Bobby Fix-It Gathers Intel: The Billy the Kid Chronicles Continue
And Here We Go!!!!!
Something is rotten in Dubois, Wyoming, and Bobby Fix-It is on the case.
If you’ve been following along you know that Bobby (Billy the Kid) is looking into the disappearance of his friend Matt’s sister. Last she was heard from, she belonged to a religious group on a self-sustaining farm near Dubois, but Matt has lost contact with her and he’s worried.
Bobby says he’ll look into it, but after being sent away from the group’s main gate under threat of shotgun, Bobby decides something is definitely stinky and he needs more intel on the compound.
And here we go!
- Bobby Fix-It Finds Religion: The Billy the Kid Chronicles Continue
Let's see what kind of trouble our anti-hero is in this week....it's never boring if your name is Billy the Kid.
I’m from the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. What the hell do I know about being sneaky in the woods of Wyoming? And yet that’s what I needed to do if I was going to gather intel and find out what happened to Matt’s sister.
I’m about as sneaky as a bull in a china shop, and I’ll never be mistaken for some modern-day mountain man. Still, I had a reputation to uphold and a friend who needed my help, so when in doubt, fall back on your strengths and forget sneaky.
Luckily, Dubois had a hunting and fishing store, so I spent an hour grabbing some supplies I’d be needing. A stop at the hardware store netted me some more, and one hour on the internet completed my preparations.
I slept until nine then showered and went in search of a meal. I was in no hurry to get to the compound. The more who were asleep inside of there the better. I wanted them sleeping soundly when I arrived, and I wanted them groggy when I woke them up. I found my favorite Dubois waitress working the night shift at the Hungry Moose Café. She approached my table with a tired smile.
“Hey, hon, good to see you again,” she said. “We’re fixing to close up in half an hour, so good timing on your part. What can I getcha? “
“Alice, why don’t you surprise me, just as long as it’s meat, and I’ll take coffee with the mystery meal.”
She winked. “If it’s meat you want, hon, why don’t you follow me home when I get off tonight?”
“Alice, that’s a flattering offer and I thank you, but I’m afraid my wife wouldn’t be happy.” We both laughed and then I was left alone while Alice went in search of a steer to butcher.
My old man was hard-headed. He said he had to be because of the way he approached a problem, head first, ram it with all you’ve got and hope you don’t break your neck in the process. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree with me. I didn’t have time for some elaborate plan. I needed into the compound and that meant the direct approach and most likely that meant a bruised noggin and a headache when I finished.
Eleven p.m. in Dubois, Wyoming. Nothing like the Heights and that’s for damned sure, no tweakers, no sniffers, no Ricky V or Sal Overshoes sliding the shuck by ya, just modern-day cowboys looking to down some Buds, kiss some girls and make it home in one piece. The downtown area was still alive, but one mile out of town was another world where predators prowled the shadows looking to feast on the weak of spirit or slow of foot.
On my first trip to the compound I had noticed an old logging road about half a mile short of the main gate. Wyoming is crisscrossed by hundreds of them, used and unused, in various states of disrepair, perfect places for one to park a pickup truck out of the way and out of sight. I did just that, loaded up my supplies in a backpack, put my night-vision goggles on and made my way up the road in search of salvation.
My one hour on the internet earlier in the day had netted me a Google satellite view of the compound. I knew that two-hundred yards inside the main gate was a large lodge, and surrounding that lodge were twenty-two small huts or sheds. There was also a barn and what appeared to be some sort of storage facility. All of the buildings were hugged by forest, and I thanked the gods for the natural cover.
My main goal was to find the girl. I needed to know she was there and she was safe. After that, establish contact and find out if she wanted to leave. Pretty basic stuff, really. All I needed was a distraction large enough to empty the barracks and main house of inhabitants, and I had some experience at being a distraction.
The fence wasn’t electrified so I could either cut my way through it or walk through the main gate. I kinda liked the walking option.
Here We Go
The thing about tranquilizer darts is they are totally unpredictable when used on humans. Body weight, mass, just good old DNA, all transpire to keep you guessing with regards to effective strength. With the muscle-bound freak at the gate I wasn’t taking any chances. My goal was to put him down. Period. If it killed him so be it. He shouldn’t have been so damned rude when I was there earlier.
