Saturday, January 21, 2012
Sweet Saturday Sample: War Party
Welcome to Sweet Saturday Samples. Here's just a mouthful of my short story based on a real event, War Party:
Black smoke drew Rolla's eye, smoke where there should not be smoke. Then he heard the noise: high, piercing yips, and a woman's scream, and the flat report of gunshots.
A sand hill girdled with stunted mesquite trees blocked his view of the home place. The boy tongued the grass stem from his teeth as the dun-colored pack horse swung its head, nostrils wide, and the rope between the boy and horse tightened. Water in the barrels sloshed and splashed over the rims. Rolla smelled dank wetness as it cut through the dust on the sides of the casks.
He heard Pa's angry voice, and more shots, and the eternal yips, chilling his spine. Rolla started to run, pulling the dun behind, but the horse resisted, so he tied a fumbled knot around a mesquite branch. Then he scrambled and panted his way up the slope.
Rolla reached the top and flopped belly-down behind a tangle-branched creosote bush. He broke a stem so he could see through the shrub, and a tarry odor filled his lungs. Now he saw the source of the smoke. On the right, the dugout roof and door were ablaze, and to the left, hay stacks burned next to the corrals. The boy tried to count the dashing, milling figures with long black hair tied down by rolled bandanas, but because of the dust and smoke, he lost the total.
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