Seven people decided to run for mayor and sixteen people are running for city council. For the city council, it was decided that the nine people with the highest votes would be elected for this new office with the elections every four years. The four with the lowest vote count would have an election in two years to help stagger out the voting. The person with the most votes would be named as the council head. This would become a council vote every two years. All the planning in the world though couldn’t keep this from becoming a chaotic mess. We had two southern war vets, two northern war vets, a former slave, three women and a Chief all running for mayor. With some of them also running for city council. With it being a local vote, everyone had the right to vote if they registered with the city and lived within the city boundary.
Of all the people running Chief Apenimon was a safe choice. He was trusted by the people as well as the citizens of the town. His inclusion with either the mayor’s office or city council would be valuable. Apple was a longshot. He was one of the people who helped us keep the town and he is married to one of the Chief’s daughters. His election will require people to put their prejudices aside. I know it took me a while to do that. He has been a good friend for sticking by me while I grew up and away from my southern slavery roots. One of the only ones I hope only gets a single vote is a man named Paul Daintree. A former slave owner from Alabama, he escaped from his plantation when the freed slaves burned it down. That should tell the voters what kind of master he was.
About a week before the election we were setting up podiums for a town debate. As was the case with anything about this election Daintree was there barking order as if he already won. In between bouts of profanity he would start singing some old song to himself. At one point, he stopped and counted the podiums. When he reached seven he stood up and came to me. The dumbass spun me around and as loud as possible said, “you aren’t planning on having that savage or the nig.” I stopped him before he finished his rant by grabbing his finger he was pointing into my chest and twisting it. I said as even toned as possible, “everyone on the ballot will be allowed to participate even a waste of air like you. If you ever do that again you won’t have to worry about an election.” That was a mistake I shouldn’t have threaten him.
That night was loud and angry. The city council debate went for an hour and anyone there could tell who was in and who was out. The mayoral debate ended in a fist fight. Daintree was in his usual form talking to the crowd saying how we can’t trust outsiders meaning the people and how we can’t elect inferiors meaning a former slave named Apple. He was bitter and resentful even at times point trying to blame Apple for the death of the mayor. He said, “what kind of man stands by while his mayor is killed right in front of him.” At first it sounded like he slipped and said master rather than mayor. Someone in the crowd yelled, “a smart one.” Everyone laughed. This just upset Daintree even more. He left his podium and went for Apple. As he did he said, “this boy don’t belong on a stage with good honest white folk.” He knocked Apple’s podium aside and grabbed the big man. Apple is over 7’ tall. Daintree was maybe 5’7”. It didn’t stop him from throwing the first punch. But that was the only punch he threw. As easily as one turns a knob to open a door Apple threw a punch and knocked Daintree out cold. That was when all hell broke loose.
Daintree woke up in a jail cell. He looked shocked to be in there. He said, “let me out you son of a bitch. Why am I in here and that boy not.” I calmly turned to him and said, “you started a fight within the city limits which is against the law. Apple defended himself which isn’t against the law.” I eventually had to release him so the sheriff’s office wouldn’t look like it was supporting any one candidate. Even though as the sheriff I am supporting several and apposing one. Daintree road out of town with his employees. He had a particularly evil look on his face. I don’t like that look.
That night someone erected a cross just outside of town and lit it on fire. I wonder who did that. Later someone tried to burn down the Chief’s store with a lit bottle of whisky. He went to toss it when some of the whiskey leaked back on him setting himself on fire according to people who saw the event. The onlookers just let the guy burn. He would have burned the town down if he had succeeded. And to no one’s surprise he worked for Daintree. Thinking about it, I sent one of my deputies to Apple’s house. He came back and said I need to get over there now.
The house was surrounded by the people. All three nations. Inside I found the Chief and his wife. Their daughter was dead and Apple was missing. The killers somehow missed the three children hiding underneath the floor boards. The look in the Chief’s eyes was one that will hunt me forever. The men that did this have only one hope. That I find them first.
I made it back to town to find a group of people standing around the gazebo. Some of them were crying. Other’s just looked angry. Hanging inside the gazebo, one he helped build was Apple. He wasn’t hung to death. He was too tall to hag inside the gazebo. Someone shot him then hung him up there. Without a word, some of us cut him free and laid him down. I sent one of my deputies to find the doctor. I went to tell the Chief. It had to be me.
These stories will be based in the old west and an attempt at a modern western (later on).
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