© By Julie Gray
Milly played by Eliza Scanlen
Ethan played by Boyd Holbrook
AUTHORS NOTE: This is part 14 of one of my short stories. You can read part one here.
SHORT STORY TRIGGER WARNING – This short story contains elements of assault, sexual assault, violence and death.
Ethan and Milly finally returned to the Ol’ Miller farm house. But when they returned, the gang had already moved on.
“God damn it!” cursed Ethan
Ethan lifted his hat off his head as he kicked an empty tin can.
Milly petted her horse as she watched Ethan walk around the abandoned campsite.
Ethan looked over at Milly.
Milly could see his narrowed blue eyes burning right outta their sockets again.
“You know this ain’t good, Milly. This means they’re out lookin’ for us–for you,”
Milly looked away.
She didn’t much care for what the gang were doing. She only knew that if she ever saw the likes of James or Jed again, she’d probably just up and finish the job Ethan started at the bathtub, and then the gang would probably shoot her, anyway.
No matter how you looked at it, dark days were comin’–that much Milly was certain of.
“God damn it…” Ethan cussed again
“What we gonna do?” Milly murmured, handing her horse an apple from her saddlebag.
“We need to find them. They probably won’t come back here. I’ll head out and check with Running Elk. I won’t be long, just don’t go anywhere and do nothing. I’ll be back soon,”
Ethan was gone in a cloud of dust.
Milly spent the time watching her dog play around the farmhouse. But it wasn’t long before Milly heard horses approaching.
Milly grabbed onto her horse and ran around the back of the farmhouse, out of sight just in time to avoid whoever was coming.
Sure enough, the gang had returned. Ethan was wrong. Milly felt that hollow feeling in the pit of her stomach again. She crept further around the house until she was far enough away to hide properly. One by one the gang rode in and tied up their horses.
And there was James. He was all bandaged up and still bleeding from Ethan’s gun-shot wound. Milly couldn’t help but feel happy to see him in pain. How she wished she could make that pain worse for him. She wanted to make him suffer the same way he had made her suffer. Milly felt her entire body clench up at the thought of it. She moved her hand over the hilt of her knife.
But where was Jed?
Milly could hear the men talking outside the entrance to the farmhouse. She decided it would be good idea to listen in, especially if they were looking for her and Ethan.
“Well, doesn’t look like they’ve been back here yet… they’ve probably holed up somewheres in that town over yonder,” Holden said
“I think that’s where she’s from… that’s probably where they’ll be alright. Jed’s there too, getting his wound looked at,” James said.
“Does Ethan even remember that night, Floyd?” asked Holden
“It was a long time ago when we raided that farm. And her parents dyin’, well… that was unfortunate. They both pulled guns on us. I doubt Ethan would remember it,” replied Floyd.
“I don’t recall there bein’ any survivors that night… girl must’ve been hidin’ somewheres,” replied Jason
Milly felt like her heart had stopped beating. Her mouth went dry, her body numb.
The Jackson Brothers gang killed her parents? How could this be?
That meant that Ethan was responsible too …
Tears slowly trickled down Milly’s cheeks. Tears that seemed to burn right into her skin.
“Speak of the devil… and he will appear,”
“You son of a bitch!” yelled James, pulling out his pistol and pointing it at the rider approaching the farm house
Milly wiped away her tears and looked through the gap in the wood panels. She could see Ethan riding up to the house with James pointing a pistol at him.
Floyd pulled James back and pushed him away from Ethan.
Milly could see the gang cussing at each other, pistols in each other’s faces. Ethan’s return had stirred up a hornet’s nest. But she was a million miles away. A thousand thoughts were running through her head. But the only one that made any sense was the one telling her to get on her horse and ride until she couldn’t ride no more.
Milly quietly saddled her horse, took one last look back at Ethan, turned away and rode off in the opposite direction.
-END OF PART XIV-
You can read part XV of this story here