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Wayward

 
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Glenn Douglas
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Posts: 206
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Jobs: Gumshoe, Undertaker

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:06 am    Post subject: Wayward Reply with quote

York was always a small town. From the day the first building was erected over the flat, dusty landscape to the day the others around it fell in clouds of dirt and ash, it never grew more than a few miles. Its people were quiet and simple for the most part and they chose not to interfere with the affairs of the neighboring towns and small cities. The local sheriff rarely filled the station’s cells with crooks because there weren’t many in York to begin with and just about every criminal act was a capital offense in the county. The only action the lawmen ever really saw was the occasional raid as some gang of hooligans came riding through town, shooting their guns and threatening to kill all the men and rape the women if they weren’t treated like honored guests. Some sheriffs obliged throughout the years and others shot them dead.

One sheriff in particular seemed to invite more of these miscreants than his predecessors did and it is said that the day he earned his badge and took the old sheriff’s place that York was marked forever after with the sign of death. Crows took to the small town like a moth to a flame on that day and they never seemed to leave. His name was Anthony Douglas and less than a year after moving into York the town had suffered six raids from gangs and a plague that killed a lot of children and even more livestock. Despite this, York was growing. It was a slow and gradual expansion but it was consistent and its people remained relatively happy and Mister Douglas proved to be a very good sheriff because what little crime the good folk of York had suffered before had all but dried up under his watch, with the exception of those roving gangs, of course.

It wasn’t long into his second year as sheriff that Anthony met a young woman named Maybelle Durant and she was the daughter of a Mister Glenn Durant, a respected and wealthy owner of a ranch a short ride east of York. Within the year the two were married and her belly was swelling with the first of many children and they bought a plot of land in York and had it built for their growing family and most would agree that you’d never see a happier couple. They were as alike as they were different. Anthony was always a serious man, always kind and polite, but serious. He didn’t seem to take anything lightly and rarely laughed at jokes and not many people could recall him smiling but he seemed personable enough to keep the majority of the townsfolk’s affection and dedication. Maybelle was a bright ray of sunshine to Anthony’s gloom and doom sense of self. She was always smiling and laughing and singing and didn’t seem to have a care in the world and the birth of her first child only bolstered that joyous woman’s heart even further.

Some wondered how such a couple came to be and others wagered that they wouldn’t last but they did. Anthony and Maybelle Douglas were married and lived as husband and wife from the date of the ceremony to the day the both died.

But that’s another story.

Of their six children they had four boys and two girls. One boy they named Glenn, after Maybelle’s recently deceased father and this boy was peculiar in a way most boys weren’t. His infatuation with guns didn’t come until he was nearing the age of manhood and all his time before that was spent staring up at the stars and asking questions that made other people uneasy. Something was off about that Douglas boy, the people would say. And no one could ever quite put their fingers on it but few ever saw any good in him. He was never mean or rude or disrespectful to anyone that the people of York could remember but something in the way he looked at the world made the hair stand on end and his voice always sounded distant like he wasn’t really there talking to you, but somewhere else doing only the gods above know what.

The day he left York was a day full of a curious mixture of relief, sorrow and dread.

Glenn had grown into a man by that time, young and green as he was. He had his guns and a horse and he had a strange sense of conviction found only in men destined to die a bloody death and he rode in the dead of night away from his home and his family and he vowed never to return.
_________________
I go on journeys out of my body and look at my red hands and my mean face and I wonder about that man who's gone so wrong.
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Glenn Douglas
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Posts: 206
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Jobs: Gumshoe, Undertaker

22878.58 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cossol was a town that was only slightly larger than York, but everything seemed to have been painted over with a layer of grime and dirt, blood and urine and deceit and the kind of filth that made skin crawl. Despite all this Glenn Douglas was fascinated by the larger buildings and the louder crowds and he picked his way carefully with the reins of his horse whom he’d named Bandit in hand and he hitched the beast at a post outside the local saloon. The sun was just starting to set and men were wandering through town with hands black from the day’s work on the nearby railroad that was being built next to the town and would undoubtedly turn it into a main attraction in the land.

