To say that Billy Crash was misunderstood would be truly a complete understatement.
Several years before he met his grizzly demise at Candyland, he had a life. One that sadly dealt him the pieces that brought him to his end. It began actually three years before his death. Three whole years when he was actually a complete different person. Not the racist, violent, and mean psychopath that Django met.
1855 - Mississippi
It all began when Billy was riding into town. He had the last few days off with a few of the other ranchers, and was currently planning on going to Crystal's Saloon, and shack on up at the inn above. There he would drink, play poker, and maybe lure up some of those whores that were waving from the saloon's balcony for the last several months. He had taken good notice of all of them, and decided since he had a tight roll of money in his left boot, he would enjoy the fruits of his labor and kick back for a while before heading back to Candyland. That was the difference between himself and all of the other ranchers who worked at Candyland. He had always been insanely good with saving money ever since he was just a boy and started off helping the local village mason in his shop. An orphan, he had grown up in a small church right outside New Mexico along with several other children without any homes. A result of a rape, he was given up at just a few days old. There he was raised with strict values before being turned off on his own at fifteen. Even then, he saw how ugly people could get when hungry. How terrible it felt to sleep on a filthy dirty floor, beaten if you spoke, or did the wrong thing. The moment he was able to run away, he headed East, working odd jobs, all the while saving as much as he could. That's how he earned his nickname name
"Cash" instead of Crash, due to his clever way of dealing, sorting, saving, and making money. The nickname drove him nuts, but like most things he didn't give it any further mind. Always thinking two steps ahead, he got himself a job as a rancher here at Candyland after years of being on the road. For most of his twenties he worked on a ranch in Texas, before himself and several others were brought over by Calvin needing good responsible men. Currently, Billy had almost twelve thousand dollars stashed away. He didn't really have any plans besides maybe in a few years to return back to Texas and seek out his own piece of land. Until then he was content working at Candyland, and sleeping out back with the guys. It was a gritty, dirty, and hard life but he didn't mind it. He was behind today, the others had gone on ahead and were at least a half an hour or so closer to town than him. He had started off on old Pallor his horse slower than usual, trying to enjoy the mild weather for a change.
Usually the weather was down right unbearable, sticky, and hot. He really didn't mind it since he had grown accustom to working in the hot blazing sun, but as of lately whenever he did indeed get the chance, he liked to slow things down, relax, and be alone with his thoughts. That's when he saw her. He wasn't completely sure if he really believed in love at first sight, but the moment his eyes scanned over to the side of the dirt road and saw her, his heart began hammering in his chest and all sounds, sights, and smells blended together. She was young, sitting in a gray skirt, and Navy Blue sailor blouse. She had gorgeous black hair, pinned up, framing her freckled face, and old worn cowboy boots. She was sitting underneath a weeping willow onto of a spread out blanket making something with her hands. Slowing Old Pallor down, he pulled back on the leather reins, and came to a halt. The girl looked over in his direction, and that's when he knew he was a goner. Her eyes were the most beautiful light shade of blue he had ever seen. Almost as blue as the ocean. She didn't seem to make exact eye contact, staring in his general direction before her head cocked to the side.
"Hello? Is someone there?"
Billy's expression changed instantly. Looking at the way she was staring, he couldn't have been more than just a few feet away from her onto the dirt road. She sat on the side, staring up but not exactly seeing him. Clearing his throat, he tipped his hat.
"Sorry to distube you miss, just wondering why a pretty little thing like yourself is doing out here alone?"
The girl's expression changed, instantly she reached beside her, grasping an old buck knife with a wooden handle. Holding it up, she sat back cool and collected, not looking even the slightest bit scared.
"Listen here, this isn't the first time a fella has gotten fresh with me. I might not be able to see well, but I'm better than most men with this blade, so unless you want your prick cut off, back away!"
Billy grinned, she sure was a spit fire. Slowly dismounting Pallor, he stood beside him and held up his hands.
"Hey, you don't need to hold up that thing. I don't mean no harm. Just on my way into town and noticed you sitting alone here. My name is Billy Crash."
The girl was still staring off, she continued holding the blade as he cleared his throat and slowly brought Pallor over. She moved the blade, looking a little on edge. Still with one hand held up high, he looped the reign around a thick branch of a tree next to them. Standing back, he raised one hands.
"I swear I'm completely harmless. Just needed to rest my horse. I'm sorry, I didn't get your name…"
"Because I didn't give it."
Billy grinned as she continued holding the blade out. Looking closer, he saw that she was working with several small tools he didn't quite recognize. There were thin wire bracelets around her, along with colorful glass beads. It seemed as if she was making jewelry or some sort. Smiling, he leaned back, slowly lowering his hands.
