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Realistic or Modern Coldwater: A Supernatural Horror Western (OPEN)

Sub Genres
Historical, Horror, Supernatural
OOC
Here
Characters
Here

flies_with_owls

hoot hoot
⍟Sheriff Josiah Bridger╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾
July bore down on Coldwater like a hammer to an anvil, driving it's heat down into the very mud that soaked the main road, staining every boot, pant cuff and skirt hem the same dusty brown as the rest of the town. Humid curtains rose up in the heat and every shopkeeper had thrown their doors wide and kept a stained handkerchief handy to mop the perspiration from their bald pates. It was what the kind of day Josiah Bridger's pa used to call "hotter than Dutch love"; a day where the miners in the hills might choose to pan one of the cold mountain streams that gave the camp it's name rather than risk heat stroke in one of their digs.

Josiah could feel the collar of his shirt gathering up the sweat that dripped down his neck from beneath his hat. He strode slowly along the boardwalk that ran down the west side of the main street, his thumbs hooked into his gunbelt. A ramshackle wagon, heavily laden with what looked like an entire lifetime's worth of personal goods had come to a stop in front of the general good store and a straw haired family of homesteaders was busily seeing to the weary packhorse and taking stock of the town. The father, a tall bearded fellow was haggling inside with the shop keep in what sounded like a German accent while his elder son, a lad of scarcely thirteen stood guard over the cart. The mother stood by, bouncing a toddler on one hip and looking as if she might be cooking up the fifth member of the family in her belly.

New arrivals, it seemed like there were two or three more every day. Coldwater was a growing concern in the territory, fit to rival Deadwood, and with rumors of impending statehood whirling in the air, more and more eyes turned towards the rough and ready mining town as a chance for a fresh start.

Josiah smiled and tipped the brim of his hat as he passed the nervous looking mother, who offered back a demure nod. He remembered when he had arrived, almost five years ago, in a town that had barely started to grow. Half the plots along main street had still housed new arrivals in canvas tents left over from the war. Now as it spread its fingers further and further into the foothills, sights like this German family were all the more common. Of course, more people meant less room, less unclaimed prospects, less silver and less gold. He had had his hands full since last April rounding up drunks, thieves, and other law-breakers. Gambling was a concern in the town now and more than a few fistfights and once even a gunfight had broken out over allegations of card counting and other such cheats. Josiah thought he'd be like to take on another deputy by fall.

He scanned the street. There was an air of unease that only a tough summer day can bring on, a sense that any moment a thunderhead would roll in across the mountains.

People did wild things in the heat. And the longer it lasted, the readier Josiah would be with the single action colt that rode heavy on his right hip.
 

Humble1

Archives Rat
JB Carson.jpg"Hoo up, Josiah."

The roan horse shied, but eventually moved to catch up with the grey horse and its rider.

"I know, boy, I know. It's been a long road, but we're almost to where we need to be."

The town of Coldwater lay just ahead. His destination and - perhaps - his home for the foreseeable future. The main street was a half-filled with buildings half-constructed, just starting construction, or still just the gleam in the carpenter's eye. His eye was naturally drawn to the church building at the current end of the street, where gravel gave way to dirt and sod.

old-wooden-church-delphimages-photo-creations.jpgThe missionary committee had told the truth. The building was there. That was about all they got right. As promised, someone had built a church. Obviously the definition of church had been stretched a bit. It was a warehouse in a former life, but a steeple and a bell had miraculously turned it into a church. Without even going inside, James could tell that the "parsonage" would be a cot behind whatever alter he could rig together from crates.

Well enough. An old circuit rider like himself needed very little. At least it would keep the rain off.

A solitary man stood off the side of the road, watching the hustle and bustle of commerce along the main street. A tin star proclaimed him sheriff, although the low-slung revolver on his hip was probably a more useful indicator.

No time like the present to start getting to know the neighbors. "Ho there, sheriff. I'm James Carson, lately of Fort Dakota. The Methodist conference back east sent me to take over that nice little church you've got there. How stands Coldwater this blistering day?"
 

flies_with_owls

hoot hoot
⍟Sheriff Josiah Bridger ╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾
Josiah watched the whiskered gentleman approach, marking him for a man of the cloth before he was even in sure shooting distance by everything from his flat brimmed hat to the benevolent tilt of his head.

When the man paused to address the Sheriff, Josiah gave the brim of his hat a polite dip and squinted against the powerful sunlight.

"Tolerable, I suppose," he replied, hooking both thumbs into his belt buckle. "Aside from this goddamn heat, pardon the expression," he added. "I heard word the Methodists were sending someone out here. We haven't had a preacher through here since a Baptist feller' came through four months ago on his way to Oregon."

Sheriff Bridger stepped down from the boardwalk, his boots sinking into the mud left over from the previous night's rainfall.

" Josiah Bridger, " he said, extending a welcoming hand up to the preacher. "Sheriff of this one horse operation, for what it's worth." He looked around the street. No one else seemed much moved by the preacher man's presence. "I suppose I'm as good a welcome wagon as a man's bound to get out here."

Humble1 Humble1
 

strawberrycelia

lil pink bunn
Ricardo Hudson.png Coldwater's dirty little secret; that's what Ricardo feels like. He's a few paces away from the saloon, subtly counting his winnings from his last binge at the gambling table. It's not necessarily the life he wanted for himself, but it's far from home and that's enough. Besides, this 'career' is only a cover.

Coldwater is a bit of a bleak town, but there's hope in the faces of its inhabitants. It's usually refreshing - until all of those gazes become heavy with curiosity, with expectation. He's been around for about a week, and people already have awarded him the reputation of a lady's man. Little do they know that after a night under skirt he usually leaves with a heavier wallet rather than conscience. Gentlemen of the night aren't all that common, but it just means there's more room in the market for him. And if a few of those nights end up under leather pants instead, well that's just another opportunity for a bit of coin.

Those wandering resentful gazes mean nothing as long as his secret is safe. It's alright if the elderly women of the town say he's a bit of a dog, he knows he isn't hurting anyone. His maw would be proud no matter the job he has, as long as he's being true to his heart. His maw... she's the reason he's a bit out of his element today. He's making his way to the Chaste Cat, the town brothel. So far he's been on his own - but after last night's disaster, he simply can't anymore. He wants to know who he's sleeping with, and hopefully getting a boss to watch his back will help him do just that. That is, if Miss Theodora Blackwood will even accept him.

