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The Frontier Women (1/?)

Title: The Frontier Women (1/?)
Author: bubble_cake101
Genre: Historical, Western, Romance
Rating: T
Summary: A beautiful stranger comes to the rescue of new arrival in town, Mina. A F/F take on a familiar Western theme!
Warnings: F/F, violence

Feedback always appreciated! ♥

NEBRASKA, 1877

Mina smiled as she heard the little bell over the front door chime playfully. Russ had insisted on putting it up there when they had moved in not two weeks ago and although she had doubted it to begin with, the soft sound of it through the house somehow made it seem more homely and friendly. Maybe it reminded her of their shop back East. He promised her they would have another out here, so very far away now, and that was where he had gone that morning, down into the local town with one of their kindly neighbours to search out a job.

She had promised him a wonderful supper when he returned and as she looked out the window of their bedroom in this temporary house Cousin Louis had graciously allowed them to stay in until they found their feet out here, she felt a warm rush of pride to see the tables set up outside, ready for the evening. Cousin Louis would also be there, as well as some of the others they had met from town so she had prepared early. A frontier girl always seemed to have something to do, much more than a city girl in Boston.

That was probably Cousin Louis coming in now. He had been out at the stables for most of the day, had allowed Mina to have full access to his brimming kitchen and pantry. He, as well as the local folk, had made her and Russ feel so welcome. She hadn’t been sure if she would enjoy this experience all that much, had been used to big houses and everything she could ever need back East, and had known that in this wild Western landscape, a person could roam for days and now see a soul or find anything remotely comforting to his eye, yet even after less than two weeks, silver linings had appeared in the clouds. After all, they had this house for now, neighbours who had been more than happy to greet them with open arms and aid them and every time she looked, the country seemed to grow more and more beautiful. Often now, she would find herself daydreaming about what her and Russ’ own home would look like.

Smiling again as they fancied images came to her, she moved away from the window that looked over the expansive yard and walked out onto the neatly carpeted landing. This is how I want it to look, she thought, then idly called Louis’ name down the stairs. He didn’t reply. He had probably left again and not closed the front door.

Shaking her head, she descended the stairs and went to shut it. Before she could, her eyes fell on the piano in the lounge. She had been drawn to it ever since they had arrived there, had always wanted a piano but Russ had consistently said no, and had thought more than once about lifting the lid and playing a note when his and Louis had left the room. It wasn’t polite for ladies to go tinkering with other people’s possessions without permission and if she’d spoken to Russ about it, he would have just smiled and shook his head at her. He was away now though.

Walking from the door, she went to the lounge and slowly sat down on the small bench before the instrument. The lid creaked a little as she opened it, as if it hadn’t been used for a while. Inside, the keys spoke a similar story. Taking her apron, she swept the dust off and then sat once more. When she had been very young, her mother had played for the family and had taught her to also play a few songs. She hadn’t played since then but the memories came flooding back and she remembered the notes as if her mother was sitting beside her, calling her Wilhelmina when she kept getting it wrong and her father patting her curls when she got it right.

She loved being in control of the music like this, loved knowing that it was all coming from beneath her fingers. She closed her eyes as she played, felt the soft breeze from the open front door and smiled once again, wondered briefly what her mother would say if she heard her playing like this. She wondered if Louis could hear her, wondered if he’d come back from the barn yet, if he would tell Russ, if he knew any songs they could play together or did only Marsha play on this piano, if he –

She opened her eyes and there, in the mirror by the window, was a man staring back at her. She gasped and jumped from the seat, turning so her back was pressed against the piano. His brown eyes leered darkly into her face, flickering and flashing. A jagged scar snaking along his skin made one droop slightly. She saw the gun shining in its holster before his hand came to rest down upon it. Her chest constricted, knees softening.

‘’My, my,’’ he said slowly, lecherously. ‘’What a pretty song that was, my dear.’’

And she screamed. She tried to move, run frantically for the open front door but another man with a gun stood in her way, emerging from the hall. He reached out to grab her and she felt his large hands begin to squeeze onto her arm but she struggled wildly, pushing and shoving and yelling until she could dash back the way she came across the room. She knew they’d follow but she didn’t look back as she ran, falling into the kitchen door then the back door to the yard. She couldn’t see, her eyes blurred and hazy with tears, yet she just kept moving, bunching up her skirt when she started to trip over the fabric.

She shrieked like a wild bird, cried helplessly for Louis and Russ, but no one came. The shots that began to roar past her made her shout louder, more and more frenzied. Where were they? Where were they? She couldn’t make out the world past the mirage-like, shuddering colours before her but she threw herself to the ground behind one of the large, still all ready for the evening. Her breathing was coming out in harsh, ragged gasps that she attempted to madly silence by biting down hard onto her bottom lip as she dared to peer under the chequered table cloth.

They came towards her, three pairs of boots that marched through the dust in time, converging and getting closer, closer. She trembled violently, didn’t know who they were but prayed to God they would leave, clutched the crucifix on her necklace and pressed it to her lips, felt the tears course down her cheeks. She closed her eyes, tried to wish herself away, but could do nothing more as the table cloth was torn away from the table, sending plates and cutlery soaring through the air.

She screamed as they tugged her out from underneath it, kicked out viciously yet they were too strong, pinned her down against the neat layout. It scattered beneath her, things falling and smashing to the ground, and she cried loudly, shouting and yelling until her voice was hoarse for somebody to come and help for God’s sake.

They tried to rip her dress even more than it already was, pulled and tugged harshly at her hair and tore at her buttons. She punched and scratched and writhed yet she was just one woman against three men and they overpowered her, forcing her to stay still against their savage desires.

She didn’t register the sound of hoof beats until a shot rang out and one of the men in the long coats was knocked backwards away from her. They stopped and the gun spoke again, this time hitting another. The man with the scar let her go, drew his gun fast, but a deafening shot knocked it from his hand. One more sent him reeling back, stumbling towards his henchmen, lying bleeding in the dust. He fell slowly, heavily down and Mina heard, somewhere, the dull thud as he hit the ground. She tried to move, made an attempt at rolling over, wanted to see her rescuer, even the men, but felt her heard spin dangerously as she did. Her legs weakened completely and her eyes fluttered shut as she fainted back onto her evening meal.

TBC
 


Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
kmarkhoover
Sep. 11th, 2011 11:53 am (UTC)
Watch the adverbs, you have four of them in the first paragraph. Sentence run on a bit long, too. But it's a pretty good start and I like the fresh take on an old theme.
bubble_cake101
Sep. 12th, 2011 08:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the constructive comment! Yes, I've got a couple of comments in the past about long sentences...I'm working on that! :) I'm glad you like the plot so far though!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )