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My Faith
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75 Words Flash Fiction
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Take A Photo Poetry
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20 Syllable Poem
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 Category:  General Fiction
  Posted: January 26, 2019      Views: 199
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Catherin Elizabet Belle, also a pseudonym. She is retired. She enjoys living in Florida where there is plenty of sea, sun and sand.

Ms Belle enjoys her research and creating poetry, novels, and short stories.

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Chapter 12 of the book Gun For Hire
Sharing the meager food with a stranger.
"Hungry Reb" by Catherin Elizabet Belle

A loud crack startles me, grabbing my gun I creep to the barn door peeking through the gap between the boards noticing a figure sneaking toward the house, I move through the shadows until right behind him sticking my gun to his head. "Don't move and don't make a sound. Now turn around, walk to the barn. Make a move yore a dead man." Keeping the gun to his head we enter the barn and light the lantern sitting on a barrel by the door. As the light illuminates the enclosure, I see a gray uniform glaring at me. "What cha doin' here, Johnny Reb?"

Hostility glarin' out his eyes he says, "Taint nothin' to you when you's hiddin' in this here barn."

Cocking the pistol, I say, "You 'spect on growing any older, you better spill it." Side stepping, I move from the door into the gray shadow picking up my rifle. "Reb, you gonna talk."

He notices the rifle and as his shoulders sag, he says, "Looking for grub, ain't et in a while."
"You alone?"

"Yup, parted ways awhile back, them rebs killin' jist cause they can. Mister, I'm jist plum tuckered out."

Sittin' the rifle against the barn, I cock the pistol, "With the left hand remove that hog leg and toss it on the ground then step back." With my shooter, I motion for him to move toward the barn.

As the darkness recedes to the gray shade of dawn I listen for others. "Johnny Reb you can rest a spell. There ain't much food any where's bout here; Jacob caught a rabbit a day ago. Come morning I can offer you corn mush." Watchin' his face, "or you can move on now. Sliding down the barn wall he dozes. Taking a blanket, I spread it across him and go to the cabin.

As I step on the porch Jacob runs hell bent for leather from the back, "Jeb who's in the barn."

"Whoa thar boy!"

"Well, who is it?"

Opening the door, I step inside, "Callie could you spare a bowl of mush. Thar's a Reb in the barn who shor's plum tuckered."

"Jeb, we can't go feeding ever body comes by." Turning around, she sees the two standing thar jist staring at her. Glancing at Jacob, she shakes her head saying, "Son, we can barely feed ourselves."

"Maw I'll trap another rabbit. I will I knowed I will." Looking over his head at Jeb, "I reckon we can manage it son." She hands a bowl of mush to Jeb.

Taking the bowl, I walk out to the barn. The Reb rouses as I step into the dark interior handing him the bowl, "Et up."

Squatting on haunches I ask, "Whatcha called Reb?" Before I get the words out, he is gulping the food.

When the bowl is half empty, he looks up and says, "Jude, Jude Parker." Then he finishes the contents in the bowl. "You gotta name."

"Yup, Jeb Smith." This here rebs clothes are dirty, tattered offering little or no protection from the weather as many of us wandering across the country. "Where you hail from Jude?"

Staring toward the door a shadow moves across his features; glancing at the ground he replies, "Up Oklahoma way. What now, Jeb?"

Thinking on how to answer his question I opt not to tell him I'm staying. "Jude, guess I'll ride southwest, anxious to get back to the ranch and my folks. Been gone a while." Looking to see his reaction, I see a blank stare into nothingness.
I reach for the bowl to take to Callie. "Thanks Callie." As she takes the bowl, "I'll be riding out a way, gonna look for meat for us. I want a make sure that Reb moves on north. Tell Jake I'll be back by night fall."

With a nod she says, "Jeb take care."

Tipping my hat, I hear the screen door slam behind me as I move toward the barn. Jude was standing outside the barn door. "Thanks for the meal, Jeb. Hope you make it home."

Jude starts toward the woods heading north. Entering the barn, I saddle my horse leading him into the yard.

Jake comes from the back of the cabin buttoning his overalls and steps toward me, "Jeb, you leavin'?"
Making sure my voice resounds through the nearby woods I say, "Yup Jake, I'll be moving on southwest." As I move closer to him, I add in a whisper, "Talk to your maw, now."

He looks puzzled but walks at once to the porch where his maw is standing with the apron wrapped around her shoulders. As she puts her hand on his shoulder, I smile and tip my hat riding out as they enter the cabin.

Jake is upset as he watches out the window as Jeb leaves. "Maw, why's Jeb leaving. I thought he was to stay."

Callie pours a cup of coffee for her and the boy. "Jake, sit here with me." When he sits across from her, she says, "Son, he's gonna look for meat for us; and he wants to be sure that Reb moves on north. He'll be back by sundown." Sipping her coffee, she continues, "Jake, keep your rifle with you and stay near the cabin, son."

Walking to the hearth, he picks up his rifle from over the mantle, "Maw, I'll be in the loft of the barn. I can see good from thar." Jake climbs the ladder moving to a window where he can see the house and the barn door and settles down to wait with his rifle in his hand.

I'm the man now that paw is dead. I'll keep a lookout out for rebs or yanks until Jeb gets back. As the afternoon wears on, he sees a rabbit out near the tree line; as much as they need meat, he doesn't leave his perch. Jeb's after meat, I gotta take care of Maw Besides that's what I was doing when Jeb killed that Yank chasing me. Jeb will be back afore long. Maw said sundown.

The book continues with Biding Time. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.
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