I pulled up a chair to the table. My family was sitting around, my dad with a deck of cards. My older brother has a pair of sunglasses, and my younger sister, has a blank look. I lean back in the chair as my dad deals the cards, no expression on my face that could be read. I looked at Mom. Her mouth was ever so slightly cracked up in a smile as she lifted her hand. My older brother, Seth, lifted his cards slightly off the table. I couldn't see his eyes, but somehow, the way he set his cards down, the way he forced himself to breathe… I knew he didn't have a good hand. My little sister, Ellen, set her cards down. For only being 12, she knew how to play poker. My dad was the best out of the family. Then came me, my bro, my mom, and then finally little Ellen. We tossed our chips in the middle of the table. My eyes flickered to each player, catching every movement, every hidden sigh of relief or frustration. My dad called me Hawkeye. My eyes caught everything. I could even read some people's feelings from a look in there eye. That's why my brother wore sunglasses. My mom and Ellen didn't believe it, and my dad was to good. I sat there dragging my finger across my cards in a slow, steady motion. My dad looked at his cards… and a flicker of disappointment crossed his eye, but he soon had control. He put two red chips in without a word. A bluff. My eyes snapped over to Seth, who looked at the red chips, then his cards. He tossed to more down. Now, being Hawkeye, I could also control what my eyes gave away, or hid. But now, they were completely calm, unreadable, and starring straight at my dad. The others isn't what I had to worry about… it was my dad. Without a look at my cards, I slid two red chips in the deck… and raised it twenty. The others followed, and my mom folded. Again, we went around putting chips in the pile. Ellen folded, when the stakes got to high, something my dad told her to do when you're a beginner. Seth raised it another twenty. I desperately wanted him to throw the sunglasses off, so I could see his eyes, tell a bluff from the truth. My dad laid down his cards. He had a full house, he looked up, wondering if anyone had beaten him. As no one moved, a sly smile crept across Seth's face. He slammed his cards down.
"YES! BEAT THAT! I BEAT DAD!" Seth yelled, standing up, "IN YOUR FACE!" Four of a kind, shown under his hand.
"Shut your trap and sit down." Dad said calmly. Seth did so a wide grin on his face. They all looked at me, my face blank. Seth's smile got wider. I blinked once, twice, starring at Seth's cards. I sighed, and laid my cards down, face down. Seth's smiled as he looked at them, then I turned the cards over… one by one. Jack…Ten… Seth's smile faded a little. And my dad frowned…. Nine… eight… the last card, and everyone held there breath. I turned it, and lifted my hand away… seven… all spades. Seth's smile turned completely, and his shoulders slumped.
"Straight flush." I said quietly. Seth crossed his arms, and leaned back, without a word. I raked my winnings into a bag, for safe keeping until the next game tomorrow night. I stuck my tounge out at Seth who scowled back. I tossed the bag into a drawer in my room, and flopped down on my bed. Dinner would be ready soon, and Ellen was leaving for a friends house. I hoped I didn't have to drive her. Seth would be leaving for the movies with a few friends later tonight, and coming back late. Dad would be leaving for work, and mom would go to bed early for early work in the morning. I would be left in my room like always, left to my own business. I grabbed my sketchbook and pencil, next to a tan paper hung on my wall. It was a certificate labeled directly to Elisha Young… me. SASS. Single Action Shooting Society. Certificate of completion. Organ Trail Rough Riders presents this to Elisha Young for participation in the OTTR Cowboy action shooting 101 clinic. It was a group of people who dressed up like the Old West and went shooting. I was the youngest kid there. I went with my dad on Saturdays for fun. I loved it. All there guns were never automatic… all 1800's or less. I liked the pistols and rifle. Shotgun wasn't my favorite… but I could feel the power in it when I picked it up. At the Action shoot, we had the forth fastest person in the world, and the 88th fastest person in the world there. The forth saw I was a kid, and decided to show me a few tricks, and teach me a few things… work with me. But now he's starting to regret it playfully. I had already passed half the men in time and accuracy. I was the youngest there, but certinatly not the slowest or weakest. In my spare time, the 88th fastest taught me how to twirl a pistol. I learned how to identify guns… even the sound of the shot. I was just learning to identify the hammer click… but that was hard. Anyway… I turned the pages until I came to a blank page in my sketch book. I gripped the pencil, and started to sketch. There where three people in my mind to draw. One… the sheriff. He was holding a pistol, and eyes wide. The pistol was aimed at another person… an outlaw. His hands were shackled together, his hat down, covering his eyes… but his smile clearly visible. Why you may ask, is the sheriff's eyes wide, and the outlaw smiling? Easy… because the third person, was behind the sheriff, a long Winchester rifle in hand, and against the sheriffs back. I smiled as I drew. My mom's rang down the hall and into my room. "DINNER!" I sighed, and shut my book. I set it down on the bed, and headed out to the kitchen. My dad was at the head of the table, while Seth was sitting next to him, arms crossed, sunglasses off. He was pouting because he had almost won… but I slipped under and grabbed the trophy. I did that a lot lately. I was getting better. I sat down as mom set the table.