"I don't mean to bother you. I mean, it sure does look like you can handle yourself…"
That's when he cocked his head to the side, looking at her closer.
"Can't you see?"
The girl's expression changed for just a flickering moment, she continued staring off before finally lowering the blade. Sighing, she shook her head.
"Getting there. I can sorta see different shapes and colors if they are up close, but no…I can't see."
"Why don't you have glasses?"
The girl looked annoyed.
"If glasses could fix it wouldn't I be wearing them?"
"I reckon you would. Please don't take any defense, just the only blind person I've ever met is old man Timber from Eastport, he was blind."
The girl laid the blade on her lap, and stared up in his general direction.
"I get along just fine."
"You from town?"
"Past week yes."
"I work for Mr. and Mrs. Anderson."
"Aren't they the ones that own the Anderson ranch just outside of town. They own part of the general store now huh?"
She nodded, brushing some of her fallen bangs away from her face.
"They moved down here from California. They got a couple of people working for them. They settled down here earlier this month starting the ranch."
"Yeah, and peach trees. They used to grow oranges on the coast. They came over here after they bought stock in several businesses in town. Mr. Anderson is trying to give it a go since his children are married off in these parts."
Billy slipped out one of his hand rolled tobacco cigarettes and popped it into his mouth. Taking a match from his pocket, he struck it against the back of his boot before cupping his hands and inhaling. The girl sniffed the air.
"That red apple?"
"You want one?"
Taking one from his pocket, he walked over before squatting down. Handing it to her, he watched mildly amused as her hand reached out, almost missing it before he placed it between her fingers.
"Hold on a second…"
Taking his second to last match, he struck it against his boot and leaned over, helping her light it. Moments later, both sat on her blanket smoking in the hot morning sun. The shade from the tree made it all the more pleasant, as did the gentle cool breeze, that kept making Billy get a whiff of whatever perfume she was wearing.
"Don't mention it. So, you Anderson's family or work or them?"
"I ain't got no family. I'm an orphan. Parents died when I was just a baby. The Anderson's adopted me when I was just four. My vision was better then, but I worked on the farm with a few other children my age."
"When did your sight start to go?"
"When I was twelve or so, it's gotten worse as have my headaches…"
"You see a doctor about it?"
"The Anderson's don't exactly in wasting money like that, but I was able to save up some of my earrings and go a few years back. Mind you it wasn't nearly as bad as it is now."
"So you work on the farm, even with your sight like that?"
"There's eight of us in total. Most of the boys work on the farm, me and Minnie mostly help Mrs. Anderson with the house, but I make these bracelets for Mrs. Anderson and sell them to the general store."
"How much are they?"
"A dime a piece, they actually sell pretty well and the materials are cheap. I did the same back on the coast. With my vision the way it's going it's one of the few things I can still do. I spend a few days making them and on Friday I head to the store and sell them."
"You come out here all alone?"
"It's easy, I know we're just a few miles outside of town. Once the gravel starts heading West I know I'm in town. Three yards later I'm at the store. From the store I walk until I reach the East stables, walk down the road another mile, and onto the road that leads to the Anderson's. It isn't that hard."
"You do that all yourself? Barley seeing?"
"I got my cane even though it's pretty pretty worn. The first few days we arrived I walked the route for a whole day before I memorized it. It's actually not that hard if you can get used to it. I can feel texture, listen for sounds, same as with the ranch. I may not be exactly graceful but I do okay."
Billy sat back, shaking his head as he continued smoking his cigarette.
"Doesn't seem right a girl alone walking. There are some real mean bastards around here, knife or no knife you gotta watch out."
"I'll take that in mind Mr. Cash."
"All right Billy. Is it short for William?"
The girl nodded, finishing her own cigarette before reaching into her pocket. Taking out an old brass pocket watch. Watching closely, he saw her open the tiny glass faceplate and use her fingers to read the time. After a moment she sighed, shut the watch and returned it back to her pocket.
"Excuse me Billy but I gotta get going…"
"You need a hand?"
Shaking her head, the girl began gathering up her tiny glass beads, wire, and tools. Watching her amazed, he couldn't believe how quickly she moved as she packed everything away in a tiny old gunny sack. Within no time everything was put away as she slipped her knife into her pocket.
Billy rose to his feet, stepping off the blanket as he offered his hand. The girl didn't exactly catch on, before he reached down and grasped her hand. Her skin was smooth and soft against his rough larger hand. Helping her up, he watched as she went to lean down to gather her blanket but he beat her to it. Folding it up, he held it before asking where she wanted it? Motioning to her gunny sack, she opened it as he slid it inside, surprised it even fit. Drawing the rope string, she lopped it around her shoulder, and grasped her cane.
