A story that will follow the Red Dead Redemption 2 timeline of game events. My OC included. Hope you enjoy, and please review - it would be lovely to see the interest in this story and any options the readers have.
Enjoy, Brandey XX
Fortunes of the American Frontier
The prairie, the wayward wind, the long line of the horizon, smudged when the dust begins to rise. That is the way any travel imagines the open road. With a hint of promise from a new world full of possibilities. In the state of New Hanover, the land retained its wild streak, almost untouched by modern society. A whistle from the Southwestern Railroad train resonates through the natural stillness of the area as the heavy machinery rumbles down the track. This is America in 1899.
Amelia Linton stares out the window of the train heading south through the state. Her arms folded, and a chin resting atop, while her weary green eyes took in the passing scenery. The hundred-mile journey was nearing an end. The city was far behind now.
The landscapes of the heartlands were characterized by rolling hills and plains. A herd of wild horses galloped across the open land. The girl's gaze follows, awing at their grace and the majesty of the freedom they represent. They hold all the land under the thrall of the hoof. All creeds and conditions, all factions and forces, all must give way to the galloping horses. She placed a hand at the glass window; all that beauty in reaching distance, all that freedom. She closed her eyes and swore she could feel the hoof rumbling the ground.
"Are you even listening?" Mary Linton placed a hand on her daydreaming daughter.
"Hm?" Amelia, ever so lazily, lifted her head to turn her attention to her mother.
"Oh." Mary waved her hand dismissively at her daughter's before pointing towards the galloping herd that was not disappearing into the horizon just outside the window. "The horses, aren't they just so graceful?"
"Yes, quite an arcadian view."
"This part of the country is lovely." She pats her leg, gleaming with hopeful joy.
Amelia turned back her attention to the window, less than impressed with her mother's facade of excitement; hiding the true nature of their need to travel. Both women were once more on the road and looking for stability. The economy was shaky, money was not an easy thing to come by; to name a few reasons.
Mary paused as she shuffled in her seat, before attempting conversation once more, "Daddy is a good man, he promised to welcome us in Saint Denis, we'll be back in the city in no time, back on our feet. Besides, Valentine is a charming settlement, so Jamie writes. A small town really, but we won't be making home there, we'll all be moving on sooner than you expect, back in the city."
"I don't mind the city or the country, t'is not the problem Ma'." If anything, the tone of her voice was a clear indication of the lack of enthusiasm about another home in a strange new town.
"Don't you start," Mary quickly replied, "Just stay positive, I have a plan for us."
She promptly agreed with a head nod, sparing herself another lesson about humbleness. Mary would often lecture her daughter regarding the necessity of certain decisions. For that reason, Amelia would bite her tongue and stayed quiet. All for mother's sake - and her own sanity.
"Next stop, Valentine!" The train conductor announced loudly. Tall and lean he was, with greying hair and dressed neatly in the familiar brown uniform of that particular railway, he walked down the train aisle, smiling at the passengers. "Valentine, ladies and gentlemen!"
Mary placed a hand on the girl's shoulder, "'Melia, we're nearing our stop, help me with the luggage."
She did as instruct; both grabbed a bag each. They left the train onto the station's wooden platform. Passengers scattered towards their families and friends; the sound of content greetings filled the air. Others went about their business and soon enough, the platform was empty.
A little settlement by the name of Valentine was situated in the middle of nowhere amides the wild lands. Amelia took in the unfamiliar surroundings. She traced the bustling town with her eyes, looking at the rugged ground - muddy from the snow that thawed and stomped by animals and people alike. She moved her gaze onto the snow-capped mountains. Nature's sight to behold. Right above, the clouds soared lazily through the sky. The air was crisp and cool while the sun provided the warmth - a spring day so fine.
"Quaint yet charming, isn't?" Mary said, aiming to sound enthusiastic but coming off unconfident. "The smell is a bit much, sheep, I believe, but nothing tragic?"
Amelia hid her natural curiosity and rather offered a dull shrug. That was the only response her mother would receive.
Mary clicked her lips and shook her head in slight irritation, "You are such a wet blanket my child." She used her hand to shield her eyes from the sun while scouting the station for her brother, who was scheduled to meet them.
"Mary, Amelia!" Jamie called out from the other side of the platform.
"Jamie!" Mary exclaimed with a tone of excitement. She nudged Amelia to follow her.
The brother and sister reunited in an embrace.