I was ten feet from the main gate. I could see him. He couldn’t see me. The perfect situation. He was alone as I figured he would be. Guard duty in the woods of Wyoming does not breed caution. Sooner or later you’ll get sloppy and anyone who has grown up on the streets of New York can tell you sloppy can kill you. He was about to learn a valuable lesson from the streets of New York, if he survived it.
I had a fifteen minute wait until he needed a smoke break. He stepped out of the guard shack, approached the gate and lit up his cancer stick. He was enjoying the first inhale when he heard the CO2-powered dart being fired. A cloud of smoke blew from his mouth as he first felt, then looked at, the six-inch dart sticking out of his thigh. One second, two seconds, three seconds, curiosity and surprise end as he reaches for the dart, yanks it free and then slowly collapses to the ground, right next to the gate, right within my reach.
It took two more minutes to reach through the gate, grab the keys, open the gate and pull my patient into the guard shack. I closed the shack door, closed the gate but didn’t lock it, and listened to the sounds of the forest tell me all was well. I was in and nobody was the wiser.
I jogged up the trail with night goggles on until I came to the clearing where the residences stood. There were no other guards. I didn’t expect any. Overconfidence and ego are killers, man, they breed complacency. I was counting on both and both I received.
For months Matt Stairs had been teaching me the fine art of bow-hunting. It was time for some practical application. I got within twenty yards of the storage shed and knelt down behind a pine tree. There was no moon, a night black as a viper’s eyes. I was a shadow among shadows. I pulled out an arrow and wrapped the head with a strip of cloth. Next I pulled out a flask of kerosene and soaked the cloth. I was no expert but this was easy even for me. I lit the cloth, pulled back on the bow and fired a perfect strike onto the roof of the shed. Then it was just a matter of waiting.
Five minutes….six….the shed was fully-engulfed in flame when the first of the “angels” noticed the glare from the fire. A chorus of shouts alerted the troops and before you could say “praise be to God” the entire population was out on the grounds running for hoses, running for buckets and just standing around not sure what the hell to do.
And There She Was
Off to my left, maybe fifty feet away, standing in the doorway of one of the huts, was Matt’s sister Marie. Curly red hair, petite, matched her picture, in a flannel nightgown, confused like all the others. By that time the entire area was lit up good so I didn’t need the goggles. I made my way under cover of foliage to her hut. No one noticed me. They were all too busy trying to keep the fire in check. There was one guy standing in the center of the compound shouting out orders. I figured him for Brother Gabriel, a big guy, easily six-six, broad shoulders, hair flowing in the breeze, the colors of the blaze reflecting off his crazed face. A good man to stay away from and I had no intention of introducing myself.
It had been pretty easy to that point. Now things were complicated. There was no back door to Marie’s hut and she was standing in plain sight on the small porch. There comes a time when you just have to say “to hell with it” and make the obvious move. This was one of those times.
See your moves before you make them. Etch them on your mind and then let muscle-memory take over.
I broke cover and strolled up to her hut like I belonged there, one step up on the porch, one more step to her, turn her around, clamp a hand over her mouth and walk her into the hut. No one else was inside. She struggled in my arms for a second or two and then gave up.
“Marie, I need you to stay quiet. Your brother Matt sent me. I’m not going to hurt you. I just need to know if you are all right and if you want to leave this place. Now I’m going to remove my hand, okay?”
She nodded her head. I took my hand away and turned her around to face me.
“We have no time to chat, Marie. Answer one question. Do you want to go home or stay here?”
Tears formed in her eyes and she was shaking despite the heat from the fire.
“Please take me home. They’ve been holding me here and wouldn’t let me leave. Brother Gabriel is a monster. He raped me and, and, he does it every day, oh God, please, don’t let him touch me again.”
I could feel the darkness settle over me. It was a physical entity, or so it seemed at the time. He raped her. In the name of God?
I’ve known men like Gabriel all my life. I’ve seen them devour the weak, snack on the suffering, draw strength from the misery they cause, and they do so with a sense of entitlement.
“I need to get you out of here, Marie. Then I’ll take care of Brother Gabriel.” I grabbed her hand and led her to the front door.
Then things got real interesting.
My book on writing
To Be Continued
You’ll just have to hang in for one more installment to see if Billy/Bobby and the girl make it out alive. My money is always on Mr. Fix-It, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
And just so you know, Billy/Bobby will be making his eBook and paperback debut next week. His first novella/pulp fiction, “Blood Red Russian Moon,” will be available through Amazon in a matter of days.
As they say in the business, stay tuned!
2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)