"Thank you Billy."
"No problem. Listen, I'm heading into town. It would be a pleasure if you rode with me?"
The girl looked uncertain.
"I better not. The Anderson's are sorta funny of who their workers talk to. Besides I'm due back."
"I'll drop you in town, honest."
The girl stared blankly for a moment before he laughed.
"Listen, you got nothing to worry about. I won't be fresh. Besides I know if I even tired anything I might have that knife dug deep into my throat."
The girl softly smiled.
"You got that right…"
"So please, ride with me. It won't take long and save you some time."
After a moment she nodded before Billy smiled. Unhooking Pallor, he reached down putting his hand around her waist to scoop her up onto the saddle with himself. Instantly he felt her tense, and had to hold back from chuckling. Stepping up, he lifted her up, and had her sit in front of him sideways.
"Put your arm around my neck and hold on tight, I got your bag and cane…"
The girl nodded as she adjusted herself, sitting close against him, staring off into space. Fixing her bag and cane to the back, he checked himself before gently kicking Pallor as they started to ride down the road. Instantly the girl wobbled before holding onto Billy tighter. her hand went around his shoulder and neck, leaning in close. Feeling the side of her body against his own, he tried to focus on riding instead of how sweet she smelled, or how soft her hand felt against his sunburnt neck. He continued riding, listening to Pallor gallop against the road, before his eyes closely looked her over. She really was beautiful.
"I didn't get your name yet…"
The girl seemed to snap out of her thoughts as she continued holding onto him as they rode along.
Turning her head she looked up at him. "Blue."
"Blue? Like the color?"
She nodded. "I never knew my real name so the Anderson's ended up calling me blue because of my eyes, just sorta caught on."
"Well that's real pretty. Pleased to meet you Blue…"
He saw another flicker of a smile on her lips. Together they rode on in silence, and Billy had to resist from moaning whenever she clutched onto him or sat closer to him as Pallor bounced and bumped their bodies against each other. He knew he was getting pretty hard between the tight frabic of his jeans as they kept riding along, and prayed to God she wouldn't feel it or notice. Instead, she sat there, leaning against him before finally they reached town, two whole streets packed with businesses. It was a busy day in town, and people were all about.
"I can take you up to the store…"
Blue quickly shook her head.
"No, I'm fine, I'll get off here."
"Positive, thank you for the ride, it was awfully kind of you."
"Yeah well, I don't want a pretty thing like yourself getting hurt. Like I said, these parts aren't really the place you wanna wander alone."
"I know, take care of yourself."
Blue blushed slightly before Billy told her to hold on. Carefully he helped her down onto her feet. Feeling better that he was standing, he couldn't believe the erection he had. Hoping to walk it off, he turned and took her cane and bag down from Pallor and handed her them. Watching again, he saw her slip the bag on and clutch her cane. Tipping his hat, he smiled.
"Well, I certainly hope our paths will cross again Blue."
"I'm sure they will. Take care Billy Crash…"
With that he watched her turn and walk away, using her cane as she walked her way down the street. Watching her, he smiled. Once he lost sight of her in the crowds, he walked Pallor over to the stables, still smelling that sweet perfume on his clothes.
"Oh honey, that's okay sugar. Happens to most men…"
Rose, one of the whores said as she stashed the cash he had given her earlier into her corset. Buckling his belt, he stood more than a little angry and embarrassed. The only times he hadn't been able to get it up was one he was three sheets to the wind drunk off his ass.
Tonight after spending some time downstairs at the saloon, he had taken Rose upstairs. After a good half an hour of sweating and trying, he simply threw her a few crumpled up bills and told her to leave. Blowing him a kiss, Rose winked before leaving, shutting the door behind him. Sitting on the bed, outraged, he swore under his breath before knowing he needed to get some fresh air. Later… Dressed, Billy smoked a cigarette, and walked the back alleyways, hearing the faint music from the saloon. Most of the other work hands were upstairs fucking whatever whore they could pay the cheapest. Taking a good walk, he stuck to the shadows, watching the little ember of his cigarette glow in the darkness. That's when he looked out and saw the general store. It was closing, and he watched Blue carefully climb down the steps using her cane. Mr. Miller waved to her goodnight before heading in his own direction.
Billy watched from a distance as Blue started to walk with her cane down the main street. That's when he heard cat calls and whistles coming from the other direction. Turning, he saw three drunken fools hanging out near the closed post office. Blue didn't pay them any further mind and didn't take notice that they were silently following her. Instantly, Billy threw down his smoke and followed. A few minutes later, Billy just a few yards away watched just as they reached the edge of town as the men circled around Blue.
