Gold Fever

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Gold Fever

Post by Boomerang on 11/22/2015, 6:54 pm

This is for Alex who doesn't have her computer and still wants to view my thingy x3

Gold Fever:
 

The sun bore down on the land with unbearable heat, the cloudless sky granting no reprieve. Rain hadn't fallen in the region in nearly two months now, nearly evaporating the riverbed as shallow waters crashed against small, jagged rocks. The river was surrounded by an area with virtually no shade to be had and grass that was turning to a rotten brown. The Rocky Mountains rested on the horizon, looming menacingly next to the sun. 

Even in the merciless heat, there was a man at the shore of the shallow riverbed, crouching among the rocks. His brown skin had darkened from his time in the light, his straw hat only serving little comfort as sweat ran down his face. In his shaky hands rested a pan filled with water and smaller rocks. He exhaled--He'd been crouching down in this position for hours on end, and still found nothing to show for it. The rumors of copious gold in this area seemed to be nothing more than a myth. 

He turned over his shoulder, glancing at the angle of the sun and cursing himself quietly. He didn't have much time before the sun went down, and by then he'd have to retreat back to his cave and wait for his tribe to return with food for the night. He had told his tribe of this spot, and told them that it would give them the riches to mount an offensive against the Americans and take back what was theirs. However, without the profits to buy sufficient weapons, they were sitting ducks. 

He went through the pan one more time with little hope, and suddenly found the jackpot--A nugget of yellow, entrapped between two much larger chunks of eroded rock. His lips curved into a grin, and in his head he jumped for joy. 

"Yes," He spoke quietly to himself, "Yes!"

The celebration hit a sour note, however, as he heard a familiar click. A heated barrel was pushed into the back of the native's head, "I'm gonna need you to put that pan down." 

The man didn't dare turn his head, suddenly obedient under the gun of the American bandit. He set the pan down before him and stayed still, breathing in and out softly, "We're not making any trouble."

A low scoff, "That's kinda funny, see, cuz...I think you are," He pressed the gun into the man's head; He cringed in discomfort, "The prospectors want this land, and you've been refusin'. It's like you wanted me and my boys to come up here."

The native man shut his eyes tightly, waiting with baited breath. The bandits had come to California on the railroads about six months prior, around the time the euphoria of the Gold Rush died down and the hardships of life in the West began to set in. These days, the only ones who make it big are the mining companies and the occasional rich eastern man. As gold became more scarce, Americans grew more desperate and beganto blame anyone that wasn't white--That's where the bandits found their profit. 

"The mining companies are paying some big dollars to see your tribe's heads on their wall," The man began to notice the white folks that were suddenly surrounding him. All of them held dusty revolvers in their hands, their scruffy beards shadowed by a brown leather sun hat that rested above their brows, "And I ain't one to turn down cold, hard cash."

A burst of anger resided in the native, a burning heat in the pit of his stomach, "You--American Jackals," He turned his head, glaring at the ringleader, gun now pointed at his forehead, "You took the children away from their homes and made them your own. That, you will pay for."

The bandit known simply by his first name, Jackson, looked down at the brown-skinned man with greedy hazel eyes, a chuckle passing from his parted lips. Fortunately, he wasn't shot, but he was met with a hard smack in the face with the revolver, causing him to crumple to the ground, foot resting in the shallow waters. Jackson pointed the revolver back to his face, and now the native was looking down the barrel of multiple hand guns, "Sorry, hand twitched on me."

Jackson smirked, spitting on the torso of the man on the ground, "Now why don't you go ahead and tell me where your other Indian friends are?"

In a bid of desperation, the native's eyes darted away from the bandits and toward the horses they had rode in on. He could see the faces of his brethren crawling behind the horse's hind legs, shovels and rocks in their hands. Hope found its way into the man's fearful heart.

The bandit followed the man's gaze suspiciously, meeting the eyes of a native at the moment that they all jumped from withered shrubbery and behind horses. Jackson lifted his revolver, a gunshot echoing across the region as one of the native's fell to the ground, a clean hole in the center of his face. 

Yet, Jackson's quick thinking wasn't exactly identical to the rest of his gang. They screamed out, lifting their revolvers only to have their face caved in by a large rock. A quick whack with a shovel knocked another one unconscious, and another was impaled in the throat by a large stick. The leader was shocked at the ambush, completely ignoring the native in the river as gunfire remained prevalent through the screams, smoke billowing into the sky. 

It wasn't too long before Jackson realized it was time for a retreat. They may have the Indians outgunned, but they doubled the numbers of the bandits. As some of the men writhed in a pool of their own blood, others ran to their horses. Jackson back stepped toward his own horse, grabbing any guns he saw on the ground and  pulling the trigger, mowing down a few more natives before jumping onto the animal. He kicked the horse's side, forcing it to gallop away at intense speeds as the natives chased them as far as they could, eventually giving up. 

