Updated date:

The Cowboy State Welcomes Billy the Kid: The Short Story Continues

Driving Towards the Sunset

With Iowa behind us and most of Nebraska in the same direction, Genna and I found a night’s peace in The Cozy Inn on the outskirts of Scottsbluff, Nebraska. The motel was one of those classic u-shaped motor courts built during the Fifties when Americans fell in love with the automobile and traveling was a pastime second only to baseball. We didn’t care where we slept, as long as it was away from the carnage we left behind in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

Genna was quiet for long periods of time. A stack of bodies will do that to a law-abiding citizen. She had been thinking the same thing I had and at one point she voiced it.

“How did they find us, Billy? My husband, the Russians, they both tracked us down.”

I’d been wondering the same thing.

“I don’t know, Genna. Our fake identification seemed to hold up when we both got jobs. Neither of us has ever been fingerprinted. There’s something we’re missing and I’d sure love to know what it is. Hey, it’s not like I’m used to running. I spent most of my life within five miles of Washington Heights, so crisscrossing the country being pursued is something of a new experience for me.”

We paid for our rooms with cash. There’s no way to trace cash, and our number one goal was to remain as anonymous as possible. The room had a television and cable and after a half hour I found a news station talking about four dead in an Iowa farmhouse, no motive, no clues, authorities looking for two persons of interest. That would be us, white guy, black woman, mid-thirties, whereabouts unknown. Truth be told, the local Mount Pleasant police force would expend just enough effort on that case to look good to the media and we’d be forgotten by the New Year. It wasn’t the police we had to worry about. It was the Russians. They had sent two of their soldiers to eliminate me and now their two soldiers were frozen blocks of Iowa landscape. That wouldn’t set well with the big boss and you could bet the bank the Russians would keep looking.

For the time being, though, we were all right.

The sun was setting on distant mountains as I helped Genna out of her clothes and soothed her mind with the greatest elixir known to mankind. The soft lights of the room made her caramel skin look bronze. Her large brown eyes were deep pools of intelligence and her contours fit mine perfectly as we traded our problems for sweat and mindless exertion. At that moment, in that place, I was the most important person in her world, and she in mine.

Bleak

Bleak

Sunrise on the Plains

Late December on the Great Plains, cold-assed morning with fresh snow and brittle dreams; look to the east, flat, look to the north, flat, look to the south, flat, look to the west and a hint of elevation, a white tabletop of Earth, nary a tree in sight, chimneys pluming, cars exhausting, residents of Scottsbluff bundled against a wind carrying knives of cold.

There was nothing for us in Scottsbluff but a need for sustenance, so we gathered our meager belongings and found a truck stop to fuel the car and our bodies. We had made love three times during the night, both of us in need of false security, so we were both a bit hungry as Elaine welcomed us to Scottsbluff and took our orders for bacon and eggs. The coffee was black and as thick as mud. Genna attacked the food when it came, a lioness finishing off a fresh kill. There is something very sexy about a woman who eats with no inhibitions, sexy and primal, and I felt my loins warm as I watched her eat.

I was also debating the wisdom of driving west. As I looked around the truck stop I realized just how much we stood out. The year may be 2015 but it is still an anomaly in certain parts of the country to see a white dude and a black chick together. Scottsbluff was one such area. I couldn’t imagine Wyoming being any different, and since our goal was to quietly fade into obscurity, our being in Nebraska headed for Wyoming might be questionable at best. Maybe one of the bigger cities on the west coast would be better, just keep on driving until the Pacific Ocean signaled an end to the journey. I mentioned this to Genna. She wiped her mouth with her sleeve (damned sexy) and finished off her coffee.

“Let’s just see what Wyoming is like, Billy. I’d like to take a breather for a few days and let my heart return to a normal beat. If we don’t like what we see in Wyoming we can cross the mountains and look elsewhere.”

The lioness had spoken.

the-cowboy-state-welcomes-billy-the-kid-the-short-story-continues

An East Coast Mick Stands on the Continental Divide

The highest hill I’d ever stood atop was eight-hundred and forty-seven feet above sea level in upstate New York. Hell, I’d been in buildings taller than that, so the experience of the Rocky Mountains was a bit hard for this boy to grasp. I could tell Genna felt the same from the gasps that escaped her lips as our car continued to climb towards the clouds.

