Saturday Snippet – STUCKEY’S BRIDGE

Stuckey's cover_webThe Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge is based on folklore surrounding the real 1850s Stuckey’s Bridge in Lauderdale County, Mississippi. I heard the tales my whole life and was drawn to write a story about the man locals refer to as Old Man Stuckey. He cracked me up in his impatience, but he was still an evil and creepy character. Here’s a bit of the way his brain worked.

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“Wha…what’s going on?” The woman jerked and sat up. “Who are you?”

He poked the rifle into her ribs harder. “Where’s your money?”

The woman didn’t fight back. “In…in the coffee pot in the wagon.”

“You got any jewelry?”

“What? No, we don’t…”

He spoke louder, his impatience building. “Do you have anything worth money?”

“Only the…” She looked at the rifle. “Only the gun you’re holding.”

“Don’t move,” he said as he stomped back to the wagon and climbed in to search for the coffee pot.

A few moments later, the woman unexpectedly appeared at the back of the wagon, pointing a trembling six-shooter at Thomas. “Get out!” she screamed, tears streaming down her cheeks.

Without thinking twice, he spun around and shot her point-blank in the chest with the rifle, killing her instantly.

She collapsed to the ground with a thud. He sighed and turned back to his job at hand, and soon located the coffee pot in the bottom of a box, covered with threadbare dishcloths. He took the money out of the pot and crammed the bills into his jacket pocket.

He climbed down from the back of the wagon, removed the gun from the dead woman’s hand, and said, “Too bad you didn’t stay put. Why don’t you women ever learn to do as you’re told?” He shook his head in exasperation. He shoved the six-shooter into his waistband and moved quickly through the dark woods toward to his waiting horse. He rode most of the night, and as the sun rose hot and red on the horizon, he stopped to count his take. “Fourteen measly dollars, a rifle, and a six-shooter.” He grimaced. “I’m getting too old for this.”

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Lori Crane Books at Amazon

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