Note: Hey Everyone! I wrote this fanfic almost five years ago and it really holds a spot in my heart, partly because it's one of the only stories I've ever finished, but mostly because it was written just as I was beginning to get into writing. So, while it may be fine the way it is… I felt a need to rewrite it. You know, fix grammar, add detail, and a few more little twists and turns. So, I present to you.. Days. Revisited, Refurnished, Redone. I'll be uploading each chapter as if it were a new story… so watch out for new chapters.
The night was cool, quiet, and very breezy, the quiet before a storm. It was perfect, in my opinion. It reminded me of when I was younger, sitting in the fields with mama, making necklaces out of dandelions. Everything smelt nice, you know? It was real peaceful, and that's how I liked things. The ranch was quiet tonight, much quieter then I'd remembered it being in a long while. On a regular night, Jesse James would be outside rounding up the horses and watering them down, making sure they all got to bed safe and sound. Frank was usually barking about some damn thing, and more often then not, mama would be talking to him, telling him that things happened for a reason. Mama was a real smart woman; she always knew exactly what to say to make things peaceful again… I admired her for that.
Sometimes Jesse would play his guitar at night. He never played anything real modern, just a bunch of stuff he'd think up out of nowhere, but it always sounded real nice. Frank and I would dig out the cards some nights and play a rowdy game of poker. He taught me all there is to know, he did. I still remember the night that mama found out, she was pissed somethin' awful. On the rare occasion, mama would get me to sit down with her and knit. Now, I'm not much of a knitter, but I usually tried my best so that she'd be happy.
Tonight was different, and while I'm a fan of peacefulness and all, I was a little put off by all the silence. I had gone to bed before everyone else, so I could only imagine that they were all sleeping by now too. Though, I couldn't really be sure… and I guess that's what kept me awake. I lay there in bed, beneath a heavy quilt that had been made for me. My room was small, but cozy. I had a bed in there, a dresser, and an old wooden chest. It was a little dusty, but I liked it. If you're at all curious, Jesse's bedroom was down the hall, Frank slept downstairs and mama's room was right next to mine. I didn't like to admit it, but sometimes I got a lot of comfort in knowing my ma was right next door.
I could hear thunder rumbling in the distant hills, and the odd lightning flash would illuminate my entire room. I couldn't stop staring at the ceiling, I was restless, my legs were cramping up too. Ah hell, I had to check things out. I sighed then, throwing that heavy quilt to the side and swinging my legs over my mattress. The floor was cold under my feet as I walked towards my door and opened it. I realized how dark it was then, the moon hidden under those thick rain clouds that had rolled in. I reached over and grabbed a candle from my dresser, and quickly lit a match to it. I ain't no baby, but I'm still not a fan of the dark.
I crept to mama's door and peered inside as best I could. She always left her door open a crack and tonight was no different. She was fast asleep and I smiled, taking comfort in that she looked so peaceful. I left her there and kept walking down the hall. The warmth of the candle flame was nice on my face, and I was thankful that I could see where I was walking. I ended up at Jesse's room and saw that his door was opened. It seemed strange, as he always seemed to close it when he was in there. Either way, I was slow sticking my head in there. When I got in far enough, I realized that he wasn't there. My eyebrows probably looked pretty funny then, I was pretty confused. I walked into his room and set the candle on his windowsill, instantly grabbing a sweater from the edge of his bed. I slid my arms into the oversized sleeves and pulled it across me, holding it closed and reuniting myself with the candle in my other hand.
I was just about to turn away from the window, when something caught my eye. I took a step back and pushed aside the faded curtain a bit, peering out into the darkening sky. I couldn't see a damn thing. Nonetheless, I sat there like a fool and squinted out into the darkness, straining to see what I thought I just saw. And then the sky illuminated a harsh bright white, and I saw lightning strike down in the hills. That wasn't all I saw. I saw silhouettes, four of them, lingering down there on our front lawn. I wanted to believe it was Jesse out there, but something told me I was wrong about that one.
