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March 20, 2023

Westward Dust 3

By Lydia Manx

What that Preacher did to me wasn't in any way right. My Pa never got his neck snapped and I got quieter after being abused by the Preacher. He prayed while making me do things to him until he declared me 'ripe enough' for him. I'd been servicing him for a few years by then. Even after my Pa finally made me go to school, that Preacher found a way to get me. I was about twelve or thirteen when my Pa didn't come home one night. Instead, one of the old women knocked on the door and called me to come let her inside, she had to tell me news.

I opened the door and stood in front of it like my Pa always did.

With a trembling voice she said, "I come to tell you that your Pa died at work today. His heart gave out."

I nodded and shut the door. There wasn't nothin' for me to say. I mean, I sort of expected someone to tell me that his neck was snapped, but no. I slowly went around the room and gathered up everything important and necessary to me. The family Bible went in last. Once I found all the money my Pa had hidden and pulled my bonnet on top of my head I went down to the kitchen. I set my bag in the mud room and went to the drawer where Miss Lottie kept her best knife. In all my days and nights I had dreamed about the day I would leave -- thinking it would be far in the future. I planned every single detail.

I'd known my Pa wasn't ever going to leave the boarding house, because he didn't like to spend money foolishly. He had saved lots of coins, now all carefully put inside my best shoes in my bag once I pried them away from all the hiding holes and spaces in the room Pa hadn't known I knew about when he'd get up late at night and pace the room. I hadn't ever thought about how much it was, but after counting I knew it was enough to get me out of the town and West. All the schooling told me that going out West was the only way for me to escape the Preacher and my past. My hard heart and bitter tainted soul told me I had one last task.

Thinking about what I was wearing, I slowly removed my bonnet and my shabby overcoat. I selected the Preacher's black jacket hanging on a hook in the mud room and put the knife into the large right side pocket. I'd grown in the years and the jacket hung nearly to my shins and didn't brush the flooring. I found that liberating. It was late evening and the boarders had all gone to sleep. I could hear the scattered snores and snorts of folks sleeping gentle into the night with no worries. I knew that the Preacher's door wasn't locked. He expected me to show up whenever my Pa wasn't here. Given my Pa wasn't going to ever be back, I knew he thought I'd show up to 'grieve.' I was going to give my grief to him all right. By knife point.

I found myself at his door and didn't knock -- he never expected me to knock, just come in and service him -- but walked in and heard his soft chuckle. He'd been waiting for me. He wasn't in his bed but seated on the hard chair where he often liked me to satisfy his base needs when I was younger, before I was 'ripe.' I found it fitting.

Licking his lips with his nasty, slimy, reptilian tongue, he said, "What took you so long? I like you in my jacket." His grin was matched by the lust glowing in his eyes.

There wasn't any lamp lit or even a candle, but he'd opened his shades and the moon lit the room, giving a lovely layer of gray on black through the tight space with shadows chasing to the edges of darkness. I felt the vile horrors of those edges. My memories crawled with all the unnatural acts he'd made me do to him over the years. I closed the door behind me, and walked towards him. He unfastened his drawers and allowed his hard cock to spring out towards me. Seeing his arousal further inflamed my anger, making my darkest thoughts fold into my mind. And with his actions he sealed his fate.

Ducking my head I simpered, "Preacher, I am happy you like what you see."

Stroking himself he chuckled and said, "Oh, I do. Bring your plump ass here."

I did and went to my knees between his spread legs. His jacket fell to the floorboards and I could hear the knife clunk -- but he didn't. He was busy putting his hands on my head as if I had forgotten the way. I pulled the knife free and jammed it into the middle of his thigh. He didn't have a second to squeal because I yanked the knife free and slashed his throat wide open.

"Damn, your putrid soul to hell." And for once he didn't reply but his eyes rolled back while his heart pumped out his life's blood from both his leg and his neck. His jacket nicely soaked it all up. Once he stopped moving, I pulled away and dumped the jacket over his lap. Let one of the boarders find his cock pulled out and his dead body. I took a second to dip my finger in the blood pooling beneath the chair. Carefully I wrote out the best word on his forehead I could think of for the man. "Evil."

Satisfied, I walked away and into the night without any regrets.

* * *

So that's is how I found myself out in Kansas City during the dark times for that territory. I'd been haunted up and down the path as I headed West. Haunts seemed to find me. I heard tales of pain and wasn't able to fix nothing. I never saw my Pa or my long dead Ma. I never wanted to see the baby boy born that killed my Ma. And other than brief horror-filled blinks now and then, the Preacher stayed away from me while I was awake. When I was sleeping he'd find me and tell me how much I liked it. I knew what he meant but I didn't 'like' anything he'd done and I was satisfied by what I did.

But being unescorted traveling West brought a new set of problems, I quickly discovered. I tried to join up with a rather large church group heading over the trail to their new promised land, but the married women were afraid that their men would turn to me for comfort in the night. A few women pulled me aside and told me I best find some other way West. After one attempt at joining that wagon train, I found that the women were right in trying to keep me away from them. Soon it seemed that their husbands held up their tattered bibles while trying to purify me with their cocks. I was finding the Westward movement was filled with tainted evil men claiming that their holy cock would cure what ailed me. I found myself leaving in the middle of the night after one of the married men forced himself on me. I'd learned since the Preacher, and told him to give me a moment to get ready for his manly body. He smiled and said that he was going to cleanse me properly as it was his job. I showed him what I thought of his cock with a flick of the kitchen knife that I'd taken with me on leaving the boarding house.

