Chapter 3, Part 1
Joleen woke up in her bed. She was dressed in a nightgown she didn’t recognize. In a chair across the room she could see an outline of a man. It was John. At first, she thought it was just another sex dream until she moved and the pain shot up her back. John said, “try and not to move. The wound was deep the stitches are delicate.” He came out of the shadow. John was dressed in street clothes. He said, “the doctor said he would be back today to check the wound and someone should be here just in case you woke up.” He told her about the knife and the books. How the blade was dipped in poison and nearly killed her. John said, “the sheriff knows you will be out for a few days but he said you shouldn’t get comfortable. You are expected back just as soon as you can.” John sat down on the edge of the bed. She felt aroused and uncomfortable all at once. He said, “whoever these guys named John and James are you should tell them how you feel because you never know.” As he said this he held up the vest and showed her the place where the knife punctured it and her.
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She wasn’t sure why she was going to tell him any of this. She wasn’t sure what she would say about John because he was John. The idea of telling someone about the last two years felt so good that the story just came to her. she said, “John was someone I knew way back in the day. James was my college boyfriend or almost fiancé.” John asked, “almost?” Joleen said, “we all make mistakes. We all have hopes and dreams and ambitions. I wanted to bring Justice to the people who need it the most. I wanted to make a difference.” John replied, “you aren’t dead yet and I don’t think of you as someone who just gives up easily.”
She was dressed in a white dress with multicolored silk ribbons on the dress and in her hair. At the age of 9 her step-father Allen or Daddy Allen as she called him liked to have her dress like a lady no matter where she went. Her mother Candice would rather she dress like her in slacks and a vest. Everywhere they went people said Joleen and Jacob dressed like angels. Jacob was four-years younger than her. This morning they were on their way to the park when two older boys stopped them one of them pushed Jacob down. The other one grabbed Joleen by the arms. He asked, “you want a real man.” He forced a kiss. She replied with a kick to the grown with her shoes. They had a metal toe for just such an occasion. Joleen knew even then live wasn’t fair.
By 13 the boys knew not to mess with her or her brother. Some would cross the street when they saw her coming. That morning she was wearing a white dress with little flowers stitched into the material. They came to the corner. Jacob had been a little distant from her. He said that morning he didn’t need his sister to protect him. It hurt Joleen’s heart when he said it. He was being picked on by the other boys because of her. They feared her and mocked him. She walked up to the street corner. Jacob pusher her back just as an out of control coach struck the curb right where she was. The coach struck Jacob across the head and he was pulled into the spokes in the wheels. The wheel dragged him for a bit until his arm was ripped off. Joleen looked down at the dress and saw his blood. It would be the last dress she would wear.
The man was eventually caught. He was arrested and put on trial. He was drunk at the time but that wasn’t admitted as evidence. Eventually he was found not guilty. They laid the blame on her brother. The man’s lawyer painted a picture that placed her brother in the street rather than on the sidewalk. No one believed her account. The man said something about sewing her parents and the city for malicious prosecution. From the day of the incident on Allen never let Joleen leave his sight. She would eventually come with him to work and see how an investigative reporter works. It was an education she would have never had in a public school.
About a year later a runner came into Allen’s office. They found the man. Allen looked at Joleen. He wondered if she should see this or should he protect her from that was about to happen. He eventually came to think that she shouldn’t be protected from the hard truths of the world. Somethings a person should see to understand. They were just outside of town. The man was a bloody ruin. Teeth missing eyes almost swollen shut and a cough that was dreadful. He said, “I am innocent. The boy ran into the street. I had no choice.” He saw Joleen. He said, “you lying little bitch. Tell them the truth or I’ll kill you.” Her mother tossed him a gun. Without thinking he pointed the gun at Joleen and pulled the trigger. The gun went off with a bang but no bullet. He tried again and nothing the gun had only one round without a projectile. Candice walked over to the man. She pulled a gun and fired the gun up against his head. with the gun powder on his hands and the wound to his head it was ruled suicide. His friends said he lost a fight and just couldn’t live with that he had done. Her parents paid a lot of money to get them to say that.
These stories will be based in the old west and an attempt at a modern western (later on).
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