These characters are mine and they rock…right?

Violence: A little

Sex: None

Synopsis: She arrives in Hunter’s Valley but a dramatic turn of events occurs.



Hunter’s Valley

Part 3 in the shot down series

Katherine stood on the hill at the end of Hunter’s Valley and saw the activities of the festival. She heard the screams of children and the sound of laughter and glee. A smile came on her face. The running and playing reminded of her of when her and the other slave families would gather and dance and tell stories. She reached for her pistols and made sure they were in place. Her long jacket fluttered in the breeze, cascading from her back like a cape. She repositioned her hat and tossed the slave costume to the ground. If any one asked she was the gun slinging nigga’ from the sideshow. She didn’t wear the costume because of the itchiness of it and for the simple fact that when she killed Lee she wanted him to know that she wasn’t some servant she was free. After standing on the hill for some time she mounted Archer and trotted into town with no trouble at all. No one even noticed her, she was in the same place as Lee Anderson and it made her skin crawl. She trotted around not knowing where to begin when she saw a big sign that read: Lee Anderson’s bank…. you put your money in and we keep it safe. She trotted closer and dismounted Archer in front of the establishment. Katherine’s mouth went dry and she swallowed hard trying to rewet her throat. She tied Archer and walked in hands at her side. She was about to meet Lee for the first time in years and was about to murder him at point blank range.


The inside was dark and damp but as usual she was greeted with awkward stares and whispers but it didn’t faze her. She walked into the main office and stood in front of the desk. A man had his back to her looking out the window and as soon as he turned she was going to blow him away. The man turned and it wasn’t Lee at all it. He looked like Lee he had eyes like Lee but he was younger.

"May I help you?"

She couldn’t speak, her tongue was like a desert and it took her some time to form the right words.

"Your Lee’s boy?"

"Yes….Albert Anderson…how may I help you?"

Three children burst through the door and jumped at the young man in seat.

"Hey you guys, shouldn’t you be with grandpa?"

The older one looked out the window.

"Yeah were supposed to but he said he was tired and wanted to come back but we gonna’ miss the jugglin’ so can you take us?"

"Sure but where’s grandpa?"

"Coming up the walk right now." The youngest one said running back outside the office and returning with the one and only Lee Anderson. Her hand went to her gun but the middle child was staring blankly at her so she decided not to end him in front of the kids.

"Can I help you?" Lee said feebly but stern like he had not patience.

"No….no…i…gotta’ go."

Katherine bolted from the office and held her chest when she reached the outside of the office. She led Archer by the reigns into a bar and ordered the strongest drink there. She gulped the drink down and quickly ordered another one. She fingered the rim and pondered her situation. Lee is there; he has a son and grand children...some one married Lee. She drank the drink she purchased and tossed some money on the counter and left.

"Katherine you look as pretty as a picture."

She didn’t have to turn to know whom it was who was gawking at her.

"Buddy…ya stalking me now?"

"No…I told ya I’d be up here but meeting up on you sweetheart…..that’s just fate."

He walked over to her and hugged her tightly.

"Now….have you taken care of your business yet?"

"He has grand kids…did you know that?"

"Yeah but I didn’t want to tell ya I mean you are just hell bent on killing this guy."

"No the fact that he has grand children isn’t going to stop me from killing him Buddy….he’s gonna’ die he’s just gonna leave behind a hell of a lot more."

"You are one cold hearted bitch."

He locked arms with her and walked down the streets as people stared and whispered.

"Then again that’s what I love about you."

She slid her arm coldly from his remembering Esbedy’s touch. She felt guilty about leaving him and being with Buddy like her and Esbedy meant nothing. She didn’t know, she enjoyed Buddy’s company but loved Esbedy’s conversation. She loved Buddy’s fierce adventurous attitude but would not mind settling down with Esbedy.

"You alright Katherine?"

"Yeah." She said snapping out of her stupor and looking Buddy in the eye’s.

"Maybe we should get you out of the sun……I know just the place."

Buddy led her to an inn room and she sat down on the bed and he sat beside her.

"Buddy I’m only here for a minute…one minute.."

"I understand…I won’t lay a finger on you." He said holding up his hand smiling with two of his fingers noticeably crossed.

He leaned in to kiss her she moved away and stood up to leave. He quickly shot up and grabbed her arm jerking her back towards him.

