::Hey everyone! It's been a crazy couple of weeks. I have been across the country and back for a funeral, started school again, and plenty of things in between. I'm happy to see you back and I hope you enjoy my next story, "Etched." This is what I refer to as a Browning Sister Chronicle; meaning there is not much mention of the Winchester boys, but it's always fun to see Grace and Serra's history. I hope you hang with me on this one because we'll be meeting an important character or two for the upcoming story arc back on Winchester Ranch.
Let me know what you think! Hope you enjoy.
Love and internetty hugs,
The Girl With The Dinosaur Tattoo::
It's rare these days to find something that is hand-crafted; to know that someone worked with the individual pieces, putting their time, effort, sweat, and tears into building it from the ground up. In nineteen eleven, Colt Manufacturing Company began production on a forty-five caliber handgun designed by John Browning. It was simple and it was efficient.
It was deadly.
In nineteen eighty-two, one such set of M1911 Colt forty-five pistols were created. The set of twin forty-fives were chosen to be engraved by an artist in Ottawa, Canada, and sold at auction to one of the last remaining mobsters in Las Vegas, Nevada. He hoped that simply owning them would be enough to drive the fear back into the people that worked for him.
The bullet holes in his chest and head proved he was wrong.
The Twins were then taken from their owner and passed along to his son; a hotel owner in Reno with hopes of going legit from the world of organized crime. They stayed in the hidden wall safe for almost a decade, until his hotel caught fire and he was forced to empty the safe into a duffle bag, taking with him what he prized most. Among the cash, jewels, and valuables that had resided in the wall safe were the set of twin silver-on-black, elegantly hand-engraved Colt forty-five, semi-automatic pistols.
Two years later; completely broke and alone, one of those pistols aided in the mobster's son taking his own life out of despair. Little did he know; The Twins were not unhappy with his decision; they were in the midst of a journey towards their one and only true owner.
"You bagged and tagged everything here, right, Stan?" Oliver shouted from across the blood-soaked carpet towards his partner. "I wanna hurry this the hell up and get home to Sandy. She's gonna have my hide if I'm late for dinner again."
"Yeah, yeah, I hear you," Stan replied as he sidestepped the bloody remains that sprawled out around him. "The evidence cart is up the hall, but the guys missed this one. I think it's the twin to the gun he's holding."
Oliver and Stan turned their gaze to the slumped and broken ex-hotel owner and tilted their heads in tandem, trying to inspect the gun that was clamped in his blue-tinged hand. "Yeah, maybe," Oliver agreed. "Until we get the stiff back to the morgue, I don't know if we'll be able to confirm it." He turned to his partner and shrugged. "What's it matter if they match?"
"I dunno, man," Stan started, pulling his pinched fingers across the top of the evidence bag, sealing it closed. "I've always wanted a set of engraved guns." He paused and grinned sheepishly. "Seems like something the cowboys would have had."
"What, are you gonna stash the guns? Take them out of evidence before we get back to the station?" Oliver chuckled, shaking his head. "If you do, make sure you give me some warning. I wanna make sure we get our alibis right."
"Shut up, douche bag," Stan growled, pushing past his partner. "Maybe they'll go to auction."
Oliver licked his lips and held up the evidence bag, inspecting the gun that his partner had shoved against his chest. "It's a very elegant gun," he commented. "Very Old West."
Stan shook his head and held up a finger, moving it in a circle in the air. "Well, boys and girls," he started, talking to the rest of the men and women that were scattered around the room. "Time to wrap it up. Suicide. No need to alert the media."
"Glad you're here to tell us this shit," Oliver commented as he dropped the evidence bag carrying half of the matching set on the evidence cart as he walked by. "I've got a pot roast to eat."
Later that night, as evidence was being logged, one piece at a time, the lone evidence clerk double-checked the number that Officer Oliver had scrawled across the evidence bag. She couldn't decide if the last number was a nine or a four and finally, she sighed and shrugged, deciding that it was a four. It probably wouldn't matter anyway; the death of the ex-hotel owner was ruled a suicide anyway, so it's not like the judge, jury, or executioner would come banging down her evidence locker door to find the gun that matched the one that held the bullet that finally ended his life.
A sudden slam on the outside of the evidence locker jolted her out of her reverie and she watched the entrance video feed as it flickered in black and white. There were three men in masks entering the building as she watched and without thinking, the evidence clerk reached out her hand to press the silent alarm that triggered the locks surrounding the evidence locker in the county precinct.
The window bars slammed down into place, locking her inside of the room, surrounding her with plastic bags full of evidence. She had been working for the police for almost four years now and knew that robbery of the evidence lockers was a possibility; people never wanted their stories told. She just never assumed it would happen to her in the middle of the day in Billings, Montana.
"Open up!" the bandit screamed from his side of the steel door. "Just because this glass has got wire, don't mean a bullet can't still find that pretty face of yours!"
The evidence clerk reached for the phone that was just to her left and before she realized what was happening, bullets were being fired from all angles, coming in through the tiny windows that surrounded the evidence locker. The leader watched with a grin on his face as he saw her dive for cover.
The evidence bag she had been holding fell to the cement floor and he elbowed the man next to him. "Look!" he shouted, a grin sliding across his face. "There's the box we need. I saw it come in today."