When he arrives, Ricardo realizes that the building is well kept and right pretty, especially compared to the rest of the town. Too nervous to enter just yet, he leans up against the side of the building, shoving his hands in his pockets and attempting to steel himself. It's only then that Rico spies the Sheriff for the first time, clear across town. He's a striking looking fella, dark brows and shockingly blue eyes. A whole new wave of flustered nerves sets in then, hoping he doesn't look too suspicious. Course, the sheriff probably has better things to do than attend to his god-awkward ass, so he sends over a wide and hopefully charming smile as the man attends to what looks like a reverend. He's never been too great with authority.
 

LadyLynx

New member, old roleplayer (was 'ShyWolf')

♢ ANGELA WATERS ♢


interactions; @ open

A pair of warm brown hues moved away from the swinging saloon doors of The Golden Coin, and the familiar back of Ricardo, as a small chuckle trickled in her chest, the bartender returning her attention to the whiskey glass she was drying off with a white cloth. He had won again it seemed, by his stride and expression - not to mention the expressions of those he left behind at the gambling table. Her hands slowed as the observant brown eyes stilled on the remaining gamblers, sensing an all too familiar tension from the table, stirred on by harsh expressions, wry mouthes and muttered words.

"Gentlemen!" Angela's voice rang out, not even as loud as a shout but it might as well have been, as the muttering halted instantly and a few of the gazes from the gambling table was turned towards her. "Fair game, ain't it? Fair and square?" The saloon owner's words were tinged with a touch of 'don't start trouble now', enough to make the gentlemen at the table straighten up and nod the slightest, returning to the game as a new set was dealt. Once again the bartender chuckled quietly to herself as her glass, that was more than polished by now, was set down, her attention returning to the entrance of the bar briefly before she turned around to take stock of her inventory - both the bottles on the shelves behind the bar, and the many more bottles hidden underneath the counter. Its the wild west, gotta take precautions after all.

The heat was blistering today, and Angela once again appreciated her decision to not have a full on door, but instead half swing-doors, as the entrance to her saloon. The windows were open as well, an attempt to invite whatever breeze that decided to pass by in for a visit, and hopefully a longer stay, to cool down the bartender and the few regulars that hung around. Angela also dressed for the weather, donning a light, off shoulder white dress, reaching mid-thigh, leaving some bare skin before her usual, long black boots started underneath her knees. This bare skin, along with the bare skin on her shoulders and arms, were sometimes mistaken for an invitation, usually by drunk men, new men, or just stupid men, but it didn't take long for them to learn that the bartender was not just on loan from the brothel that was nearby. Angela was charismatic, sharp but kind, but she was also stubborn as a mule and not afraid to set her foot down - whether it be from unwanted attempts of a night in the sheets, or attempts to get free drinks.

Free drinks weren't impossible though, as evident when the bartender soon after her inventory check - need to get more whiskey, it seems - approached the gambling table with flasks of beer for the gentlemen - and one for herself, extra chilled to combat the summer heat. The few men that weren't sitting with a bad hand, and therefore couldn't focus on anything else, thanked her with variations of nods and words, and even a toothy, flirty grin from one. "To a good game - may the best hands win" Angela sent them a wink and after a brief raising of her beer, turned around and walked back behind the counter whilst drinking from her flask with practiced ease. It was important to her to treat the regulars well - especially if it meant they had more of a tendency to come, and less of a tendency to start trouble. Leaning against bar with her front towards the entrance, she stood in silence with a beer in hand and simply observed the room and out the window, halfway lost in thoughts of many types and sorts.

She treated those who deserved it with kindness, but otherwise ran her business with an iron hand, which was a requirement for running a business in the wild west.
This was her saloon, her pride, The Golden Coin.

TEMPLATE © BOKEH
 

Humble1

Archives Rat
JB Carson.jpg
"Well, you're a fine welcome wagon as far as I'm concerned. It's good to see the law out among the people. Gives to place a feeling of stability."

The horse named Josiah wickered. James absently reached out a hand to calm the shaggy roan.

"But Josiah is telling me he wants to be unloaded, and I'd probably better go roust any lingering Baptists preachers out of the church building -- ooh, a see you have a saloon open, well that's where they'll be, nevermind. I'll catch up with you later, sheriff. Feel free to stop by the church."

With a final nod, James Carson guided his horses towards the steeple. His path happened to take him near the saloon, The Golden Coin. He paused to regard the establishment for a moment. Finally, he cleared his throat and spoke in a loud voice:

"JUST SO YOU KNOW ... when you all wake up tomorrow with a stomach full of bile and a mouth that tastes like the back-end of a sweaty horse, and your heart is as empty as your wallet ... the church will be open to visitors."

He tipped the brim of his hat towards The Gold Coin sign and continued on his way.
 

flies_with_owls

hoot hoot
⍟Sheriff Josiah Bridger ╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾
The Sheriff watched the preacher move off with the horse that shared his name with a wry shake of the head. At least the feller had stones on him, that couldn't be denied. He was a sight better of a fit than the lily white baptists that had flustered his way through a few sermons before setting off towards the coast.

Bridger pushed his way through the bat wing doors of the Golden Coin, his boots tapping out a hard rhythm on the floorboards. A few of the locals who had set up an impromptu game of five card at one of the low round tables. They looked up at the Sheriff's entrance, but quickly returned to their game as he gave them a passing nod. Most people in town knew Bridger to see him and few paid him any kind save for those with reason to avoid the law.

"Afternoon, Angela," he said amicably, siding up to the bar where the indomitable tavern keeper stood surveying her little domain.

"We've got a man of God in town. Methodist feller, riding circuit. Reckon he's gonna convert all these sinners in here into teatotalers and put you and all the girls down at The Cat out of business."

He smiled broadly at his own joke.

LadyLynx LadyLynx
 

LadyLynx

New member, old roleplayer (was 'ShyWolf')

♢ ANGELA WATERS ♢


interactions; flies_with_owls flies_with_owls

"Sheriff" Angela greeted, turning her attention and gaze towards the man in charge as he entered, her hand already reaching underneath the counter to grab a glass. "To what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?" As she spoke, and afterwards listened to the sheriff's words of the preacher, the bartender poured the man his usual drink. She never asked him to pay, as to her, it was her way of showing gratitude for the man's assistance in the past whenever a few fights turned too rough. Sometimes she needed a bigger person with a bigger gun and a bigger voice, and Josiah hadn't let her down so far. No shame in admitting it either, as she wasn't naive enough to believe that she could handle everything and everyone, but all considering, she felt she managed quite well so far.

So a drink once in a while was the least she could do for the Sheriff, seeing as the alternative was her bar or customers being shot up.

