Today's Teaser Tuesday is from fellow Wild Child Publishing Author Larry Payne!
Enjoy & Comment
When a Comanche raiding party abducts his wife, Jake Hollister unpins his star and ventures out on a quest to find his beloved Suzanne. Now, six years later, his close friend John Henry Parker's wife, Sarah, has befallen the same fate.
Agreeing to ride together until Sarah is found, Jake and John Henry enlist the aid of an ex-buffalo soldier, Zachariah Benson. They follow a trail of death and destruction until a Comanche war party forces them to return home to recover from wounds.
Their relentless search resumes when Jake visits an old friend, Charlie Bold Eagle, and persuades the Indian tracker to join their quest. A chance encounter with Lou Garvey, an Indian trader, soon brings them face to face with the feared Comanche War Chief, White Buffalo.
Sarah Parker flicked the reins of the big black pulling the buggy. She always enjoyed her visits to the ranch of Ed and Martha Johnson. They’d lost their only daughter at a very young age to typhoid and channeled all their affections toward Sarah. She was glad she could bring some happiness back into their lives. As she approached the ranch house, Martha Johnson appeared on the porch, smiling and waving.
“Hello Sarah, how are you, child? It’s so good to see you again,” greeted Martha, as Sarah pulled back on the reins to halt the buggy in front of the house. “Come inside, I’ve made some fresh lemonade. Ed will see to the buggy.”
Sarah wrapped the reins around the arm of the seat and climbed down from the buggy. Martha, wearing a blue cotton dress and her salt and pepper hair up in a bun, met Sarah as she came up the steps and gave her a big hug. The two women wrapped their arms around each other’s waists as they walked across the porch and into the house. The pitcher of lemonade sat in the middle of the table along with a fresh baked tray of sugar cookies.
“I made these for Ed, but he won’t care if we sample a few,” said Martha.
She poured lemonade for Sarah and put two cookies onto a small plate. She then poured a glass of lemonade for herself.
“Ed will never know,” Martha chuckled and took a sugar cookie from the tray just as the dog began barking in the yard.
Sarah looked up. “Rowdy must be chasing rabbits,” Martha began to explain.
Three sudden shots from the rancher’s rifle brought the two women to the window in time to see Ed slump to the ground with two arrows in his chest.
“Ed!” shouted Martha as Sarah spotted the string of riders galloping down the rise. She pulled her friend away from the window, barred the door and grabbed a rifle and shotgun from above the fireplace.
“Where does Ed keep the shells?” asked Sarah
“In the hutch,” Martha replied, tears streaming down her face.
Sarah pulled out a box of cartridges for the rifle and a box of shotgun shells from the hutch drawer and handed the shotgun and the box of shells to Martha.
“Load this,” ordered Sarah firmly.
Martha dropped a shell into each barrel of the shotgun while Sarah loaded the Winchester.
“Shoot anything that shows itself,” instructed Sarah and levered the rifle.
They heard unshod horses thunder into the yard and Martha eased back the hammers of the shotgun. The bar held fast when Comanche braves put their shoulders to the door. A painted face appeared in the window and Martha triggered the shotgun, removing it in a spray of crimson.
Sarah fired twice as the warriors battered the door with the log bench from the porch. After a moment’s hesitation the battering continued until the door splintered under the pressure.
Martha’s shotgun roared as the first brave came through the door and Sarah levered the Winchester as fast as she could until it was empty.
Grabbing the rifle by the barrel, Sarah slammed the butt into the face of the next brave through the door. She kept swinging the rifle until it was wrestled from her grasp and she was knocked from her feet. Screaming hysterically, Martha threw the empty shotgun to the floor.
“Do not harm her.” The brave holding the rifle and standing over Sarah, looked toward the sound of the voice.
She gasped at the sight of the warrior standing in the doorway wearing the feathered bonnet of a war chief. Blood smeared his buckskin pants where Ed Johnson’s scalp hung from his waist. He entered the house and stood looking down at Sarah. He reached down and fingered her golden hair.
Sarah jerked her head away and spit at him, earning a smile from the Comanche war chief.
“Silence the old one,” he ordered.
The brave sent the butt of Sarah’s rifle crashing into the side of Martha’s head, toppling her over.
“This one will come with us,” the war chief declared.
Two Comanche braves jerked Sarah up from the floor and bound her wrists with a leather thong, then led her from the house to a waiting horse. Two other warriors flushed the horses from the corral as Sarah came out into the yard. Sporadic gunfire told her nothing on the ranch would be left alive. Flames already licked at the side of the barn.
The war chief vaulted up onto the back of his painted pony and pulled his lance from the ground beside it. He stepped his horse over to Ed Johnson’s lifeless body and buried the feathered lance into the mutilated corpse. He took the scalp from the waist of his buckskins and held it over his head to a round of screams from his warriors.
Leading Sarah’s horse, the raiding party galloped from the ranch yard.
Larry Payne grew up in East Chicago, Indiana and now resides in Chandler, Arizona with his wife, Susan, and their two cats, Molly and Emily. He is a US Navy veteran where he served as a Hospital Corpsman. He currently is employed at Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, AZ, as a Cardiac Monitor Technician. Besides western fiction, he has written short stories of crime fiction and science fiction.
His western fiction novella, RIDE THE SAVAGE LAND, will be released on February 28th by Wild Child Publishing. His short stories appear in Rope and Wire Western Short Stories Volumes 2 & 4 and The Best Of Frontier Tales Volume 1 as ebooks.
Amazon Author Page www.amazon.com/-/e/B007O3HW1Q