Lover’s Lane

jesalyn
Jesalyn Tremblay

 

Every now and again we publish a work of fiction or non-fiction by a local author. One of our most popular previous postings featured a young Kaslo-based writer, Jesalyn Tremblay. Happily, she continues to hone her craft — and we’re delighted to offer you her latest work here, a piece of short fiction with a Kaslo twist. Enjoy!

 

 

John

 

The cool night air scorched John Ritter’s lungs as he darted down the unforgiving streets of Spokane, Washington; they were as empty and barren as a star-less sky. Few lights flickered in windows as John passed by. The smell of fresh rain and smoke consumed the air.

A small railway came into view just down the road, with a fully loaded train waiting to depart. John spied a rail car that was not fully closed and used the last of his dwindling energy to reach it. Thundering hooves and sharp growls drew closer and closer behind him. He knew that if he didn’t make it to the car, he would no longer be a wanted man, but a dead one. The masters leading these unholy beasts boomed with anger as their lightning whips struck down on them. John’s heart exploded in his chest as he reared the home stretch to the car. Just three more meters; that’s all he needed. Hounds leapt forward and nipped at his ankles. One final jump would do the trick. The car was so close.

To his horror, the train began to move. The noise behind him seemed to hinder his progress. He did not dare look back to see what had stopped them, but continued to the cart. With a small leap, he was finally aboard. With a mocking look, he turned around to face his foe one last time.

A line of seven black beasts charged towards him; their riders were dark as demons. They were known to many as the ‘round-up posse’, but to others, they were the ‘Seven Angels’; the only people close to police in the Kootenays, were these seven men. The train was soon at its full speed and the riders began to fade. John leaned out the door and gave a small, taunting wave.

BOOM!

John fell to the floor of the cart. Soon, everything became dark and cold.

 

The pain was absent at first, a discomforting feeling overwhelmed his stomach. John looked down to see that his once florescent white dress shirt was now covered in dried blood; hay and dirt clung his wounds as if they were the only thing holding him together. He began to agonizingly stretch out his limbs; everything seemed to be working.

Something was unsound about this foreign place. . . A sickening thought entered John’s mind.  Could they have captured him? Everything was so calm and still; they couldn’t have caught up to him.

With as much strength as he had left, he pushed himself up into a sitting position. The pain radiating from the middle of his abdomen struck him with a blinding force. A small moan escaped him as he began to stand and after a few stumbles, he managed to navigate his way to the car’s entrance.

 

With a mighty shove, the door slid open. The verdant sunlight pervaded his body with a warm glow. He looked out into the unknown. Trees of all kinds shielded the large and majestic mountains from the luminous glow of the sun. This was accompanied by a sizeable lake; with water as clear as glass lay before him.

A magnificent boat with the words S.S. Moyie engraved on the side, floated peacefully along a small dock. People were scrambling back and forth to load the remaining cargo from the train, to the awaiting boat. Quickly, John jumped from the cart, but turned back swiftly to retrieve the tiny satchel that he had managed to grab as he fled.

With a few crossed looks, he managed to find his way down to the passenger boarding zone. The conductor gave him a muddled look as John dug in his pocket for a few coins. His heart raced in anticipation for questions he might be asked. The conductor’s gaze followed him as he boarded the boat, but only went as far as the entrance. He turned back to whisper a ‘thank-you’ to the train that took him away from his nightmare.

A look that was once relieved melted into horror. A man in all black accompanied by a jet black horse, was investigating the cart where John was, only moments ago. A silver six shooter hung from his slender waist; John’s wound seared with pain.

To his relief, the conductor made the last call before pulling the boarding board up. The man turned his head just in time to glare into John’s burning eyes; they examined one another. The rider’s skin was pale, yet unclouded; his dark moustache curled around his small mouth and his beady eyes were as cold as ice. The boat began to pull away before either could react. With a look of dismay, John looked away from him. All he could do now was wait to see where the S.S Moyie would take him.