"I’m not going through this Buddy."


He pulled her in close to him and the look on his face melted her heart.

"Why can’t you love me…"


"Answer me!"


"Is there someone else?"

"Buddy you’re acting like we’re together!"

"You never said we weren’t!"

"I don’t have time for this!"

She tried to leave but he jerked her back towards him and slapped her swiftly across the face. She fell to the floor and rubbed her face. It stung from the slap and she could still feel the impression of his fingers across her cheek. She stood, teeth gritted and fist clenched and looked at Buddy with rage in her eyes.

"In any other circumstance you’d be a dead man Buddy…..but let me tell you something….you wanna’ know why I could never ever love you Buddy….this is exactly why…so you leave me alone…stay away because if you ever touch me again Buddy….you’ll be six feet under…"

She turned and walked out of the room with eyes flooded with tears. Buddy had hit her and meant it and it broke her heart in two. She didn’t look back as she made her way to Archer and to another part of the town away from the lights and music…away from Buddy.




She peered out the window to see the sun just rising and the town was still asleep. She stretched and put her attire on then walked out into the streets.

"It’s kinda quiet….too quiet…"

She twirled in a circle and took out her guns. She heard yelling and bullet zoomed by her face. She quickly did a tuck and roll behind an old barrel. She peered around the barrel to see about a five white men with guns coming in her direction.


She dived out in the middle of the street and fired, shooting a man in the leg and one in the chest. The man who got hit in the chest fell to the ground and didn’t stir. The other man fell backward and then sat upright cradling the bullet torn arm. Katherine scuttled behind a home and sighed.

"One down…one injured…three left."

She picked up a rock and hurled it into the middle of the road. She peered out and while they were distracted shot a man in the neck. He fell to his knee clenching his throat then slumped to the ground while the other men took cover. Katherine looked around and saw Archer and signaled for him to come to her. Archer some how got loose and made it to Katherine.

"Two more to go Archer…think I can take em’?"

The horse neighed brashly in agreement ad Katherine smiled.

"As long as you think so."

The two men talked quietly and aimed at Archer when he passed but relaxed when they saw no one was riding him.

"Think she can get us again…ha!"

"Dumb nigga’!"

While they both stood pleased at the decision they didn’t notice the pistols aimed at them from underneath the horse. Katherine shot them both in the head and got on top of Archer and stopped him.

"Still got it."

Katherine jumped down from Archer and looked around.

"Why in the hell would they be shooting at me?"

She felt a boot dig deep into her back and she fell forwards hitting the ground hard.

"Hmm…I wonder why?"


"In the flesh?"

"You should of just loved me Katherine."

She grew sick to her stomach as she saw Lee and his son Albert emerge from behind Buddy. She heard footsteps behind her and turned in time to see the butt of a pistol crashing into her skull.


Katherine awoke with a violent headache and the world was a blur. She tried to rise up but her arms were bound. She rolled over and somehow made it into an upright position.

That son of a bitch, he betrayed her.

"Wake up sleeping beauty."

"Fuck you Buddy!"

He walked over to her and leaned into her face.

"That any way to talk to your master girl!"

She snorted and hocked up a large amount of spit and spewed it into Buddy’s face. He laughed and flung it off his face. When it was cleaned off he kicked her in the mouth and her head twisted to the side with a river of blood pouring from her mouth.

"Stupid nigga’ bitch…do you realize the life you could have had with me…I would have treated you right!"

"Or beat me senseless!"

"Gotta’ learn your place."

"My foot’s place is up your ass."

"You got some guts…you know I could kill you….blow you away!"

"Then do it Buddy…that’s right your Lee’s bitch!"

She laughed and spit blood to the floor.

"Can I ask you a question Buddy…how does it feel to be lower then dirt!"

"Ask ya daddy after all Lee was the man who put him in it!"

"You’ll die for this Buddy you hear me!"

"You said the same thing to Lee and the old boys still ticking!"

"Fuck you Buddy!"

Buddy laughed and sat back down.

"Well…Lee hasn’t decided what to do to ya…but his boy wants you dead."

"Let me guess you told him I was trying to kill him."

"As soon as you left."


"Yep, love will do that to you…If I can’t have ya no one can."

