Stories: Alias Smith and Jones

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 October 2010

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Penski

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Posts : 119
Join date : 2013-09-26

20170105
PostOctober 2010

A Dark and Stormy Night...

Heyes and the Kid are in the Sierra and encounter a beast!



It was a dark and stormy night…


“Gotta stay quiet, Heyes,” Kid whispered as he stealthy walked through the mountains.

“But…” A glare stopped him from continuing as he followed his partner.

Curry raised his rifle … KABOOM…

“Did you get it?” Heyes craned his neck from behind to see.

“Heyes, that’s the last time you’re goin’ huntin’ with me! Yeah, I got it, but no thanks to you and your talkin’.” Curry walked over to the small deer he had just shot. “Been lookin’ forward to some venison steaks.”

“Me too, but we better get going. Look over on the other ridge. A storm is brewing.”

Curry looked in the direction of the next ridge of the Sierra Nevada. “Sure is…help me get this back to the horses.”

The men carried the carcass to the horses and secured it down behind Curry’s saddle. They mounted their animals and continued down a path looking for shelter. Large sugar pines provided a canopy over their heads as they steered around large rock formations.

A sound of a babbling brook was heard nearby when Heyes halted and pointed up ahead. “What about there?” A natural alcove was formed out of the rocks with a ledge for a roof. “That’ll give us some protection from a storm.”

“Looks good to me.” Curry spurred his horse forward.

The former outlaws set up camp and halter-tied the horses where they too would benefit with protection from the storm. A campfire was ready to light and the deer was nearby, ready to be cut up.

“Gonna start stormin’ soon. I’m gonna go to the creek and get washed up quick before it starts.” Kid retrieved a bar of soap from his saddlebags and started walking.

“Hold up and I’ll join you.” Heyes quickly got out a clean shirt, their canteens and joined his partner towards the babbling sound. “May as well fill these up so we have water later for coffee.”

“Heyes, it’s gonna rain. Think we’ll have water for coffee. What we need is to get more wood for the fire on the way back.”

When they reached the water, they took off their shirts and were cleaning up when a scream was heard. Heyes and Curry looked at each other startled and pulled out their guns. Their horses began to squeal and snort. They grabbed their things and ran back to camp.

They stopped just outside of camp shocked. Their horses had run away, the saddlebags were emptied onto the ground, and the deer carcass was gone. The partners turned their backs towards each other for protection, guns still out, and looked around.

“See anyone?” Heyes whispered.

“Nope.”

“Hear anything?”

“Just the storm approachin’.”

They cautiously made their way back into the camp and looked around.

“Heyes…” Kid pointed to some footprints in a patch of soft dirt.

Heyes stared in unbelief at the print. “No…” He crouched by the dirt for a better look and then put his boot by it as a comparison. “It can’t be…look at the size of this foot!”

“There’s some more over here.”

“What could it be? Ain’t no man that size.” Heyes investigated more of the tracks while the Kid looked out into the woods.

“Whatever it was scared the horses. It didn’t take ‘em… they broke loose.”

Large drops of rain began to fall. “Get our stuff and I’ll get some wood.” Curry holstered his gun and gathered fallen branches within sight of the camp.

Heyes picked up their belongings from the saddlebags and put everything in the alcove. When Curry finished bringing in wood, the rain was coming down hard and the lightning was flashing around them. Thunder cracked and then echoed through the valleys.

The partners built a fire and made coffee. They sat with their backs near each other looking out in different directions with their guns ready. Rain poured down in sheets while the storm raged. The alcove proved to be a safe and relatively dry area. Occasionally, the wind changed directions so rain would hiss in the fire.

“Heyes, what’dya reckon that was that scared the horses and walked off with our deer?”

“I dunno. Never saw footprints that big. And it emptied our saddlebags, but didn’t take anything. A bear would have had bite or claw marks on the bags and ripped them open.”

“And not a man?”

“You saw the prints. Maybe a giant…like in the Bible. The one that the kid killed with some stones and a slingshot.”

“Think it’s still out there?” Kid took a sip of coffee.

“Probably not in this storm…sure hope not.”

“What time is it?”

“You wanna know what time?” Heyes chuckled and pulled out his pocket watch. “Late…after ten.”

The rain tapered down to a drizzle though the lightning and thunder continued.

“Ugh, did you…” Curry made a sour face.

Heyes shook his head and made a horrible face, too. “No, I thought maybe you…whatever, there sure is a smell.”

A whistle was heard towards the left. Guns were drawn. Another whistle came from the right.

“Heyes, that means there’s two of ‘em!”

“Yeah, I was just thinking the same thing.”

More whistling and then a rock flew into the camp. It landed at Heyes’ foot and both men jumped.

“What was that?!?” Curry stood up with his gun in his hand.

“Someone threw a rock at me!”

Another rock was tossed into the camp and hitting the ledge above their heads, bounced back out of the alcove. Soon one more rock landed by Curry’s feet.

