Author's Note: This is the sequel to my story, “Christmas Fool’s Day”. I’m pretty sure this can stand alone but if you want to read what started Kid on the road to revenge, you can find the first one here:
Snow flurries fell from the light grey sky above the small, southern Colorado town of Twin Pines. The soft luminescence of twilight was barely visible above the low clouds clinging onto the tops of the snow covered Rockies in the western distance. Thankfully, the town was only covered in an inch so far but a storm was definitely coming in the next few days.
Hannibal Heyes stood in a fairly decent hotel room looking out the window deep in thought. He was attempting to calculate how long he and his cousin, Kid Curry had to further move on their southern trek before the snow came that would surely keep them in Twin Pines for quite a while.
“You know that window’s not goin’ to move no matter how long you stare at it,” Curry quipped as he situated his saddlebags in the room and dropped his hat on the dresser.
As usual, Heyes didn’t pay attention to his partner as he contemplated on how long they could afford to rest in town. Once he was entranced in concentrating on something, the rest of the world ceased to exist.
Still no answer.
Finally the older of the duo turned to face the annoying voice that had interrupted his important musings. “What? I’m trying to think here.”
“Well, don’t think too hard. You might break somethin’ in there.” A smile lit up the face of the blond one.
The expression on the dark haired one, however, turned into a smirk. “That is ‘not’ funny.”
“I thought it was.”
“Well, quit thinking. You might break something in there.”
That earned a blue eyed look at the crooked grin on Heyes’ face. “You’re a real jackass sometimes, you know that?”
“I can’t help it that you set yourself up to fall right into that.”
“And I’m not going to help it if my fist makes contact with your face in a minute.” Curry plopped down on the bed, bouncing a bit to test the mattress. “This ain’t half bad. Better than the ground.”
Heyes’ brown eyes had gone back to staring out the window as his partner inspected his bed. “Would you please hush? I’m trying to calculate something here.”
“What exactly?” Kid walked over to see what was so interesting outside that had caught his cousin’s attention so thoroughly.
“I’m looking at what looks to be a snow storm on the mountains there in the distance. Trying to figure out how long it might take it to reach here. Right now I’m thinking two, maybe three days. I’ve been watching it while we were on our way here. It don’t seem to be moving that fast.”
“Well, while you try to predict the weather, I think I’ll go out and get somethin’ to eat, maybe stop in the General Store. I’m needin’ some gun cleanin’ supplies and ammo.”
A soft grunt was his answer as Heyes had entered his deep pondering state again.
“You wanna come?”
Another small grunt escaped the ex-outlaw leader.
“Saw some purple horses when I took ours to the livery. Goin’ to go look at them too.”
“Just bring me back a sandwich and coffee.” Heyes mumbled.
“I will if ten foot, pink haired Indians don’t fly off with me.”
“You better be thankful I always watch your back or some lawman might take off with you someday when you get like this.”
“Yeah. I will.”
Curry rolled his eyes as he positioned his hat back on his head. ‘I could say anythin’ I want right now and he’d just go along with it.’ He grabbed the key and exited the room, leaving the prognosticator staring out the window.
As soon as the fast draw walked out the hotel door, the cold wind that was now blowing smacked him right in the face. He buttoned his sheepskin coat, pulling up the collar a bit. Then he looked up at the sky and the mountains looming in the distance. ‘Heyes could be right. Two, three days at best.’
Kid rambled down the street checking out what the town had to offer. He didn’t pay any attention when they first arrived because the most important thing was to find out who the local law was and watch people’s reactions to them.
He checked on when the General Store and restaurant closed to see if he could go to both of them before the early darkness of the season set in and found that only the restaurant was still open. The store closed as soon as the lamps lining the streets were lit. Honestly, he was always happy to find an eating establishment that stayed open later into the evening.
Curry stepped up on the boardwalk, stomping his boots lightly to remove the snow that had accumulated on them on the walk over. As he entered the establishment, he saw it was practically full. A pretty little brunette waitress smiled at him. “Be with you in just a minute handsome.”