He rose and walked out of the cellar where they kept her captive and she laid defeated on the ground. She looked at the ceiling and tried to remember Esbedy’s embrace. His coal dark eyes, she missed him. She never ever missed any body but her parents…but she missed him and started to wonder what would have happened if she would have just stayed with him. She began to feel light headed and passed out on the cellar floor, with dried blood covering her lips.


She gasped as a bucket of cold water was flung on her and soaked her thoroughly.

Buddy laughed and walked over to her.

"Me again…you passed out for a minute…I was worried about you…. but hey...there’s some one who want s to meet ya!"

She focused on the two figures and realized it was Lee and Albert.

"Why have you come to kill my father!"

She looked at the floor with a dazed expression.

"Answer me nigga!!"

He quickly went towards her and slapped her across the face. She shook the blow off and laughed.

"You see that man right there…yeah…ya daddy…. well a long time ago…he decided to kill him some nigga’s….those nigga’s….those nigga’s were my parents! And I won’t rest until he is as dead as they are!" She said through gritted teeth.

"Shut up….daddy kill this girl so we can move on…" Albert said and left the cellar.

Lee walked over to he slowly and squatted so he could look into her eyes.

"Now look here girl…I will let you go because I did something terrible to ya…but you got to promise not to come after me any more."

"I promise….i promise to hunt you until I have no more breath left in my body."

"You dumb nigga…I could have you destroyed…I could have you beaten and bloodied until you gonna’ want to die!"

She looked away from Lee.

"You make me sick Lee and I hope you burn in hell!"

"Buddy….end her…I have to get out of here…when these people find out I took there money they are gonna’ try to murder me!"

She looked at him in shock.

"So you’re not really a bank?"

"Nope…just one smart bastard." Buddy laughed and she could see the old feeble man act leave his face.

"Things never change, do they."

"Hell…I guess they don’t!" Lee chuckled and left the cellar.

"Well…before you go I want to have some fun with you….but that’s later doll…..much later."

He squatted and kissed her sweat-drenched forehead and exited the cellar.

"Help some body help!!"

Stupid. It was stupid to scream for help, they could just say she was some renegade nigger. She was doomed, and the worst part of it was that she knew it.


"Baby girl!"

"Yeah daddy!"

"You gonna’ come down here so I can see ya."

"Here I come."

She ran around the corner and wrapped her arms around the strong black man who cradled her tiny body.

"Yeah Daddy."

"I just wanted to see ya face…I’m proud of ya…you helping your momma mighty good in that there kitchen and I want you to know it won’t be for long."

"Why not?"

"Well we’s about to gain our freedom….but be quiet cuz’ it’s a secret!"

"What’s freedom daddy?"

"When you can do anything you want and you can see the world, cuz’ it’s plenty of it outside these here boundaries."

She screamed as she felt the tip of a boot digging into her rib cage.

"What…what do you want from me…." She yelled out rolling from side to side trying to shake the pain off.

"I want you..i want you to be with me..i want you to marry me Katherine."

"You’re out of your fucking mind."

Her reply gained her another swift kick in the ribs.

"Please stops…"

"I will…think about it…you can live…happily…only thing is…ya gotta’ be with me…that’s the only stipulation."

"Well…let me think.." She bit her bottom lip and flung a hunk of spit to the ground. "Yep that pretty much summed up my answer."

"Shut up…I’m gonna give you another day to think this through…think hard…or you’ll never see the light of day."

"You gonna kill me…then do it stop fucking around and end it!"

Buddy removed his pistol and shot Katherine in her left calf and she howled in pain.

"Do not test me…..cuz’ it will come if I don’t get the right answer…I can and will kill you Katherine…so don’t even think of trying to run….if you could…. because I will have you…dead or alive."

With that he walked out of the cellar and she laid her head down into the dirty cellar floor. She blew a flake of her hair back from her face and breathed deeply trying to bear the burning sensation in her calf. She couldn’t move it or try to mend it, she could feel the blood pouring down her leg and then passed out from the pain.



"Please…just kill me.."

"Katherine…it’s me Esbedy."

She slowly opened her eyes and they were met with his coal black one’s. He untied her and she clung to him like her life depended on it. He rubbed her back in slow circles.

"Your leg."

Esbedy tore back her pants leg and looked at the wound.

"I need to dress these immediately."

"Yeah, we gotta’ get out of here first."