With a few confused stares, John managed to find an empty room with a small mirror and wash basin, along with a small twin bed. He looked at the plush bed longingly. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d slept in an actual bed.

 

More than a month ago was when this story began. John and a few acquaintances had gone out for a few drinks after their shifts in the ore mines. Many drinks in, the men stumbled out of the bar and paraded drunkenly down the quiet street. They rounded a few misleading bends and were faced with a dead-end ally. A drunken rage overcame a man who John hadn’t known well and took a swing towards him with a small switchblade knife. Without thinking, John pulled his revolver from under his belt and fired six blazing shots into the man’s chest. Silence filled the air around them. The rest of the men with him disappeared, leaving John standing alone.

 

He forced himself to look into a mirror; he looked the same as he had the night of the murder. A young eighteen-year-old, with light brown hair, large hazel eyes, and a slight build. He was a bit paler then before, looked about ten pounds lighter and needed a shave, but nothing had changed.

A sobering feeling overtook him as he turned to look at the small satchel that rested on his bed. His unsteady hands unzipped the first pouch and took out the revolver. Underneath, were six shiny brass bullets. If he were to be caught with this, he’d be a dead man guaranteed. He put the revolver away and went on to more important matters; getting new clothes.

Just as he rested his hand on the door, there was a slight knock. John composed himself before he spoke.

“Come in.” He gritted his teeth in anticipation for the worst.

An older man, with greying hair man entered. He was dressed in an all-black cassock that stopped just below his ankles. A pair of gold rimmed glasses hung on the edge of his Roman pug, which exposed his gentle eyes. He carried with him, a small black bag.

“Good evening my son, how are you feeling?” John studied the man before he answered.

“I’m well, thank you. Yourself?”

“If God allows son, if God allows.” He set the bag on the edge of the bed. The room remained silent. John’s heart began to pound.

“If you don’t mind my asking, who are you?” John proceeded with caution.

The man gave a small chuckle before he answered. “I am Father Francis. I am in charge of St. Andrew’s Church in Kaslo.” He spoke with a reassuring tone. John remained quiet. The Father noticed his silence and went over to his bag. “You must be wondering why I’m here.” John nodded slowly. “Well my son, news travels fast on a small boat and I simply came to help.” He took bandages out of the bag and gestured for him to sit down on the bed. He winced, but took his spot without argument. Slowly, he unbuttoned his shirt to reveal the depths of his injury. Without flinching, the Father took the wash basin and poured some of the crystal clear water into the empty bowl. A once white cloth became soaked with dark maroon colour; every layer of blood stripped away revealed less and less damage. With a few nods and grunts, the Father came to a hopeful conclusion.

“You’ll live. The bullet passed straight through you. I just need to wrap a layer of cloth around your stomach and back side to keep any infection that lingers away.” With a few layers of cloth around him, he stood up and shook the Father’s hand.

“Thank you Father. How can I ever repay you?” The Father shook his head and looked up at the roof.

“Please, it is my duty to achieve and spread God’s will by caring for his children.” With that, he packed up his bag and opened the door. He smiled as if his message had sunk in. “Good night my son. May God bless you on your journey.” With that, he left the room, leaving John speechless. As he turned to look back at his bed, he noticed a fresh new set of clothes and a razor with a brush and shaving cream. He lifted his head he sighed a silent prayer.

 

The S.S Moyie departed form the town of Nelson British Columbia, Canada, and set out for the small town of Kaslo British Columbia. After a few harmless drinks and a few light conversations with the local people, John learned about the town he would soon call his safe haven.

Rested in between the Purcell and Selkirk mountain ranges, the vibrant town of Kaslo was a home base for miners coming and going from the ore mines. Many mining families lived in the town and the town thrived because of them. There was a giant saloon named the ‘Molly Brown’, which rested in the heart of the town. The owner offered him a job as a bartender and a place to stay.

John had grown tired of mining and wanted a fresh start in this new place. With wondrous ideas of what his new life would be like; he soon drifted into a peaceful sleep.