"A preacher, you say? A man of the word of god... well, sheriff, you know as well as little me, that many folk here have other gods than such, mainly gold, girls and glasses of booze. I doubt I, or the Madamme, will be out of a job anytime soon, especially with the growth this lil' town is facing lately. But who knows, maybe I too will wear a cross and swear off booze and other pleasures." Angela joked right back as she was pouring into the glass, unable to hold back a grin at the mere idea of her being converted to a righteous woman - especially when she was anything but. She herself had a appriciation for booze, not one that lead her to be a drunkard, but one that usually meant she knew exactly which whiskey tasted of what and went well with what, and so on.

"But, that does explain the odd words that were thrown into this room only moments ago - I wonder how many people for whom the words will take hold, and for how many the words will simply fall for drunken or deaf, gold-stuffed ears" Angela slid the glass of the man's preferred beverage over to him, her warm brown hues glinting lightly with amusement that was mirrored in her voice, an amusement much like his own. She had not even need to move her gaze to watch the glass, being so used to sliding glasses and mugs across the counter, it basically being muscle memory at this point. "One must admire the man though, for his determination. His passion. I, personally, believe myself to be out of his reach, and the reach of his god, but maybe for some, he is what they need. I can only hope the town treats him well, and if not, I can rest assured that you will." A wink was tossed the sheriff's way, surely not a rarety, with the status and appearance he possessed. Josiah was a handsome man, she wasn't shy to admit that, but he was also a man of moral, honor and respect, and for that, he was admired and respected by many, Angela included.

"Those new town-folk... To pack up and travel in such a heat... It's a miracle they can endure it, especially the horses. Seems like you're going to be a busy man though, Josiah, if you aren't so already. You just let me know if you're on the lookout for good folk to give you a hand - contrary to common belief, there are some decent folk that come through these saloon doors, much like yourself." Angela smiled, a smile that turned into a sigh and a shake of her head in dissapointment, as not even a second after her claim was aired, a gentleman towards the back stumbled over a chair, and proceeded to drunkenly confront the furniture, with slurred words and uncoordinated threatening fists.

"I said some, didn't I?" The bartender defended, but couldn't resist chuckling a bit at the man's antics in the end, relieved that she wouldn't have to intervene as the drunken man seemingly received an unheard apology from the wooden furniture, attempted to shake it's non existent hand, and proceeded to sit down and pass out onto the table not even seconds later.

"Never a dull day in this town."

TEMPLATE © BOKEH
 
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tallonisfarout

somewhere between psychotic & iconic.
Delia rolled to her side, her false eyelash dropping to her cheek. She groaned at the overwhelming light streaming from her open window. It had been far too hot out to sleep without the aid of the fresh night air that drifted through. Her final customer of the night had parted before daybreak, leaving nothing but the lingering smell of pipe tobacco and a single crumpled bill on the nightstand. Her nearly waist length mahogany curls were slightly matted from the previous night with wispy baby hairs lying flat against her face. She yawned, sitting up after a few moments of hesitation. Jasper stirred from the living chair staged across from her empty fireplace before tucking his chin back over his tail and closing his eyes again. Her attention turned to the measly dollar lying on the table. She sighed, wiping the sleep from her eyes before she stuffed the bill under her mattress.


“Cheap bastard” she muttered to herself.

rs_1024x759-150406110016-1024-the-royals6-episode-4.jw.31915.jpg

She stood up slowly, wrapping a silk dressing gown around her petite frame before opening the door just a crack and peeking out into the smoking lounge area that renters shared as a communal space. She hovered in the doorway, listening intently for a few moments the stars in her vision slowly faded. The only voices she heard were those of the regulars that rarely (if ever) paid her much mind. That made sense. It was far too early in the day yet for most folks to partake in their preferred indulgences. Plus, it sounded like Sheriff Bridger was out there. She shut the door quietly in an effort not to alert Angela, who would certainly be looking for rent dues.


Deciding to put the issue behind her for the moment, Delia drifted back to the center of the room to get herself ready. Something was off, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. Slightly irritated, she retrieved her hairbrush from the nightstand and got to work on the knots that had formed overnight. She was just about to start pinning the now smooth hair into hot curlers when something odd caught her attention in the reflection of her hand mirror.


Behind her, sitting atop the fireplace mantel, a small figurine of an angel looking to the ceiling with her hands folded in a prayer position had been moved, now facing the door that where she had just stood. She furrowed her brow, crossing the room quickly to investigate. A wide grin spread across her lips as she lifted the figurine to reveal a small sachet of white powder. She dropped a pinch of the mystery substance and quickly cut a line with her hairpin before snorting it in one go.
 

Ghoulina

That one onion that is rooting for you

Bambi Skellet


bambi7.png

▓ Interaction: Fred Colon Fred Colon
▒ Mention: flies_with_owls flies_with_owls
░ Mood: Panicked and upset.

A light mist coated the grass like a hazy carpet, wrapping around trees and bush delicately as the sun began its morning climb into what would be a hot July sky. Bambi had started up early, barely able to sleep the prior evening tucked away in her bedroll underneath the stars and leafy elm branches that dotted the area. It was partly the cold that stung at night, especially with no fire, as she didn't dare make one. Something was afoul in the darkness of those woods, something that scared her and made her move with the greatest of caution even in the daylight. She quietly journeyed along, an old rifle slung onto her back and satchel softly swinging back and forth as she traversed valley and hill. In a clearing she spotted a couple of men trudging back the opposite way, one older and one young, she recognized them and brought her hands up to her lips and let out a high pitched bird whistle. They met in the clearing, the sun already hard at work burning the morning mist away.

"Hey y'all, seen anybody?" She asked, wiping her face with a bandana from her pocket.

"Naw, just rabbits. You still goin' to town?" Todd, the older of the two responded giving her a critical look.

"... Y'all better get back before nightfall."

"It's a mistake lil Bambi. You ain't gon find nothin' there, and next thing you know they'll be out for clan blood. They'll think it's us, and if not they'll think it's the McTeagues, we all told you. They're all bastards." Lenny the younger retorted, annoyed.

She folded her bandanna and shoved it back into her pocket quietly, then began walking along. "Y'all better get on now, remember what I said. It's not safe out here." She called out, not looking back. Odd happenings were afoot, folk were missing and howling could be heard in the night, howling that she was sure didn't come from a run of the mill wolf or coyote. The Skellet's had been sending out their young and able bodied to look for the missing, but none had any luck in their searches, if they even came back. In silence, she prayed to God, if one really did exist, to keep those boys safe- and she would come home just as sure as sunshine with help, with answers.

