A girl runs after killing 3 men when her brother's life is taken
|The bright rays of sun shining upon my face made me roll onto me stomach and throw my arm over my head. It felt like I had just closed my eyes to sleep, but I knew it was only a couple hours till noon; the sun took several hours to climb over the mountain and shine into the valley. Instead of getting off the cold ground I crawled sluggishly over to the makeshift fireplace I had attempted to make early this morning before I slept. When my hand reached the first, pointed rock I used it to haul myself to sit on my knees and looked around. On the outskirts of the valley there were lodge pole pine trees that swayed in the slight breeze. I could barely make out where the pond was on the far side of the valley. Beneath me was crushed grass, flowers, and a round rock that I could feel had left its imprint on my left buttock.
"Bernie," I spoke into the wind. After I looked around me a couple times I raised me voice to a shout. "Bernie!"
I jogged over to the trees closest to me and peered in between the thin trees. After ten feet I stooped down and picked up a leather bag. The beaded pattern was very familiar to me. Usually, it was shoved into my horse's saddlebag for safe keeping.It was a gift to me by an old Indian woman from the mountains in the North. To anyone else the pattern would look just like that, but to me it was my name: Amber.
"What have I done?" I mumbled to myself. As I ran my fingers over the beads I saw streaks of dark red on both my hands. When I looked down at my shirt I gasped. Aside from the gigantic tear from the bottom right corner to the middle, there were splash marks of the same color and one large splotch of it on my shoulder. I would have run to the pond to see what my face and hair looked like, but I was too scared. The memories of the night before floated vaguely before me.
There was an argument. It was between my brother, Max, and a plantation owner who came to make me his wife. I told Max that I did not want to marry this man. Of course, Max told the man no. They had both been drinking ale while going over the man's propositions, as had the man's bodyguards. I didn't see the first punch that was thrown, but I heard it. When I ran into the room to see what had happened, Max was on the floor. At first I didn't worry because Max was very strong and had fought many men. I got scared when Max stood up with the fire poker in his hand. He swung it into the man that had punched him and blood started gushing from the man's head. The two bodyguards came over to Max instantly. Once of them grabbed his arms and held them behind his back while the other one started punching him in the face and gut. I ran into my room and grabbed the pistol from the top drawer in my little dresser.
"Drop him!" I had shouted. The two bodyguards stared at me with disbelief. I pulled back the hammer with my thumb and aimed at the bodyguard who had been punching my brother. My intimidation was less than I had thought it would be, and the bodyguard punched Max hard in the stomach.
The man who Max had beat down started moving slowly. I could hear him cursing as he rolled to his knees and touched the blood at his head.
"Kill him!" the man shouted. "And we will take her."
"Drop him now!" I shouted again. "I will kill all three of you if you don't let him go right now." The three men stared at me and laughed. Before the bodyguard could punch my brother again I shot the man that had been on his knees, right in the head. The two bodyguards stared at me with shock. I aimed the gun at them.
"Amber, don't do this," Max said. "Take your gun, get on your horse, and ride 'til tomorrow."
"I'm not leaving you here, Max," I kept my gun aimed at the brute pondering on whether or not to punch Max again. I could see blood dripping from his mouth. His eyes were already bruising and the side of his face had a long, red scratch down it. He was wheezing and coughing every time he took a breath. I tried not to run to his side and cry into his shoulder telling him it would be okay. At that second of weakness the bodyguard took Max by the shoulders and pulled him hard and fast into his knee. I almost screamed with horror as Max fell onto the ground clutching sides and started vomiting blood all over the ground.
"Run," Max gurgled to me as I stared at him. The bodyguards grinned at each other and then the one who had been beating up Max started walking towards me. "Don't touch her."
"You stay down," the bodyguard who had been holding his arms grunted. Max tried standing up and the bodyguard pulled out his pistol and shot Max in the foot. I screamed this time.
"Come on darling," the bodyguard was now right in front of me. "You don't want anything else to happen to your brother do you? Not that he will live anyways."
"Fuck you," I whispered. He took a step closer and I swung my gun hard onto his head. The blood splattered onto my fist and the butt of my gun. He raised his hand to hold his head and reached his other arm out to grab me. As he was still bent over I elbowed him in the back. He grabbed me by the waist and flipped me over his back and onto the ground. My gun had fallen to the floor and he was straddling me.
"Since Phillip is no longer around, there is no longer a use for you," the bodyguard leaned down and whispered into my ear. I held my breath and tried to concentrate on the problem before me rather than my emotions that were running and screaming around my head. "But, maybe, you and I can make an arrangement."
"In your dreams," I threw my head into his as hard as I could. Even though I could see stars swimming before my eyes I tried rolling over and squirming out of his arms. He grabbed me roughly by the shoulders and pinned me to the ground. I tried concentrating on the man's nose, but my world was spinning. The man touched his head and winced. There was already a black and blue forming. Before the man could do anything with the hand he was raising into the air I punched him in the stomach. The man coughed and spluttered into my neck as he struggled to inhale. I reached over and grabbed the gun that was only a foot away and smashed it into the side of his head. He rolled off me, but before I could get up the other bodyguard was there and pulled me up by the neck of my shirt.
The bodyguard shoved me as he let me go. I ran my back into the table and I had lost the gun again. When I looked down to locate the shining metal of my pistol I saw Max. I couldn't tell if he was breathing, but it didn't look like it. The anger filled me so fast that the bodyguard had no time to react to my vehemence. I leaned back against the table and swung my leg as hard as I could into the man's fat belly. The man lost his breath and I dropped to the floor to get my gun. I wrapped my hand around the ivory handle and pulled back the hammer.
"Over my dead body!" the bodyguard with blood running down his face grabbed onto my ankle. Without a second thought a turned over and shot him. The bullet went straight into his shoulder, and I hoped it continued to his heart. He didn't move at all anymore. I stood up and went to kill the last bodyguard, but he wasn't on the ground where I left him. I walked slowly around the table, but he wasn't in the small kitchen. The only other place was one of two bedrooms. I walked over to my room but I didn't see him. As I left the room the man came out from behind the door and grabbed me by the shoulders. He turned me around and snarled at me. I pointed my gun up a little and shot. The blood spread out from his chest, covering both of us with the warm liquid. He slid down my body, holding tight to my shirt as he went. I kicked his hand off after he ripped the shirt from his death-tight grip.
"Max!" I ran over to Max and knelt by his body. There was a pool of blood by his right foot, and not a foot from where his head lay from where he had thrown it up. I touched his cold cheeks and took his hand in mine. Without Max, I didn't know what to do. I had lived with him since our parents were killed 15 years ago during an Indian raid.
"Run," Max's voice was barely audible. I leaned down to listen to him. His eyes were not open, and his hands gave no indication of life. "Get away from here Amber. Find a husband, and have children. I'll look over you little sister. I love you."
"Max, I can't leave you here," I sobbed. "I can't leave this place if it is all I have left of you."
"Amber Lynn," Max called me by the nickname only he used. I smiled, but there was no emotion on his face. It didn't even look like he was talking. "Amber Lynn, run."
I tried to sob out an answer, a refusal, but no words came. Max hadn't looked like he was breathing, but I saw his last breath exit his mouth.
I had sat there for hours. It was long past dark when I had packed a few possessions and ridden out on the horse Max and I had shared, Bernie. I now looked back at the valley where I had spent the night. The shock of my brother washed over me again. I couldn't believe he was dead. Then, the realization of what I had done washed over me as well. I had just killed three, well-to-do men. Somebody will notice their absence. Max was right, I needed to run.