"Katherine…I just couldn’t….i love you…I couldn’t let you slip away."

"I understand but we have to…"

"When I saw the letter I didn’t understand but know I do…but no matter what you want to do you will never shake me Katherine I will always follow you."

He embraced her deeply and they rocked back and forth for a moment.

"Come on let’s get you out of here….i knew where you were going and I heard about the shoot out you had and how they captured you…I just did a little snooping and i…."

"And butted into business that don’t concern ya."

Katherine and Esbedy turned to see Buddy standing at the door, pistol drawn.

"So…this is why you’ve been acting this way….some damn dirt monkey!"

He pointed the pistol at Katherine and then at Esbedy.

"I’ll kill you!"


"I’m gonna kill you both….i loved you Katherine and you just give it all up to him….he is nothing….he isn’t the man for you.. I am!!"

Buddy aimed the pistol at Esbedy, squeezed the trigger and fired. She tried to dive and push Esbedy out the way but she was too late. The bullets hit Esbedy three times in the chest and he fell to the ground, breathing shallowly. Katherine dove beside him and lifted his head trying to stop the blood gushing out of his chest.

"I am just amazed by you."

"Why?" She said wiping the plates down and putting them away.

"After all these things, you still managed to get free and live on."

"Same for you."

"No…I was handed my freedom…you toiled for yours."

"You wouldn’t be so proud of me if you knew what I did to win my freedom."

"What did you do."

"I kissed my masters ass…all the while I was poisoning him, in one of his states of delirium he signed my freedom papers and then…he died."

Esbedy rose and stood behind her placing his hand on her shoulders.

"Let me tell you something….i don’t blame you…my people died fighting for something that was given to them by right….i would have killed for mine too."

She placed her hands on Esbedy’s and tears slid like a waterfall from her eyes. He stared at her his coal dark eye’s seemed dim and dull as he sputtered blood and tried to speak.

"Shh…don’t speak."

"No….Kat….Katherine…I want you to know it’s not your fault…"

"You should have stayed Esbedy…you shouldn’t have followed me."

He stretched a hand to her face and caressed it softly. He used his last strength to lean up towards her ear.

"Gun….in…pocket….I….I….love you…"

After this last statement his chest rose and fell and never rose again. She leaned over his fallen, bloodstained body and cried. After a few minutes she rose and wiped the tears from her face and looked at Buddy.



"He did nothing!"

"But love you!"

"I could never love you Buddy…"


"Cuz’ you’re dead."

She drew a pistol and shot Buddy in the chest. He fell back and she stood over him.

"Where is Lee?"

"I wouldn’t tell you if…"

She stepped on his chest and he screamed from the pain it caused.

"He’s go…gone….gone with his money down to Corsa…"

"Where is that!"

"I don’t know….it’s uncharted….heard something about it being west through the desert."

She saw he was being honest and stepped over him and towards her belongings. After she had her attire on she limped over to Buddy and stood over him.

"You see that man?"

She glanced at Esbedy and back at Buddy.

"You’ll never be half the man he was."

"You’re letting me live…I knew it…you don’t have it in ya to kill me."

"Look good when Lee meets you Buddy."

Buddy grinned holding his chest.

"Meet me where?"

She flipped her pistol and shot Buddy right between the eyes and he died in an instant.

"In hell.."

She grabbed Esbedy’s body and drug it from the cellar. The people in town watched as she put the dead body on her horse and rode away.


Beaten and bloodied, Katherine drove a cross into the grave of Esbedy and fell to her knees.

"I’m so sorry…I’m so sorry."

Archer nuzzled her shoulder and she rose from the grave and mounted him.

"Goodbye Esbedy…..find peace."

Katherine rode off into uncharted territory in search of Corsa…. the places these villains were traveling to was uncharted so it was time to take the road less traveled.


Archer knees buckled and he lay in the sand.


"Get up Archer."

Katherine knew they both needed water and food but she couldn’t stop, not out here.

"Get up Archer!"

She hadn’t seen signs of civilization for three days and was beginning to give up hope. She stopped riding Archer two days ago but he was still too fatigued to carry on. Her wound was getting worse and the pain became unbearable. Her will to find and kill Lee was stronger than ever but her physical will was too forgone. Katherine took three more steps and collapsed into the sand not breathing.

To be continued

Part 4: The road less taken

Return to the Academy