The bandit looked back over his shoulder. The brown grass had been painted red as members of his gang and natives alike lied on the ground, dead. Both suffered the same number of casualties, however it was a much smaller blow for the tribe considering their population. He looked to the other horses containing men with wide, terrified eyes. It was an experience Jackson would want to forget, but with the money the company was offering, he knew he was going to eliminate from the map--One way or another.

****

The horses whinnied as their gallops turned into slow strides, walking down the dirt road that lead into the group of abandoned homes. WIndows had been broken open and doors had been taken nearly off their hinges among the faulty foundation of the buildings themselves. One of the signs hanging from the front of it read 'Bobby's General Store'. Another store close by read 'Gold Mining Supplies', scribbled with red paint. Jackson shook his head, "Tch." 

To some people, this town held memories and mementos that couldn't be forgotten; It was one of the first towns that people found gold, resting near a riverbed that had dried out during the atrocious drought. To the gang of merciless bandits, however, it was just another abandoned boom town for them to reside in. 

The hooves of the horses clomped softly against the hard dirt, moving past buildings that had been broken down by looters and dust storms until they came across a home that was rather well kept. The windows were still intact, although the door had been completely taken out. The foundation stood tall and it was clear based on the hoove prints in the dirt that the bandits had made it their living space.

As the horses made a complete stop at the side of the home the bandits hopped off, only now noting the horses that had gone missing, the ones empty of a rider. In dismay, they realized that they had either been killed by the natives or ran off into the dry fields. The unofficial bandit leader walked into the home first, grasping the bucket of water at the wall next to him and submerging his hands. Jackson scrubbed them a bit, wiping the blood and dirt away before splashing it against his face. The cold water felt like a fresh relief to the soul, grabbing a dirty rag and drying himself off. 

There was a stark silence between the six remaining bandits as the rest of them sat down upon rickety chairs and a table with cards scattered across the top. They all seemed rather distressed, glancing over to Jackson as he stared out from the dirt-grimed window. He exhaled slowly. 

The man at the far corner of the room, put a leg on the table, his black boots now worn down to a dark grey as his hat sat down on his chest, "Them guys had wives and kids, man.." He said softly, voicing what the others had thought. 

The leader frowned, staring from the window and to the ground, gripping the window sill tightly. Jackson shook his head slowly, his face shadowed by the presence of his hat, "Don't you think I know that?"

He grabbed his hat, throwing it to the ground beneath him and running a hand through his brown hair. Jackson turned sharply to the others, his eyes filled with anguish and vengeance, "But those men--They got on the train lookin' for the same thing we were lookin' for," He stuck a finger in his chest, "We all knew our lives were on the line." 

The bandit threw his hands up in exasperation, looking to the rest of the men as sweat beaded from his brow, "We were just too good. We got cocky," He sucked his teeth, "Tch, Them Indians ain't as stupid as they look." 

Jackson shrugged dismissively, almost immediately brushing away the thoughts of his fellow bandits, "But listen here, that company is givin' us ten thousand dolla's just to deal with them," He walked forward, slamming his hands on the table, looking into the eyes of all of his fellows, "And I ain't giving that up for a couple of brown skinned savages." 

Another man from the center of the table cleared his throat, his hat still covered his head as he stuck his hands in the pockets of his dirtied trousers, "So what do you suggest we do?" His voice was filled with uncertainty, confidence dwindled by the loss of people he considered to be his friends. 

Jackson scoffed, standing upright and staring right at the man with a fire in his hazel irises, "Oh well that's simple," He stepped away from them, pacing around the room slowly, "If them Indians wanna ambush us...We ambush them! 'Cept, we do it better." 

Jackson put two fingers in his mouth, a shrill whistle coming from his lips that caused his bandits to cringe in discomfort. It wasn't very long before the pitter patter of tiny feet was heard against the floor. A little dark skinned boy, likely no more than ten years old, ran up to the malevolent bandit and arced his head up, staring up to meet his gaze, "Y...Yes, mistah?" 

The bandit bent down a bit, ruffling the boy's jet black hair, "You wanna go see your parents, boy?" The bandits all looked at him, bewildered. His voice was condescending and filled with venom, but the boy didn't process his tone of voice.

His eyes brightened as he shifted back and forth in excitement, "Yes, sir, I-I do sir!" he replied in clearly broken english, nodding feverishly. 

Jackson's lips curled into a crooked smile, and he turned the boy around, "Go on, now. We'll see what we can do."

As the child scampered off, the bandit leader turned and pointed to the man in the far corner, who's mouth was hanging open, "You. Go grab one of them horses and start tellin' them American prospectors to spread the word that we're willin' to give away one of the Indian children if the tribe comes to us. Eventually, they'll hear about it and come to us."

