Friday, 17 April 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015 -

Possessed by the Savage

by India Heath
Published: Feb 10, 2015
Words: 28,624
Category: western, romance
Orientation: M/F
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Smoky Hill, Colorado, 1865.

Caroline screamed as the stagecoach tilted precariously sideways onto two wheels as it flew across the bumpy terrain. A cloud of yellow dust billowed in through the open window, churned up by the galloping hooves of the fleeing horses. The high-pitched war cries of the pursuing Indians grew louder by the second as they closed the distance between them and their prey. An arrow whistled passed the window making Caroline shriek again in horror. Instinct had her gathering her bag and parasol close to her chest before huddling down on the stagecoach floor and closing her eyes.

I'm not gonna die! I'm not gonna die! The silent mantra ran through her brain over and over as she was jostled and bumped around the rocking carriage. Suddenly there was an agonised cry of pain from overhead and the driver's body fell past the window with an arrow protruding obscenely from his chest. Oh God, I'm gonna die!

Caroline barely had time to register that the stage was now a man-less, runaway vehicle. Her panicked mind just wanted it to keep right on running. The sound of an Indian whooping came from almost inside the stage and her head jerked up to see a savage leap from his horse and climb aboard. Seconds later the stage began to slow and Caroline knew she was caught.

She gritted her teeth to prevent tears of fear filling her green eyes. She had to stay focused. Wild hysterics would serve no purpose now. Her grip tightened on her parasol and bag as she held them in front of her like a sword and shield. The stage drew to a rocky halt and the door was wrenched open. The Indian looked inside and seemed disappointed to discover that Caroline was the only occupant. He shouted something in his own language before lurching forward to grab her arm and literally dragging her across the floor. Caroline tried to poke him with her parasol but there was little room to swing her arm between the bench seats and she soon found herself pulled outside the stage and thrown into the dirt. He stood over her, his painted face contorted with loathing. The rest of the small attack party remained on horseback at a short distance.

Caroline decided there and then that if she was going to die, she would die fighting. Releasing her bag, she wrapped both hands around the parasol and drove the metal tip into the savage's foot. The open moccasin shoe did nothing to protect him and he yowled as a stab of pain exploded just before his toes. The unexpected attack had him hopping on one leg, much to the humour of the watching tribesmen. Caroline took advantage of her momentary triumph to leap to her feet and swing the parasol at his head. It landed with a satisfying thwack over the Indian's ear. This time the watching group openly laughed.