Glenn shoved through the door to the saloon with a hand on one of his guns and his eyes sweeping the bar for any sign of trouble because all those nickel books he’d read as a boy said that adventures started in places just like this. Instead of grungy men with guns and breath stinking of whiskey he found a mostly empty establishment with an old man leaning over a harpsichord and tinkering away and a few whores leaning over a balcony overhead and glancing down with little interest at him and the handful of men who populated the main room. The bar was kept by a man with black and gray peppered hair and a thick, walrusy mustache that quivered whenever he was thinking and he leaned over as Glenn approached and offered him a smile with yellow teeth and a crooked curl of his lips that suggested he was just as sleazy as the town he made his home in.

“Get you somethin’ t’drink, stranger?” he asked in his most polite voice, already turning toward a bottle of whiskey near his hand.

“Yeah,” said Glenn after a moment of hesitation as he eyed that man, that bottle and the empty glass that sat between them. “Summa that will be fine,” he dug a finger into his pocket for a few bills that he slapped on the bar next to the glass as the barkeep filled it with an amber liquid.

It didn’t smell like the whiskey his Pa’ drank but Glenn Douglas was his own man now and it was time to find his own whiskey, too. He scooped it up with a nod of his thanks and he knocked it back and let it pour down his throat. The taste was repulsive but he didn’t make a face and had to bite his tongue to hide his disgust before that fiery sensation started to spread through his chest as the drink worked its way down. The barkeep stared at him thoughtfully and his mustache quivered and he lifted the bottle again in silent question.

“Maybe later,” Glenn said with his hand up to decline. “I was actually hopin’, sir, if you had a room available. I should be in town for a night or two and could use a place to lay my head between the days.”

“Lucky day for you, mister,” the barkeep said as he wiped his hands off on a rag tucked into his belt and turned to pull open a drawer beneath the counter where he had a ledger with the rooms and their occupants scribbled down. “Got one open at the moment, just the one. Ain’t got a bath but for an extra few dollars I can have one drawn around behind the stables. It’s private enough back there, most customers use it. Just changed the sheets this mornin’, too. Only bed in Cossol that you can get for a decent price, I can promise you that. Should I mark you down?”

“Yeah,” Glenn nodded. “Name’s Glenn Douglas. I’ll take it for two nights. How much will that run me?” he was fishing for his wallet.

“Ten dollars.”

“Ten?” Glenn frowned as he pulled out his wallet and started counting bills.

“I’ll throw in a complement’ry bottle of whiskey, too. As a welcome to Cossol gift from yours truly.”

Glenn forced himself to smile instead of grimace at the thought of more of that awful drink and he nodded. “Much obliged, mister,” he said as he handed over ten dollars and the barkeep handed him a key.

“The room’s right upstairs, Mister Douglas. Up there and down the way, it’s third from the end. You got any luggage that you need help with?”

“No, I got it, thanks.”

“Just holler if you need somethin’, Mister Douglas. I’ll be happy to help,” the barkeep smiled again and Glenn made a face as he turned away. He doubted he’d ever need anything from a man like that.

He tucked the key into his pocket and walked outside to Bandit so he could remove the saddle and bags and went back inside to start carrying it all upstairs when the barkeep called out again and waved him down.
“Oh, Mister Douglas! I didn’t realize you brought a horse with you, sir. Will you be wantin’ him stabled? I can see to that for a modest fee of five dollars.”

Less than an hour in town and Glenn had lost most of his money to that barkeep and his prices. He was going to have to look for work if he wanted to have a place to sleep in the next town he went to. He agreed to let the man look after Bandit while he settled into the room upstairs that turned out to be a small square space with a small bed with scratchy sheets and a window covered by a film of dirt that distorted everything he looked at and a stench that clung to the rug and made his stomach churn.

It wasn’t home.

But Glenn had left home behind.
_________________
I go on journeys out of my body and look at my red hands and my mean face and I wonder about that man who's gone so wrong.
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Glenn Douglas
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Posts: 206
See this user's pet
Jobs: Gumshoe, Undertaker

22878.58 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Morning came sooner than he’d have liked and woke him with the pale light of the sun as it washed in through the window and blinded him despite the grime coated glass that acted as a partial shade. He rose from the small bed and dressed himself and secured his guns about his hips before going downstairs where a few men were sitting eating a small breakfast and drinking coffee and talking about the news heard from a runner that came from the east. They spoke of a young man, barely old enough to be considered such, who had disappeared in the middle of the night leaving only a note under his pillow. The Douglas family was searching frantically for their missing son.

