TALES OF THE WEST BOOK I PART I: MILLY – Part V

© By Julie Gray

Milly played by Eliza Scanlen

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Ethan played by Boyd Holbrook

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AUTHORS NOTE: This is part five in one of my untitled short stories. You can read part one here.

SHORT STORY TRIGGER WARNING – This short story contains elements of assault, sexual assault, violence and death.

Milly always knew she’d be on her own again soon enough. But she was grateful to Ethan for all he had done, even if he was a Jackson… 

But there was something about Ethan that just didn’t sit right with Milly. 

She knew it had something to do with whom he really was, but there wasn’t much Milly could do about that now, seeing Ethan had gone and left her on her own again. 

Ethan’s dog had taken a real shine to Milly, and Ethan didn’t seem to mind. So when Milly found the dog lying on top of her the next morning, she was happy that the dog had stayed.

The school children stopped teasing Milly when she returned. Whenever Milly came near they all seemed to have other things to do or other places to be. Milly couldn’t figure out why this was, but maybe it had something to do with the knife she always seemed to throw around now instead of her stick.

It didn’t matter much. Milly just hung around where the school children were anyhow. Eventually, they all came back around and she even ended up telling them all about the angel in the bathtub. Not that any of them believed her, mind you.

But then again, she had the knife, Milly was kinda proud about what she had learned from Ethan. Milly didn’t have a lot to feel good about most days. But whenever she looked at the knife, it reminded her that someone actually cared enough to teach her something useful.

But that all seemed like a world away now. Milly was back to being the dirty Milly all the school kids teased when they were bored. And they were all very bored that afternoon.

Milly held the knife up into the sunlight and it glistened, blinding some school children sitting right beside her.

“You stole it!” blurted out one

Milly looked the boy right in the eyes and squinted.

“I did not!” replied Milly

“Did too, you stole it!” the boy said again

“I told you, the angel gave it to me!” Milly said

“Why would an angel give you a knife anyhow?” asked another

“Because…” Milly was trying to think of something to say that’d stop this boy from mouthing off at her about the knife

“Because… life is all about survival, that’s why, and if you don’t wanna end up being carried up to boot hill anytime soon, you need to know how to survive,” Milly replied, eyes wide and wild like an animal.

The school children just stared at her. Some younger ones even walked away. One girl started to cry and wail uncontrollably.

“Now look what you’ve gone and done! Your name should be Mean Milly!” the boy said, walking away and running to catch up to the other children.

Milly had scared all the children off again. There was no one left but Milly’s dog, wagging its tail back and forth in the dusty heat.

She watched the last of the children disappear in a cloud of dust and wondered if they’d ever come back again.

Milly turned and looked at the nearest post. She aimed and threw her knife, hitting it dead center, just like Ethan taught her to. Milly had some skill with the knife. But when she thought about why she was given the knife in the first place; she didn’t feel all that special. She felt kinda awful about it.

She meandered over to the post and pulled the knife out. She stared at it for a minute and wondered if she’d ever need to use it.

She shuddered at the thought.

Milly went to sleep dreaming of faceless knife-wielding figures in the dark who were trying to hurt her.

Out of instinct, she reached down and pulled the knife closer to her chest.

It took her a long time to stop dreaming about faceless men in the dark.

-END OF PART V-

You can read part VI of this story here

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Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on https://thebrokenquill.com.

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