Wild Western: Confederate Rose #1
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Union Arsenal, Soldier Summit, Utah
The granite grey clad Confederate officer whipped the blood off of his sabre, before sheathing the weapon. Both his own men and those of his enemy called him the Grey Ghost, a fitting name considering the predicament he was now in. At the beginning of the Civil War he had been Lieutenant Cyrus Mulholland, but in order to achieve victory, he had sacrificed his wife to a force so ancient, that it remembered the coming of the first white men to its shores, so that as long as he lived, so did the Confederacy.
Only now the Confederacy was dying, and Cyrus was risking becoming a lifeless husk if he didn't act soon. His second in command, Wallace Boyce, knew nothing of this however, and neither did the third living man in the room, one Mr. James McGraw, his red face covered in sweat as he tried to avoid looking at the dead Union soldiers that lined the walls and floor.
“You know these lever action rifles are mighty handy,” Boyce stated, as he cocked the rifle he was holding, “something like this may have made the war turn in our favour.”
“Weapons are only as useful as the hands they are in,” Cyrus hissed, as he walked over to a long cylinder chained to the floor. “Both will play important roles in our last offensive, now go ready the carts, we need to get these torpedoes down to the station before my engineers are forced to leave without us.”
“Yes sir.” Boyce answered, before flashing a salute and walking out of the Arsenal. His face grim, Cyrus turned to McGraw, as he bent down to look him in the eye. “You have our thanks sir,” Cyrus stated, “you’re vision of two great nations side by side is one I also follow, you can rest assured I only plan to take back what is mine and not a penny more.”
“But the Confederacy surrendered, that spelt an end to your movement and mine.” McGraw spluttered, as Cyrus stood upright and walked over to a box resting on a table loaded with grenades.
“The Yankees called your kind Copperheads.” Cyrus told McGraw, as he unlatched the lid of the box. “They called you venomous traitors; you know what I call you?” He asked, only to be answered with a shaking head. “I call you men who saw the future, I admit there are flaws with what you suggested, but today I look past that.” He added, as he reached in and removed a squirming, hissing serpent, its eyes carved out and replaced with shards of obsidian.
“Now wait please!!” McGraw gasped, as he scrambled backwards in a vain attempt to escape.
“They called you snakes, well now its time for you to strike back in the name of liberty, to fight for what you believe in.” Cyrus stated, as the snake slithered up McGraw’s chest and into his mouth. Gagging and choking, McGraw began to thrash and spasm, his skin morphing into copper plating, his face taking on a metallic hue before he fell still. “Now my Copperhead, I have a job for you, find my wife’s body and bring her to me.”
Road South East out of Bug, Washington State
Rose Mulholland walked south, her hair uncovered as she felt the sun beat down on her neck. Since no horse could bear to carry her for long, she would have to travel on foot, at least until she got to the nearest station. And while she knew it was for the best, she couldn't help shooting evil looks at the few people who rode past her. Most had asked if she needed assistance, but she couldn't, wouldn't risk spooking their mounts and revealing who she really was. That said, she was getting annoyed that the men she met couldn't get the hint and leave her alone.
So when the next cattle-man came riding up to her, she was brimming with venom, both literally and metaphorically.
“Ma’am a lady like you shouldn't be walking; me and some of my friends are celebrating the end of the war. We could use a calico kitten like you there; we'll pay you of course.” The man on the horse stated, as he extended a ragged nailed hand down to Rose.
“Sir I do believe you have me confused with someone else.” Rose answered, her accent causing the man to withdraw his hand. “And as for celebrating the end of war, well I can't see any reason why you should be partying. Many good men, on both sides died, I even killed some myself.” She added, as the man on the horse reached for his sidearm. Before he could pull his weapon, he felt something scaly wrap around his arm and drag him off his horse, the animal taking flight the moment he hit the ground. Groaning, he watched as Rose pulled him towards her, the boa wrapped around his arm biting into his skin, the large green scales now tainted red.
“Get off of me you wretched bed-fagot.” The unhorsed man snarled, as Rose bent over him, her hand on his cheek.
“Where is this little celebration?” Rose asked, as she sniffed her fingers, “At your bosses’ ranch a few miles down the road. I will attend I think, my children are always hungry, and they we so rarely get invited to such joyous occasions.” She added, as she removed the boa and rubbed her hand across the scales, each one vibrating, before cracking open to reveal a locust. “Consume everything.” Rose purred, as the locusts began to take to the air, before swarming together and streaking south, a cloud of pure hunger propelled by their Queen’s malice.
“I’ll kill you whore!!” The unhorsed man, snapped as he held out his pistol, only for Rose to step forward and pull him to his feet.
“You smell nice.” She stated bluntly, as she kissed him on the lips, her hands twisting the man’s wrist so he dropped his pistol. “As we speak my children are stripping your friends flesh from their bones, gnawing the cattle down to their hooves even draining the troughs of water.” She announced, as she released the man only for him to slam his fist into her face.
“I’m going to kill you!!” The man screamed, as he grabbed a stick from the side of the road and charged at her. Raising his improvised weapon ready to strike, the young man stopped, and screamed in pain as Rose spat on him, the green liquid burning his flesh as his assailant picked up her boa and walked away, Through his screams and pain, he heard the woman say six words as she headed down the road.
“You can't kill a dead woman.”