I left Jesse's room, still wearing that old sweater and holding my candle, and walked towards the stairs. Our stairs took us right down to the kitchen, and soon enough that's where I ended up. Thunder roared again outside, and I flinched a bit. Mother nature was rowdy tonight, and I knew soon enough we'd be getting some rain. But my only concern right now was finding out who was outside. I tiptoed to the front door and peeked out through the musty framed glass. The moon was shining through a clear patch of clouds and I could just barely make out those folks on our property, but I knew they had horses.. and I knew they weren't family.
I backtracked through the kitchen, off towards the sitting room, where all of us often gathered to eat meals. I left the candle on the table and walked up to Frank's bedroom door. It too was open, and I peered inside only to see it empty, all except for Scout, the dog, who was curled up on Frank's bed. I wandered over to Frank's window, which we often left open a crack. I bent down and lingered there, peering out at them quietly and listening. I knew these fellahs were up to something and I wanted to find out what it was.
"That barn there is supplies, we'll take the horses too…"
I felt my stomach twist and my heart start pounding against my chest. My first instinct was to chase them off with Frank's rifle. It was an arm's reach away and I knew how to use it. The only problem with that is… I was only fifteen, and mama always said that I had no business playing with a gun. I wasn't afraid of using it, but I was afraid of the consequences. I had to find Jesse and Frank and I had to find them now. I lingered there a moment longer, when quite suddenly there was a low growl from over my shoulder. Scout, an old German Shepherd dog, had finally realized what was going on and began barring his teeth, barking in quite a vicious manner at the window.
This unfortunately drew the attention of our unwanted visitors and they all glanced up at the house, and since Frank's window was one of the biggest, and quite possibly the only opened one, all eyes fell on me. I must have looked like a deer in headlights. I stood there, frozen, staring right back at them. Scout leapt off the bed and dashed into the kitchen, his barks reduced to whimpers of excitement. I took a few steps back from the window and prayed that the shadows of Frank's room would hide me. Three of the four men left and rode their horses up to our barn, while one stayed behind and jumped down from his saddle. He began approaching the window, his hand lingering over a pistol at his belt. I stayed still, standing in the darkest spot of the room. He pressed his dirty face up against the window and grinned. He was tall and scrawny. His hair was like wire and he clearly hadn't shaved in weeks. He wore a plaid shirt and a pair of faded slacks. His old cowboy hat had seen better days, much like his yellow teeth. He gave a raspy chuckle and spot just outside the window, clearly able to see me standing there.
"Hey little lady… why don't you come out here and have some fun with ol' Jacko?"
My eyes narrowed, and I gave him a glare. I stood there for a moment, contemplating possibilities. My train of thought was broken by the cries of horses. A sound of two dozen hooves on the ground was loud enough to hear, and I watched as they broke into our barn and released all six horses. Whoops and cheers came from the men as they rounded them up into a circle, winding ropes above their heads and dragging them into a formation. As soon as this happened, I could no longer hesitate, that little voice that most people have was gone. I ran from Frank's room, grabbing his rifle on the way out. As I stormed towards the front door, I loaded the gun. I took a deep breath and opened the door, stumbling slightly as Scout ran past me out towards the men.
Scout started jumping and leaping at the men on horseback, and I heard one of them tell the other to shoot him. Where the hell was everyone? There was enough racket going on that you'd think mama, or my brothers would be out here! I held the rifle up at mid range and cocked it, pointing it directly at the four men. That one, Jacko, noticed me right away and he separated from the group, and started riding towards me.
"Now lookie here, boys, look who decided to come out and play.."
I hated that man and I'd only just met him. Glaring him down as he rode closer and closer to me, I struggled to aim that monster of a gun I was holding. Now, I never said I was any good at it. This much was made quite apparent when I finally pulled the trigger and it jerked forward, leaving a small cloud of smoke. Horses cried, and when the smoke cleared, I could see where my bullet had lodged into the ground. Once again, I never said I was any good.
"You little sonnavabitch!"
He was angry now, on account of I'd just tried to kill him. He was reaching for his own pistol now, and dismounting from his horse. Hell, now I'd gone and done it. I tried to reload that rifle as quickly as I could, but I couldn't get it to set. I started to back up instinctively… a little scared at this point, I couldn't lie. I fumbled with that big rifle, and tripped backwards over the door ledge, catching myself on the frame and glancing up, only to come eye-to-eye with a black barreled pistol. Sweat on my face, and my heart in my throat… I think it was safe to panic now.