Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Five Challenge Flash ~ Keeping the Peace at the Red Silk Garter Saloon
Tuesday howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.
Last Friday, Serena Shay posted a little writer's challenge. Being in the mood to take her up on it, I created a flash scene using her five words. Which are:
1. Gull \guhl\, verb:
1. To deceive, trick, or cheat.
1. A person who is easily deceived or cheated; dupe.
2. Crucible \KROO-suh-buhl\, noun:
1. A severe, searching test or trial.
2. A container of metal or refractory material employed for heating substances to high temperatures.
3. Metallurgy. A hollow area at the bottom of a furnace in which the metal collects.
3. Compère \KOM-pair\, noun:
1. A host, master of ceremonies, or the like, especially of a stage revue or television program.
1. To act as compère for: to compère the new game show.
4. Fabulist \FAB-yuh-list\, noun:
1. A liar.
2. A person who invents or relates fables.
5. Velleity \vuh-LEE-i-tee\, noun:
1. Volition in its weakest form.
2. A mere wish, unaccompanied by an effort to obtain it.
Keeping the Peace at the Red Silk Garter Saloon
"What a gull. And I don't mean seagull," Kirquelle muttered. With her fists clenched at her sides, and her teeth grinding together, she paused, not wanting to overreact.
The fires inside didn't subside, so she planted her hand on the butt of her low-slung pistol, and strode toward the two slick, fashion-plate gamblers who were fleecing a barely-out-of-his-baby-curls sheep shapeshifter. After all, it was her job at the Red Silk Garter Saloon to keep the peace.
And Kirquelle wasn't feeling too darn peaceful at the moment. In fact, she felt downright deadly.
Kirquelle, or Kirk, as most called her, resisted the urge to quick-draw on the gamblers who obviously worked as a team -- one of whom was now raking in the pile of chips. A hint of a grin played on his chiseled 'Clint Eastwood' lips.
Not that he particularly resembled the 'make my day' actor... except he did have those flinty, pierce-your-soul eyes. Oh yeah, obvious to her, he'd done his fair share of riding the range beneath the endless blue skies, same as his partner had.
It showed in their tanned rugged features. In the easy but efficient way they both moved. Plus, there was no way their roped muscles could be hidden beneath the elegant, old west attire they both wore. Kirk had to wonder what crucible in their lives had turned them into debonair cheatin' gamblers... well, not exactly cheating, but close enough to suit her sense of fair play.
Okay, and not the infamous O.K. Corral of Tombstone, Arizona -- Kirk switched off her psi-abilities. Now was not the time to travel that trail. For now, she needed to keep her steely-eyed focus on those handsome varmints in case she needed to shoot straight.
The one not stacking the chips sat back and gave her lazy grin as she approached their table. He raked his gaze over her, and his sky blue eyes didn't miss a trick. His follow-up smile made it real obvious he definitely liked what he saw.
"Something wrong, missy..." he paused, steepling his fingers in a cocksure manner, "do you prefer 'bouncer, enforcer. Wolf Dawg's deputy? Or, I could address you by name." He arched a jet black brow in question, a glint of hope in his eyes.
"I know her name," sheep boy bleated. "Tell ya, if you promise to give me a free poker lesson next week."
Now Kirk's brows shot toward the brim of her dark red Stetson. "Poker lessons?" Reflexively her hand eased away from her pistol, but rested with attitude on her hip.
"You gotta deal, son," Mr. Tall In the Saddle answered, as he roved his gaze over her assets. "Spill it, and get on home like I promised your mama."
"Yes, sir." Sheep boy flicked her a semi apologetic glance, then announced, "Kirquelle. Kirk for short."
"Last time I save your ungrateful hide from a pack of wild dogs, Burke. Or," she muttered, "get that annoying wolf in a sheepskin off your tail."
Kirk narrowed her eyes, but didn't lay her intimidating stare on Burke. He was just a kid by her reckoning. She saved it for the two 'grins as wide as their fancy black hats' gamblers, who weren't backing down either.
"Yes, ma'am. Gotta scoot. Give ya a toot on the horn later," he added as he sidled out of his chair, then high-tailed it for the exit.
"Sheep kid wanted to learn so bad he was sneakin' his way in," Blue Eyes drawled.
"We figured it'd be better if we just went ahead and taught him," Black Coffee for eyes baritone-twanged, Texas style.
"Yeah? Well, someone could have told me, so I wouldn't have wasted breath and time on you two."
"Maybe." Blue Eyes drew out the word. "We wanted a dressin' down from you, deputy. A spirited gal like you is hard to find in this ole world."
"Lot's of us here, in the Talbot's Peak area," Kirk all but snapped, and made to turn around. That is, until her olfactory senses finally got a lock on their scent. "Jackal shifters."