"My! My! What is a pretty little pussy like yourself doing out here all alone?"
Blue tried pushing past them, showing no reaction. Two of the other men blocked her way.
"Hey don't you have any manners? We're talking to you!"
"Fuck off and leave me be!"
Blue snapped, trying to push past. That's when one of the men gave her a good push, causing her to stumble forward. Billy thought for sure at his distance that she was going to trip and sprawl out forward. Instead, she swayed, used his cane to brace herself and spun around with her trusty knife lashed out.
"Leave me be dammit!"
The men all laughed, circling in on her. As one, the largest of the three stepped toward Blue turned quickly to the right and jabbed the knife straight into his shoulder. Roaring with pain, the man screamed, pulling backwards taking the blade with him.
With that the other two men jumped forward like a pouncing animal. One took a handful of Blue's hair, yanking upward as the other swung out his fist. First punching her in the stomach, then in the face. Billy's entire face crumpled as he watched this all unfold within thirty or so seconds. Breaking off into a full speed run, he reached the two men and took his pistol out. Instead of firing, he turned it backwards, hitting one of the men as hard as he could with the pearl butt of his gun. He heard it make impact with the man's skull, causing a terrible cracking noise to fill the night air. The other man turned just in time to be greeted by the back of Billy's gun right across the bridge of the nose. Howling out in pain, the man collapsed to his knees, nose gushing blood. Blue fell backwards, tangled up with her cane and hit the gravel hard.
Turning, Billy saw the other man, Blue's knife rammed straight into his shoulder. Billy's face glared as he aimed the gun straight towards the man laying on his back. He cocked the gun, taking it off the safety. His eyes stone cold, he waited. The man looked up at Billy before he stepped forward, spurs clicking as he squared down, gun aimed.
"I'm…sorry, please…we didn't mean anything…"
Billy leaned forward, pressing the barrel of the gun right against the trembling man's forehead.
"You and your buddies leave town now or so help me God I'll shoot you all down like dogs."
The man nodded before Billy stood up. Hearing the moans and yells of pain from the others, he watched as the man slowly got to his feet, knife still sticking out of his shoulder before struggling to help his two friends up. The one he had hit over the head wobbled, grasping onto the larger one as the third, who's entire face was dripping with his own blood struggled. The three turned, and as fast as they could hurried away in the darkness. Billy felt his blood boil, his temples pound, and his chest heave. He couldn't remember the last time he had been so angry. Slowly he turned, and saw Blue getting to her feet. Her clothes were a little dirty, and her hair messy, but otherwise she seemed okay. Putting his gun back, he marched over.
"That you Billy Crash?"
Billy froze raising an eyebrow.
"How did ya know?"
"Your voice, and those spurs. I get used to people's different sounds in no time. They gone?"
Billy turned, he didn't see nor hear them anymore. Instead faintly he could still hear the music coming from the saloon. Shaking his head he turned back towards her.
"They ran off, you okay?"
Blue blindly reached down, trying to locate her walking stick before Billy snatched it up and handed it to her.
That's when he saw the bruise all ready beginning to form near her jawbone. The skin looked ugly and red.
"Jesus you're hurt…"
"No, I'm fine really…"
Billy reached forward trying to take a better look at her face. Instead she flinched away. Shaking her head, she brushed back some of her hair from behind her ears and clutched onto her cane.
"I'm fine, I'll just tell the Anderson's I was clumsy and fell…"
"Bullshit, you were attacked."
"They won't see it that way. I'm sorry for making you go to all that trouble. I'm not trying to sound ungrateful or anything but…you weren't following me were you?"
"I was out having a smoke and noticed you leaving the store. I saw those fellas starting to follow you. It's my own damn fault I didn't run over faster, I'm sorry."
Blue's glassy eyes stared off as she shook her head.
"It isn't your fault. I should have been listening better. Looks like you were right Mr. Crash. A stupid girl like me really shouldn't be wandering. Did they get my knife…"
"Never mind that, please let me take a look at your face dammit."
Blue went to step away when Billy's hands shot out, taking hold of her arms. Gently he pulled her forward before closely examining her face. The moment his fingers touched her, she flinched away, hissing out in pain. Instantly, Billy dropped his eyes.
He could tell the skin was all ready swollen. That bastard had really taken a good whack at her before he ran over. Pulling back slightly, she shook her head.
"I'm fine really. I'll put a cool cloth on it once I get back to the Anderson's…"
"How's your stomach?"
