I'm sort of in the process of just working on what is speaking to me at a particular moment. That's very common for me right now. --Bruce Springsteen, January 9th, 2014

Thursday, March 5, 2015

"The Lone Outlaw"

Blogging Friends.... As a former actress in Children's Church {Where I played only one character. Her name was Bethany!! The Children's Church pastor only encouraged my singing abilities. So I sang in their choir. Every Easter and Christmas. I can sing.... But I love, love, love to act!!} Years later? I acted in Youth Group drama {Their strict director practically made us each sign contracts with our own blood. If my Life ambition at the time was not to be an actress, I would have quit Youth Group drama. In. A. Heartbeat. But I was granted a lot of fun opportunities, at least!! For not only did I perform on stage. The Youth Group Drama Team leader also allowed me to act in front of video cameras!! A few years later? I acted in another church drama group {I loved its directors this time around!! And--unlike as a kid--I was finally granted several opportunities to act!!} Anyway. When writing fictional books, I "play" my characters' parts while creating them!! Every single time!! That being mentioned? As much as I hate to admit it, I had more fun writing and "playing" my characters in "The Lone Outlaw" than with any other previous fictional book!! Because nearly everybody has a "southern" drawl!! This was also my first fictional book that I have ever written when I wrote as I went!! See. "The Lone Outlaw" was underdeveloped within my heart and soul!! Terribly deprived of facts!! It was quite frustrating at times to write sans even knowing how "The Lone Outlaw" will end.... Yet, also challenging!! Love you later.

I wrote "The Lone Outlaw" entirely in past tense, as opposed to present. That was on purpose!! As I wrote "The Lone Outlaw" and watched it develop, I envisioned Texas Ranger Killian telling a historic tale. You know.... Like on an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger, or something? That being mentioned. As I wrote this fictional book and watched it develop, I also envisioned scenes of the story playing out within my crazy, never-shuts-down head!! Hopefully you will, too. The Italic print is Texas Ranger Killian narrating it!! Anyway.

This fictional book is based on a story that I made up for my nieces, "Amethyst" and "Opal" while playing with our old Fisher Price Western town!! Well, very loosely, anyway!! When told to "Amethyst" and "Opal", "The Lone Outlaw" is, of course, an age-appropriate story!! But this version? It is not--in any way shape or form--a children's book.

Confession. I know very little about westerns {Or outlaws, for that matter!!} having never been a fanatic of western films or stories. So hopefully this fictional book is accurate!!

"The Lone Outlaw"

"Junior rangers.... Listen up!!" announced Texas Ranger Killian, "I have a story to tell you!!"

Every single one of the elementary school-age kids {Boys and girls} listened intently to Texas Ranger Killian. For he had captured their undivided attention!!

A well known legend has been told about an outlaw. He had multiple names, personalities and getups. Why, you ask? Because as this outlaw traveled from Western town to Western town, he continuously changed his entire identity so that no sheriff or bounty hunters would ever catch him!! And his schemes were proven quite successful!! While most outlaws typically work in groups, our main character was a loner {Wandering from Western town to Western town all by himself} which was exactly the way he preferred it!! One night while his partner, Esau, slept soundly underneath clear skies of twinkling stars? The lone outlaw awoke Esau and then heartlessly shot him to death.

"What're ya doin'?" asked Esau beforehand, shock in his voice, "Whoa!! I'm yer 'brother'!! Remember?! Ya can't kill me!! I'm yer 'brother'!! What do ya think yer doin'? Put that gun away!! Please!! Please!! Please!!"

Esau never stood from his lying position.

"Ah, yer just bein' crazy right now!!" said Esau trustingly, "Maybe ya had a bad dream, or somethin'? Yer my partner and best friend!! Ya wouldn't shoot me!!"

"Shut yer mouth!!" yelled the lone outlaw, "And don't ya even dare talk me outta doin' this!! Just shut yer mouth!!"

Esau then lie still, closed his eyes tightly and mentally prepared himself for death. Because he was left with no choice. For "brothers" or not, the lone outlaw had definitely made up his mind.
    
BANG!!

