Rule breakers

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The scream from upstairs booted us from our chairs. Reba ran to her bedroom yelling, “Don’t you go up there ‘fore me.”

In no time, Reba followed me up to the first door on the left, Ratchet steady in her arms.

The cowboy turned when the door opened, his wicked grin melting. Naked and trembling, Sadie stood an arm’s length from the cowboy.

Blood pounded in my ears. “If you did anything to hurt her…”

The two-syllable ratchet of Reba’s shotgun finished the sentence. She aimed at the target. “I say time’s up.”

“Why, you old pickaninny,” he growled.

Reba’s face Radiated brown flames of fury. The cowboy backed away.

Sadie wiped her eyes and unclenched her teeth. “I told him my rule. He tried to break it.”

I knew the one she referred to—animal and specialty acts. Reba and I knew the reason, knew what had happened to her back then. Never would I allow a client to fracture the boundaries that made my girls feel safe.

“Tried to? Did he?” I draped a dressing robe around Sadie’s bare body and steered her to the bed.

Excerpt from The Last Bordello (1901)

 

Daily Word Prompt: Radiate

Published by

Carolyn Dennis-Willingham

Carolyn is the author of two published books – No Hill for a Stepper, 2001, and The Last Bordello, 2016. Her third novel, The Moonshine Thicket, is set in 1928 and is currently enduring a professional edit. When not on her laptop, she serves as a lap top for her grandchildren. She is a retired Early Childhood Specialist, a fitness boxer, artist, and a ball thrower for her ever-persistent mini Aussie. In addition to her blogging website, carolyndenniswillingham.com, you may find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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