Redemption (eBook)

$1.99
71 pages | eBook | 6x9"
Date of publication: 09/04/2015
  • ISBN: 978-1-941984-58-1
  • Model: 16048 words

Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Heat Rating: 1 Flame

 

Douglas Carr, a soldier in the Colorado Territory Militia in 1864, flees to Denver City after participating in a massacre. While there, he agrees to track down a man, a runaway slave. But Elias is more than he bargained for.

In 1864, Douglas Carr, a soldier in the Colorado Territory Militia, makes a horrible mistake. In the wake of a massacre, he flees the militia to lose himself in Denver City, where he agrees to track down a man. It should have been an easy job. Instead he finds Elias.

Elias, a runaway slave, knows his master is hunting him down for the money he stole. He'll die before he goes back there, though. He's managed to evade every tracker who has been sent on his trail, but this new one isn't as easy to shake.

When the men meet in the middle of a deadly snowstorm, they're forced to put aside their objectives as they work toward the singular goal of survival. But as the snow continues and secrets begin to come out, neither of the men can be certain of the other, much less himself.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

I swallowed the whiskey in my tin cup down, burning my throat in my haste and coughing as I tried to breathe past it. It was far more potent than the usual swill I was used to from the saloons. Lifting up my cup, I yelled, "Another!" and my comrade, a man far younger and far less used to battle than me, gave me a refill.

I drank again, just as greedily as the men around me did. A fire blazed in front of us, keeping away the chill and the nighttime animals that roamed around here. It might have been my third cup of the evening, though it could have also been my seventh. I was beyond counting and the raucous laughter of the men on either side of me would have drowned out my thoughts anyway.

The large fire warmed me on the cold November night on the plains. The Colorado Territory was beautiful, as promised by a friend I'd followed here from the east coast, but the devil came out to play in winter. We'd already lost a few poor souls to frostbite. They hadn't died but close enough, because they were useless to the militia now.

There were dozens of us drinking around the fire and dozens more off in the darkness doing the same. We were celebrating what we knew would be an impending victory against the Indians. They were savages who had been attacking wagons and it was thanks to John Chivington, our commander, along with one of their own traitors that was going to lead us right to them, that we'd be able to get some retribution against them.

The camp was filled with songs and the cries of men eager to be done and getting back to civilization beyond the fort we'd taken shelter at before we would be moved out close to dawn. We drank ourselves stupid well into the night, all of us together, regardless of our ranks, as we laughed and sang. We would battle in the morning and for this night, we thought ourselves invincible.

I fell asleep. More appropriately, I should say that I passed out from drunkenness, with only a few hours to spare before dawn. We had an early morning ahead of us and I'd attempted to get a few hours of rest before we headed out. I was a soldier in the First Colorado Cavalry under the command of John Chivington, a man I both respected and admired, and I was proud to serve under his command. We'd had a few small victories, but we were ready and hungry for more. I hadn't served with him in the war, though we had fought for the same side. I wish I had and he would have undoubtedly been an excellent leader then, as well.

 

* * * *

 

Upon waking, I had thought myself to be tired from the festivities of the night before, but I was glad to see that was not the case for me or the men around me. We were to have a great victory, something to write about to our families. It was all the men could talk of as we dressed and ate a quick meal of beans out of our tin cups before we had got ourselves ready for the day.

At just before dawn I found my bay mare tied with the others, and readied her for the battle. She was seasoned in these times, calm and collected even at the worst of it. I rubbed her legs down to warm her bones and let her stretch for a moment as I walked her around. The others were already starting to mount up, and I got to it as well. I turned her to the others, our breaths visible in the frost of the morning.

As a whole, we were excited and as anxious as our horses were as they pranced under us in the pre-dawn chill of the November morning. Ahead of us the Indian traitor stood, ready to lead us to where the other Indians were hiding out on the plains. My horse shifted under me and the saddle creaked with my weight as we made our way through the brush and yellow grass of the plains, most of it sporting a light blanket of snow from the recent days. There wasn't much cover to hide our approach, but without the sun there to give us away, we may not have needed it.

My horse was unenthusiastic about being awake so early. But she did prance and toss her head at times like the others. Perhaps the horses picked up on our excitement. I thought that had to be it. We weren't to gallop until we charged, not when there was ice below the hooves of our horses to cause them to slip, but none of us went slow either. Stuck somewhere in an endless loop of letting our horses have their heads and some speed, then pulling them back and slowing them down when they went too fast, we made our way in the direction our guide told us to go.

I had my gun readied in my hand as we crested a hill overlooking the sandy creek below us. There were plenty of what the Indians considered homes down there, though I didn't see many of them out. "Attack! Get at it!" Chivington cried out. Some of the officers, for reasons I couldn't imagine, held their men back. But I was under Chivington, as were my friends, and we followed the orders we were given.

We charged ahead, my mare covering large chunks of ground with her strides. We shouted as we galloped toward the tents made of hides, sticks, and rope. I was closing in on the first of these houses when the Indians finally came out, knives held in their hands as they screamed and slashed out at our horses.

But these were not the warrior foes we'd been promised, I realized, the blood in my veins hammering hard in my ears as I rushed my mare forward. They were merely old women and children, some of them so young that they nursed at the breasts of the women who thought to kill us. I pulled my mare back sharply, causing her to rear up on her hind legs, as uncertainty raged within me and the gun shook in my hands.

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About Caitlin Ricci:
Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Caitlin was fortunate growing up to be surrounded by family and teachers that encouraged her love of reading. She has always been a voracious reader and that love of the written word easily morphed into a passion for writing. If she isn't writing, she can usually be found studying as she works toward her counseling degree. She comes from a military family and the men and women of the armed forces are close to her heart. She also enjoys gardening and horseback riding in the Colorado Rockies where she calls home with her wonderful fiance and their two dogs. Her belief that there is no one true path to happily ever after runs deeply through all of her stories.

Twitter: @CaitlinRicci

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/caitlin.ricci.7

Email: authorcaitlinricci@gmail.com

For more information, please visit the author's webpage.

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This book was added to our catalog on Monday 08 June, 2015.

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