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Bobby Fix-It Finds Religion: The Billy the Kid Chronicles Continue

Updated on February 24, 2016
The Wind River Range
The Wind River Range | Source

A Quick Review

Bobby’s been asked to find the twenty-year old sister of his ranch foreman, Matt Stairs. When she was last heard from she joined some religious movement/commune near the town of Dubois, Wyoming, but she hasn’t been heard from in quite some time and Matt is worried.

Let’s see what Bobby finds out as he travels east to Dubois.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

Before I left for Dubois I did a little research on the Angels of Heaven religious group. Google pretty much has the skinny on anyone in this world. Seems they were formed in 2010 by some guy named Brother Gabriel. According to their website, the church consisted of a self-sustaining ranch/farm of two-hundred acres tucked into a valley north of Dubois. All were welcomed to the farm, and membership consisted of forfeiting your worldly goods and working with others for unification, whatever the hell that was. Sounded like a scam to me. There are millions of them, schemes and variations of schemes, all designed to fleece the insecure, the lost, the confused and even those running from the law. The leader rakes in the money and possessions under the non-profit cover, the worker-bees provide free labor, and it’s all hidden under the mantel of eternal salvation and joyous rapture.

Dubois ain’t far from Jackson, no more than ninety miles, but it’s on the eastern side of the Wind River Range and I was on the western side, so that meant I had to drive north to Moran then back south on twenty-six to Dubois. It was a damned fine morning when I kissed Dawn goodbye, promised one more time not to kill anyone unless in self-defense, climbed in my pickup and began the ninety minute drive through God’s country, as the locals like to call it. It was for sure prettier than Washington Heights in New York where I was born and raised, but the scenic beauty only partially masked the fact that human weaknesses will always fall prey to the predators among us.

It was ten a.m. when I drove into downtown Dubois. I had no idea where the Angels of Heaven spread was located, but I was sure the locals at the diner would know, and if they didn’t the tavern was always a treasure chest of local information.

The Hungry Moose Café was resting up after the breakfast crowd when I got there. I walked in the door to the ring of a bell, and a bee-hived waitress on the north side of fifty told me to grab any seat (except hers wink-wink) and she’d be with me in a second. I did as I was told, taking a seat along the far wall, my back against the wall, a good view of the entrance. Old habits die hard, but I’d rather err on the side of caution in situations where all intel was missing.

There was an old couple four tables over picking at the scraps on their plate and reading the newspaper. Other than them it was just me and Alice, she of the bee-hive hairdo who was true to her word and arrived with a genuine smile and a pot of coffee. She didn’t ask, just poured. I liked that.

“What can I getcha?” she asked, and she made it sound like she genuinely cared about my needs. Go to any town in the country and you’ll find an Alice. At one time she was probably a decent-looking woman, but too many hard years had chiseled her down and taken the softness from her features. I’d bet her for living in Dubois all her life, and she probably knew more about the town than any elected official.

I took a sip of the coffee. Strong, as in eat-rust-off-a-bumper strong.

“Bacon, eggs over easy, wheat toast and maybe toss in some biscuits and gravy if it’s not too much trouble.”

“No trouble at all, hon! You sit tight and let Alice take good care of you. Whatever you want, Alice will gladly provide.” She laughed at her bawdiness and winked to let me know she was at least partially joking about the degrees of customer service she provided.

I drank coffee for fifteen minutes and tried to decide on an approach to this problem. I figured Alice for a comrade when it came to the Angels of Heaven, so direct questions wouldn’t be met with hostility. Turns out I was right. When Alice came back with the food she asked me if there was anything else she could get for me.

“Just some information, Alice. I’m looking for the kid sister of a friend. She went to some place called the Angels of Heaven Church and hasn’t been heard from since. I’m here to find her. Do you know anything about these Angels of Heaven?”

The smile disappeared.

“I know enough not to like them, Mister, and I know for damn sure they ain’t no church.” She grabbed the chair opposite me and sat down.

Looking for the church
Looking for the church | Source

Here’s the Thing

“Here’s the thing, Mister. Those people are bad news. I don’t have no proof of it, but I’ve seen their kind before and there’s no good coming from them. The leader, so called Brother Gabriel, he’s phonier than a three-dollar bill you ask me, and he’s got a couple helpers, big guys, weight-lifter types, who don’t look like they believe in the loving way, if you get my drift. If your friend’s sister is with them then she’s got problems.”