"You say that like we're all but condemned and hung by the neck," Texas Style bantered like they flirted.
He rocked his chair back, and hitched his thumbs beneath his leather-tooled belt. The silver buckle could only have been created by a true artisan, and didn't come close to the ostentatious rodeo belt buckles of current day. "Name's Drew. Drew Cassidy, Miss Kirquelle."
"Oh, I get it. Like Butch Cassidy. Well, Drew, by any other name that's likely made up, I bet by your pedigree you got one of them fancy Egyptian god names. Don't you?"
"He got as close as he could, choosin' a name," Blue Eyes smugly answered.
"What are you?" Kirk directed her interrogating gaze at him, and folded her arms. "Something 'Kid' or something 'Sundance'?"
"Dune Brisco," he announced, amusement glittering his eyes.
Kirk watched him reach inside his gold-trimmed western jacket, and remove a mother-of-pearl case, then select a cheroot. All while the pieces of her memory finally fell together. "Brisco County Jr., The Adventures of...starring Bruce Campbell."
"Yep, deputy, right on the mark," Drew gravelly drawled. "Bet you hit the mark every time with that fine pistol decoratin' your hip."
"Yeah, right, flattery will get you nowhere fast. So," she slanted her hip, "what are you two doin' in town?"
"Why, we're here to work in this fine establishment." Dune offered the open case to his partner. "As one of the compères for the shows Wolf Dawg will be featuring soon."
Kirk blushed wildly while, at the same time, being irritated beyond belief. Damn her fair skin, anyway. Likely she looked as red as ripe tomato. But, good lord above, having to be in close quarters with these two spelled nothing but bigtime trouble. Especially, since she'd already agreed to be one of the cancan dancers.
"Yep, deputy, we'll be seein' lots of each other." Drew thumbed open a matchbox, then struck the match head on the side of the table. It flamed instantly, and he lit his and Dune's cheroot.
Dune took a lazy puff. Gazing through the thin curl of smoke, he carnally ate her alive. "Except when we're on a bounty huntin' assignment. Care for one?" He presented the case to her.
"No thanks. Not my style." Kirk altered her stance minimally. Just enough to cock her other hip, and loosen her folded arms. She one-eyed them both. "Then, you're bounty hunters? Know Wolf Dawg long?"
"Met several years back." Drew smoked like some of the old west gunslingers she'd observed on time travel vacations. She watched, fascinated despite herself.
"Chasing the same hombre. Ended up taking the three of us to hogtie that ornery vamp. He'd been drinking the blood of drug addicts." Dune lowered his cheroot, and gave her an audacious wink. "Can't wait to see you all prettied up in that cancan costume."
"Can't wait," Drew echoed.
Well, hell on a sharp stick, now her cheeks blazed. Kirk shook her head, temporarily nonplused. At least, her Stetson didn't sit cockeyed, and she still had kickassitude going for her. She jutted her chin defiantly, and stared without blinking.
Drew deftly flicked the ashes of his cheroot into the brass urn. "Kirquelle, now that's an unusual name. Rolls off the tongue nice enough."
Kirk rolled her eyes, and huffed. How many times had she explained her name? One million plus, that's how many. At effing least.
"I blame it all on dear ole dad. He was a Star Trek fanatic, and thought Gene Roddenberry was a topnotch fabulist. So, yeah, when I was born he named me after Captain Kirk. I figure I was lucky I didn't get stuck with the feminine form of Tiberius -- given dad's weird sense of humor."
"Jim Kirk, Captain of the Starship Enterprise," Dune mused, tapping his ashes into the small urn. "James Tiberius Kirk. Yep, purty deputy, you were lucky."
"We're the lucky ones," Drew rasped, his voice rough from his continued perusal of her, not from smoking. "Lucky to find a feisty little female like you."
"If you're not careful, I'll put a bullet through that cheroot of yours. And, you too." Kirk palmed her trusty pistol, glaring at them both.
"I'll bet she can do it, Drew. I wouldn't keep givin' her a reason." Dune gave her a slow and wicked smile, then took another leisurely draw on his cheroot.
"Since you two are legitimate, I'll mosey on back to the bar, and keep an eye out for 'other' troublemakers." Kirk pointedly gazed at them in turn, then began to spin on her boot heels to leave.
"Velleity is our middle name. For now," Drew growled, so low and soft only she could hear him.
"But, not for long, descendent of the Celtic goddess shapeshifter, Skatha." Dune drawled his words as if they spoke casually. But, again, only for her ears.
Kirk whirled. She witnessed the secret she'd guarded so fiercely glitter in their eyes.
Not speaking, she pivoted, striding away. Damn! Now what?
Wishing you shapeshifting love on the wild side…
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~