A blast from a whistle jolted John awake. He raced to the small window in his room and peered out of it.

“There it is!” He cried out. People lined the dock waiting for this magnificent boat. John turned back and packed up his few items and swung the satchel over his shoulder. His bloody clothes were draped over his bed. Taking a look around, as if someone were watching him, he stuffed them underneath the bed and left the room with great hast.

With a skip in his step, he bounded down the great hall to the boarding zone. People waved to their families who awaited them on the shore. Father Francis came to stand beside him. A beaming look rested upon his gentle face.

“Welcome to Kaslo my son.” With a small thump, the boat rested against the small dock. John hesitated before he took his first step into his new life. The Father patted him on the back. “I hope to see you at worship this Sunday.”

John smiled. “I’ll be there Father.”

The walk from the dock to the boardwalk was short-lived. People nodded and threw a kind smile towards him as he passed. About a block before Main Street, he spotted a man trying to force a woman into a degenerated old shack. The woman struggled and tried to fight against the man, but he was too strong for her. Something compelled John to run towards them; to fight the man off of her. With all his might, he rammed into the man’s stout body and knocked him off his feet; sending them both to the ground. The woman screamed and scrambled to get away. Both men rose and began swinging at each other. It was clear that the man was inebriated and barely able to stand. He took a pathetic swing at John, only to land face first into the dust. Many had gathered around the two men to watch them brawl. The man rose again and managed to hit John on the side of his face. He yelped in pain and swung back. With a sharp upper-cut, the man landed in the dirt. The few people who had gathered around dispersed and left John standing alone with the man at his feet. He looked around until his eyes rested on the woman. The Father clutched her in his arms as she looked on in disbelief.

The Father motioned him to follow. They walked several blocks away from the dock, before they came to the front of a magnificent church that was as white as snow aside from the green trim; stain glass windows captured beautiful pictures that stood frozen in time.

“Please, come in.” The Father swung the large doors open to reveal the bright nave of the church. A large mahogany pulpit stood proudly at the front of the room. John looked around in amazement. The Father gave a small chuckle as he passed him and went into his office. John couldn’t take his eyes away from the windows; something stirred off to his right. His eyes narrowed. The woman he had saved lingered in the entrance-way. John met her eyes for a brief moment before she drifted back into the shadows.

“Hello.” He whispered. The woman was cautious as she took a step back into the light. He took a step towards her, but she lingered back into the shadows. “I’m sorry if I scared you,” He spoke as gently as could. “I’m John, John Ritter.” He extended his hand into the darkness. A petite hand reached out for his. With a benevolent pull, she was exposed to the light once more. John studied her, she could not have been more than seventeen; her chestnut blonde hair fell down her slender back and rested almost around her waist. Her face was flushed with color as he pulled her closer to him. Her large hazel eyes were gentle; inviting. They seemed trapped in the grips of time as they looked into each other’s eyes.

The Father cleared his throat a bit louder than he could have, which broke their gaze. “Amelia, I trust you introduced yourself to John?” There was a twinge of protectiveness in his tone. She jumped at the sound of his voice and pulled away. A golden cross hung in the center of her chest and swung from side to side as she proceeded back into the darkness. John hadn’t realized how tight he was holding on to her until she had pulled away. She went to stand beside the Father; he whispered something in her ear before casting a prayer over her. With a longing gaze she left both of the men alone.

When the door closed softly, the Father turned to John. “You have just made a real enemy my son.” John stared at him with a dazed look.

“I don’t understand?” The Father walked around the room before he answered.

“That man you just fought with is the father of Amelia.” John’s brows went together.

“I still don’t understand?” The brawl replayed in his mind.

“Richard King runs the police force in these parts. I take it that you’ve already had a run in with some of him men.” He pointed to John’s stomach.

“The Seven Angels.” He said in almost a whisper. He looked back at the Father, “You knew? Why did you not have me arrested on the boat?”