'ELLEN!" My mom called again, "TURN OFF THE TV! IT"S DINNER TIME!" I heard the T.V buzz off, and the stomping of Ellen racing up the stairs to the kitchen. She plopped down in her seat next to me, and Mom set a plate full of food in front of her. My stomach growled. Mash potatoes, juicy steak, corn, and green rice. My mom sat down, wipping her hands off on a towel, and we all grabbed hands. My dad prayed out loud, and we all said amen. Seth passed the gravy down, and Ellen passed the salt and pepper. I noticed my mom forgot the steak knives, and I got up and took out five from the drawer. I sat back down again, and began to eat.
"So this Saturday, I don't have work. So, Elisha, we can to the shoot out." My dad said, slicing his steak.
"Can I go this time?" Ellen asked. My dad chuckled and shook his head.
"Sorry Ellen." Dad said, "Not this time. Your still to small."
"But Elisha started shooting younger then me!" Ellen protested.
"Yeah… with a bb." Seth added. "Come on dad, you won't even let ME go with you guys."
"Because you guys have never handled a gun!" My mother added, "Elisha had. Seth, you go to the motor cross to race every Saturday. And Ellen, you have ballet. You all have different talents and intrests."
"Cept horseback riding." Ellen said, smiling. My dad chuckled.
"Which reminds me, you riding lessons tomorrow have changed times. We'll be leaving at seven instead of nine thrity."
"Aw mom!" Seth complained, "I gotta get up THAT early? Come on, the sun isn't even up by then!"
"The sun is up long before you twitch an eye, Seth." I said.
"hey," Seth argued, "don't be talking. You always wake up early, it's easy for you. But I got to sleep. I'll get grumpy if I don't."
"so you obviously didn't get enough sleep last night." I said. Seth frowned. Ellen smiled and stuck a tongue out at him.
"Mom!" Seth cried.
"Ellen." My mom warned, seeing the tongue. "Not at the dinner table. And Seth, stop shouting."
"And Elisha, stop being a snob." Seth added.
"Seth." My dad said, his voice deep. Seth growled and continued to eat.
"I saw Jack today." Ellen said, "He was at the store. But he didn't see me."
"that's because you were hiding." I said.
"Ellen and Jack, sitting in a tree…" Seth started… and I joined in.
"K,I,S,S,I,N,G." we said together. Ellen kicked me under the chair, and I kicked Seth. Me and Seth smiled.
"What?" Ellen asked, "I do NOT Like him!"
"Oh please, you always talk about him!" Seth said.
"And when he talks to you, you blush and flutter your eyes." I set my fork down, and turned to Seth.
"Oh, Jack, you're so adorable!" I said, fluttering my eyes.
"Oh Ellen, I love you too!" Seth said, curling his shoulders up.
"Oh stop it!" Ellen hissed. "I do not like him." Me and Seth rolled her eyes.
"So how was your day mom and dad." I asked, picking up my fork again.
"Well, nothing special here. Today was the most boring day I've had all week." Mom my said.
"Well my day was different." Dad explained. "You know that kid I was telling you about? He got mad cause a radio staion got banned?" we all nodded, "Well, he talked to me today, and he's trying to get me to listen to it."
"Did you?" Seth asked.
"Yeah." My dad said, "Didn't understand a word. It was all screaming."
"I don't like that music. I can't believe those bands even have a voice after all that."
"They don't." my dad said.
"Hey mom." Seth started in, "I have a ride to the track Saturday. I was wondering if I could sleep over Joe's house. He could give me a ride home the next day to."
"Sure. What time will you be back?" Mom said.
"12… midnight." He said. Dad shook his head.
"You be back here around 12 noon." Dad said. Seth frowned but said nothing.
"can I have a sleep over to?" ellen asked. Mom brushed her hand through her hair and nodded. We continued dinner, talking over our week, and planning anything knew this week. After dinner, Seth was sent to clean the kitchen, while I went down stairs to watch Young Guns… one of my favorite movies. The intro to the movie always got me excited. Seth finished the kitchen and came down to watch it with me. Ellen was in her room playing with her dolls. She wasn't allowed to watch this movie. When it was over, it was time for bed. It was weird. I had never felt like this after the movie. I wanted to watch it over and over again, yes that was normal, but I wanted more… I wanted to see more. I couldn't stop thinking about it. I tossed and turned in bed, thinking of the movie and Billy the Kid. When I finally actually went to sleep… I still felt restless. I woke up again.. very uncomfortable. My back ached, and my neck hurt. Maybe I just dozed. I forced myself to keep my eyes shut, and tried to relax. I still tossed and turned. I fell asleep, but woke up twice. I still forced my eyes shut and tried to go to sleep. Finally, I gave up. I wondered what time it was, but I was to lazy to turn over and look at the clock. I sighed. Suddenly, I heard noise from outside my room. Was Seth up already? Had I actually gotten more sleep then I thought? I finally turned to look at my clock, only… it wasn't there. Neither was my lamp, my cell phone or car keys. They should all be sitting on my nightstand… but there was no nightstand. I opened my eyes wider, and my blood ran cold. My room. It wasn't brown and tan… with the furniture. It was blank… all old oak wood. I looked at the bed, and threw the covers off and jumped out. The bed was more of a cot. The blankets were itchy thrashed and tangled from my tossing. No wonder I couldn't sleep. Altogether… I wasn't in my room. Not in my house. The noise came aigain from outside my door. I spun around, half expecting someone to come through. My heart pounded and my eyes were wide with horror.
I had been kidnapped.