We were into hour number eight of Wyoming, a zigzag tour of small towns, all covered in snow, all too small or too white or too whatever to give us a feeling of safety. In Lander I saw an advertisement for Yellowstone and in particular accommodations in the tourist town of West Yellowstone, Montana. Figuring we had nothing to lose, except possibly our lives, I steered the car northwest and eventually entered Yellowstone National Park.

Cold. Massive. Buried in snow, mountains of snow, valleys of snow, plumes of steam rising wherever we looked, snowmobiles passed us on the roadway, tourists with Nikons shivered in turnouts, posed for pictures with bison looming in the background and then scurried back to their cars and warmth. There wasn’t one Russian mob member or Mexican drug cartel soldier in sight.

“This sure ain’t Florida, Billy.”

“Genna, this is about as far-removed from Florida as we are likely to get, and maybe that’s a good thing. Let’s see what West Yellowstone looks like.

the-cowboy-state-welcomes-billy-the-kid-the-short-story-continues

West Yellowstone, Montana

It was the dead of winter but the town was bustling, and I was pleased to see a fairly large number of blacks, Hispanics and Asians to go with the expected white population. That’s the thing about tourist towns. The norm is suspended as people arrive daily from a variety of locales and cultures. Genna definitely did not stick out. Hell, we weren’t even the only white/black couple in town. It felt right. The chances of the Russians or Mexicans even being able to find Yellowstone on a map were slim.

I steered the car into the parking lot of the Big Sky Inn. Genna and I crunched our way across new snowfall to the office and rented a room for a week. The young girl at the counter welcomed us, told us to have a lovely stay, gave us our key and moved on to more pressing issues. Our own pressing issues included finding a good meal and buying some heavy clothing to keep from freezing. We found the meal at the West Yellowstone Bar & Grill, an honest to God bison burger, and the clothes at Northern Lights Outfitters. After that we toured the town on foot, warm in our fleece garments, just two of thousands of tourists, as anonymous as we could hope to be.

“What do you think, Billy? Are we safe here?”

“As safe as we’re likely to be, at least for awhile. I think we should give it a few months and see how it goes. We’ve still got close to twenty grand to live off of. I don’t know how hard it will be to find work, especially since we can’t use our real I.D.s. I know there are ranches around. Maybe they hire part-time labor and pay under-the-table without tax forms and shit that is likely to hang us in the long run. Let’s play it by ear. I’m as sure as I can be that the Russians and Mexicans don’t know where we are, and we blend in just fine here. If we don’t like it, San Francisco is about twelve hours away.”

“Is it always going to be like this, Billy, us running, always one step ahead of a bullet?”

I wanted so badly to reassure her. Her eyes pleaded with me for a comforting answer but I didn’t have one to give her. Still, she was my responsibility, so I tried my best to lighten her load.

“I don’t know, Genna. That’s the best answer I can give you. If we can stay under their radar for a few months we might have a chance of them dropping the whole matter. The reality of it is we’re just a pimple on their asses and they have better things to do than chase us around the country. Let’s try to stay alive long enough to see that happen, okay?”

I kissed her and we returned to the motel. My loins were on fire, and I was feeling virtuous. I hadn’t killed anyone in several days.

Are They Safe?

What do you think, dear readers? Have Genna and Billy finally found a haven where the Russians and Mexicans can’t find them?

Stay tuned!

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

Comments

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 25, 2016:

True, but funny all the same, Shanmarie!

Shannon Henry from Texas on May 25, 2016:

That's terrible! LOL

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 25, 2016:

Shanmarie, I don't think this is going to be a little family that has a peaceful life. The baby will probably grow up to be a hit man....er, hit woman! LOL

Shannon Henry from Texas on May 24, 2016:

Not a chance that they are safe. Not for long. But now I am curious how it all will eventually end. Seems a happy ending may be difficult to achieve. Thankfully, I know the adventure isn't over yet. Still more to catch up on.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 29, 2016:

Missy, the mob has long arms and big ears...they see, all, hear all....but rest assured, Billy ain't going to die. :)

Missy Smith from Florida on January 29, 2016:

I'm going to have to say "no" to that safe haven question. No way! I'm still asking the question of how they were found in Iowa. I mean, Iowa of all places. lol...