Suddenly, a smell hit her nose. It was hot, metallic, but also festering and repugnant. It was blood she was sure, an animal decaying in the heat of the woods. She followed it, wondering if there was hide to salvage. Bits of blood splattered on grass, foot prints everywhere, her trained eyes picked up every detail. A chase, something large, but those tracks... Were they human? She looked further into the bush and spotted a scrap of fabric and broken branches- her blood ran cold. Sprinting with all her might she followed the trail, soon the chattering of crows and buzzing of insects floated into her ears and she breathed hard and heavy, heart pounding. "Oh good lord in heaven help us! Good God!" She stood petrified, there among juneberry bushes laid a man she recognized, though he was ravaged near unrecognizable, flesh torn and clothing shredded. Old Elmo Crane, a fellow trapper lay dead, torn apart by Lord knew what. "Get off him! Get the hell off!" She screamed, kicking at the crows hysterically. Hopelessly, she screeched for help and clumsily grabbed her rifle off her back, vision blurred with tears. She aimed at the sky and let out three shots as quickly as she could, then collapsed onto her knees and wept, holding her small quivering body up by the shaft of her weapon.

Todd and Lenny found her not long after, hearing her signal shots. Unfamiliar with Mr. Crane, the two still had sympathy for the poor old man and their weeping sister who was beside herself. Many folk who worked in the wilderness knew the two were companions, Bambi was a friendly sort and enjoyed fishing with the elder and playing cards. Not knowing what else to do, they wrapped the man in her sleeping roll and carried him towards town wordlessly. Finally, Coldwater, and a heat as hot as any bore down on them as they clomped onto a nearby boardwalk.

Instantly the looks came. Bambi was a known figure to most in the town, but she had almost never been around so early, and certainly not with two Skellet men. They stuck out like a sore thumb, nobody more than she with no sign of skirts or coiffed hair, more likely to have a tackle box in hand than a fan or lace handkerchief. She wore her favorite overalls, patched and loose on her small frame, obviously handed down from someone else, with a beaten old white shirt underneath and an equally beaten pair of boots on her feet. On her head, a chewed up looking dark brown flop hat sat protecting her eyes from the harsh sun. Though looked upon softer than her counterparts due to her friendliness and non threatening small stature, they were seen as an unsavory crew, immoral and uncivilized, dangerous. The weird hill folk, as she often heard them called, didn't garner much approval- especially that day.

"We'll set him down by the doc, sure they have one. We ain't stayin' any longer, these people'll string us up for this if they don't shoot us first." Todd huffed, sweaty and tired from the journey.

"Doc? I think he's well past that brother, might as well bring him to the goddamned church and find a plot, save these uppity town folk the work!" Lenny was irritated, he hadn't wanted to set foot in the town and it was written all over his face.

"Shut up Lenny! Have some goddamned respect! Now bring im' over here, maybe a doc can tell what did this to him- Where is he anyways?" She cried shakily, pounding on the door to the clinic frantically as the boys set down poor Elmo Crane as gently as they could.

"Sister, we gotta get outta here. People is lookin- and you should too, you done enough here now let's go!" Todd hissed urgently.

Whispering townsfolk began to approach, most of them ready to draw iron at any second. "I ain't goin' nowhere! Now get, I'll be home when I can, get!" Bambi commanded with tears still streaming from her puffy red eyes. Todd and Lenny took off immediately, shambling off the boardwalk and back towards the woods as quick as they could. "Doctor! Where's the damned doc, and where's the sheriff? Why don't one of y'all get the sheriff instead of lookin' at me slack jawed, there's a man dead- Elmo is dead!" she cried, voice weak and hoarse by that point.






 

strawberrycelia

lil pink bunn
The woman runs into town like a bat out of hell, small but commanding in her intensity and emotion. She's slight but has an unmistakable strength about her, small fists beating loudly against the doctor's door. Rico snaps to attention when she shouts, never one to argue much with an authoritative woman. He's already moving to obey and run for the old man when he notices the apparent state of the body she's carrying - death here isn't uncommon. Overdoses, sickness, exposure - it's all common enough. But this corpse - a bloody mess of what used to be a human - it's enough to make him a little dizzy with just a glance. The body is wrapped tightly in a sleeping bag, but even that doesn't hide the horror. Flesh is torn like paper, ripped from bone, and left to hang. His mouth fills with saliva, nausea rising hard and fast as bile fills his mouth.

Rico swallows, trying to focus. It's the woman's desperation that pulls him back to focus. The sheriff - he saw the sheriff. He turns on a dime, racing towards the Golden Coin. Boots nearly slipping in the mud, Rico busts through the saloon doors, shattering the peaceful chaos of the tavern. "Mister Sheriff Sir- There's a dead man in town, dead right in the square! A lady brought him in, a huntin' woman!" It's panicked and ineloquent, he knows he must look right spooked, but Ricardo has never seen a body so torn up like that. He's a little scared, for the first time painfully aware of what an outsider he is here. He's so far from home.

Swallowing down the sudden onset of flustered nerves he ducks back out of the saloon, pushing through gawking townsfolk to get back to the woman. "I got him - he's coming now, don't worry, he's - he's comin'." Ricardo doesn't know if he's at all comforting but he doesn't know what else to do.

Ghoulina Ghoulina
 
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QuickSmasherEXE

Less is More
Alexander Gurley shuffled peaceably into Coldwater with his rear on his saddle and his saddle on a horse. Along the way he passed a man who seemed to be a preacher, whom he greeted politely before continuing on his way. Soon Gurley stopped near a saloon, dismounted, and began to tie up his horse. He was looking forward to a good game of cards before finding a place to settle in. There was no sense in unpacking if the gambling was no good anyway, so it would be quite nice to-

"Mister Sheriff Sir- There's a dead man in town, dead right in the square! A lady brought him in, a huntin' woman!"
Well shoot.

Gurley wasn't personally upset to hear that, but it would seem a bit disrespectful to just ignore it. He peaked around his mount to try and ascertain whatever it was that strange lad was hollering about, staying very still and very quiet.
 

Fred Colon

It was so much easier to blame it on Them.
Zebadiah Acker wiped down the operating table one more time, just for good measure. Coldwater wasn't the easiest town to be a doctor in, but at least he had a building, a structure that he could call his own. He didn't have to operate knee deep in mud, or in a tent with too many wounded and not enough doctors. The men weren't, usually, screaming when he got to them, and he didn't have to pull out bullets while cannon fire boomed over head.

No. It wasn't easy, but he didn't have anything to complain about. The best part was that he could keep everything neat. There weren't so many patients that he couldn't straighten things out after they left, even if blood stains were difficult to get out of the wood slats of the floor.

After he scrubbed a spot of miscellaneous effluvia left over from his last patient, he heard the shouting break out in town. He wasn't too far off from the city center, and thankfully not too far from the local watering hole and brothel, as most of his patients came straight from those places to here. But shouting didn't always mean he was needed, so he stayed put. His doctors bag was by the door, though, as always.

