Author's Note: So this is a new style of writing for me. This is the first first person POV that I'm posting. I've got other stuff on , but you don't need to read those. I hope this is a fun read!

Chapter 1

Tick. Tick. Tick.

I like to listen to my pap's old watch sometimes. Makes me feel like he's still here. It used to be my granddaddy's watch, until he died, that is. He and Nan (that's my grandma) died on the trip out here. Them and my baby sis, Etta. We called her Etta 'cause she could never say her own name. Her name was Ethel. She'd be turning ten today.

Me, on the other hand, well I'm 'bout as tough as they come. So my pap used to say. When I was little, these boys had been picking on me, so I socked them right in the face. My pap laughed, but the church said it was "unladylike". I don't care much for the church.

So, I was, all alone. My pap and ma died the summer of 1859. They didn't let us know, but they didn't eat so we could. Us being me, my twin brother, then my uncle and aunt. My uncle was a mean man; after his brother (my pap) died, he turned cruel. He shot the sheriff in the town we settled in, so he was the new one. He used to hit me, and it wasn't until a while after I found I couldn't do a damn thing about it.

He's dead now, thank the Lord. But I'm still alone. My brother was the one who shot Uncle Levi. Jasper shot him dead. Two in the chest. It really wasn't his fault though. Levi came back drunk that night and started beating on me real bad. Jas shot him there. Aunt Mellie told everyone it was cold blood, but that just ain't true. Jas had to run 'cause men came to the house to hang him one night.

Mellie died a week later of what the doc called "pneumonia", but I'm positive it wasn't that. I know she was having sexual relations with the deputy, so it must've been some disease from that. I knew that for a while.

My name's Charlotte. But I ain't too fond of that prissy name, so everybody just calls me Charlie. It was my pap's idea. His name was Ricky. My ma was Amelia. I miss them.

So, me being alone and all, I went to look for my brother. I wasn't sticking 'round in that dump. I was an adult, well, I was seventeen so that counts.

Three nights after Mellie kicked it, I made sure the new sheriff and deputy was in Kite's doggery. They'd be stayin' in that wreck of a bar 'till their minds were all balmy. I didn't have any money; the deputy wanted me to do some "favors" for the rest of Mellie's. So I snuck to the sheriff's horse outside Kite's. On the way, I picked all of the deputy's actual, too. I steadied Old Glory, that's the sheriff's horse, and I hopped onto her. He made a small neigh, like she wondered what I was up to.

Dick, the store manager, came out the bar then, "What the hell are you doin', Charlie?"

"Hiyah!" I kicked Glory with my spurs, "Let's go!" She whinnied and we rode off. I heard Dick cursin' and calling out the sheriff. We passed the smithy when Deputy Forrest was riding right behind me. He was shouting and cursing at me. When I passed the old water station, Deputy Forrest took three shots at me, until it spooked his stallion and was thrown off. I chuckled and rode on.

I rode for three hours before I took a stop. My break was at the mouth of a cave. It was a real old cave, and luckily there was a stream so Glory and I could drink. I hadn't thought out much of what I was going to do. My pap had been a teacher, so I know how to read and right well. I could even be proper if I wanted to, but that's never as good. Really, I had no idea where to go, so I sat and thought a bit.

When my brother left in such a hurry, he left his coat behind. I grabbed it before Mellie could pawn it off to someone in town. His coat was my paps'. It was big around my svelte frame. While I sat there, it started to get cold, so I shoved my hands into the pockets. Around my left hand fingers, I could feel paper. I pulled it out. The darkness wasn't too good for reading, so I'd have to wait to see what was written.

So then, I sat and looked at the stars like I did any other night. My pap taught me all about the constellations and planets and stars. Some nights when I couldn't get to sleep, my ma would tell me stories about the heroes who got themselves up in the stars. There was Hercules, Pegasus, and Andromeda just to name a few. She said the big pot handle always led north.

I came from the north. Or rather, Northeastern United States of America. Me and my family used to live in Pennsylvania. We went out west when me and my brother was eleven. One day, my pap came home and said, "We're moving out west." My mother was excited, because her sister was supposed to be out there. We hadn't gotten the letter that she died.

I remember that there were a lot of issues back in the north. I remember people with different color skin, but there weren't any in the town we settled in. There had been something wrong with them because of their color, but I could never understand how they were so different. They're people too, aren't they?

One of my friends was a different color. His name was Joseph. He was three years older than me, but we got along real well. Whenever boys would pick on me for being a girl, he'd have my back. I never missed him until I thought about it.

It was only when the sun rose did I realize that I fell asleep while thinking. I stretched from morning stiffness and filled my canteen. Remembering my pocket, I withdrew the paper. It was a letter, addressed to me from my brother. He wrote:

Dearest Charlie,

I know I'll have to leave here. The new sherif and Forrest are geting antsy. As long as Aunt Mellie is alive I'm sure you will be OK. If you really feel the ned to come after me, I'm going farthr west to San Francisco. I've been planing a trip fur a wile, and I've ben mening to tell you. Killing Levi just set me forward a bit. If you do plan to find me, go to San Francisco in California and find Bart. He's an eesy man to find. He runs Bart's Bakery. But, there are a lot of things that are going on that I didn't tell you. I will wait one month for you. If you don't find me in time, talk to Bart.

I love you- Jasper

So. I knew where I was headed. West to San Francisco.

So what did you think? I love feedback. I'll be updating every week... hopefully. It's just a wee bit difficult with the crap load of homework. P.S. Charlie isn't robust, she's just a tomboy. Like a female pirate captain.