“How do I find their place, Alice?”

“It’s easy enough to find. Go down to the next stoplight, turn left, follow that road five miles or so. You’ll see their sign on the right and a dirt road leads off into the woods. Follow that road about half a mile and you’ll come to their gate. There will be someone waiting for you. There’s always a guard at the gate. If you go there you walk softly but carry a big damned stick, you hear?”

I finished up my meal, left Alice the best tip she’s probably gotten in months and climbed back into my truck. I pulled the Glock out from under the seat. Checked to make sure it was loaded. My big stick was locked and loaded and so was I.

The Church's property
The Church's property | Source

Angels in the Wilderness

Alice’s instructions were as good as any onboard GPS unit. Twenty minutes later I rounded a curve and the trees parted like the Red Sea, leaving me with a view of a beautiful valley and a steel gate guarding the entrance. The gate was attached to a ten foot fence with barbed wire on top, and inside that gate, watching me approach, was six-and-a-half feet of barely-restrained aggression with a shotgun.

I shut the engine down, tucked the Glock into my belt on my back and got out of the truck. The ticking of the engine blended with a chorus of birds chirping. I smiled at the guard, got nothing in return. I smiled some more and took two steps in his direction. That earned me the shotgun being pumped.

“Private property, buddy! There’s nothing here for you?”

“How can you be so sure? I haven’t told you what I want.”

“Makes no difference. Just climb back in your truck, turn it around and head back to where you came from.”

Here’s the thing. I don’t like taking orders, and I sure as shit don’t like taking orders from a Neanderthal with the IQ of a birch tree. However, I promised Dawn, so I dialed down the testosterone and tried the smile again.

“I’m looking for a girl. Her name is Marie Stairs. I heard she was a part of your church here, and I’ve got a message from her brother.”

Now the shotgun was pointed at me.

“You’ve got exactly one minute to do as you were told and then I pull the trigger.”

There’s just no reasoning with some people.

“Okay, my friend, we’ll play it your way. My wife Dawn is going to be disappointed, but I figure she’ll eventually forgive me.”

I got back in the truck, turned it around and headed down the road.

Getting Ready

A friend of my dad’s, Max Caulder, kind of took me under his wing after my old man got knifed and killed. He told me once that no weapon on earth is as good as good intelligence. He had tromped through the festering squalor of Vietnam and managed to survive it, so I figured if he spoke I should listen. He told me if time’s on my side, then spend it gathering as much information as possible before diving in head-first. In this case he was right. I had nothing to go on and that was a dangerous place to be. I figured to come back to this fortress at night and check out the particulars.

I got myself a room at a Dubois motel, one of those horseshoe-shaped relics from the Fifties, and took a nap. When night fell I’d return to the Angels, check out their defenses and see what was waiting for me.

And That’s Where We’ll Leave Bobby for Now

I’ll see you next week with another installment of the Billy the Kid Chronicles. Thanks for stopping by and reading about my anti-hero. Billy’s first novella will be coming out in early March. I’ll let you know when it happens. In the meantime, as long as you’re enjoying this series, I’ll keep writing it.

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very much enjoying it. They just aren't long enough though. I guess that is a good thing.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 15 months ago

      Just when I thought it impossible for this story to get any better, here you come with this chapter.

      I'm wondering if you and Bobby already have a plan on how to get inside the compound or if you need a whole week to figure it out. I will be waiting patiently for the next episode.

      Mike

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 15 months ago from Europe

      This story is getting greater with every installment! How much I enjoyed reading this. Loved the video's you provided in the story, especially the first one. Looking forward to next week, my friend. Have a great day.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 15 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      "All were welcomed to the farm, and membership consisted of forfeiting your worldly goods and working with others for unification, whatever the hell that was." "The leader rakes in the money and possessions under the non-profit cover, the worker-bees provide free labor, and it’s all hidden under the mantel of eternal salvation and joyous rapture." 'Here’s the thing. I don’t like taking orders, and I sure as shit don’t like taking orders from a Neanderthal with the IQ of a birch tree." Lol!

      "He told me if time’s on my side, then spend it gathering as much information as possible before diving in head-first." How true!

