I had only felt fear once in my life. We had taken a family trip down to the shore back home in South Carolina. Excited to see the ocean for the first time, I remember jumping into the frigid Carolina water. My sisters walked up and down the beach fearing the waves that crashed against the shore but not me. Well, not until one took me under and rolled me around under the water for a good minute or so. The next thing I knew, daddy was pulling me up out from under deaths door while mama yelled frantically. Nothing compared to those deep green murky waves. Well, nothing did until now.
I stood knee deep in water again but this time it was green eyes clad in black that made me feel like I was drowning. I couldn't breath as the dark figure before me step into water with me. I felt my knees give out and I fell back onto my rear end in the water, my body shaking. Leather gloves reached out and grabbed my upper arms pulling me forward.
I yanked back, screeching, "Get off of me!" I gathered myself to my feet and tried to walk back but the chain around my ankles had different plans. I started to fall backwards when I felt two arms close in around my torso and pick me up.
The Native American man quickly lifted me out of the water and tossed me onto the ground behind him. I quickly rolled over and attempted to get onto my feet again, adrenalin filling my veins but I couldn't move. I swiveled my head around to see a black boot on the chain between my legs. I whimpered on my knees feeling like a trapped animal.
"Well, I'll be damned." I heard a familiar voice ring out from a distance. I looked up the river to find Hank grinning walking towards me. Jeremey wasn't too far behind. Hank spoke again as he drew closer, "Man, I tell you what Red Foot, I ain't never gonna doubt your tracking skills ever again." He lifted up his hand and placed it on the natives' man back. "When you gonna teach me to do that?" His question was answered by a scoff from Red foot.
I felt the pressure from the chain let off. As I turned to look, I watched as the shadowy figure stepped towards Hank as he spoke again, "I thought we had lost-"He was cut short. A black clad hand held a gun in his face, the barrel just inches from his nose. His dark eyes grew wide as Jeremy stepped up behind him.
"Flint, please, I'm sorry!" He pleaded for his friend. "We left for twenty minutes for a supply run and she was gone! I don't know how…" His blabbering was cut short as a second hand lifted another silver barrel to his face. I watched his skin go pale.
The green eyes narrowed at his accomplices as his finger drew closer to the trigger. I flopped onto my back and pulled a dark strand of hair out of my face. I was sure I was about to witness my first murder when a hand reached up and placed it on the shoulder of the dark figure. He turned around to see the native man shaking his head in a disapproving manner. He slowly pulled his guns back nodding at Red Foot before returning his gaze back to Hank and lifting his right hand up and striking the wooden but of the gun against Hanks thick skull.
He yelped in pain as blood slowly dripped from his left eye brow, "What the hell, man!" He placed his palm over his head turning away, hunching over, "Flint, what the hell?!"
I heard an angry, raspy voice come from under the black clothed face, "I said not to hurt the girl, Hank." Flint then turned to me, pointing the barrel of the gun at the top of my head. "Explain this?"
Hank straightened up, jerking a red cloth from his pocket and placing it over his head, "She was fighting back, Flint. I had to knock her out. I couldn't get her out of the train car without her kicking and screaming.", he explained. "What else was I supposed to do?"
"You're a huge guy, Hank. You're telling me you couldn't muster up the strength to take care of a five foot three, little girl?" Flint spat back making Hanks shoulder slump, his eyes meeting the ground. "Jeremey, what the hell were you doing during all of this?"
"Crowd control, Flint.", he replied speaking with his hands. "I couldn't take the chance of one of the passengers getting the balls to do something and I didn't want a blood bath. There wasn't anything else he could of done, he had to..." Flint raised a hand to quiet Jeremy.
"What about the boy?" He questioned, "What happened to Howard?"
"Hell, he was more of a chicken shit then she was." Hank answered. "We left him on the train with the others. Had to knock 'em out too." Flint nodded and placed his hand on his narrow hips, turning towards me.
He tapped his index finger against his belt before speaking again, "Go back to the hut and torch the place. I want no evidence left behind." Jeremey and Hank both nodded before turning and walking up the stream. For some reason I felt my heart drop lower knowing I was left with Flint. He slowly approached me and bent his knees, bringing his eyes to mine. I budged myself back as he brought a hand up to my face, running his leather thumb over my head. I winced in pain and he withdrew his hand. "Now what am I gonna do you?" I swallowed hard. "Red, get the horses. We got a long ride ahead of us."
The man nodded and turned walking over to where the horses are. As he brought them up to us, Flint walked over to the brown steads side and opened one of the bags hanging at the side of the horse. He reached in and grabbed a black bag and a short piece of rope before turning toward me. I started to get up when his black boot stepped back onto the chain between my ankles, shackling me the earth below.
"I'm sorry about this.", he spoke softly before grabbing my wrist. I instinctively wrenched back. His eyes shot up and met mine as I froze in fear. "Do not fight me.", he scolded. "Hand me your hands. Now."
I nodded and brought my hands to him. He turned my hands bringing my wrist together before wrapping the rope around my hands. He brought the end of the ropes together between my arms, making sure I couldn't wiggle my way out of this one. As he finished, I looked up at him with sad blue eyes. Tears at the brim of my eyes, I asked softly, "…are you going to kill me?"
His eyes met mine and for a split second, I thought I saw pity or regret. Then he regained his cold exterior before standing up, towering over me. "If you play your cards right, maybe I won't have too." I dropped my head and started to shudder, the tears in my eyes finally flowing down my cheeks. I felt a hand grab my chin and bring my teary eyes upward. "Just remain calm. This will all be over before you know it." He dropped his hand away from my face before covering my head, making the already black world darker.