“God believes in second chances my son. Word will travel slowly, but you must be mindful of your time here. You must make a new identity for yourself. I would also recommend that you stay away from Amelia. Through time, things will settle down, but until then, my son, I shall be praying for you.” He cast a prayer for him and left the nave in silence.

 

 

 

Amelia

 

“Daddy, daddy stop!” Amelia cried as the fiery belt came down on her. Richard King struck down again and again leaving welts the size of golf balls. His grimy, snake-like hair was soaked with sweat, his long scruffy face was filled with rage and his beady eyes were as cold as ice. With fireball breath, he screamed in her face, than stumbled drunkenly to his bed. Amelia did all that she could to move from the corner she’d been driven into, to her bed on the other side of the room. Her father wouldn’t have any recollection of what he’d done by morning. This violent event happened often; mainly when her father was stressed about a task involving the Seven Angels.

He’d been their leader since 1888 and was only growing stronger as the year was nearing 1900. She bowed her head and began to pray.

“Dear Father, please take me from this place. Amen.” She repeated the line over and over again, until she fell asleep.

 

The melodious harmonies of church bells rang throughout Kaslo. All the town folk were scattered around the entrance to the vivacious church. Amelia scanned the vast crowd until her eyes rested on John. He was leaning against the side of the building, talking to the saloon owner. He looked up and met her eyes. A cold hand grabbed Amelia by the back of the neck and pulled her forward.

“Come now, Amelia.” Richard said as he pushed her into the church. The welts he’d inflicted were now bruises on Amelia’s body. She wore a long-sleeved dress to hide some of the bruises, but she could not hide the ones on her face.

 

By the time they had taken their seats, the church was down to only standing room. Father Francis came out of his office and stood behind the pulpit. His booming, yet gentle voice filled the air and brought the church to order.

“Please open your bibles to Joshua 1:7-9,” pages turned and crunched as the congregation turned to the page.

“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

The passage echoed throughout the silent church. The Father let his words hang in the air for a moment before he continued. “Many of you have faced great struggles and precarious moments in your lives; some of you may even be in a situation that you think you can’t get out of.” Amelia leaned closer, studying every word he said. “God compels us to have faith in him and believe in his righteousness and he will guide us through the darkest of places. God will be your light at the end of the tunnel; all you need is to have faith in him and trust in his plans for you.” Amelia glanced in the direction that she’d last seen John. His gentle eyes stared into hers.

 

The rest of the service carried on with little excitement. Richard had gone to talk to the Father, which gave Amelia a chance to slip away. With one final look behind her she slipped into the shadows and out the main door. She strolled past the old maple and stopped at a sudden dark wall. She looked up in time to meet John’s eyes. She blinked in surprise.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.” He put his hands up to calm her. He looked at her face and removed a strand of hair from around her eyes. Remnants of Richard’s latest attack still marked her face. Amelia looked into to his tired eyes. “Did he do this to you?” John’s voice had gone from gentle to despairing. Amelia looked around to see if Richard had left the church yet. The coast was clear.

“Come with me.” She grabbed him by the hand and pulled him down towards an old road running along the riverside. “Where are we going?” She didn’t answer him, but continued down the old dirt road. He began to pull back and was about to speak when she cut him off.

“Shh… I’ll tell you when we get there.” She sensed the worry in his tone as they rounded a small bend.

Before them stood a small, degenerated, church with a grand oak tree growing within it. The spider-like limbs hung out the broken windows and intertwined throughout the moss covered roof. The once white boards were now barren and lifeless. Somehow, it was one of Mother Nature’s timeless works of art.

“I’ve been coming here for years; ever since my mother passed away.” She spun around to look  him in the eyes. “This is the one place that Richard can’t get to me.” John stood in silence.

“So he was the one that did that to your face.” she nodded. “How long has he been doing this?” Her voice was shaky as she answered. “Ever since my mother died and he took over the seven angels.” John’s face grew pale.

She studied him. “How old are you?”

“Eighteen. You?”

“Almost seventeen. How did you end up here?”

