The Young Riders "Aftershocks"
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The Young Riders

Pony Express Rider Louis McCloud stepped out of the barn and closed the door. The young brown haired woman rubbed the back of her neck wearily. With less than three weeks till her wedding to Kid, Lou had been taking extra runs. Even though Kid protested about the extra runs insisting it put her in more danger Lou knew she could save money by doing them. Money she could use to by her new husband a wedding present.

As Lou rounded the corner of the bunkhouse she heard raised voices coming from the horse corral a few feet away. As she stopped in the middle of the porch Lou saw Jimmy Hicock arguing with a man she had never seen before.

The tall thin black haired man in his late twenties leaned toward Jimmy and stabbed him in the chest with his finger.
Lou winced as she stepped off the porch and started walking toward the pair. Jimmy had a temper especially when a person egged him on.
“......I’m not denying that I killed your brother!”Jimmy was sayi8ng by the time Lou reached his side.
“So why won’t you fight?”The stranger replied his right hand resting lightly over the colt in his gun belt.
Jimmy noticed Lou then and shot her a look that clearly said ‘stay out of this’. He turned his attention back to Myers,”I have no reason to fight you. I have no quarrel with you.”
She ignored him,”Jimmy, what’s goin’ on?”

Myers glanced at the bunkhouse and surrounding buildings,”So is the great Jimmy Hicock a yellow belly after all? My brother deserves justice and he will get it one way or another.”
Before Lou or Jimmy could move Myers yanked out his colt and leveled it at Lou. Before she could even draw her own weapon to defend herself Myers fired.
The bullet slammed into Lou’s chest knocking her off her feet.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”Jimmy shouted in a tortured voice as he drew his ivory handled colt and whirled to face Myers.
Jimmy didn’t allow Myers to get a shot off. Hicock fired once and Myers fell to the ground. Dead instantly from a bullet wound to the head.

Jimmy was instantly at Lou’s side, wincing as he spotted the blood quickly covering her shirt. Franticly he felt for a pulse. It was there but very weak.
All the blood made it difficult for Jimmy to know if her wound was in her shoulder or her chest. He could only pray it was her shoulder. Jimmy didn’t want to think of the possibility of loosing Lou.
“Teaspoon!!”Jimmy bellowed not wanting to move from Lou’s side.
However there had been no need for the gunslinger’s call for help. Teaspoon and Rachel had instantly come out of her house at the first sound of gunfire.

“Oh my God.”Rachel murmured as she saw Lou’s still form.
Former Texas Ranger Teaspoon Hunter glanced from the dead stranger to Jimmy and then to Lou’s still form,”What the hell happened?!”

“He challenged me to a fight.”Jimmy replied tensely his gaze never leaving Lou’s still form.
Teaspoon glanced at Rachel,”Go get Doc Miller. I don’t think we can risk movin’ her into town.”
Rachel nodded and quickly ran down the main street of Rock Creek.

The brown haired man in his mid-twenties known to others only as the Kid stepped out of Rock Creek General store. Kid shifted his load of three bags of flour before turning his head to the right.
What he saw made his heart constrict with fear.
Rachel was running as fast as she could down the street.
The other riders stuck behind Kid couldn’t see the reason their friend had stopped so suddenly.
Then Cody none too gently pushed Kid out of the way and was just in time to see Rachel stop at Doc Miller’s banging on the door.
Kid shoved the bags of flour into Cody’s arms and ran toward Rachel. He reached the blonde woman’s side just as Doc Miller opened the door.

“Rachel,”Kid asked struggling to keep the fear out of his voice,”What’s wrong?”
When Rachel’s gaze met his Kid felt fear so intense that he could no longer breathe.
“Kid,”Rachel began as she struggled to catch her breath,”Lou’s been shot.”
“Where is she?”Kid demanded not quite able to keep his voice from shaking.
“Bunk house.”The older woman replied sadly and Kid was off running before she had completed her sentence.