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Charlie MacNeil, SASS #48580

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  1. Charlie MacNeil 11-21-13 The congregation stood, and all eyes were on the belle of the ball. Sarah floated, or so it seemed, the length of the aisle, her fingers resting lightly on her Papa's sleeve, her every step and gesture that of a gueen accepting the homage of her subjects. She nodded regally at those nearest the aisle, with special smiles for those several who were most dear to her heart. As she passed Uncle Charlie and Aunt Fannie in their places in the front row she smiled, white teeth flashing, eyes of deepest blue sparkling behind her veil. Her lips moved as she whispere
  2. Linn Keller 11-21-13 Sean was everywhere. The big Irishman in the red-wool bib-front shirt was grinning, laughing, shaking hands, slapping backs, for all the world like a politician on campaign: he came over to me and dealt me a blow to my back that like to knocked the teeth out of my mouth, and had it not been for the quick reflexes of one of the bystanders, my hat would have surely hit the dirt, so brisk was his blow. Little Joseph grinned up at me and declared, "Grampa, Pa tied me a Windsor knot!" and so I squatted down, a move I immediately regretted, but I did not even try
  3. Linn Keller 11-20-13 Daisy commanded her small army with the efficiency of a field-marshal overseeing a major campaign. Kettles bubbles, frying pans sizzled, stoves threw out waves of heat; cooks stirred, spiced, chopped, tasted, frowned, nodded and did all the things master cooks do when preparing a superb feast for a large number of people. The Jewel was scrubbed, gleaming, set up for diners; Mr. Baxter wore a fine new apron, his hair slicked down; he would soon hang up the apron and leave the Jewel under Daisy's watchful eye, or one of her deputies: he did not intend to miss
  4. Linn Keller 11-20-13 Esther’s expression was ecstatic. She took a quick breath, her hands going to her belly, and she looked down at this maternal mound, then up at the watching midwife. Esther’s eyes turned and she smoothed her expression and Alfdis knew she was thinking of her husband, who would soon be dressing for the wedding. She shot a look at Alfdis, then blinked and shook her head. Alfdis nodded once, solemnly. The Sheriff rubbed Cannonball’s neck. The mare was beginning to labor, he knew, and she was not happy he was near her. “Don’t wall those eyes at me, l
  5. Linn Keller 11-19-13 Sarah convulsed, once, coming off her bed like a scalded cat. She landed on her feet, blade in one hand and reaching down for the shotgun's checkered grip: she froze, pupils dilated to the point that her eyes were black, with no trace of her usual pale blue. Nostrils flared, mouth open, eyes searching the darkness, she smelled the hot sand, the dust, she knew there were warriors at battle, she knew there was a desperate fight, a fight to the very death ... Gone. "What in two hells just happened?" she whispered, and then her already-wide eyes widened furth
  6. Charlie MacNeil 11-18-13 "Home". How sweet rang that single syllable, that one word. Though much time had passed in the battle, yet they had returned home mere moments after their departure. Though it had carried him to the site of the combat, the buckskin mare stood hipshot, dozing in the moonlight, patiently waiting for its rider to return. Charlie slipped the reins from about the animal's neck and turned toward the barn. "Come on, horse. Let's us get you unsaddled and turned out." Fannie, the pack mules and the sorrel followed. "Good fight," Cat Running commented as if speaki
  7. Charlie MacNeil 11-17-13 The combatants were drained, physically and spiritually, yet they fought on, for the stakes were too high for anything else. The enemies still came, though their ranks had thinned appreciably. Beyond reach of sword and lance, the evil masses gathered for one last great effort to overwhelm the four who still stood and shouted their defiance. The roiling mass boiled and fumed, gathering strength for that one overwhelming attack that should overrun the mortals before them... "Here they come," the warrior growled, his voice rasping deep in his parched throat
  8. Charlie MacNeil 11-17-13 The old man began to sing, a guttural chanting that ebbed and flowed, his voice lifting and falling, weaving its spell of light and darkness, life and death. Beside him the hellhound's own song, bayed into the wind, gave pause to the twisted forms that move to the attack. At the old man's other side, the warrior shouted into the wind, "YOU SHALL NOT HAVE HER! THIS IS THE FINISH! COME FORWARD AND PERISH!" His sword sang its own paean of blood and death as it clove the first of the attackers in twain to vanish as puffs of putrid black smoke. With a shrieki
  9. Charlie MacNeil 11-16-13 'Twas indeed a wild night, and the potential was out and about for an evil moon. Dawg raised his great ebony head from its resting place on his well-padded straw bed in the horse ranch barn to sniff the quickening breeze. Night-black ruff rose in a glossy wave on his thick-muscled neck, lips curled from the satiny ivory flash of incisors, boulder-crush rumble sounding from deep in the wide chest. He rose to his feet and padded to the open barn door to sniff deeply as the growl rumbled again. "You too, eh?" Cat Running's whisper slipped from the old man's