"Fine really, please I have to go…"
He wouldn't let go. Instead he looked over her pale innocent face and sighed, looking her closely over.
"How old are you?"
"How old are you?"
"I just turned sixteen why?"
Jesus, she was young enough to be his own daughter. Looking at her, he couldn't believe how pale she looked living out here. Her hair was dark and healthy looking, and her eyes…as beautiful as they were they seemed out of place on her. A girl like this should of had dark brown eyes, maybe hazel, not a light crystal blue like this. She reminded him almost of a China doll. Blue stared up, before her nose wrinkled.
"You smell like moonshine…"
"Maybe a quick shot of some would help with that face, it's going to hurt like Hell in the morning…"
"I'm fine really…"
Letting go of her wrists, he knew not to press the issue. Motioning with his head towards the stables he sighed.
"Let me at least ride you over to the ranch, you shouldn't walk after this. Those fools might still be around."
"I'll be fine."
"You sure are stubborn aren't you?"
A small smile appeared on Blue's face before she reached out. It was Billy's time to flinch.
"What are you doing?"
"Can I touch you're face? Sorry habit of mine…"
Billy stood there raising an eyebrow before shrugging. Standing there he waited as Blue stood up on her tiptoes and reached forward. Her soft hands felt his face, first against his own jawbone, up to his cheeks which were covered in almost three day old stubble. Slowly her hands swept over to his lips, tightly closed, his chin, up to his nose, and over his forehead. She touched the brim of his hat before leaning in closer. Her breasts pressing against him as she closely, just a mere inch away stared at him. Setting back on her feet, she smiled.
"You are a handsome man Mr. Crash."
"Oh, I don't know about that. Now please, can I take you home."
Blue shook her head.
"It wouldn't be a good idea. I'm fine really. I'm not exactly good at this but thank you."
Turning, she clutched onto her cane before walking away. He could tell just from here that she was hurting, but was doing a damn good job hiding this. Shaking his head, he decided to follow her. He would keep his distance, but wanted to make sure she got home along fine. He walked as softly as he could, knowing very well those stupid spurs were giving him away. Still, Blue never turned back once. Instead she continued on without pausing once. Finally, just outside of town she turned towards the fields down a dirt road. He decided he had gone far enough just in case these Anderson's had men waiting with guns protecting the land. Watching her go in nothing but the pale moonlight, he couldn't believe it, but the strangest overwhelming sense of protecting her settled around her. He knew if he ever saw those three bastards again he would kill them. With a tip of his hat, he turned and walked back to town with his hands in his pockets. He couldn't believe it, but he thought of her the entire time.
The next morning…
Billy woke with a terrible hangover. Shuffling down the steps of the saloon he grabbed himself a hot cup of coffee, trying to nurse his headache. Most of the guys were still asleep upstairs. Feeling his stubble covered chin, he knew he needed to head to the bathhouse soon. This weather was making his sweat and stink to high Heaven, and remembering the faint scent of something he couldn't quite place. He remembered back when he was twenty eight or so he helped put in a new set of stairs at a small perfume shop. Remembering her hands softly touching his face images of ocean and exotic amber, maybe cedar wood as well…
It wasn't a strong smell, not overpowering like those whores like Rose who bathed in perfume to mask their sweat. Instead, Blue smelled clean, fresh, nothing like anything before. Remembering last night and those haunting blue eyes, he kept thinking about her before deciding maybe he would stroll on down to the general store and see what else he could find out about her.
"She hasn't come in yet which is a little unusual since she said today she was bringing in more bracelets. You wouldn't believe how many people passing through buy that stuff. Pretty talented for a blind girl. You two know each other?"
Billy leaned against the counter of Miller's general store, picking at his nails with his pocket knife. Sighing he shook his head.
"No, not really. What do you know about the Anderson's, people who live with her outside of town."
Instantly Old man Miller's face dropped.
"I might not know them well since they are fairly new here, but I'll tell you one thing Billy Crash, they are not good people."
Billy turned, now interested.
Mr. Miller chewed on some chewing tobacco and shook his head.
"None of my business but all I know is they aren't good people. Couple of scan artist. They are well off, but you don't wanna know how they went about getting what they had."
"That blind girl Blue, she's their adopted daughter?" Miller nodded. "Along with a few others, all different ages. Children they aren't worth a damn. From what I heard if they work them hard until they drop or don't have any use for them. I can't figure out why they held onto Blue as long as they did. She's been with them for some time. That woman, Mrs. Anderson had come into town a few times. Breaks your heart hearing the way she barks at her, acting like she's stupid or something."
