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Comments
  1. ooakthistle says:

    Chilling. Well written. Kept me on my toes to the end.

  2. Not bad! Definitely loved the Weird West angle!

  3. moteridgerider says:

    What a sick story – I love it!

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