  10. Linn Keller 11-16-13 I lay awake that night, flat on my back, staring at the ceiling. There was a wild moon out; the wind was unhappy and sobbed like a lost child in the chimney, rumbled intermittently around the corners of the house: clouds scudded across the moon, fleeing some unknown danger, tearing themselves into gossamer wisps in their haste, and I lay flat on my back in my own bed, under my own roof, staring at the ceiling, wide awake. Esther lay a hand on my chest and whispered, "I can't sleep either." "I need a drink." "I'm hungry." I reached up and laid my hand
  11. Linn Keller 11-14-13 It felt good to get out. I rode down the middle of the street, remembering. I looked up the street and saw ghosts and memories. I saw the recollection of my Esther, vaulting over a hitch rail with rifle in hand, advancing and firing as she walked. I saw the memory of the Irish Brigade at a full gallop down the street, smoke rolling out the broad, stubby stack, whistle screaming and Sean standing in the driver's seat, swinging that blacksnake whip and singing and swearing in Gaelic. I saw friends and I saw memories and I saw where I wanted to spend the
  12. Charlie MacNeil 11-13-13 "I reckon you'd best head for home before your family forgets what you look like," Charlie drawled. His left elbow was crooked atop the battered pine plank bar of the second best saloon in Cripple Creek. It was nearing sundown, the hour after most of the daytime crowd had departed for someplace with better dining options and before the evening crowd began to trickle in, and the place was nearly deserted. A remarkably cold glass of relatively drinkable beer stood sentinel near the aforementioned elbow. He grinned at Jacob, who was maintaining essentially the
  13. Linn Keller 11-13-13 Sarah lowered the bell, laughing as children stopped running about outside and instead ran toward the steps, flowing like a multicolored stream around obstructions and slower students. She did not step aside or retreat as they rushed happily into the schoolhouse; she knew the importance of looking solid, firm, unmovable ... she was one of the limits on their world a child knew was needed. Sarah waited until the students were in, then she looked at Emma Cooper and smiled, nodded, and slipped out the door. Sarah lifted her skirt and stepped down to street l
  14. Linn Keller 11-12-13 Angela frowned at the red headed son of the fire chief. "My Daddy feeds his Walker grains," she said solemnly. "And he doesn't even use tweezers!" "You don't feed a Walker with tweezers," the eldest of Sean's clan said importantly. "You feed a Walker meat!" "Do not!" Angela flared. "Daddy feeds his Walker grains! And nickles!" "What kind of a dog eats nickles?" the young Irishman jeered. Angela ran her bottom lip out, debating whether to cry, deciding against it: she hoisted her nose in the air and with a "Hmph!" turned and stomped toward the schoolho
  15. Linn Keller 11-11-13 Esther sighed contentedly as she relaxed in her chair. Sarah watched her closely, knowing the attractive, matronly woman still had something to say. "I am so tired," she whispered, "just so very tired." "I know," Sarah whispered back, laying a hand on Esther's; the two women clasped hands, communed in feminine silence before Esther took a longer breath and spoke again. "Jade symbolizes life," she whispered. "We are links in a chain, a very long chain that runs back to the dawn of creation. We are part of a long, woven cord, a golden cord that runs throu
  16. Linn Keller 11-10-13 Sarah dismounted from the carriage carefully, almost uncertainly: her strength was returning and she too was healing, but she'd overextended herself far more than she'd realized. She paused, gripping the polished, gleaming side of the dashboard, one foot on the mounting-block and one in the carriage: a most unladylike pose, but she needed to take a moment and master herself. She brought her other leg down, breathed slowly through her nose, eyes tight shut, before she stepped off the mounting block and back to the back seat. She reached in, picked up a sli
  17. Linn Keller 11-9-13 Daffyd Llewellyn lay on his bunk and stared at the ceiling. The German Irishman looked over and murmured, "Don't fall in." Daffyd blinked, then rolled up on his left side and grinned. "I know that grin," the German chuckled. "If I didn't know better I'd think you were sweet on a lass!" "Aye, listen t' th' funny man," Daffyd chuckled. "So wha' happened? Ye went, ye danced, ye didn't touch a drop, ye didn't disappear wi' th' lass ... wha' did ye?" Daffyd's gaze was distant and he had a soft smile about his face. "I danced wi' my wife," he said softly
  18. Linn Keller 11-8-13 "Papa?" I jumped a little inside. I was sagged down and settin' on a rock, my head hung down and my fists doubled up, and when Sarah spoke nice and soft I like to shout out of my hide but I didn't show it. My breathin' was not good but I breathed through my nose and I durst not make reply, for I get short tempered and snappish when I'm hurtin' and I'd deliberately over done it that morning, deliberately set myself a-hurt ... like as not to punish myself. It took me a moment to realize Sarah's approach didn't sound right either. I stood, grabbed a grani
  19. Linn Keller 11-7-13 I swung up on top of Outlaw and waited. I felt kind of like a man who'd just touched match to a short fuse on a stick of powder. Now when I say I swung up on Outlaw ... I'm leavin' quite a bit out. I started by settin' my good hoof in the stirrup, or at least tryin' to. That didn't work so good. My right leg give out and I hit the ground flat on my back and it knocked the wind out of me. There I lay on the barn floor, my eyes squinted against the pain, my left foot still in the stirrup and that black pup lookin' at me from behind a hay bale, all bris
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