Billy nodded, all the while not liking what he heard. Not one little bit. Instead of heading to the bathhouse as expected, Billy decided to venture out over to the Anderson place and see if old man Miller knew what he was talking about. He hadn't really gotten a chance to take a look around the property but figured it was the same as the rest in this area. Besides, he couldn't stop thinking about Blue and wanted to know how her jaw was healing up. He had swung back around the saloon to see if anyone mentioned those three men last night but hadn't heard one single word. He figured like so many others, they were just passing through and picked the wrong person to start with. He knew very well if he hadn't strolled along, poor Blue would have gotten herself raped.
"Sixteen, good Lord…"
He muttered as he mounted Pallor and rode on down the road. He honestly couldn't believe it. After a while he reached the property and started on down the long dirt road. It really wasn't much of a ranch. There were two vast fields on each side lined with trees. Up ahead there were stables, a barn, and the main house. He saw a few slaves over near the stables tending the horses. trotting on over, he approached one who stared up at him with nervous eyes.
"This the Anderson place?"
"Yes sir, should I go fetch my master?"
Annoyed, Billy shook his head.
"No, I'm a friend of Blue, you know her?"
Instantly the slave glanced over at another who was sitting on a stump plucking feathers off a dead chicken. Billy caught the glance and his brow wrinkled.
"What's the matter?"
"Um, Miss Blue isn't calling on any visitors today sir."
Before the slave could answer, a blood curdling scream came from the main house. Instantly Billy's head shot up staring in that direction. He waited for a moment before the sound came again, even louder. It was Blue.
He muttered before getting off his horse. Unhooking his pistol from it's holster, he marched his way towards the side of the house as the slave tried shouting for him to wait. Ignoring them, he continued forward and as he came closer to the side of the house, the cries and helpless screams of Blue came closer. Hurrying along, he looked inside one of the windows that he suspected was the kitchen. Blue was kneeling on the floor. She wore slacks, and nothing else. Her hair was back up, but fallen slightly in her eyes. She was crying loudly, chest hitching, and her head hung down. A massive woman, with graying hair held up her walking stick and shouted, waving it about.
"You think you are too good to work here and earn your keep. If it were't for us you would be laying in a ditch somewhere you lazy whore!"
Blue raised her head, it was hard to tell but Billy saw that the bruise on her jaw had spread all the way down to her throat. Tears were rolling down her face, and there were patches all over her back of different bruises, all ranging from different shades of blue, red, and a terrible ugly brownish yellow. Right away he knew what was going on here. Blue tried to explain herself.
"Please, i was jumped leaving the store last night. Three men almost killed me. I swear I was with nobody else!"
"Bullshit! You sure are lucky it ain't daddy talking care of you. Cut all that pretty hair off that head and shove it down your throat! You are a useless blind bat!"
Grabbing the stick, she swung it and hit Blue right across the back. Blue screamed as the woman raised it again, hitting her even harder causing the cane to splitter into two. That's when Billy had enough, grabbing his gun he ran around the house before reaching a side door. Pulling it open, nearly taking it off the hinges he ran inside almost skidding before running towards the source of the screams.
Once he entered the kitchen, he saw that bitch was using the longer part of the broken cane to continue beating Blue who had nearly collapsed onto the floor. Eyes widening with rage, he hollered at the top of his lungs for her to get away from her before firing a warning shot into the ceiling. The bullet echoed through the room, causing bits of crumbled wood to fall down. The large woman jumped, dropping the cane before turning and staring at him.
"Who in the Hell are you?!"
Billy aimed the gun right at her.
"I'm the person who's going to send you straight to Hell you big fat bitch, now get away from her or I'll blast you in the knee cap I swear to God."
"You are breaking into my house! I'll have the law after you!"
"And show them how you are abusing this poor girl?!"
"She's my daughter! I'll punish her as I see fit! Now get out before my husband arrives home and kills you!"
"She isn't your daughter and she was telling the truth last night about being jumped. I will go fetch the sheriff if I have to and show him how you are beating this poor girl to death!"
The woman glared before motioning over to Blue who had collapsed into a heap crying, her head in her hands, her back bleeding.
"Nobody cares about a little blind bitch like this!"
Billy then carefully reached into his boot and took out his tight roll of cash he had brought into town.
"If you feel that way then I would like to buy her."
The woman's face fell.
"She ain't no nigger!"
"Well you sure are treating her like one. There is a little over four hundred and fifty dollars in there, count it and see."