“Who’s out there?” Heyes yelled. “Show yourself!”

A rock hit the wall behind him.

“They ain’t bein’ friendly.”

“No, they sure aren’t.”

“But they don’t seem to be hittin’ us, either.”

More whistling was heard from both sides and then a scream. Heyes and Kid backed up as far as they could into the alcove.

“Guess we’re not getting any sleep tonight.”

“Reckon we ain’t,” Kid agreed.

The storm ceased. After an hour of whistles and rock throwing, Curry lost his patience and put his hat on.

Heyes grabbed his partner’s arm and hissed, “Where do you think you’re going?”

“I ain’t standin’ here no more. I’ll goin’ out there and sneak behind whatever it is.”

“How are you going to find it?”

“Are you kiddin’, Heyes? Follow my nose to that smell. Can’t be too hard.”

“Just don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“And you think stayin’ here is? It’s dark now, but another storm’s brewin’. Best go now while it’s not lightnin’.

Heyes ran his fingers through his hair. “They’ll notice you’re gone.”

“Not if we don’t have the fire burnin’ so bright. I can put my bags under the bedroll so it looks like I’m here sleepin’.

“That might work.” Heyes furrowed his brows.

“And you can talk like I’m here – you’re good at that.”

Heyes glared. “Still don’t like it.”

Curry sighed. “And I don’t like rocks hittin’ me by someone I don’t know.” He pulled out his gun and checked the chambers.

Another scream came from the woods and then more whistling.

After making his bedroll to look like he was in it, the Kid faded into the shadow.

“Be safe,” Heyes called out.

“Always am,” came a quiet reply.

Heyes poured a cup of coffee and sat down, talking to the bedroll like Kid was in it. A rock came in and hit his calf.

“Ouch!”

Curry froze in the shadow and looked towards the fire at his partner.

“Sheesh, that one hit me in the leg.” Heyes rubbed the sore spot.

Kid let out a breath and continued to walk in the shadow of the trees with his gun drawn. Heyes talked some more to no one in particular.

The next storm approached quickly. Lightning was getting closer and the rumbling of the thunder became louder. Curry quietly walked towards the smell.

A bright flash of lightning lit up the woods. Facing Curry, about thirty feet ahead by a tree, was a large hairy creature, about eight feet tall. Both screamed when they saw each other; the giant turned and quickly disappeared among the trees.

“Kid! Kid, are you alright?” Heyes was standing by the fire just outside the alcove.

Another scream and more whistles were heard in the other direction.

“KID!”

The whistles grew faint as it moved in the distance.

Kid slowly walked into the camp in a daze; his face was ashen and his breathing heavy.

Heyes hurried to the side of his partner. The rain began to pour and the storm intensified. He led Curry to the alcove for protection and sat him down by the fire. Throwing in a large branch, the light from the fire grew brighter.

Heyes kneeled next to his partner. “Kid, what happened out there? You look like you saw a ghost.”

“Not a ghost…but tall, real tall…and, and hairy.”

“Where is it?” Heyes looked around.

“Ran away.”

“Saw you and ran away?” Heyes paused a moment. “Well, I can’t say I blame it.”

“Heyes, it’s not funny!”

Seeing Curry shaken, Heyes poured a cup of coffee and added a liberal dose of whiskey. “Here, drink this. It’ll calm your nerves.”

Curry took the cup and sipped the contents.

“What was it, Kid?”

“I dunno…ain’t like nothing I’ve seen before.”

Heyes thought a few minutes. “Maybe a bear on its hind legs.”

“No, more…more like a human.”

“But with lots of hair.”

“Uh huh – covered with hair.”

“No clothes?”

“Just hair.”

Heyes sat quietly and pondered what his partner told him.

“You don’t believe me,” the Kid said quietly.

“Sure I do. If you say that’s what you saw, I trust you. Just can’t figure out what it might be.” After a few minutes of silence, Heyes continued. “Why don’t you try getting some sleep? I don’t smell or hear anything. Whatever they are, they must be gone.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah, and we’re gonna hafta walk tomorrow unless we find the horses.”

“We ain’t stayin’ near here.”

“Nope – moving as far away from here as we can.”

Kid nodded in agreement. “You’ll wake me up if you hear or smell ‘em?

“Yep.” Heyes looked at his pocket watch. “It’s just before three and will be getting light in a few hours anyway.”

Kid removed the saddlebags from under his bedroll and lied down. The storm calmed to a light rain as he fell into a fitful sleep.

Heyes mumbled to himself as he held his cup of coffee close, “Wonder what it was? Haven’t read about anything like it, but if Kid seen it, others must’ve to. Wonder what could have such a big foot.”


Thanks to a friend who is an “expert” in all things abnormal or strange…
And Bigfoot has been spotted in the Sierra Nevada several times between Camino and Auburn (not too far from my house). The creatures are shy, curious, rarely hurt humans, and do smell horrific. They communicate with whistles and screams. Rocks have been thrown into campgrounds to scare the people away.

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