I didn't kill him but he was going to have lots of explaining on how he came to have a slice across his 'holy offering' as he called his cock. He didn't scream, but then I flicked the blood covered knife at his throat and said, "A single sound and you can take those prayers right to your maker."

Tears filled his eyes and he allowed me to leave without crying out.

So again I was on my own and I made my way West slowly. I stuck with small groups with old men and older women. They mostly left me to myself, but then I was paying my way, telling anyone who asked that I was a widow and needed to go meet up with my brother, a lawman who needed someone to watch over his children. Since most folks that was old thought all of us youngins looked to be all the same, the story pretty much held up for the long dusty journey until I got to Kansas City. They were going further but I knew from a few glances that I wasn't going to make that trip without having some problems. Men had begun to get too close to me fireside and their women were getting more agitated.

Kansas City wasn't the same as my old home, but it was bustling and alive. The buildings were fresh and new and the saloons were busy. I knew better than wandering into a saloon, and found a boarding house off to the rundown side of the town. I told my lie about a lawman brother further West that needed me to come help and was allowed to take a room for far more money than was right. I ducked my head and didn't argue but thanked the stern-faced woman. She didn't much believe my tale, but my money spent so she allowed the story.

I quickly grew bored hiding in the room waiting to see if a real lawman was coming for me. I finally decided that nobody knew I'd killed the Preacher, or nobody much cared. I started going out during the day and worked my way around the town, watching and listening. I wasn't much on talking, and dressed carefully as to not attract any attention. Men noticed me anyways, and started sidling up to me, saying how I was purty and needed their special kind of caring. I pulled myself free from one such creature just outside a saloon that was popular. A well-dressed, heavily made up woman saw what happened and slapped the man. "Mike, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. This girl is too young for the likes of you. Go inside and tell Miss Violet to give you a half price." With that she nearly yanked my feet clear of the dirt and off to an alleyway just on the other side of the saloon.

"You trying to weasel into my money?" Her voice was no longer sweet and light, but very dark and promising pain.

"Sorry, Ma'am. I am new to town. I am heading West soon." I ducked my head and looked down to the dirt. Horse shit was littering the road and had flipped over to the alley. I kicked away a dry cake of shit and waited to see what else she was going to say.

The silence stretched and I finally looked up to see her studying me carefully.

"You need a job?"

My eyes met hers and I said, "Depends."

She laughed and said, "You'll do."

And with that I moved out of the boarding house and into the saloon's boarding house. I'd already been 'prepped' and the Madam educated me on how to avoid sickness and sick souls. I didn't need the advice about the sick souls, but kept my thoughts private and began to work the soiled dove trade. I was already dead to feeling much but hate most days, so I made money. Quickly a year passed then I found more and more haunts coming to me and brushing up to see if I could help. I didn't know how they found me. but it was startin' to get a bit difficult.

Kansas City began getting more and more outlaws and cowboys. They liked our services, but mostly liked shootin' each other whenever one of them got liquored up and frisky. The Madam, she said her name was Miss Sally, but I'd heard haunts call her Ginger, Baby, and Jane. She'd been around for a while and seemed to pull her men back from beyond the grave. She'd been a nice dove and was well-respected by dead men. That alone gave me pause.

A few nights later I had an unexpected visitor in my room. I shared the room with three other women in the business, and they were all out for whatever reasons. I don't recollect much but that I was alone, and there was a storm outside that was making the building shake and the rain came down hard. I was sitting by candlelight sewing some small tears in my stockings when suddenly I knew I wasn't alone.

Without losing a stitch I said, "What do you want?"

After my next breath out, I saw a shifting figure right in front of me. Most folks think that haunts are torn to bits and bleeding, but for me that wasn't true. This person looked alive, but since I could see straight through him I knew he was another haunt.

"Save me."

His voice was educated and he was well-dressed for a dead man.

"Looks to me right now that you are already done for." I wasn't being judgmental but honest.

"No, I can't be." He looked puzzled. I quickly figured out that he didn't much know that he was already dead.

Horror etched his features and he simply disappeared. That began the visits. I soon had a half dozen visits a week from dead men that had died either in the whorehouse or nearby. They all pleaded for me to save them, and then once I told them they were dead they went away. Each visit drained another bit of me and I started fading away like I had the lunger disease. The Madam noticed and pulled me aside.

"I'm not a lunger. I am haunted." I said the words slowly when she pulled me aside and asked.

A skeptical look chased away any understanding and then I simply said, "Ginger, Baby, Jane, which name should I use?"

Her face fell and all the blood raced away and she said, "God save me. You are haunted."

Meeting her eyes, I said, "Yes."

Shaking her head, she walked away and asked nothing more of me. I continued to 'service' the men while battling the dead.

Then something else was left behind. It was dark and scary and not human.

To be continued...

Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2014-11-24
Image(s) are public domain.
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