“It’s a long story.” He tried to brush the question off, only to have her raise her eyebrows. “Trust me, you’d be board after the first sentence.” She sat on a nearby stump and gestured him to sit down next to her. “I’d like to hear it.” John puffed out a breath of air before he sat down.

“Where should I begin?” She rested her chin in her palm and watched him with her benevolent eyes.

“Start with where you were born.” He laughed and began to tell his life story.

 

 

John

 

The rest of the afternoon proceeded with no interruptions. They had both taken turns telling each other their life stories; John left out how he’d managed to come to Kaslo. John learned about Amelia’s life growing up as the police chief’s daughter and how her mother had come to pass. He learned about things she liked and things she loathed. John told her of what it was like growing up in Spokane and what the United States were like. Many things he said to her about himself were things that not even his closest of friends knew. The conversation seemed natural between them. Never before had John warmed up to a person so quickly. Her eyes were trusting and soft as she listened to his life story.

As the sun sunk lower from the sky, they began to walk home. Very few people were milling about as they passed the boardwalk and came to the shack. Amelia turned back to expose her longing eyes.

“Thank you for walking me home.” She unlatched the gate and stepped inside.

“It was my pleasure.” He grinned as he watched her walk to the door. With one final wave, she slipped inside.

 

The days turned to weeks as John settled into his new home. Bartending was a skill that was better said than done, but as the nights grew longer, he began to acquire the necessary skills for the job. John had grown fonder of Amelia as time wore on and began to love her unconditionally. He knew the feeling was mutual.

Every Sunday afternoon, John and Amelia would slip away from the church crowd and walk down to the old road to the abandoned church. Time seemed to stand still when they were alone together; as if they were the only two people to roam the Earth. They now talked about whatever they wanted to talk about, with little fear of one another; they had also stolen a quick kiss or two.

Only one other attack had occurred in the time they’d known each other. Richard had sent for the Seven Angels and as the week went on, there was no answer. When Richard’s temper had reached its peak, he went after Amelia in a drunken rage. John was baffled at the town folk that simply overlooked her visible bruises and carried on with her life. He’d asked her about them in one of their long conversations. With a pained look, she explained to him that the people of Kaslo were scared of what Richard could do, as long as he had the Seven Angels in his grasp. John remembered the conversation well; his face had gone white as a ghost and his heart pounded in his chest.

To both John and Amelia’s great relief, Richard had grown tired of waiting for a response from the Seven Angels and decided to track them down to find out the cause of their absences. There could be many reasons they did not respond, but none would be good enough for Richard. The Seven Angels worked as far away as Washington to Revelstoke. Each man enlisted was hardly a man at all; no family, no friends, just an addiction to kill; killing was the only thing they knew. John always kept the idea in the back of his mind that they were tracking him.

As the Sunday service drew to an end, John searched for Amelia. He scanned the exiting crowd and came up empty handed. Where could she have gone? Had he missed something? He decided to head down to the church to see if she had gone down before him. Something was unsound as John approached it. He found Amelia sitting on the tree stump, her hands covering her face. She quivered as she looked up at him.

“Richard?” John said a barely a whisper. He knelt down beside her and whipped the tears from her eyes. “What happened?” she remained silent. “What’s wrong? Is it something I did?” He searched her face for and kind of answer. He tried to rest his hands on either side of her face, but she pushed him away with her shaky hands.

“How could you?” She cried. John backed away from her.

“I don’t understand?” His eyebrows creased.

“You’re a murderer John.” The blood drained from his face. He rose to his feet and sighed. “How did you find out?” Her breathing became heavy and labored.

“So it’s true.” He nodded. “Why John, why?” Fresh tears streaked her pale face.

“He gave me no choice. If I wouldn’t have killed him, he would have killed me.” She stood up and backed away from him. “Why didn’t you tell me?” She sobbed. John began to pace around her with a worried stride. He remained silent with every pass he made. Amelia watched him intently. “Well… What do you have to say?” John sighed.

“I would have told you sooner if it wasn’t for Richard.”

“What does Richard have to do with any of this?”