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 27, 2016:

Mary, I had to go back to see what comment you were talking about....Billy will come alive in a series of ebooks when this HP series ends...so he's not really leaving us.

Go to bed!!!!!

Mary Craig from New York on January 27, 2016:

How good to jump back in with Billy and Jenna. I have to admit I'm not too happy with your last comment, but I'll follow along because I love your characters and your writing.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 12, 2016:

The end is near, Lawrence. I'll give you a spoiler alert...Billy and Genna do not survive...he said with a wink.

Thank you for following along.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on January 12, 2016:

Bill

Not yet! Things are quiet at the moment but the Mexicans haven't shown up, and Billy and Genna don't know how they got found, they can't feel truly safe until they find out how that happened can they? (I know I wouldn't!)

Got to keep reading

Lawrence

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 07, 2016:

Alicia, I make this promise to you right now....they will have a good life together. :)

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 07, 2016:

I want Billy and Genna to have a happy ending, but I'm afraid that their past will catch up with them. I wish I had started reading this story earlier, but on the other hand, I'm enjoying the continuity of reading several installments in a row. This is a gripping tale, Bill.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 03, 2016:

Happy New Year Genna and thank you for your very kind words. I never thought of myself as a descriptive person....so I don't know where all this imagery is coming from. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 03, 2016:

Mel, amazingly, nobody died in Wyoming. Maybe Billy is mellowing. :) Nah!

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on January 01, 2016:

Bill, I've said this a dozen times, but your sense of imagery is exceptional! And you make it look so easy; but that is characteristic of a very talented writer. Are they finally safe? I hope so, but who knows what twists and turns await our beloved duo.

Happy New Year!

Mel Carriere from San Diego California on January 01, 2016:

Something tells me Old Faithful is about to blow its top. Look forward to more running.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 30, 2015:

I appreciate that, DDE. Thank you very much and Happy New Year to you as well.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on December 30, 2015:

You have a way in telling a story and I enjoyed reading. A Happy New Year to you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 28, 2015:

Thank you Sparrow, and a Happy New Year's to you as well.

Rochelle Ann De Zoysa from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka on December 28, 2015:

Great story so far :) You are a cool writer and I enjoyed reading this. Will they be safe? Happy 2016!! Hope to read more :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 28, 2015:

I am very happy to hear that, Agusfanani. Thank you so much.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 28, 2015:

Mama, I suspect Billy has had it with all this foolishness, and will take care of matters very soon.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 28, 2015:

Rasma, as we speak, they are heading east. :) Thanks for stopping by.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 28, 2015:

I'll tell them to follow the birds, Deb. :)

agusfanani from Indonesia on December 27, 2015:

I like the way you present the story that is flowing and for me, who is using English as a second language, is easy to digest. So, it is such an absorbing story to read.

Karen A Szklany from New England on December 27, 2015:

Hope they are safe for a little while...and are perhaps paid "under-the-table" for some temporary hired farmhand work.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on December 27, 2015:

Sounds like they have it made for awhile but boy, I sure wouldn't want to stay too long in all of that snow and cold.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on December 27, 2015:

They know where to find me when things cool down...

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 27, 2015:

I'm glad, Deb! I'm sorry they couldn't swing by Oklahoma. They mentioned they would have loved to met you. :)

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on December 27, 2015:

Definitely loving it!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 25, 2015:

Thank you whonu and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 25, 2015:

John, I've stayed at the Big Sky Inn and it is a great place to stay if you ever get to the States. :) Thanks for returning to the story and Merry Christmas.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 25, 2015:

Shyron, as we speak, they are driving east. Stay tuned.

Merry Christmas my loyal friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 25, 2015:

Thank you Manatita...nice one about the mango slices. :) Peace my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 25, 2015:

Zulma, I really don't want this story to end. I have the feeling I've found the perfect solution to that problem, but you'll have to wait to find out what that solution is. :)

whonunuwho from United States on December 25, 2015:

Great story my friend. Blessings to you and yours at Christmas. whonu

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on December 25, 2015:

The Big Sky Inn at Yellowstone sounds like a great place to hide out if you are forced to be on the run. No killing in this episode, but I am sure Billy needed a welcome break from that. Hopefully the popular couple will have some peace and quite for awhile before some one tails them again.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on December 24, 2015:

More, more, more, maybe they can get into trouble in Yellowstone and have to leave.