Little did these men know that it was that very Glenn Douglas who sat at the table beside theres, sipping a cup of coffee that tasted like what he imaged tar would taste like and chewing on some stale bread. The barkeep was wiping off the counter with a dirty rag when Glenn finished his meager breakfast and Glenn cleared his throat to get his attention.

“Anything I can help you with, Mister Douglas?” the man asked.

“Know where I might be able to find work around town?”

The man’s mustache quivered. “Might be you can get some work in at the railroad, they’re always lookin’ for more laborers. That’s if you got the back and the endurance for it. The sun’s a cruel beast and it’ll steal your life away in a heartbeat if you ain’t cut out for the work.”

The most Glenn had ever done was herd cattle before and that was exhausting in an entirely different way, but he wasn’t about to tell this greasy old man that he wasn’t cut out for the same hard work that any other man could do. Glenn nodded and thanked the man and paid for his breakfast and coffee before turning and stepping out into the town.

By day Cossol was a different place. It was loud and bustling without the shouting of drunkards and whores filling the streets. It was businessmen and newspaper boys who flooded the dusty avenues and the hissing of steam down by the railroad and the shouting of foremen and walking bosses. Glenn went down that way, following the sounds of hammers and picks cutting away at dirt and mud and falling onto nails as the railroad crawled along the earth.

As he turned down a street his attention was drawn by what sounded like a gunshot and what was definitely a woman’s scream. A man came running out from a building to his left with a gun in his hand and his eyes wide with fear. He ran as fast as he could and barelled right into Glenn and both went falling into the dirt.

“Gerroff!” the man flailed as his limbs got tangled with Glenn’s and his gun went flying out into the street.

Before he could shout back he had the air knocked out of him from a punch to his gut and the man got up and started running again, scrambling to retrieve his gun in the process. With a grunt Glenn pushed to stand and sucked in a breath and then went sprinting after him just as a woman came running out into the street from that very building with her hands painted red and the front of her gown similarly stained with blood. She shouted for help, shouted for the law to come down on the man who had shot and killed her husband in the early hours of the morning as the town came to life. The law in Cossol wasn’t like York, though. Most calls went unanswered.

Glenn ran and ran, ducking and dodging and jumping this way and that as the man led him on a chase through town. He climbed over a wagon and jumped off and scrambled to catch the edge of the general store’s roof and tugged himself up as Glenn came scrambling after him. He leapt from the store to the neighboring building where he landed on the deck that ran the length of the building’s second floor. Glenn came tumbling after him and as the man turned the corner and tried the door, the young man tackled him down and hit him in the back of the head with the butt of his gun.

“Gerroff!” he shouted again, thrashing wildly despite the line of blood that trickled down the side of his head.

“Wha’choo in such a hurry for, friend?” Glenn countered as he pulled the hammer back and pressed the barrel of his gun against the man’s temple. “Awfully rude, runnin’ into folk and not apologizin’. Reckon it’s ‘cause of that gunshot I heard a moment before. Who’s the sorry bastard you up and murdered this mornin’?”

“I didn’t do nothin’!” the man struggled but Glenn smacked him between the shoulder blades and pressed down with his knee against his spine and the gun still against his head.

“Aint’ me you got to prove your innocence to. It’s the law that’ll come askin’.”

The man laughed.

“Law?” he asked. “You must be new, son. Lemme let you in on a little secret.”

The man paused for a breath.

“There ain’t no law in Cossol.”
_________________
I go on journeys out of my body and look at my red hands and my mean face and I wonder about that man who's gone so wrong.
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Glenn Douglas
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Posts: 206
See this user's pet
Jobs: Gumshoe, Undertaker

22878.58 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The woman gave him what money should could as a show of thanks for catching her husband’s murderer. The rest went toward the dead man’s funeral. A deputy came and took the man Glenn had captured to the station where he sat in a cell overnight and was released the following morning. With the extra money from his act of vigilantism Glenn put off going down to the railroad for work and waited a second day but eventually that’s where he went and that’s where he met the foreman who was just as dirty as the rest of town and who had no problem with putting him to work that could kill a man for little enough pay to matter.