But when the shouting didn't die down, Zebadiah sighed. Even if they weren't calling for a doctor now, shouting like that usually meant someone would need a doctor soon. So it was when one of the local boys, Eddy Farson, pounded his fist on the door that Zebadiah already had his Kepi Union hat on his head, doctors bag at his side, and one hand on the door.

"Theys callin' for ya, doc. Some of them hill folk. Got a dead body." Eddy said without preamble, rubbing his eye, and smearing the dirt all over his young face further."

"Not much I can do for a dead body."

"Tha's what I said. But that hill folk girl is plumb crazy, crying and screaming and carrying on as she is."

"Well, regardless. Thank you, boy, for coming to tell me." Zebadiah ruffled the boys hair, "Stay out of trouble."

"Right, Mr. Acker." He said, with a smile of one who had no intention of listening.

Zebadiah strode past Eddie, and into town. The hill folk? They usually kept to their own. But if the woman was in hysterics she might be hurt, too. He wouldn't be surprised if no one thought to check. Wounded folks didn't all look the same, and many assumed if you were walking around making noise, concerned about others, you were fine, when that was very much not the case.

A small crowd had gathered. Indeed, as Eddy had said, three of the hill folk surrounded another of their kind, a trapper. Zebadiah had seen the woman before, but not the men, and he couldn't quite tell who the corpse even was.

The corpse, though! It looked like it had been torn apart. He hadn't seen such extensive damage since the war, but it was definitely not gun or cannon fire that had done the man in. But he could wait.

"Excuse me, Ma'am. Miss Skellet, I believe?" Zebadiah said slowly, calmly, in his best authoritative doctors voice. "Are you alright? I'm going to ask you to sit down, away from the corpse. I'd like to give you a little check up, if it's all the same to you. I understand he must have been a friend of yours, but there's nothing neither one of us can do for him right now and I need to make sure all that blood down your front isn't yours. Even if you don't think your hurt, you might be. Can you tell me what happened?"

Zebadiah knelt by the woman and opened his doctors bag.

Ghoulina Ghoulina
 

flies_with_owls

hoot hoot
⍟Sheriff Josiah Bridger ╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾

Rico burst through the bat wings so quickly half the hands in the Coin ended up on a gun before they saw the efite young man catching a breath and frantically announcing the arrival of a dead body in the square.

"Woah, son. Hell, take a breath," Bridger admonished. "I'm coming."

He turned to the bartender and offered her a coin which she flatly refused. This was their little ritual. Bridger didn't hold with using his position to take advantage of folk in the town, but he wasn't about to turn down the occasional gift on a Sheriff's salary.

"Never a dull moment, Angela," he smiled wryly and followed Rico back through the bat wings and towards the south end of town.

A Small crowd of lookie-loos had already begun to gather in the street in front of Doc Acker's place as the Sheriff strode up, hot on Rico's eager tail.

"Alright," he announced, trying to get the crowd's attention. "Clear back. Y'all look like a bunch of turkey buzzards." The gathered townsfolk stepped out of his way.

Bridger had once been a Texas ranger, and in that time he had seen sights that would make the most seasoned rough rider go pale, but the remains of Elmo Crane gave him considerable pause. The trapper's shirt was little more than a twist of rust colored rag barely clinging to his torso which had been ripped, clawed, and mauled into little more than hamburger meat and bones. The entrails were long gone, leaving his chest cavity empty.

But it wasn't the gore that turned Bridger's stomach, it was the look of nightmarish terror frozen on the man's face, cemented by the rigor Morris that had seized the corpse.

"God help us," Bridger, a man for whom faith was a distant memory, whispered as he surveyed the body.

"Is it wolves, Sheriff?" A woman in the crowd asked fearfully.

"Naw," intorted a man, "It one of the injuns from the other side of the mountain." a murmer of assent rumbled through the onlookers. Bridger turned on the speaker.

"Shut your damn fool mouth, Jackson," he snapped. "You trying to start a panic? And the rest of y'all disperse! Go home!"

He squatted down to eye the corpse as the gathered people slowly began to dissipate.

He saw Doc Acker nearby talking to a rough clad young woman who seemed to be in a sorry state.

He rose with a wince and approached the pair, hat in hand.

"Afternoon, Miss," he said. "You care to tell me what's going on here?"

Ghoulina Ghoulina Fred Colon Fred Colon
 
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Ghoulina

That one onion that is rooting for you

Bambi Skellet

bambi7.png

▓ Interaction: flies_with_owls flies_with_owls / Fred Colon Fred Colon
▒ Mention: strawberrycelia strawberrycelia
░ Mood: Worried, nervous.

Thankfully, someone had their wits about them. A handsome young man had run off to find help, and thank goodness for that because Bambi was getting nervous herself. Townsfolk were gathering, gawking at poor Mr. Crane and spouting out all manner of theories from Indians to ghostlike spectres in the woods. She hugged herself tightly and looked back down at Elmo, though she badly wanted not to. His face was something she would never forget, twisted and stuck in a way she had never seen it, the fear, the terror he must have felt. She felt awful for him, he didn't deserve whatever had happened to him, and he definitely didn't deserve to become a bloodied spectacle in the middle of town.


Shortly, the doctor approached and quickly went into action. Bambi followed his order and stood back. He wanted to do a check up on her, which she immediately wanted to refuse but upon looking down at the blood all over her overalls she could understand why. Bambi had never had a looking over by any sort of doctor before, and was a little afraid that he would pull out some scary metal apparatus to prod her with. "U-um... Y'all can look at me sir, I ain't never seen a doc before- but I ain't had nothin' happen to me, nothin' like Mr. Crane over there," She began shakily, not sure how to best explain.

Shortly after, the sheriff arrived. This was very good because her entire purpose of coming to Coldwater was to speak to him, but she certainly hadn't expected it to shake out like this. Sheriff Bridger, she knew his name, seemed a decent sort. Bambi hadn't given him any trouble outside the occasional drunken mischief when she wandered into town and took to drinking and gambling. She swallowed hard, mind racing, still trying to piece together a explanation that wouldn't result in her being thrown in jail for hysterical madness. "Mr. Sheriff Sir!" She blurted, not exactly sure how to address him but layering on every politeness possible. "I was journeying you see, makin' the trip from the deep woods to Coldwater- I was fixin' on seein' you, was the reason why. O-on the way... See I'm a hunter, I live out there so I knows it, I smelled blood." She began slowly, deciding that as accurate an account as possible would be best. Her theories could wait for later.