“He’s after me.” The only sound was the rushing of the water from the river. “The Seven Angels are after me.”

 

Amelia jumped to her feet. “They won’t hurt you. Those men are the kindest men around.” She drew closer to him.

“Really?” John began to unbutton his shirt. The bullet hole was now scared and ragged against his skin. Amelia jumped back and clasped her hands over her face.

“No! They couldn’t have done this. You’re lying!” She shrieked. “I thought I could trust you. I thought I loved you.”

“So it’s all over now?” John snapped.

“I don’t ever want to see you again!” She yelled. With large strides, she began back up towards town.

“I thought I loved you too.” He called after her.

John waited awhile before he started back up the dusty road. He kicked a few helpless pebbles into the river as he went. The town was dead as he reached the saloon. Even the regular Sunday liquor crowd was absent. John shrugged his shoulders and began to move towards his bedroom at the top of the long staircase. The mood was off…

The door to his room was slightly cracked open. His brows went together. He remembered shutting it before he left for church. With caution, he began to advance into his room. Everything seemed normal; the bed was freshly made, clothes were stacked neatly on his small wooden dresser and the water basin was still full. John tiptoed over to his small work desk. A small piece of paper was crumpled up off to the side. John thought nothing of it at first, but as his search was coming up empty handed, he went back to it. With little effort, he unscrambled the paper and began to read it.

 

Dear John,

 

I hope this letter finds you before it’s too late. The Seven Angels are here and Richard has returned with them. You were right John. They are truly dark men. You don’t have much time, there on to you and will attack at dawn. Get out while you can John.

Meet me down by the church and we’ll run away together.

 

Love,

Amelia

 

He snatched the satchel with the loaded revolver and all the cash he’d earned in the last few weeks from under his bed. He headed down the long staircase with a steady pace. The bar was dead as he passed; the street was no better; not even a horse was loose in the street. The church was dusky as he trotted by. Father Francis stood in one of the windows with a dispirited look upon his face. He cast a prayer over him as he continued down toward the old church.

At first, everything seemed sound, but as John drew closer to the old church, he knew something was terribly wrong. He found Amelia in her normal spot; rested on the old tree stump. Only, she was hunched over, sobbing. He knelt down before her and rested a hand on her shoulder. She flinched as she turned to face him. Fresh bruises lined her tired eyes and covered her face.

“John?” She said in barely a whisper.

“Yes. I’m here.” She reached for his face.

“John, I’m sorry for what I said earlier.” John forced a chuckle.

“That’s okay. It doesn’t matter anymore.”

She took one of his hands in both of hers. “John, I’m sorry.” She echoed again. Fresh tears ran down her cheeks. She pulled him in, her lips almost touching his ear. “This is a trap.” He pulled away from her.

“What?” She shook her head with a pained look.

John looked around, “Show yourselves!” He shouted. He felt for the revolver in his bag.

Richard stepped out from the doors of the old church. His once scruffy mustache now covered his face like a plague. Amelia trembled as he came to stand beside her. He bent down as gave her a revolting kiss on the cheek. John took a step back. Seven guns cocked from behind him. Richard’s face was grazed with a smug grin. John raised his hands slowly. Two of the Seven Angels came forward and knocked him to the ground. A third hit him square in the temple.

Everything was muddled at first. The surface below him was hard and unwelcoming. There was very little light and everything was blurry. John’s heart pounded in his ears. His vision began to focus. The room was to the point of freezing; dirt coated the barren floor and steel bars lined the windows and walls. A single candle lit the small room. John’s eyes widened.

“Amelia.” He whispered. He looked around frantically. He was alone. He rammed the metal bars, only to ricochet backwards. He tried again and again with no luck. On his fourth attempt, a man came around a corner and hit the bars with a baton.

“Knock it off boy!” The man barked. John caught his eyes. He was one of the Seven Angels; the one he’d seen when he boarded the boat.  “What are you looking at boy?” He spat on the ground next to John’s feet. John dropped his gaze. The man sniggered as he walked back around the corner; he blew out the candle on his way.