Keep us guessing Bill

Blessings to you my friend and Merry Christmas.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 24, 2015:

I won't do that to you, Linda! :) Thank you!

manatita44 from london on December 24, 2015:

Hey Bro. I see that you added some mango slices. That was a sweet one, and the human need blended in so well that it was hardly noticeable. A real feat in writing.

Well, I guess things may settle for a while. Nice tour of America. Thanks for the Geography :) I'm sure that we'll enliven the spirit of Love as the big day approaches. Peace.

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on December 24, 2015:

No, I don't think they have found that haven. If they have, the story ends here and that's not what I tune in for. :D

I guess we'll just to wait and see...

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on December 23, 2015:

Bill, Bravewarriors comment makes me think of the series Dallas. One whole season was erased by a "dream".

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

tireless, thank you! I hope you feel better soon. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

Thank you Bill. I just had to include Yellowstone during the cross-country spree.

Merry Christmas, Bill!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

drbj, my trigger finger is getting itchy. :) I suspect bodies are about to fall. Stay tuned, and thank you.

Merry Christmas, my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

Thank you Larry! I really appreciate you following along.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

Dora, thank you for your kindness. The story is heading towards its conclusion.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

Ann, the end is near. That's all I can say at this point, but I won't leave you hanging long.

Merry Christmas, my friend. Thank you for your friendship.

bill

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

Ruby, they are on the move as we speak. Thank you my friend and Merry Christmas!

Judy Specht from California on December 23, 2015:

I have been saving this series for down time. Great read for recovering from a cold.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on December 23, 2015:

Can't wait to see where this goes. Love the fact that they are in Yellowstone NP, one of my favorite places. I suspect something will come along to disrupt their sense of security .

drbj and sherry from south Florida on December 23, 2015:

Since you haven't killed anyone in several days, Bill, you must definitely be feeling the pain of withdrawal. May you and Genna survive for many more installments or I will begin to feel that pain as well.

Merry Christmas!

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on December 23, 2015:

Another great installment.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 23, 2015:

I feel the sense of haste to get from one place to another; at the same time I'm noticing all the details you include about food, feelings and all that. The plot is great and so is the writing style.

Ann Carr from SW England on December 23, 2015:

I doubt very much that they've stopped being chased even if it's takes longer to find them. I don't think you'd leave it there, bill!

Another great instalment of your story.

Almost ready for Christmas - a quiet one for us until the 28th, when the hoards descend! In the meantime, I still have a pile of presents to wrap, not only for Christmas but for 3 birthdays - help!!

Merry Christmas, bill, and a very happy 2016!

Ann

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on December 23, 2015:

Another great installment. Steamy! I have a feeling Billy and Genna are going to a warmer place. Burr..See you next time.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

Sha, I think after the holidays, things will settle down for many of us, and we can get into some sort of a routine again. At least that's what I'm hoping. :) Now I need to go wrap presents.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on December 23, 2015:

Bill, I also had the thought that Billy is lying in a coma somewhere and this entire adventure was all a dream.

You're right. I'm a mystery writer waiting to break free of my chains. I still haven't completed chapter 17 of The Gifts of Faith. The last I visited was a year ago. I'll get there in due time.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

Needless to say, Sha, you are ahead of the game. You are a mystery writer waiting to break free of your chains. :) A two-part ending is coming soon. Thank you for staying glued to your seat.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

Clive, Billy is thinking the same thing. :) Stay tuned and thank you.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on December 23, 2015:

I don't think the Russians or Mexicans are likely to give up their searches. Billy knocked off some pretty powerful figures on both accounts. I think their best bet is to fake their deaths. But it would have to be in a manner that either or both groups would have no reason to doubt it was Billy and Genna. Some pretty ugly pictures come to mind (I watch a lot of "Bones" and "Castle") which would have to involve human death in some way, shape or form. Or human remains, anyway.

Or perhaps they could have surgical makeovers done, which might work since neither has been fingerprinted. However, there's still the matter of blood type (which is probably on record somewhere), dental records and DNA, which could also foible their attempts at faking their joint demise.