"There in the bush, I could see tracks. I t-thought for sure, just a deer- maybe there'd be some hide leftover... The tracks sir, they were big and small, now I think about it the small ones were poor Mr. Crane over there. I crept up as fast as I could, the branches were all broken, the tracks were so big... And there he was." at this recount, she couldn't help but choke up again and wiped her eyes with her damp bandanna. "Elmo laid low in a juneberry patch sir. Found him just an hour ago maybe, didn't see nobody else, didn't see nothin' at all but them damned crows and those buzzin' flies." She continued, obviously distressed by the thought.

"I-thought a bear had done it sir, but you seen him, it ain't no bear. Now this got me real worrisome you see," she got closer to him, realizing that there were still a few curious bystanders around. "You see sheriff, some of my folk gone missin' up in those hills- and my folk ain't the sort to get lost up there, or be hoodwinked by no outlaw. We sent good strong men out lookin, but they never come home- and I know you'll think I'm crazy, I'm damn near sure most of ya'll already do, but things ain't right up there. I think there's a creature up there taking folk away and- and- doing what they did to Mr. Crane." She whispered loud enough for the doctor and sheriff to hear, hoping nobody else caught it, but she wasn't proficient in controlling her volume at the time. Her eyes were puffy, red and wide and wild with fear. She wanted to tell them more, tell them about the howling in the night that sounded otherworldly, the shadows about the trees, the eery quiet where the sounds of birds used to be. But she would wait to see his response, standing there nervously clutching her bandanna, waiting to see if they'd string her up just like the boys had said before they ran off.






 

flies_with_owls

hoot hoot
⍟Sheriff Josiah Bridger ╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾

He recognized the girl now. She was one of the Skellets. The family came into town every few months to trade off some pelts and maybe do a little gambling. He had given her and her people the run off once when a few too many drink led to a tussle with some prospectors at the Coin, but she'd never been much trouble besides that.

This story she just told was a different matter.

He should have laughed her out of town. The hill people were always coming down with some story or another about creatures and demons in the trees, voices in the mine tunnels and spirits in the mountains, but most wrote it off as a side effect of the home-brewed liquor most of them swigged down like stream water up there in the wilds.

He might have laughed, but for the look in her eyes, and the haunted face of the late Elmo Crane.

Hers was not the first complaint either. A few cattle drivers who had camped near a bend in the creek had reported strange sounds in the woods and a few mutilated cattle. Most had assumed wolves and coyotes, but wolves and coyotes were not known for chasing down and eviscerating trappers if there was less dangerous game about, and a feller who had spent as many years of his life trapping in the rugged wilderness as Elmo Crane would have know how to steer clear of any that had turned to man hunters.

Hell...

"Doc," he said. "When you finish with Miss Skellet, bring her round the Sheriff's office. I want to take a full statement."

Ricardo was still lingering close by, brimming with the eager to please energy he always seemed to exude.

"Rico," the Sheriff called. "Get a couple fellers together and go up and down the town. Tell them I'm calling a meeting in the Coin tonight at 5:00pm sharp."

After enlisting another couple of hands to help move Crane's body to the undertaker. Bridger sighed long and hard and made his way back towards the office. it was shaping up to be a longerday than he thought.

Ghoulina Ghoulina Fred Colon Fred Colon strawberrycelia strawberrycelia
 

LadyLynx

New member, old roleplayer (was 'ShyWolf')

♢ ANGELA WATERS ♢


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That was not exactly what the bartender had meant when she said 'never a dull moment in this town', but as Rico returned in all haste, this time not for winnings but instead for the Sheriff, and the whole commotion started and voices of panic drifted in through the open windows of the saloon, Angela dropped her forehead onto the counter with a groan as the Sheriff headed out the door.

"I swear, if I jinxed something again, I'm still not taking the blame." The saloon owner muttered into the dark oak counter, remembering the not so fond time when she'd said 'You're going to shoot someone some day, boy' to a cocky young man, and it backfired, literally. He was busy bragging about his weapon collection, pointing a large, overly engraved silver rifle around carelessly. Her comment had been met with a rather misogynistic retort about how 'you couldn't know much about guns, woman, and you better stick to polishing and serving', but not even a minute later, the sound of the rifle going off suddenly was deafening. The rifle had had quite the firepower, definitely something to brag about, but the fact that he'd accidently shot the huge, burly bearded leader of a group of bounty hunters passing through, none the less in the man's left buttock, was not something to brag about. The young man looked absolutely terrified as the leader shouted and stood up with enough force to send the bar stool flying back, and the group of men and few women around the youngster leapt several feet back away from him, as if he'd suddenly turned radioactive. As the leader slowly approached the youngster with raised fists, just as his four comrades behind him, the man turned his terrified gaze to Angela, lifted a shaky finger and pointed at her accusingly.

"You..."

"No, don't you even, boy, I cannot be held responsible for- gentlemen, no pulled guns in the saloon please, thank you, now don't be too roug-... hey, Mason, could I persuade you to get the Sheriff?"

It definitely hadn't been her fault then, and surely it couldn't be now either. Right?
Angela raised her head from the counter, snapping out of the memories from back then with a far-off look, before shaking her head and straightening up. Nope, not her fault. She'd been backtracking the events of the last few days, but couldn't find anything she'd done that would've caused this much uproar.

Angela could only leave the saloon if it was closed, or whilst the sheriff or another who would have her back were present. But she could watch and listen in from the entrance of the Golden Coin, and so she did, making it out there in time to hear half of the clearly shaken woman's words, and the words of the sheriff. Dread tugged at her stomach as she leaned against the wooden doorframe, biting her lower lip absentmindedly. It didn't sound good, what the woman had said and the tone of which the sheriff spoke. What had happened? And more importantly - what was going to happen?

"Claire." A young woman exited the saloon moments later, Angela's words making her stop on her way past the bartender and turn to face her with a small smile. "Go tell the Madame that somethings going on, yea? She'd wanna know." The young woman nodded, and continued onwards on her way towards the brothel a bit down the way from the saloon.

First after then, Angela noticed the man behind the horse, seemingly having been tying up the mount before stopping to listen in to the ongoing events, just as she herself was doing. She offered the gambler a small but warm, and a bit surprised, smile and a brief nod of her head.

"You're most welcome to head inside, I'll be right there behind the bar to serve you something to wet the throat." She dipped her head in the direction of the commotion as she spoke, and with a last smile towards the gentleman, she turned back to tune in to the commotion further down the street. She mentally noted herself the sheriff's words about meeting at the saloon at 5:00 pm sharp, and after a quick glance inside, seemed to determine that she wouldn't have to kick out many at the time of the meeting, if they were even still there. The gamblers seemed to be betting less and less by now, a few gentlemen were stewing over glasses that were now almost empty, and even one or two drunkards were asleep on the table. There were a lotta different people in town, and some could bear to hear what the sheriff would bring up at 5:00, but some couldn't, for various reasons.