What had only been a few short hours felt like days and by the time break came around his clothes were drenched with sweat and his skin red from the beating sun. He gulped greedily at the warm water the workers were given to drink and leaned heavily on the long handle of his pick as he squinted in the sunlight at the other workers. Few paid him any mind and those who did didn’t seem to care much for him. They shot him dirty looks and sneered and taunted him as they shoved by and eventually Glenn had enough of it when one man’s shoulder smacked hard against his and sent him stumbling back.

Glenn turned and threw his pick down and shouted at the man’s back.

“You got a problem with me, mister?”

The man turned and smirked. He was taller than Glenn and everything about him suggested he was stronger, too. This was a man who’d worked hard all his life and the sight of this green boy, spoiled from childhood coming up and thinking that he could work here with the rest of the men had infuriated him. He jumped at the opportunity to teach him a lesson. The man didn’t say anything. He just stepped forward and raised a fist and decked Glenn in the eye with a punch that made his vision dance and his head swim as the ground rushed up to meet his back.

A crowd was starting to gather and cheer.

Glenn groaned and rolled over to try and push to his feet, one hand pressed against his eye as it quickly began to swell. The man kicked and his foot slammed solidly against Glenn’s ribs and sent him tumbling back over. Glenn tried to rise and was kicked again and then a third time and then he managed to scramble away with barely any breath to spare and a searing pain in his side. The man laughed and started to turn away and that’s when Glenn’s hand, fumbling through the dirt, gripped the shaft of his pick and he rose and howled and swung hard.

The man’s head collapsed and his skull sunk in under the heavy iron spike at the end of the pick and it released a torrent of blood and brain and the man crumpled up and collapsed under the force of the blow. The pick fell from Glenn’s hands and landed in the dirt next to the dead man as his blood started to pool around them and was greedily devoured by the mud at his feet. Glenn took a step back, wide-eyed with surprise, fury and fear and he looked up and around at all the people and they stared back at him.

“What?” Glenn said, dusting himself off and forcing himself not to wince against the pain in his side. “Ain’t no law in Cossol.”

He spat at the dead man’s body and turned to go get paid by the foreman.
_________________
I go on journeys out of my body and look at my red hands and my mean face and I wonder about that man who's gone so wrong.
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View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
Glenn Douglas
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Posts: 206
See this user's pet
Jobs: Gumshoe, Undertaker

22878.58 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Morning came again and Glenn had decided to pack up and leave town. He carried his saddlebags down to where Bandit was hitched out in front of the saloon and was looping leather straps around the beast’s belly when someone walked up behind him and stuck something hard and made of metal against his spine. He could smell liquor on the man’s breath as it washed over the back of his neck and heard the sound of a hammer drawing back.

“Forgot to wear your guns out, boy,” the man said. “Ain’t too bright, huh?”

“What do want?”

“That horse, for starters. Why don’t you take a step back. I’ll have your money, too. Every dollar.”

Glenn grunted something and started to turn but the man smacked him upside the head with the butt of his gun and he fell forward against Bandit and hung on to the saddle as his vision blurred for a moment.

“I didn’t say you could move, Douglas. You sit tight and I’ll find what I’m lookin’ for and if you’re good, I won’t put a bullet in your head. We clear on that, son?”

“Crystal.”

He felt a hand slide into his pockets and fingers closed around the handful of dollar bills and coins he had tucked away and the man laughed as he retrieved it and tucked it all into his own pocket. WIth a cluck of his tongue the gun was pulled away and slapped against the side of his head and Glenn went toppling to the side and landed hard in the dirt. The man stepped over him and pulled the reins up and mounted Bandit with his gun still trained on the young man and laughed.

“Think of this as punishment for causin’ such a stir the other day. You ain’t been in Cossol long enough to start actin’ like you are.”

The man turned and the horse carried him down the road.

“What’s your name?” Glenn called after him.

“Cobb,” the man replied. “Folk ‘round here call me Cobb.”

And with a laugh Cobb rode off with Glenn’s horse and Glenn’s money and the food and supplies he’d bought with his pay from the railroad, leaving Glenn lying there in the dirt with blood on the side of his face and dirt sticking to his jaw and a hard gaze that promised the man known as Cobb that he’d come looking for him and that he’d pay twice over for ever crossing him.
_________________
I go on journeys out of my body and look at my red hands and my mean face and I wonder about that man who's gone so wrong.
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