"Cable's all prepped," the other bandit answered. "Truck's ready."
"Well, quit fucking telling me about it and get me in there so we can get the fuck out of here. It's the middle of the fucking day and I ain't gettin' caught a second time."
Without warning, the steel door groaned under the weight of something pulling it from the bar peeking from hole in the glass. The evidence clerk looked up at the door and shielded her eyes as the creak became louder and louder still. Eventually, the door broke open and three men piled in, not hesitating in pistol whipping the evidence clerk as she lay on the ground, attempting to shield herself from the masked men.
"Please," she begged.
"Shut up and we might let you keep breathing," the leader grunted. He turned to his men. "Is that it or not?"
"Looks like it's all here," the second man answered quietly.
The leaded nodded, lifting his gloved hand up to wipe the sweat off the back of his neck. "Alright then," he replied. "Grab it and let's go."
His men picked up the cardboard evidence box and as he stared down at the pathetic looking evidence clerk, he realized she looked too much like his sister to shoot her like he planned. He sighed heavily, rolling his eyes and looked away, making eye contact with a beautifully engraved silver-on-black Colt forty-five.
Calling to him from within its evidence bag, he bent to pick the pistol up with his gloved hand and he sighed. "I'm not gonna fucking shoot you, but I swear to fucking God, if you pick up that phone before you hear us drive away, I'll come back, find your fucking family, and burn them alive."
She nodded, tears flooding her eyes. He reached and tore the phone off the wall, stripping it of the wiring and tossing it aside. He shoved the plastic-bagged gun into the back of his pants and did a complete circle. "Looks like I'm all done here."
The clerk squeezed her eyes shut, breathing silently as he stomped out of the room. He hesitated, only for a second, to glance back at the room. There was another identical gun in a plastic evidence bag on the floor, not far from where he picked up the first one. "They're a matching set?"
"Oy! Come on then!" one of his men shouted. "Badges will be here soon!"
He didn't flinch, but instead remained in place, staring at the clerk. She nodded to his question. He picked up the second bag and stared at it through the plastic. "They came in together?"
"Thanks, love," he said, chuckling. "I'll treasure them."
With that, he was gone and she heaved a sigh of relief, letting her sweaty head touch the cool concrete.
And so it went for years; The Twins would assist in some crimes, some rescues, but always ending up in the hands of another. They never stayed in the same hold for too long, but always remained together; completely inseparable.
One cloudy day in August in rural Kansas, they sat, gathering dust in the glass case of a pawnshop. They had been stripped from their last owner in a game of cards and the owner of the pawnshop knew how much they were worth. The Colts were hand engraved, well kept, and the grips hadn't even shown wear yet. He loved them more than anything he had ever carried in his shop, and for a few moments, he considered keeping them for himself.
That's when he got the call from an old friend.
"Hey, Billy," a familiar voice greeted him from the other end. "It's Tru."
"Truman Browning," Billy sang, smiling to himself. "How the hell are you?"
Chuckling and happy to hear from his friend, Tru nodded and sighed. "Things are going as well as they can be with two girls. They're taking over my house, man."
Billy laughed, leaning his back on the glass case that housed The Twins. "Jesus Christ," Billy shook his head in disbelief. "How old are the girls now?"
"Grace just turned seventeen and Serra is eleven going on thirty." Tru sighed and laughed with his friend. "It's horrifying."
Shaking his head, picturing Truman's girls, he smiled mischievously, "Grace brought a boy home yet?"
"Shut the fuck up, man."
Billy laughed, crossing his arms in front of him. "What can I do you for, Tru? You never call for nothing." Billy turned, hearing the bell ring over his shop's entrance. He smiled tightly at the man and two teenaged boys that walked in, glancing around nervously. Holding the phone away from his face, Billy greeted them. "Be right with you, gentlemen."
The older man nodded politely and turned away from Billy, eyeing the glass case full of weapons. Holding the phone back to his ear, he listed to Tru as he took a breath. "I need a gun, man," Tru began. "I need something that is concealable, dependable, and won't ever jam, no matter the metal." He sighed. "You got anything like that?"
Billy nodded, thinking. "I've got a few right now. Cute little nine, a thirty-eight revolver, and a set of forty-fives that would make your head into a canoe."
"The forty-fives are probably too much. I'm looking for something for Serra."
Billy's face fell slightly. "Man, you just said she's eleven. The hell she need a gun for?"
"It's getting bad out here, Billy," Tru continued. "Last week, we tried to take on a wendigo and Serra stayed in the Chevelle while me an' Grace flushed it out. Went after Serra and she was alone with nothing, Bill. I almost got her killed because I haven't sucked it up and realized that she needs to be able to handle her own weapon."
Billy sighed as the two teenagers leaned on his glass case, pointing at The Twins. "Alright man, but you should probably just come down here and check things out. Bring her so she can feel them and decide for herself. I'll even let you take her out back to try them on for size."
"Thanks, buddy," Tru sighed, rubbing his face. "We'll be there tomorrow morning. Hold the nine and the thirty eight."
"What about the forty-fives?" Billy asked, eyeing the Twins.
Tru rolled his eyes. "You really think my eleven-year-old daughter is gonna be able to fire a set of twin forty-fives?"
"She's a tough cookie," Bill argued.
"Fine," Tru said. "Hold them too."