The woman didn't look like she was about to trust Billy, but he tossed the roll over to her just the same. Catching it with untrusting eyes, the woman silently began to count as Blue's sobs were the only sound that filled the kitchen. Billy's finger remained on the trigger of the gun as he waited. His eyes kept glancing over at Blue, wanting so badly to kneel down and check her. Instead, his eyes continued to return and glare at the woman before she finished counting. Snorting, she motioned over to Blue.
"You aren't sweet on her are you? No way any man with a brain would want to spend this kind of money on a blind little girl."
"Do we have a deal?"
"I want five hundred and fifty."
Billy took a step forward.
"No deal, I swear I will shoot and make sure you never walk again."
"You'll go to jail."
"It will be worth it seeing a pig like yourself bleed all over this nice clean floor."
Glaring back at him, the woman rolled her eyes and flapped her hand.
"Fine, stupid bitch was more of a hassle to take care of anyways. My husband won't be happy but money is money."
"I'm giving you ten minutes to collect whatever is hers and sign a paper over this sale. I don't want that husband of yours or anyone else stalking around wanting her back. If not I will go to the law you understand?"
The woman glared back before nodding.
Walking out, Billy half expected her to return with a shotgun. Instead he waited, not daring to go over to Blue until he knew they were safe. Pistol ready, he waited, hearing the heart breaking cries of Blue as she remained on the floor. Finally the woman returned with a bag and two pieces of paper and a fancy quill pen.
"Come on dammit, sign and get her out of here she's bleeding all over my floor.
One of the slaves had helped hook up Blue's bag to Billy's horse. His bill of sale was tucked neatly inside his vest pocket, and his jacket thrown over Blue's shoulders. He wanted her somewhat covered up before they left and didn't even take notice of her naked body besides the terrible and ugly bruises and wounds that covered her. Gun still pointed, he scooped her up and carried her to the horse where she continued to softy cry, burying her face against his chest. Once they were up on the horse, Billy glanced back once at the large woman staring at them at the porch before spitting in her direction.
Kicking Pallor, the horse cried as they rode off as fast as he could. Later… Just a few miles away from Candy Land, Billy stopped Pallor and made Blue look up at him. Tears were still rolling from her dead blue eyes.
"Shhhh, there, there, you're all right. It's all over…"
When he tried to hold her tighter, she cried out and instantly he knew it was her back. Sighing, he gently stroked her hair.
"What happened back there?"
"Mamma…I mean Mrs. Anderson saw the new bruises on me and didn't believe me about what happened last night…why did you come?"
"Call it a funny feeling."
"Did you really…buy me?"
"I'm sorry as Hell Blue but that's the only way that crazed bitch was going to let you go…"
Blue shook her head.
"You shouldn't have wasted your money. She's beaten me plenty before…"
"It ain't right. Nobody and I mean nobody should have to go through that. She could have killed you."
"I'm sure she didn't pack away any of my savings, but I'll find a way to pay you back Billy."
Billy shook her head.
"Yes it is. I'm not a slave, I may be blind but I'm not stupid. We just met the day before and this is the second time you have saved me. I won't allow it anymore or be ungrateful…I'll do whatever I can to pay off my debt, please…"
"What you can do is lay back and shut up. I'm taking you to the place I work at."
"How did you know?"
"I asked Mr. Miller about you. Are you a work hand?"
"Sorta, my boss Calvin isn't the best of men but he's a sweetheart next to the Anderson's. I bought you fair and square back there and I have the papers to prove it. I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Anderson stalks around demanding you back or something but a deal is a deal. Calvin will stick up for you if he knows you're my…and forgive me for phasing it this way but property. We'll get you on the mend and maybe you can earn your keep here. It isn't easy and I honestly don't know what a practically blind girl could do but there are plenty of women there, so maybe something can be worked out."
Blue then dropped her lifeless eyes and shook her head.
"Never mind, thank you…"
Reaching down, Billy took one of her smooth sweet smelling hands and kissed it.
"Don't pay that no more mind. Let's get you up here and rested okay?"
Blue nodded as Billy continued to ride forward. When he arrived ten or so minutes later
"Why Billy Crash, I never thought I would see the day where you were as concerned as a daddy who watched their very own firstborn take a spill from a wagon."
Cora said with a smirk as she walked past him carrying fresh torn clothes. Billy ignored this remark and continued watching from the doorway of the quarters out back where some of the help along with the hands lived. He had carried Blue into Candy Land, and instantly yelled for one of the slaves to fetch a doctor. Now just a few hours later, he watched as Blue laid on her stomach, still topless, head turned to the side as her back was being tended to. Calvin, who was in his study with Stephen had come out to see what all the fuss was about. Stephen as always wanted to know what the hell was going on? Billy tried to explain himself, still holding onto Blue, covered up by his jacket and bleeding badly. Calvin had one of the men fetch the doctor, where he arrived within the hour. Billy had brought her to his room out back, laying her down.