Needless to say, I'm glued to my seat.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on December 23, 2015:

billy cant hide for ever. he sure gonna get whats coming to him

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

It is for sure, Bill, one of my favorite places to visit. Thanks for spending part of your Wednesday with me.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

I'm afraid you do, Meg...next Wednesday things will come into focus for you. Thanks for following along.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

Suzette, I think the conclusion is in sight.....it's fight of flight time for Billy and Genna. :) Thank you and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

Thank you M Abdullah Javed. I do enjoy writing this story and I'm happy you like it.

William Leverne Smith from Hollister, MO on December 23, 2015:

Great place to spend the holidays... ;-)

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on December 23, 2015:

An amazing description of snow. They still don't know how both sets of goons found them simultaneously, so they can't be safe yet. Do I have to wait til after Christmas for the next instalment? Great story.

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on December 23, 2015:

I think it is a short respite. They do need time to catch their breaths but it is pretty hard to evade the Russian mob. May be they'll find a friendly cop or two who will help them out. Billy does kill in self-defense.

muhammad abdullah javed on December 23, 2015:

Very exciting and interesting Bill Sir, wish I could go through all the episodes at once. Waiting for the next one. Thanks for sharing.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

Carly, your words are music to this writer's soul. I grew up with serials, each week a new chapter of a continuing video story....that's what I wanted this to be, and I'm so happy you enjoy it. Billy and Genna are resting over the Christmas holidays, but big changes are approaching. See you next Wednesday and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

Thank you Venkatachari M. I am so happy that you and others enjoy this series of stories. I appreciate your kind words, and if you celebrate Christmas, I hope yours is wonderful and blessed.

Carly Sullens from St. Louis, Missouri on December 23, 2015:

I'm hooked!! It's like your favorite show on TV and after it is finished, you realize you have to wait a whole week for the next episode. Sometimes that week seems too long. I need a preview, lol.

They sound like they are in a nice place. It is nice to tuck our favorite characters in for a bit, especially when we ourselves are experiencing the holidays. In a motel they will be safe and sound until.... I guess we have to wait and see next week. Merry Christmas.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on December 23, 2015:

I doubt their safety. But hope for best. Waiting with excitement for the next episode. You are great in presenting thrillers and with a bit of romance.

Wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and happy holidays.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

LOL....thanks, Eric, and Merry Christmas to you and that wonderful family of yours.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 23, 2015:

Merry Christmas. It sure was nice to escape for a little bit. I hope they both learn how to ski.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

Linda, Yellowstone is my favorite place on earth. Been there many times. I just had to get it into this story somehow. :) Thank you and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

Pop, I wouldn't bet on it. :) Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

Eldon, I appreciate your kind words. I'm working from memory on those descriptions, so I'm happy to hear they are close to accurate.

Happy Holidays to you, my friend.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on December 23, 2015:

Bill, you have created two characters that I really care about--I want them to be safe, but that would mean the end of the story and I'm feeling a bit greedy. Merry Christmas to you and Bev. (P.S. if you've never been to Yellowstone, you have fooled everyone. Your descriptions are spot on).

breakfastpop on December 23, 2015:

I hope they have found a safe haven, but maybe that's only for fairy tales.

Eldon Arsenaux from Cooley, Texas on December 23, 2015:

Your scenic description of Sunrise on the Plains is A1 barbecue sauce. Of the finest quality. Keep these coming. But not too quick. Each one is an American Landscape portrait and character-driven crime-thriller. I enjoy tuning in to the exploits of Billy the Kid and Genna every week. When will it end? (Don't answer that) We may not know how hard it would be to bear the loss.

Hoping you have the happiest of holidays,

-E.G.A.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

Mike, I'll try to do Billy proud. Merry Christmas my friend. Us two old relics have beat the odds so far, so we might as well celebrate. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2015:

Janine, that makes two of us. I'm never sure what's coming next either. :) Thank you and Merry Christmas to your wonderful family.

Old Poolman on December 23, 2015:

Keep them coming Billy and a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on December 23, 2015:

I am truly not sure and still though can't wait to see what you have in store for them next, Bill! Happy Wednesday and also wishing you a great res of the week with Christmas, too! ;)