(You can use the part with Claire as a means of introduction for your character, Wolfiee Wolfiee , if you so wish.)

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tallonisfarout

somewhere between psychotic & iconic.
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interactions: LadyLynx LadyLynx

The foul stench emitting from the corpse of Elmo Crane wafted through Delia’s open window long before the commotion caught her attention. The scent of rapid human decay under the sweltering mid-July sun hit her like a freight train. Delia wiped the traces of powder from her nose with the back of her hand before leaning out of the window in an attempt to get a view of the commotion below. It was a pose she adopted fairly often during her working nights as she lured drunken miners into her bed. She didn’t often take customers into her own boarding room, opting instead to bring them across the street to The Chaste Cat where the Madame could keep an eye out for any funny business. She was good about vetting customers and spotting red flags from the gate, and she protected her staff above all else.



This morning, however, the spoils of her labor were far from her mind as she hung out of the window in little more than a house coat and half a set of hot rollers. The bird’s eye view of the town center afforded her a terribly long look at the corpse of Mr. Crane. She gagged, nearly retching at the sight of the viscera spilling out of the man’s torso and the empty chest cavity one displaced hand still clutched with white knuckles. She quickly retreated, slamming the window down as her knees hit the floor and she immediately vomited into the tin wastebasket that sat at the foot of her bed.



“Christ,” she mumbled to herself after a few long minutes of dry heaving and gasping to catch her breath. Even after having a moment to breathe, her heart fired like a piston in her chest. The combination of amphetamines and pure terror had taken a toll on her. She laid on her back for several moments, waiting for her heartbeat to steady enough to stand without making her head swim any further. Finally, she rose to her feet and dipped a clean rag into the porcelain basin of her washstand and washed her face of the remaining traces of makeup and bile. She exhaled slowly, both of her elbows pressed against her knees as she held her head in her hands trying desperately to push the image of the unfortunate Mr. Crane out of her mind as she began applying her “war paint”.



The effects of the mystery substance left behind by her not-so-generous patron had already begun to wear off by the time Delia finished putting her face on and placing each of her dark auburn curls just so. She stroked Jasper along the length of his spine, prompting the cat to trill and purr as Delia locked her bedroom door and slowly made her way down the steps into The Gold Coin. She leaned against the bar, watching as her coworker Claire disappeared out the saloon doors in the direction of The Cat.



“’See that shit?” she said, catching Angela’s form in the corner of her eye.
 

Wolfiee

Member


Theodora Blackwood



Theodora was sitting in her office room a beautiful dress upon her lap as she finished fixing the last details of the stitching. Once finished she carefully tied off her work cut the thread neatly then placed her needle and thread roll back into the case. She took rather good care of her small sewing kit careful to not lose any pieces as it wasn’t easy to come upon. Her sharp grey eyes looked up from her finished work the drifting of a commotion filtering into her room. “That better not be any of my girls starting no trouble.”she spoke to herself standing up from her chair. Once on her feet the woman hung up the dress not wanting it to become all wrinkled after the work she’d put into it. When the sounds of footfalls quickly approached her door followed by a knocking. This caused Theodora to straight up eyes flashing everyone knew not to disturb her while the door was closed.



Theodora crossed the room fixing her dress skirts before opening the door a warm fake smile on her face now. Though the smile fell seeing a slightly panicked looking Claire stood having been the culprit who dared knock upon her door. “Now see here what’s the matter? You look like you done seen a ghost.”she said only to see the woman pale even more. Then Theodora stepped out of her room closing and locking the door behind her with the key she always kept upon her person. She listened as Claire continued to explain why she had rushed over and what little she knew. “Alright come come let’s get on over to The Gold Coin best not to be out and about just now.”she said ushering the girl out before her.



The sharp tap of her heeled boots clicked upon the floor as she entered the main hall of The Chaste Cat. “Girls now none of y’all are to exit this place until I get back. Don’t know what happened but I don’t need none of yah gettin hurt. So make your selves scarce and stay outta the towns way.”she said firmly to the girls who had gathered around. When they all nodded she relaxed a bit not wanting any of them getting harmed. Once she watched them disperse to play some cards amongst themselves she left The Cat heading towards her favorite bar woman’s establishment.



The strong and familiar coppery scent filled her nose the scent of death permeating the air. The corpse of Elmo coming into view as it was being carried away to the undertaker. Silvery eyes watched for a moment before flicking back towards the sherifs back watching him head towards his office. It seems like he was gonna have his hands full tonight though that was little concern of hers at the moment. She lengthened her stride her skirts hitched up as to not drag along in the dirt. It didn’t take much longer before her foot falls sounded with the Coin.



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QuickSmasherEXE

Less is More
First after then, Angela noticed the man behind the horse, seemingly having been tying up the mount before stopping to listen in to the ongoing events, just as she herself was doing. She offered the gambler a small but warm, and a bit surprised, smile and a brief nod of her head.

"You're most welcome to head inside, I'll be right there behind the bar to serve you something to wet the throat."
Gurley turned from the commotion to nod at the woman. "Thank you ma'am, but I am not inclined to drinking. I am sure I will enjoy the company inside though." He glanced one last time to where the crowd gathered and, seeing it disperse, found it a good time to step inside. Without paying much mind to any distractions, he sat down at the nearest open card table and asked to be dealt in.
 

strawberrycelia

lil pink bunn
Bambi is still borderline hysterical, her face twisted and wet with compassion. It rings familiar - the same shock and pain of a mother seeing her bloodied and laid out son, the face of a young nurse bandaging yet another broken rib. It's a look of helpless pain, of genuine grief for another, but so much more potent. It helps him find something he wasn't even sure he was searching for. Rico nods at the Sheriff's words and turns to spread the word - before hesitating and looking back. He only has a split second to consider the decision before he's speaking. "She's tellin' the truth, Sheriff. She's- I know she's tellin' ya the truth." Ricardo makes eye contact with the man, making peace with the risk he's taking and relaxing his features, making no attempt to hide the sincerity on his face. Sheriff Josiah is handsome and holds a quiet sadness about him, yet he seems to also possess the sturdy earnestness of a loyal basset hound in those clear blue eyes. Trust is scary, but it feels necessary right now - this woman needs support, so he'll risk a secret to give it. Who knows if the sheriff will even listen?

