Monday, January 21, 2013

Prompt: Rainmaker

The dust seeped between my eyelids and stung my eyes open. I scrubbed at them with my knuckles and rolled on my side, burying my face into her long blonde hair and wishing for a little more sleep, a little more time. She turned over towards me, and the whisky bottle fell off the bed with a loud clatter. She giggled and buried her face in my neck, nuzzling me. I lifted her face with my finger under her chin, thumb rubbing her cheek.

“Morning, gorgeous.” I kissed the tip of her nose, her flushed cheeks, her rough lips.

She blew whisky morning breath in my mouth. “Shee-it, I know I’m a right mess after all that. Glad you paid to stay the night though, mister. Wanna stay a little longer?”

Her hand strayed under the tangled sheet. I captured it and pulled it up to kiss her fingertips. “I surely would, sweetheart, but I got to get going. Duty calls.”

She watched me dress, sleepy smile and narrowed cat eyes tempting me as much as her bare body under the sheet. I sat on the bed to pull on my boots and brush off the night’s dust, and she sat up to kiss me again. I pulled two more coins out of my pocket and pressed them in her palm. She sucked her cheeks in and whistled her appreciation.

“Who are you, mister? What’s your business in town, anyway?”

I stood and pulled my hat low over my brow, swinging my pack over my shoulder.

“I’m the rainmaker, darling. Time to call the rain.”

She stared at me with wide eyes, then burst out laughing.

“Honey, there’s no rain in the sky as far as the eye can see. You go give it a try if you gotta, then you come back to my bed, all right?”

I nodded, though I knew I would never see this room again. I never got more than one night’s peace in a place. That was part of the deal.

I closed the door quietly and headed out of the saloon to find the minister. I’d need his help to round up the townfolk for the long couple of days ahead. Sometimes that was harder than bringing down the rain. I found him in the cemetery behind the church, and I leaned against the building for a minute, watching him walk down a row of headstones, placing his hand on each one as he paused before it. Would I have earned my spot when my time came? Would I ever get that rest?

A crow cawed as it flew over, and the minister looked up and saw me. I walked down to meet him, and he shook my hand, then turned my wrist up to see the mark. He looked up at my face, looked in my eyes without fear or judgment.

“I prayed. Has God sent an answer? We need you, son. Can you do it?”

“Yes, sir. I can. I’ll need help.”

He nodded, and we walked around to the front of the church, where he untied the long rope to pull the bell. I watched as people heard the chimes, looked around, and began to walk toward the church.

Dogs in house:
Houdini, Brindle

“Rainmaker”, Peter Cowan

January word count:

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