She was unconscious most likely due to the pain. He stayed that way until the doctor arrived and forced him to leave. In the hallway Billy explained himself. He told Calvin about meeting Blue in town, and what the Anderson's were doing. Showing him the piece of paper that had the bill of sale, Calvin took it, brow wrinkled as he scanned it over.
"A sale is a sale Billy, but I must admit I haven't ever seen a white person sold for such a price. How old is she?"
Nodding, Calvin handed it over and shook his head.
"You are one of my best men Billy, so there's no judgement on where you spend your money. I don't know what in the hell we're going to do with a blind teenager…"
"She's very capable, you should see what she can do. Besides I'll take care of her, she'll be my responsibility. She can have part of my shares, including food. I swear if she's a problem I'll take care of it."
Calvin waved his hand.
"Hold on Billy, don't you worry, I'm sure my darling sister will find sue for her. She's been dying for another white girl to talk to and fuss with. She sure is pretty and I'm certain she'll find something for her to do. If you bought her, she's yours."
"What about the Anderson's?"
"Now Billy, I'm sure just between us you'll take care of them right?"
Billy's eyes narrowed before he nodded.
"You got that right."
"Well then, if you excuse me I got to meet Sheba in town to watch a fight."
Nodding, Billy watched Calvin leave before he turned back. The doctor had wanted to closely examine Blue, but after sedating her he had to go back into town to help a man who had broken his leg after falling from his horse. He said she had a few broken ribs, the bruises and cuts on her were bad, but would mend in time. She would have to lay this way for at least a week and to keep those cuts clean to avoid infection. He had promised Billy, he would be back within the week to check her over. Cora had helped put tea leafs and cool soaked cloths across her back as she slept. Billy usually didn't mind Cora, but tonight his hand itched to slap her. He watched as she continued laying the clothes across her badly bruised back before he sighed.
"I'll be back…"
Turning, Billy knew he wouldn't return until well after sunset, but he knew he had plans. Going into the barn, he took a whole armful of glass milk bottles and began filling them with lantern oil.
That night… Billy had returned from the bathhouse on Candy Land's property, freshly shaven and dried off. Having changed into new clothes, he had tossed his jeans and vest away. The smell of oil and smoke was scrubbed clean off him. Returning to his quarters, he found Cora sitting in the chair beside his bed where Blue laid still asleep. She had the lantern on by the bedside table, and was sewing what appeared to be a button onto one of Calvin's jackets.
"Hi Billy, she's still asleep. You all right sugar?"
"Thank you Cora…"
Cora, slightly surprised by this got up and tucked her things under her arm.
"Um, I'll be in the main house…ring me or the others if you need anything. I just put fresh bandages on her, I'll be here in the morning to change them…"
Cora hurried away before Billy stared at Blue, still sleeping on her stomach, her hair pooled over one shoulder. Setting down his things, he walked over before slipping his boots off. Carefully, he scooted to the edge of the narrow bunk, hiking himself on one elbow watching her. Looking over her bruises beaten back, he sighed before whispering…
"Don't you worry darling. I'll take care of you…I promise…"
A few hours later…
Drifting in and out of broken sleep, Billy was awoken to the sounds of hurrying footfalls. It was a little before dawn. He had fallen asleep gently inhaling the sweet scent of Blue's hair. Thomas, another work hand appeared in the doorway before freezing, slightly embarrassed.
"Oh shit, sorry Billy…"
Billy craned his neck up, stiff and sore.
"What is it?"
"That ranch she came from just burned down to the ground!"
Billy raised an eyebrow.
"Yep, whole place burned down with everyone inside. Half the town is out there…"
"That's a shame…"
Calvin's voice said as he walked on in, cigarette holding in his hand. Thomas looked a little surprised to see Calvin back at their quarters at such an early hour.
"Um…" Calvin smiled.
"Thank you Billy for helping me with the horses tonight."
Billy at first didn't understand what Calvin was doing until he understood. Nodding, he looked up.
Calvin pointed to Blue.
"Good thing you got that pretty little thing out of there when you did. Those damn fools ended up accidentally burning themselves up."
With that Calvin turned and walked out, leaving Thomas speechless. For a second there was silence before finally Thomas took his hat off.
"Um, I'm gonna get some sleep…see you later."
Once he heard Thomas walk away, Billy knew he was safe. For some strange reason Calvin was covering up for him, and at this exact moment he wasn't going to question it. Instead he laid back down beside Blue, and gently stroked her hair.