It slowly dawned on the rest of the men what his plan of action was, and the other man nodded, taking his foot from the table and standing upright, walking out the door. They could hear the whinny of a horse in the background. Jackson turned to the others, the crooked smile remaining on his face, "Word shouldn't spread too much for at least a day or so. 'Til then, we make preparations." 

****

The wind was strong in the hot and dry afternoon day. Dirt kicked up against the bandits, covering their faces instinctively to avoid being blinded. Five of them stood next to each other, making a straight line across the small road as they stood in the center of the abandoned boom town. The leader shifted back and forth uneasily, gritting his teeth as his hands covered the revolvers that were in his holster. The other bandits seemed distressed as well, waiting for the natives to trot down the road. 

Small hands gripped the hip of Jackson, the child's expression contorted into a concerned frown--He had become afraid that the bandit was lying to him again, "Is--Is my daddy comin', mistah?" 

The bandit sighed, turning to him, "Yes, yes," He said, prying the child off of him like a sticker, "Go on now, stay behind me." 

Looking back to the road, he saw a group of figures through the veil of dust, all moving slowly toward the bandits. As they grew closer, he could see the groups' brown, leathery skin and the frowns on their features. He did a quick head count, and noticed that there were fifteen of them--Three less than he had counted during his retreat from the riverbed. 

The group eventually ceased movement, leaving a good distance between themselves and the bandits. In the center stood the tribal leader; He stood much taller than the others, his eyes retaining a vicious fire. Jackson raised an eyebrow, placing his hands in his pockets, "I was under the impression all of your kin would come meet us," He called. 

A knowing smile crossed the leader's face, "We aren't stupid. There's a few of us back at the riverbed," his English was surprisingly clear--Jackson was surprised to see an educated Indian, "Just in case them prospectors decide to take the riverbed while we're sittin' here."

Jackson scoffed, looking to the ground and shaking his head, "You really think I'm gonna trust--"

"We came here for the deal, mister," The native said plainly.

"Heh, Straight to the point I see," The bandit turned to the brown skinned child who had been peeking from the side of one of the others, "Come here, boy." 

The child rushed over to the bandit as fast as his little feet could take him. He ushered the boy into the open, where he locked eyes with the tribe leader. A wide grin crossed his face as his eyes brightened, "Papa!" He squealed, clenching his fists in delight. Without hesitation, the boy crossed the gap between the bandits and his father.

"Mukki!" The tribe leader replied, opening his arms and wrapping them around his child as they held a long embrace. A lone tear rolled down the native's face--A tear of pure joy. The stress and uncertainty, for one moment, dissolved and was replaced by a pure ball of bliss in the native's heart. 

Then, he opened his eyes, locking eyes with the five bandits that stood before him. He cleared his throat, standing upright and trying his best to ignore his tear filled eyes and the child holding onto his leg, "What is it you want in return?" There was a suspicious undertone to his voice.

"Simple," Jackson replied, "Just leave. Go back east, go up north, just--Anywhere away from here. That's the easiest way for my boys and I to get paid...No more blood shed."

The native's eyes clouded as he began to think of the possibilities. He looked down to his bright eyed son who clung to his leg so very tightly. He looked over his shoulder to the rest of the men in his tribe, some of them looking for their own children. With a sigh, he turned back to the bandits, "No."

The bandit raised an eyebrow, "Excuse me?"

"Some of the Jackals still have our children," He held the boy tight in his hands, "We can't just leave them."

Jackson turned around, putting both hands on his hips and clicking his tongue, "I was afraid you was gonna say that." 

Keen in the fashion of the quickdraw, Jackson turned on his heels again, both revolvers in his hands. He pulled the trigger on the leader before the other natives could even react, and as gunfire echoed across the ghost town, a bloody hole made its mark on the native's forehead. He crumpled to the ground with a thud, his son standing there bewildered, droplets of crimson on his raggedy shirt, "P...Papa?"

He fell to his knees, sobbing loudly and shaking his father, hoping for him to wake up, "PAPA!" 

The bandits all drew their guns, pointing it at the natives. However, to their surprise, a few of them held guns as well, pointing them in the direction of the five. Only a few out of the tribe held weapons, but that was enough to make the bandits hesitate. One of the men talked over the sobbing of the child, "We got guns too," His eyes were wild and alert, "Got them from your friends...and we know how to use them too."

There was a long silence as both groups pointed guns at each other, fingers hovering over the trigger. The natives without guns simply held large sticks or rocks, ready to ambush the remaining bandits that hadn't been taken down with a gunshot, "Looks like we got ourselves a problem.." Jackson's hazel eyes glared between each native, waiting for someone to make the first move, "Cuz, see...I can't let you kill me--But I also can't let ya go." 