John searched for the small bed that rested on one of the outer walls of the cell. With a sigh of defeat, he rested his head on the wooden planks. The game of cat and mouse was over; the Seven Angels had won. All he could do was wait for him imminent death.

A muted sound awoke John. The moonbeams were the only light in the cell. A figure stood at the door to his cell. He jumped to his feet and rushed forward.

“Shh… Quiet my son. Noise won’t help you if you wish to live.” John’s eyes widened.

“Father?” He whispered. The figure nodded. “But, why Father? I am a guilty man, am I not?” The Father didn’t answer him, but pulled a set of keys from his cassock sleeve. He opened the cell and waited for John to step out before closing the door again. John began to move toward a second door before the Father pulled him back.

“Listen to me John.” He stopped dead. “I am supposed to be administering the last rights to you.” John’s heart melted. “Richard plans to kill you himself at dawn. Now, we don’t have much time so please listen close.” He looked around before he began to speak. “You must flee this town and take to the hills. Do not take a horse, but go by foot. Take Amelia with you John, or they will use her against you. Or worse, they will kill her too.” John nodded slowly. The Father ushered him forward. John turned back to face the Father one last time. “Remember my teachings John; God works in mysterious ways my son. Look to him for guidance and he will lead the way.” He cast a prayer over John as he left the room.

“Thank you Father. I will never forget your teachings. I will guard Amelia with my life if I have to.”

The streets were arid as he bolted down them. The pub was booming and beaming as he passed. Men drooped and flattened at his feet as he flew by. He left nothing but dust in his hast. Amelia was the only thing that mattered now; she would be the only thing that mattered now. As he reared the corner, he froze in horror. He couldn’t be mistaken about the screams that plagued the empty air, for they could only be coming from Amelia inside the declining house. With all his might he barreled forward, the door to the shack came crashing down as he continued on. He rounded the corner and found them. Amelia was pressed against a corner as Richard brandished his leather belt. John lunged forward and attacked with fire in his eyes. Richard howled in a drunken furry as he dropped to the floor. Amelia did her best to crawl away before Richard was on his feet again. John lunged forward again. Richard was more prepared and delivered a crushing blow to John’s stomach. John fell with a yelp of pain, but got back on his feet. With a crashing blow from his right hand, Richard fell back onto the cold hard ground. When he didn’t recover, John turned away and searched for Amelia. With a sigh of relief, she rested against the battered kitchen table. Her breathing was labored, but she seemed to be fine. She ran toward John and captured him in her embrace.

“Thank you.” She whispered. John held her close.

“We have to go now.” She looked into his eyes and nodded.

 

So the lovers fled into the perilous night,

Down the old dirt road,

Until the riders came to sight,

They had not far left to go.

 

The sound of hooves thundered on,

And broke the way for the rising sun,

The lovers knew their time was gone,

For there was nowhere left to run.

 

Into the church they went,

Trying to by some time,

Deep down, they knew their time was spent,

But their luck could turn on a dime.

 

The seven angels took their aim,

While John drew his gun,

To them this was all a game,

Nothing more then fun.

 

John looked into Amelia’s eyes,

And said ‘say a prayer for me’,

She looked up at him and cried,

‘God will keep us free’.

 

John charged into war,

Looking less of a boy and more a man,

He knew what he was fighting for,

As the bullets left his hand.

 

There was silence for a moment or two,

Before Amelia knew.

The church doors opened wide,

For there was nowhere left to hide.

 

She knew the gun was high and dry,

And she knew she couldn’t win,

But with all her courage left inside,

She turned and charged again.

 

To this day, on a cool summer’s dawn,

You can hear Amelia’s cry,

Down the old dirt road,

Many still wonder why.

 

So now the story has been told,

Kaslo is known for its stories of silver and gold.

But listen close to what I’m about to tell,

For this no plot, or gimmick, to try and sell.

 

There is no doubt that the lovers are slain,

For they are now the ghosts of Lover’s Lane.

 

 

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