Having said his piece, he turns and makes his way through the town, cupping his hands around his mouth to proclaim "Mister Sheriff's holdin' a town meetin' tonight at five o'clock!". He's never been much of a shouter, more of a soft sweet-talker, but he does what he was told. Some of those suspicious gazes soften now that he's speaking the Sheriff's word, so that's a plus. His throat burns after he makes his round and only then does some of his adrenaline begin to crash and he falls back against a nearby building. Mopping the sweat from his forehead and calming his rapidly pounding heart. Damn, he needs a drink.

And with that thought, Rico turns and trails his way back on into the Golden Coin. It seems most his days here have begun and ended in this tavern, yet it felt different as he took his seat next to an elegantly dressed woman. Her hair was long and sweet-smelling, even from where he was sitting, and fell in near-perfect ringlets down her back. Unsure of her status, he did his best to seem unobtrusive, leaning back in his seat and waiting for Miss Angela to come by.

Wolfiee Wolfiee flies_with_owls flies_with_owls LadyLynx LadyLynx
 

LadyLynx

New member, old roleplayer (was 'ShyWolf')

♢ ANGELA WATERS ♢


interactions; strawberrycelia strawberrycelia tallonisfarout tallonisfarout Wolfiee Wolfiee

Angela nodded at Gurley's comment, watching him enter the saloon before she herself turned around and went inside. This whole situation was a right mess, but she saw no other reasonable thing to do, but to let the day continue as normal, or as normal as could be. Delia's words caught her attention as soon as she stepped foot inside. Warm brown hues met those of the lady of the night, and Angela hummed shortly. Seemed her customer had left the attractive lady a gift other than gold, money and empty promises, but she wasn't too worried about her health, familiar enough with substances to note that it wasn't the biggest dose, and it was already wearing off. Eyes are the windows to the souls and all, but in this case, pupils are the telling factor of substances. Same same, right? But, the bartender in general worried, mostly in secret, about the health and safety of her familiars, but at some point one just had to remember it was the Wild West, and anything could happen at any time, so there was not much use in worrying. She learned that herself rather quickly.

"Oh, I see it alright. Looks like trouble, and it ain't gonna be pretty. You be extra careful, yea? Stories and fear like this makes a man, and women for that sake, unpredictable." By the time the brunette had finished her words, she'd made her way behind the counter and leaned against it casually, facing the lady. "You want a drink, or are you all sorted out for now?" It was rather clear that she knew what Delia had been up to after the customer left, but it was also rather clear that the bartender didn't care about the business of others, as long as they didn't cause trouble. She herself would hate to be lectured, questioned or doubted, so the saloon owner never showed such behavior towards others.

Then, Rico had entered the saloon for the second time today, this time with a gaze and a soul clearly heavier than before, his facial expression mirroring that weight. Gambling was not on his mind this time, that was clear. "One moment, dear. Beers are in that crate, if you so desire. You can always pay me later." Angela nodded towards said crate, half hidden in the hollow inside of the counter, and stepped around to approach the shaken man, grabbing and mixing a drink before so.

"On the house." Angela's words were low, a soft whisper, both as to not spook the gentleman as she set down a glass in front of him of his desired drink, but also so the others in the room wouldn't hear of her occasional generosity. Lord knows she'd never hear the end of it. Speaking of, maybe the preacher from earlier would want to know of the situation... or maybe not? She hadn't met many men of god, the saloon not exactly being the prime location for religious discussion or gatherings. Refocusing on the task at hand, the bartender offered Rico a gentle smile, one of her small hands landing on his shoulder lightly. It was a careful, rare gesture of care, or worry or maybe appreciation for his part in keeping the town in the loop. Or maybe all three. The touch was light and brief, and Angela didn't linger around too long, wanting to give the man space, and having a saloon to tend to. As she straightened up and stepped back from the man, her warm brown gaze slid to the elegantly dressed lady besides him. "Come on up to the bar when you're ready for a drop, miss." After giving her a nod, the bartender weaved in between tables and chairs with a practiced ease whilst grabbing empty bottles and glasses, her gaze landing on the figure entering the saloon as she once again took her spot behind the counter, setting down the glassware on the counter without looking.

"Theodora Blackwood." Her voice was tinged with tones of the lightly teasing smile that crept across her face, a bit more slow than usual, her troubled gaze mirroring the reason behind. She and the Madame were not unfamiliar, seeing as a brothel and a saloon had many things in common, including some of the same customers and needs, whether it be for company at night or a beer in hand. Over time, the two had formed a friendship, and sometimes worked together, whether it be the rental of a room outside of the brothel, or pointing customers in the right direction. "Fancy seeing you around here. glad Claire got a hold of you. I trust you've heard of the commotion outside, no? Or are you just here to try to tempt me into a change of profession, again?"

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Shannon Trevor

One Thousand Club
Abigail Foster

Raquel-Welch-Hannie-Caulder-1971-revenge-western.jpg

The main thoroughfare of Coldwater heaved with man, horse and wagon. Abigail had been to the town a few years before on business, but back then it had been little more than a mining settlement with more canvas tents than permanent buildings. Times changed apparently, judging by how far the edge of the town had crept towards the foothills.

The throng of man and beast made the hot July day seem all the more stifling and close. Abigail ignored the saloon as she rode slowly past. The promise of shade and a cold beer would have to wait. "Business first," she reminded herself, patting her mare to encourage the beast to make it the last few yards. It had been a long ride and although Abigail had kept her pace slow, she felt for the animal, labouring under the relentless sun.

Ignoring the cluster of people paying particular attention to one of the wagons parked outside the doctor's surgery, Abigail hitched her horse outside the Sherrif's office. Pausing just long enough to brush the trail dust off her pants, she went inside.

flies_with_owls flies_with_owls
 
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flies_with_owls

hoot hoot
⍟Sheriff Josiah Bridger ╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾

Bridger stepped inside the Sheriff's office with a long sigh, his sweatstained hat finding it's place on the old coat hook he had traded off a tinker who had passed through on his way to California.

The office itself was small but serviceable, with a barred door leading to the four small lockup cells beyond and a staircase that led to his own quarters upstairs. The accommodations weren't what he had originally envisioned when he arrived in Coldwater, but they were sufficient to his needs.

He had already tossed his iron onto the desk and fallen into the chair beside it before he noticed the woman standing there against the wall. She was lean and dark eyed. Pretty, but also possessed of a sharp and steely aura that belied her feminine form. Midway through propping his boots up on a corner of the desk, Bridger rose quickly, out of courtesy but also out of a feeling he wanted to be on his feet when someone came into his office packing iron on their hip.

"Hell," he exclaimed. "I didn't see you there! Um, pardon the expletive, ma'am."

Shannon Trevor Shannon Trevor
 

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