It's that time again boys and girls... Once again I have put virtual pen to virtual paper in the hopes of writing a story that you will find entertaining.
This is my first attempt at doing a sketch with the pencil. My thanks to Amanda for providing the inspiration to try. The sketch was done with pencil, knife and eraser.
At ages fourteen and fifteen respectively, a young boy and a young girl in different years and locations, are forced by hardships to leave their homes, and head west alone.
Little did they know that life would fill their futures with even more difficult times along their respective paths.
Who could have guessed that their travels would eventually bring them face to face in the town of Hidden Creek, Wyoming?
With all the baggage that each of them brought along, and with occupations at opposite ends of the spectrum, is there any hope at all that they might find happiness together, or are both destined to fade into the sunset with only their individual memories to look back upon?
Will either of them leave Hidden Creek alive?
As was his custom, Rio Henry, the Marshal of Hidden Creek, Wyoming, was sitting in front of the jail, watching the sun begin to rise on the horizon. For as long as he could remember, there was something magical for him in the early morning time period. There was a freshness to the day not found at any other time. It only lasted a few minutes, and the times that Rio had missed watching during his lifetime, were few and far between.
Perhaps fifteen minutes later, a couple of kids began playing in the street, George Bailey started opening up his livery stable, and a splash was heard as Mrs. Atkins threw out her dirty dish water onto the dirt street. The daily spell that captivated Rio's mind had been broken once again. Slowly, he rose to his feet, looked up and down the street, took a second to watch a hawk circling overhead, then walked across the street to the Tin Cup Cafe.
The Cafe was open, and Marshal Henry, as always, walked across the room, and took a chair at a table with his back to the wall. This vantage point allowed him to have the first view of anyone walking up to, or entering, the Cafe. That kind of preparation was a twenty four hour way of life for Rio Henry. Western Law Officers who got complacent, often got a little bit dead.
Laura brought his coffee and asked “The usual I assume?” When Rio nodded yes, she returned to the kitchen. In the three years he had been Marshal of Hidden Creek, his breakfast order had never changed, two eggs over medium, sausage and bacon, with biscuits and gravy. As Rio took a sip of his hot coffee, he observed young Ben Johnson opening up the office of the local newspaper, the Hidden Creek Clarion. Ben's father had owned and operated the Clarion, but had died from a heart attack about three months ago. Young Ben was only seventeen, but was doing his best to fill his father's shoes in the business. Recently, Ben had confided in Rio, that while he did want to learn the newspaper business, his true ambition was to become an author. Towards that end, he had began to ask questions about Rio's background.
“Why in the world would you want to know those things?” he asked Ben one day. “I'm about as interesting as day old bread.” Ben smiled and answered, “I'm afraid I must disagree Marshal. You have a lifetime of experience on the frontier including all these years as a peace officer. Things that you take for granted, are things that a great many people want to know about. I'm not necessarily looking to write
a biography on you, but the more I can learn about where you have been, and what you have experienced, the more ideas I will have for a novel someday.”
Rio shook his head and said, “Well, I still think it's a waste of time, but if you think it will help you, I'll go along with it. Just give me a few days to collect my memories.” Ben stood up, and answered, “Thank you very much Marshal. Right now, I have to finish getting the paper out.” Then he turned and went out the door.
Laura brought his breakfast, and refilled his coffee cup, then moved on to the other customers that had just sat down. Rio sipped his coffee, and tried to think back to when it all began. It was such a long time ago...