With only one shot, the lone outlaw's bullet pierced Esau directly through to his heart. For he was an excellent gunman!! Dark red blood quickly soaked through Esau's shirt. Then? Once the lone outlaw made certain that his partner was confirmed dead, he stripped him completely naked. Cowboy hat? The lone outlaw took it. Bandanna? The lone outlaw took it. Blood-stained shirt? The lone outlaw took it. Holster? The lone outlaw took it. Pants? The lone outlaw took them. Blood-stained long johns underwear? The lone outlaw took them. Socks? The lone outlaw took them. Cowboy boots? The lone outlaw took them. Esau's gun? The lone outlaw took that, as well. He packed Esau's clothing into his bag. Then? Because the lone outlaw was clever and obviously did not want to serve any jail time? He hid his evidence!! How, you ask? By unhitching and setting free Esau's black-colored stallion!! The lone outlaw also extinguished their smoking, still crackling fire. He washed Esau's blood from his shirt and long johns underwear in a flowing creek. The lone outlaw even stitched up its bullet holes!! Then? He mounted his beautiful pinto horse mare, Callie, and rode off into the moon-lit night. Shamelessly.

"This town ain't big enough for the two of us!!" he muttered.

Morning came with an amazingly breathtaking red sunrise. The lone outlaw arrived on Callie in a new unsuspecting Western town. He observed his surroundings. There was a general merchandise store. Log cabins where families resided. There were farmlands with cows, chickens and horses. Plus an enormously-sized bank.

"Holy smokes!!" said the lone outlaw, as he plot his crimes, "I'm gonna love this Western town!!"

He dismounted Callie. The lone outlaw stepped foot into that town's general merchandise store. He, of course, wore his holster and loaded gun. That town's general merchandise store owner was an educated, silver-haired, wrinkle-faced, friendly, trusting, sweet older man named Clarence.

"Hello there," he greeted, "How may I help you today?"

The lone outlaw smiled sweetly, as he was slyly putting on an insincere "nice guy" act. Because no general merchandise store owner could see his true identity!! The lone outlaw quickly looked around Clarence's small-sized shop for a devious way to distract him. He then observed that there were no rifles in sight.

"My name's Bobaloo," the lone outlaw confidently said, "I gotta have a rifle for huntin'. Mine don't work no more!!"

"Bobaloo? Now that is an unusual name!!" said Clarence, "The rifles are out in my back room. I keep them there for safety reasons. I will gladly go and get you one!!"

"I'd be much obliged," the lone outlaw said politely.

Clarence then walked away to bring his customer a rifle. Just like he had promised!! Then, as soon as the lone outlaw felt one-hundred percent confident that Clarence was nowhere in sight and other shoppers were absent? He swiftly stole several items of clothing. Such as shirts. Long johns underwear. And pants. Then the lone outlaw's stomach growled. So he swiftly stole several food items, as well. Such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Meat. And several glass jars full of candy, because the lone outlaw had a sweet tooth!! He sneakily packed everything into his bag. Then--before Clarence returned--the lone outlaw nonchalantly exited that general merchandise store, mounted Callie, and rode away.

But crime never goes unnoticed. When Clarence had returned to give the lone outlaw that rifle, he observed his customer's mysterious absence.

"Strange," said Clarence, "Where did he go? I thought Bobaloo was going to purchase a rifle!!"

Then Clarence noticed the missing clothing, food and jars of candy.

"Oh no," he said, "I cannot believe it. I have been robbed!!"

Clarence then hitched his buggy and reported to Sheriff Grant everything that had happened.

"Bobaloo was his name?" asked Sheriff Grant, "And you've never seen this here robber before?"

"No!!" answered Clarence, "I never have!! But new and strange people pass through here all the time!! So I never even thought twice about him!!"

Sheriff Grant observed Clarence's general merchandise store. With permission and a key, he opened the cash box. It was still full of money. And surprisingly so!!

"By the looks of it, I'd say it was an outlaw who done robbed yer store," said Sheriff Grant, "They'll steal anything {Clothes, food, horses, money} so long as they can git away with it!! I'll send some bounty hunters after Bobaloo. But first, describe to me best as possible what he looked like. I'll print off and hang some 'wanted' posters all around town!! We're gonna find this outlaw before he commits any more crimes!!"

"Well...." began Clarence, "Bobaloo was wearing a bright green shirt.... Brown pants.... He had a yellow bandanna around his neck.... The cowboy hat that he wore was white.... Uh.... And he wore a holster which carried his gun...."

"Did ya take a look at Bobaloo's face?" pressed Sheriff Grant, "What color were his eyes? Did Bobaloo have facial hair, or was he clean shaven?"

"Uh...." continued Clarence, "His eyes were a deep, dark brown. And he was clean shaven.... Come to think of it!!"