Suddenly, there was a gunshot in the distance, followed by two more. The majority of the natives turned around, looking to see the source of the shots--The bandits took that chance. The first batch of bullets rained down on the native men, crimson splattered everywhere as half of them crumpled to the ground in a heap of bullet wounds. As the natives began to retaliate, a few ran behind buildings; Two of them were too slow, falling victim to the hail of bullets as they screamed out before losing their life. 

There was a whinny of a horse as the missing bandit of the six came charging down the dirt road, a shot ringing off as a native lost a good amount of brain matter, falling to the ground among the others. A native with a weapon shot it with shaky hands, the bullet digging deep into the man's leg. He howled in pain, falling off of the horse and rolling on the ground behind a building. The animal, suddenly frightened, rushed forward and trampled a poor native, along with other corpses, before running down the road. 

The bandit leader cursed, peeking his head out from the side of the building and watching a few natives with large rocks rushing toward them. He stood, grabbing the man standing beside him and ushering him into the open. He made one shot before being smacked across the face by one of the jagged rocks. Jackson took his chance, unloading the rest of his chamber onto the few native's asinine enough to run out in the open. 

The screams of gunfire became prevalent for a good thirty seconds more before they suddenly stopped cold. Jackson smirked; No, the Indians weren't stupid, but they hadn't fully realized that those revolvers would eventually run out of bullets. The bandits, however, had more bullets filling their pockets. 

With little time, he glanced across the road to see another unscathed bandit loading more bullets into the chamber. He did the same, continuously looking back out in the open for any of the natives. Two of them came charging with shovels, while another had turned away from the two bandits, walking behind a building. Both bandits loaded their revolvers at the same moment, turning from the building and out into the open--Both natives were down simultaneously, a pool of crimson forming around their head. 

Meanwhile, a native slithered behind the building, revolver tight in his grasp. He had a large bruise on his cheek, his expression a terrible scowl. The man who had been spat on and nearly murdered now stood over one of the bandits, who's revolver had skittered far away from him. His thigh was bleeding profusely, a throbbing pain ringing through his body. He stared up to the native man, terror suddenly running through him as he tried to scoot away, "P...Please," He shook his head back and forth, "I got a family!"

The native narrowed his eyes, pointing the revolver in between the bandit's eyes. He had saved one bullet, and was going to use it on one of the bandit men, "So did I." His voice was filled with venom. 

A gunshot rang, and the bandit on the ground cringed and closed his eyes, expecting death. However, as he opened his eyes, he saw the crumpled mess of the native and Jackson standing in place of him, blood spattered on his face and dirtied shirt. The lone remaining bandit stood behind him.

"You alright?" He asked, letting the gun fall to his side, but neglecting to put it away like the other bandit did.

The injured man nodded, leaning up against the wall. He glanced at the native lying face down beside him, and at the carnage on the road. Within all of the bodies, he could see the small corpse of the child Mukki next to his father. He gulped, staring up to his brethren "This all of us?"

The both of them nodded softly. The injured man chuckled, a faint smile crossing his face, "Good thing I got those three Indians hangin' around by the buildings, eh?" 

Jackson and the other male smiled as well, Jackson gripping the revolver tightly in his hand, "I think that's all of 'em," The leader confirmed. 

"Good," The man looked down at his thigh, cringing--At least the blood had stopped, "Well, let's get some bandages on this and then we can go collect our cash."

There was suddenly the sound of another gunshot. The man now had a new wound in his head, his body slumping to the ground, his eyes remaining wide and shocked. Jackson held onto the smoking revolver, his face expressionless. The last remaining bandit looked from his fallen friend to the leader, "What?!" Anger rolled through him, "What the--"

Jackson turned, and the bandit was stopped short, a bullet lodging into his forehead as well. The white man crumpled to the ground among the native, and it was only then that Jackson felt safe placing the revolver back in his holster. He sucked his teeth, spitting on the ground. Nobody else was going to get his cut--10,000 dollars was a lot of money, enough where he could go live lavishly on his own. He didn't need the other bandits getting in on his money. 

The man turned away from the carnage within the ghost town, walking slowly back to their hideout. Even among the gunshots and bloodshed, his horse had remained. Jackson smiled, ruffling the beast's mane before hopping onto him, kicking its side. The horse began to move down the road as Jackson made his way to the horizon to collect his money.
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Boomerang

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Re: Gold Fever

Post by Haunting on 11/25/2015, 9:30 am

That old western ending though.
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Re: Gold Fever

Post by Boomerang on 11/25/2015, 12:32 pm

-Can't tell if that's good or not-
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Re: Gold Fever

Post by Haunting on 11/25/2015, 2:16 pm

I thought it was cute. I didn't see it coming. WORK IS SLOW AS FUCK. HOLY JESUS
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Re: Gold Fever

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