      I always look forward to these stories, Bill. You tuck in wonderful observations of life, peppered throughout this series, that make me laugh, think, and that pump up the tension like the shotgun the Neanderthal at Angel's gate pointed at our hero. As always, I await the next installment with eager anticipation. :-)

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 15 months ago

      I am totally loving this, so thanks so much for promising more.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 15 months ago from New York

      Darn! I hate it when the chapter ends. I am so loving this story and will be waiting with anticipation for the next chapter.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 15 months ago from The Caribbean

      You have me loving and wanting the best for Billy. Could hardly wait to see his smarts on entering the compound.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 15 months ago from Northern California, USA

      Totally enjoying this series. Staying tuned for the next installment.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 15 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great writing! Short and much to think about here.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Eric! I'm afraid to go much longer. I worry about the average attention span. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I have a pretty good idea how he's going in, but I'm afraid I'm holding onto it for one more week. Thanks for being so invested in this. I appreciate it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Buildreps. I really do appreciate it. Have a superior week!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, I am so happy you find little nuggets that you enjoy. I'm having fun converting these short stories into a cohesive novella, and I take to heart everything you say....so thank you again.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Pop, it really is my pleasure. I'm having loads of fun writing this. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kona, as always, thank you! I think things will be turning violent shortly. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I can hardly wait for Billy to speak to me and tell me how he's going into that compound. We'll find out together next week. Thank you kind lady.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Stay tuned for sure, Marlene! Coming soon to a computer near you. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you as always, DDE!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 15 months ago from New York, New York

      I am truly sorry as I was working on a paid design job all day and then had homework to do with both girls, but am finally able to read you latest in Bobby Fix-It and definitely think he is going to be up against a great obstacle with Angels of Heaven. So, I would say the next installment should be very interesting at the very least. That said hoping your Wednesday has been a great one so far!! :)

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 15 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      billybuc: I'd lost track of you. So good to have something of yours to read again!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, we were both busy and late to the show....I completely understand. I'm just grateful you made the time to join Bobby on his latest adventure. Thank you and Happy Hump Day!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathleen, it's weird how that happens from time to time. I've done the same thing...so many good writers to keep track of, and life gets in the way, and sooner or later a few fall between the cracks. Well I'm happy you reconnected...thank you!

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 15 months ago from Nibiru

      Nice, bobby fix it is full of surprises

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 15 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I continue to enjoy each episode you write. I'm anxious to see how Bobby gets Marie out of that compound. Keep writing and I'll be back.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 15 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Could we convince you to put out two chapters per week? Just when I think I'm settling in for a couple hours of good reading I remember it's one chapter and done until next week. Can't wait to see how Bobby figures this one out.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      He is indeed, Clive. Let him know if he can ever fix a problem for you. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! Billy is more mellow because of you, so take a bow.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, if I didn't have my outside job to deal with, I could probably do that...but time just isn't on my side, my friend. Thanks for the thought, though.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 15 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm very much looking forward to seeing how Bobby gets this problem solved! It sounds like a difficult situation, but I know I won't be disappointed in Bobby's plan. He and you are very creative!

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 15 months ago

      By your permission Bill, can I make comment next time? Thanks. This one is better than vigorous . Properly "sized" chapter granting enough time for mesmerizing.

      Good night and blessings to you my friend.

      ( PS, the weather forecaster was wrong, only around ten inches new snow...)

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 15 months ago from london

      Nice! I like the way you're setting the scene, carrying the reader. I look forward to the next episode in Bobby's adventurous life. Hope he finds Religion. Ha ha.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 15 months ago from SW England

      Once more you've left us wanting to know what happens next, as of course you intended to do! Great story-telling.

      I really hope he gets one up on that thug at the gate; I have no doubt he will somehow but what's he gonna do...... Suspense!

      Have a thrilling Thursday, bill!

      Ann

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 15 months ago

      Interesting to read :) It keeps me wondering what will happen next .....

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 15 months ago from Florida

      2 days? You posted this two days ago? Man, I have been lost and apologizing a lot here for my late responses. However, this part of the saga was so excellent. Your detail is extremely spot on. It is all the time, but how you described Alice and even the directions to the church, I think I was in the truck riding along. Whew, those guards are scary! Things are about to get a little hairy I'm sure. Even so, Billy knows how to be discrete, and find his way through what could become some interesting chaos.

      As always, I'm sitting tight and waiting for the next installment. Can't wait!