That was all the information that Sheriff Grant needed on "Bobaloo". For now, at least!! Because, while Clarence's information may not have been nearly enough, it was a good start!! Bounty hunters were ordered to formulate search parties all over that Western town. "Wanted" posters hung everywhere. On bulletin boards. To fence posts. On widows. The lone outlaw was riding Callie around late one evening when he saw his own "wanted" poster nailed to a fence post. Written in large, bold letters it read these words. WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE. $500.00 REWARD. BOBALOO. It had an artistic sketch of his face wearing a bright green shirt, yellow bandanna, and white cowboy hat. The lone outlaw knew full well what that meant. For he had seen his own "wanted" posters before!! Repeatedly!! The lone outlaw knew that it was time for him to move on!! So he mounted Callie and rode away.

"This town ain't big enough for the two of us!!" he muttered.

Morning came with an amazingly breathtaking yellow sunrise. The lone outlaw arrived on Callie in a new unsuspecting Western town. He observed his surroundings. There was an enormously-sized bank. Log cabins where families resided. There were farmlands with cows, chickens and horses. Plus a general merchandise store.

"Holy smokes!!" said the lone outlaw, as he plot his crimes, "I'm gonna love this Western town!!"

He dismounted Callie. The lone outlaw then stepped foot into that town's bank. He, of course, wore his holster and loaded gun. That town's bank was empty of citizens. Thus far!! Their banker was an experienced, well to do, suspecting, dark haired man named Kyron.

"Hello?" said Kyron suspiciously, "Who are you?"

The lone outlaw did not waste any time introducing himself. For he already knew what his agenda was!! To rob Kyron's bank and score himself billions of dollars or more!! Unlike in Clarence's general merchandise store, he did not put on any "nice guy" acts!! It was as though a devil possessed the lone outlaw's entire being!! Then--in broad daylight--he drew his gun from its holster. Slowly and skillfully. Soon the lone outlaw held Kyron at gunpoint.

"Gimme all yer money!!" yelled the lone outlaw.

Speechless, Kyron hesitated to follow his bank robber's order.

"Now, ya hear?" yelled the lone outlaw, "Gimme all yer money!! Or else I'll shoot ya in cold blood!! And I've a real good shot, too!! Gimme all yer money!!"

Still speechless, Kyron swallowed hard.

"Come on!!" yelled the lone outlaw, "Gimme all yer money!! Just do it!! I ain't got all day!! Now!!"

Still speechless, Kyron stepped back and allowed the lone outlaw all access to his bank's money. For he was left with no other alternatives. Give the lone outlaw money. Or die. Besides, Kyron knew full well that this bank robber was an outlaw!! How, you ask? Because of his getup. The lone outlaw wore Esau's dark-colored cowboy hat. A dirty white shirt which was stolen from Clarence's general merchandise store. And the most revealing item of clothing that he wore? A navy blue bandanna tied around his face. For Kyron had seen outlaws countless times before!!

"Oh, and by the way?" said the lone outlaw as he turned to leave, after stuffing that money in his bag, "My name's Billy!!"

Being very smart, the lone outlaw knew that Kyron would soon inform their sheriff about this crime. And why not? Because after all, Kyron's bank had just been robbed at gunpoint!! Therefore, the lone outlaw knew that it was time for him to move on!! So he mounted Callie and rode away.

"This town ain't big enough for the two of us!!" he muttered.

Morning came with an amazingly breathtaking purple sunrise. The lone outlaw arrived on Callie in yet another new unsuspecting Western town. He observed his surroundings. There were log cabins where families resided. Farmlands with cows, chickens and horses. There was a general merchandise store. Plus an enormously-sized bank.

"Holy smokes!!" said the lone outlaw, as he plot his crimes, "I'm gonna love this Western town!!"

He dismounted Callie. The lone outlaw then stepped foot into a wooden, red-painted barn. He, of course, wore his holster and loaded gun. Cows mooed. Horses neighed. Sitting on a three-legged wooden milking stool gently pulling on the udders of his prize-winning black and white dairy cow, Belle, was ten-year old Angus. Plink, splash, plink, splash, plink. The lone outlaw could hear Angus' metal can fill up with milk. Suddenly, he felt thirsty for something sweeter than creek waters!! Angus' back was turned to the lone outlaw. He drew his gun from its holster and shot that poor, unsuspecting ten-year old.

BANG!! BANG!! BANG!!

With only three shots, the lone outlaw's bullet pierced Angus through his back. For he was an excellent gunman!! Dark red blood quickly soaked through Angus' shirt as the boy lie dying in a pool of it. Horses jumped back, terrified and whinnying. Once the lone outlaw made certain that Angus was confirmed dead? He drew from Angus' pool of blood and wrote these words in bold, capital letters on a wall. OUTLAW EVAN WAS HERE!! YA CAN'T CATCH ME!! The lone outlaw then stole Angus' bucket of milk, mounted Callie, and rode away.

"This town ain't big enough for the two of us!!" he muttered.