Amelia kept a distance. She barely recognized Jamie, they weren't close. It had been five years that she last saw her uncle and it was during an unfortunate event, her father's funeral. Jamie was kind enough to support their family through the times of grieving.
"Look at you Amelia, you're all grown up. Turned into a fine young woman," Jamie pointed out. "I recall you dressed in boy's clothing, causing mischief wherever you went," He chuckled, and looked at his sister. "Mary couldn't keep up with you."
"That ain't much different now," Mary added, placing a hand on her daughter's shoulder. "Only now I've managed to convince her to wear proper dresses."
Amelia blushed at the unwanted attention to her characteristics and wardrobe. "Good to see you again Uncle." She politely greeted him.
"Call me Jamie, tis' be just fine cause I ain't that old." Jamie sounded almost childish.
It wasn't so obvious that he was a man in his twenties, and he was right, calling him uncle would be awkward. He led the woman along the muddy streets of the town and in the direction of their new rented homestead. "So, a couple of weeks and we headin' down to Saint Denis?" He asked, voice slightly shaky and Amelia quickly picked up on the uncertainty. "Big city and all, I never thought to go that far..."
Mary hooked Jamie's arm and shook it to express the excitement she felt. "I've already written to daddy, he's happy to accommodate us. How great is this Jamie? The whole family back together."
"Father says he's doing well for himself, yes," Jamie added. "I suppose we just have to take his word for it."
"Heavens. Of course, he is!" Mary was full of defence. "Why else would he express his desire for us to move back in."
"You know how I feel about father, I-" Jamie paused, not certain how to express his concern. "I'm just afraid I won't be good enough again; his patronizing ways will get the best of me." His voice cracked, like that of a teenage boy.
"You have nothing to worry about, from his letters I can tell he's a changed man. We can count on him, I can sense it, but we just need to stay together." Mary clung onto that notion that her father's word will be a solid foundation for their new start.
"We have to make our own luck happen," Amelia added, a bit too honest perhaps.
Mary promptly looked at her daughter but ultimately did chose to ignore the comment, turning her focus back to Jamie who was now pointing out the useful establishments in town.
'Ignorance is bliss mother.' Amelia mentally commented. She was feeling slightly apprehensive after hearing Jamie's opinion about her grandfather's character. She herself, only met the man a handful of times and can confirm his arrogance; when he did visit, she recalls him to be quite pretentious - but that was common amongst upperclassmen like himself. His expressions and tone were often snobbish towards her and mother alike. He did adore her father though; they seem to be cut from the same cloth of man who mutually appreciate their status. As a child, she never understood the concept of class, it would take years ahead to notice social class divides and how they alter the way people perceive someone, especially since they lost their wealth. All was left was a decent name - she predicts that will be tarnished soon too.
Valentine was nothing compared to Portland, Oregon where they hailed from previously. The small town offered a few stores, few farms, a hotel and the two biggest necessitates for a thriving town in the middle of nowhere, a saloon and gun shop. The building themselves had a charm to them though, made of sturdy light oak and all looking fairly brand new. The smell of fresh cut wood was pleasant. A humble society in the making, pretty in its simplicity.
Both Amelia and Mary stood out with their clean cotton dresses, like roses among lilies one could tell they were fresh off the wagon from a wealthier city. Most women of Valentine were not that of higher society, the majority seem to be either housewives or working ladies; some tried to compete using fashion, but their style collided with the image of this town; a drunken passing for weary wanderers. Nothing wrong with that though, Amelia made a mental note to reconsider her wardrobe choice soon. After all, they no longer need to pretend to be part of a higher class. That would be a lie, they had no money to their name. The good that came out of this move is that she can finally give up the charade and embrace the nomadic lifestyle. Amelia mentally rejoiced, it was...freeing.
Two men carrying a platform with bricks were passing by, Amelia took out a cigarette from her dress pocket and a pack of matches. She placed the rolled tobacco lightly in her lips. She used the rough building material to strike the match, igniting a flame that was used to light the cigarette. She lifted her head to the man to indicate a 'thanks' motion all while sending a wink their way. They smiled at her charm, one commented something to the other.
"Melia!" Her mother scolded, noticing her daughter smoking. "Save some face and put that away, it's not ladylike!"
"Ma, look around this town, even the dogs smoke here." Mary was less than impressed with that comment, Jamie may have let out a small chuckle.
"Here we are!" Jamie exclaimed, pointing to the small farm just north of the main town road. The sign read Chadwick Farm.