      I hope Nothing is spelled wrong and all my i's are dotted, and t's crossed, because I'm typing this comment on my phone. Lol.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, you and me both. I'm waiting for Bobby to whisper in my ear so I can finish the next chapter. :) Thanks for being here once again.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, I have visions of working in the garden this weekend and you speak of snow. :) I prefer our weather, dear friend.

      blessings always

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Manatita. My emphasis of late is on setting scenes and working on character descriptions.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 15 months ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. A great read Bill. I do wish I could create such writing somehow I lack the creative mind to do so. As always Tip Top.

      Graham.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 15 months ago from london

      Yes, Bill. You will know that this is crucial for the great writer, of course. Nice direction. Frank is good at this in his detective series, but I feel that plots and intrigue can be best done in your style of writing or genre. (There is always an Agatha Christie, of course.)

      I do some in my older style Flash and prose writings. Sometimes I want to return, but I feel that the Spirit wants me to serve, like I'm doing.

      I await your next episode with great anticipation and much Love. -Manatita

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 15 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I can't get enough of Bobby/Billy..a great anti-hero if ever there was one. Bring on the next chapter.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I have no doubt that the thug at the gate will pay for his attitude. Things like that do not escape Bobby's attention.

      Busy week. Sorry it took me so long to respond. Happy Weekend to you, my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's what I intended Sparrow, so thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Missy, I'm so busy of late, I don't have to time to worry about your spelling or grammar....come to think of it, I never would worry about those things. I'm just grateful for your visit, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Graham! Good to hear from you. We all have our strengths. I can't write non-fiction that well and poetry not at all. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, you do what you do so well, it would be a shame if you changed to another genre. Keep on keeping on, my friend, and blessings always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you John! I really enjoy him too. Have a great weekend, my friend.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 15 months ago from SW England

      An apology is never necessary, bill.

      Hope you have a great weekend too.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Ann!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 15 months ago from Texas

      Bill, lets hope Bobby can fix it. Maybe she will not want to be rescued, and it does not sound like the Angels of Heaven (the cult) are fond of prospective new members. If Bobby pretends to be a prospective new member.

      I am enjoying this series, so keep cranking them out.

      Blessings my friend.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 15 months ago from Shelton

      Billy you are a fantastic read.. I can't get enough and I get excited when I see one posted.. bless you

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shyron! Bobby told me how it was going to work out and I think we can all live with it. :) I appreciate you always being here and I'm so glad you are all enjoying it. Blessings to you, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That means a great deal to me, Frank. Thank you very much.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 15 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Another interesting adventure for our Bobby. I wonder how he'll deal with this religious lunatic. For you Bill, storytelling comes naturally. Just the right words, nothing distracts from the reader. That's why I enjoy it so much. I sometimes repeat the lines to myself to savour it.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 15 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Can't wait to read more. I say those aren't Angels they're Devils.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aesta, that is a very high compliment...thank you so much for your kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Gypsy, maybe they will be heading to Hell soon. :) Thanks for being here.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 15 months ago from Dubai

      Wondering what will happen next, what will Bobby think of in the motel room to get inside the Angels of Heaven Church grounds. Waiting to read more.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate you, Vellur! Thank you very much. The next chapter is tomorrow.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 15 months ago from United Kingdom

      Oh, Bobby, what have you gotten yourself into? Is life on the farm so dull you have to do this kind of stuff for laughs?

      I guess I'll see you later tonight and see how you get on.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, me thinks Billy is an adrenaline junkie. LOL Thanks for riding along, my friend, and happy weekend to you.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 14 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Great to read what Billy's getting up to. Loved this story.

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lawrence. I have a blast writing it.

      bill

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 14 months ago from San Diego California

      I have a feeling this is not going to end with everybody shaking hands and making friends. Great story!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      No, Mel, this is not going to be an amicable solution. LOL I'm glad you are enjoying it. Thank you!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 14 months ago from Central Florida

      I'm surprised Billy is so up front about why he's in town. I thought he'd pretend to want to join the commune and infiltrate from within. But I guess that would take too much time away from Dawn.

      I'm curious to see how he goes about finding Marie Stairs.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, you just never know what Billy will decide to do. He definitely has a mind of his own in this writing process. And he's become more of a person as I moved from these short stories to the novella....a very fun process.

      Thank you and Happy Weekend!

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 12 months ago from Texas

      Uh-oh. This could get messy. . .

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, it definitely gets messy, my friend.

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