But crime never goes unnoticed. Shortly thereafter? Angus' parents, Tristan {Who was working in the fields} and Evangelina {Who was cooking breakfast} frantically ran to their wooden red barn because they had both heard the gunshots.

"Oh my...." screamed Evangelina, as she placed both hands against her mouth in shock, horror, and deep, heartbreaking, soul-piercing grief, "Angus!! Oh, dear God, please don't let him be dead!! Angus!! My baby!! Angus!!"

"He's.... Dead...." Tristan sadly said, after putting his ear against Angus' breathless chest in an effort to check for a heartbeat.

He embraced Evangelina. Then, standing inside their wooden red barn {Above Angus' Lifeless body} uncontrollable, from the heart and soul, wet, hot tears streamed down both of their faces.

After Angus' burial? Tristan hitched his wagon and reported to Sheriff Warren everything that had happened.

"Outlaw Evan?" said Sheriff Warren after seeing the blood-written words, "Oh, I declare!! Them outlaws make my job as sheriff a real challenge sometimes!! Don't you worry none. I'll send some bounty hunters after this Outlaw Evan. We're gonna find him!! I promise!! I'll print off and hang some 'wanted' posters all around town, too!!"

"I'm gonna help you find who done this to my son!!" said Tristan, "I'll join yer bounty hunters in their search!!"

"Well, alright," said Sheriff Warren, "So long as yer careful!!"

Tristan embraced Evangelina and they said their goodbyes. Bounty hunters were ordered to formulate search parties all over that Western town. "Wanted" posters hung everywhere. On bulletin boards. To fence posts. On widows. Suddenly, sans any warning, a storm had arrived with dark, ebony clouds, pouring down rain, very loud rumbles of thunder and dangerously close lightning bolts. So the lone outlaw temporarily settled down in an abandoned log cabin. But nobody {Not even an elusive outlaw!!} can escape the crimes which they have committed. For during that wet, dreary, stormy night, bounty hunters--plus Tristan!!--found and arrested the lone outlaw!!

"There he is!!" declared one bounty hunter.

"That's him, alright!!" replied another bounty hunter as he dutifully slapped freezing cold handcuffs on the lone outlaw's wrists, "There's the empty metal bucket from when Angus was milkin' Belle...."

Tristan's eyes blinked back wet, hot tears as he accepted it from that bounty hunter's hands. Emotion filled his heart and soul to the maximum. For that empty metal bucket? To Tristan, it was far more than evidence. Because that empty metal bucket? It was among one of the last things Angus touched. Tristan held that empty metal bucket close to his chest.

Another bounty hunter inspected the lone outlaw's bag.

"Clothes.... Food.... Tons and tons of money...." he began, "And every single one is a stolen good, I reckon."

The lone outlaw just stood there, speechless {His wrists still in handcuffs} as twain bounty hunters stood guard over him. He did not make any attempts to escape from them. Why, you ask? Because, although the lone outlaw was an excellent fugitive, {And a deceitful character!!} he put on an "innocent" act that stormy night!! See, the lone outlaw did not look sorry for murdering Angus!! He did not look guilty for stealing his metal bucket full of milk, either!! The lone outlaw did not look sorry for robbing Clarence's general merchandise store in the other Western town!! He did not look guilty for killing Esau, even!! The lone outlaw did not look sorry for robbing Kyron's bank in the other Western town!! It was as though he completely lacked a conscience.

But whenever somebody commits any crimes, they are forced to serve their time. And, because the lone outlaw had murdered Angus? He was, of course, sentenced to a hanging. The day arrived. A light Spring-like rainfall descended from dark, ebony clouds. Sheriff Warren had dutifully prepared his gallows. The lone outlaw walked up seven creaky wooden stairs. It was official. After all this time, he could no longer outrun his criminal past. This was it.

"Outlaw Evan," said Sheriff Warren, "Do ya have any final words before yer hangin'?"

"I shot my 'brother' right in the heart," he announced for everybody to hear, "But I got away with that. I done robbed a general merchandise store in some Western town. But I got away with that, too. I done robbed a bank at gunpoint in some other Western town. But I got away with that. And, yeah, it was me who shot the kid. I'm proud of every single crime I've done!! I am!!"

The lone outlaw smirked smugly.

"This town ain't big enough for the two of us!!" were his last words.

Because then? As several onlookers witnessed, Sheriff Warren wrapped his gallows' rope around the lone outlaw's neck, pulled it tight, and, just like that, he hung there. Lifeless. Alone. And then, as though it were a sign of God's forgiveness toward his sins, sunshine peeked through the ebony clouds and an incredibly bright, colorful double rainbow appeared....