Kid smiled back, cerulean eyes sparkling like fresh snowflakes under lamplight. “No problem, ma’am.” While he waited, he turned to the wall and studied the day’s menu that was posted there. A few seconds later, he noticed something else hanging beside it. A calendar. He knew it was December but had no idea what day it was until he looked at the x’s marked through the days. His eyes widened a bit at the revelation. ‘It’s December 23rd!’
He was seated within a few minutes at the table he was hoping for, in the rear of the dining room where he could put his back to the wall. After he ordered, he too, like his partner, now stared out the window. ‘I gotta get Heyes somethin.’
Kid had always secretly kind of enjoyed Christmas. Even though it brought up painful memories, he liked surprising Heyes with a gift. It always made him happy.
His partner, on the other hand, didn’t really like Christmas. Curry knew it brought up terrible memories for Heyes as well that he kept buried in the back of his mind. And those memories always managed to make their way to the forefront of his consciousness at holidays which brought on deep brooding. Kid always tried to cheer him up but didn’t always succeed. He felt both sympathy and sorrow about that.
He’d ordered beef stew, a huge bowl of it, and a plateful of corn bread. When it arrived and he started eating, something he saw in the food brought back another memory. A different memory. A disgusting memory. He saw...
A couple of Christmases ago, his devious cousin had had a store owner’s wife cover an onion with toffee and given it to him under the ruse that it was a toffee covered apple. Kid had bitten into the apple expecting a delicious taste treat but instead, had gotten a mouthful of vile, disgusting, nastiness that almost made him throw up on himself before he could spit it out. He’d been mad at Heyes all evening, but had at least been given an actual gift later. And then Curry realized something. He’d never repaid his jerk of a partner for that evil prank. Well, it was about time he did. So, as he ate, Kid Curry started plotting his revenge.
The next morning, Kid got up and dressed quickly in the cool hotel room. He walked to the window and pulled back the curtain. The sky was just as grey as it’d been the day before, except the darker clouds of the approaching storm were a bit closer.
He turned his head at hearing his partner murmuring in his sleep. Most of it was unintelligible as Heyes had most of his face buried in the pillow and the quilt pulled up almost completely covering his head. Curry walked over to the side of the occupied bed and, hooking his thumbs in his belt, listened just a minute. His partner’s subconscious ramblings were pretty amusing at times, when he wasn’t telling someone who they were.
“...blue turkey...stole...wallet...it...talking...” Heyes raised one hand like he was getting ready to hit something.
Curry caught the quilt covered arm before Heyes flattened himself as he smiled. “Better hurry, Heyes. That bird’s gettin’ away with your money.”
Kid snickered then shook Heyes’ arm. “Heyes, wake up.”
The murmuring stopped, followed momentarily by the one eye not buried in the pillow opening halfway. “Hm?”
“Get up. It’s mornin’.”
The eye slid back shut as the quilt was pulled completely over the brown haired head. “No s’not.”
“Yeah it is and I’m wantin’ breakfast. C’mon.” Kid grabbed the quilt and threw it backward off the upper half of his cousin’s body.
That succeeded in getting Heyes awake. “What the heck are you doing?!” He reached back and grabbed the quilt pulling it back up. “It’s cold in here!”
“Well, get up and get dressed then. Some coffee from the restaurant will warm you up. I’m hungry.”
“And I’m tired!”
Kid frowned down at the brown eyes glaring up at him. Then, using his legendary speed, grabbed the quilt with both hands and pulled it off into the floor.
“WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!”
“I’m goin’ to get breakfast.”
“What’s that got to do with me?!” Heyes snapped as he reached down for his source of warmth and pulled it back up on the bed and over himself.
“You need to eat too. And I want some company. So, get up.” Kid crossed his arms, waiting.
“I’m not getting up right now so just go on! I’ll get something later. Quit henning me, ‘Pa’.”
They locked gazes, a stubborn Curry and a stubborn Heyes, having a mental battle of will.
After a minute, Kid said two words, “Okay. Fine.” Then he proceeded to walk back to the window, opened it letting in the brisk wind, and headed for the door.
Brown eyes widened. “CLOSE THAT DANG THING BEFORE YOU LEAVE!”
“Nope.” The door was opened as the yelling was ignored.
Heyes threw his cousin an extremely disgruntled look as he jumped up, holding the quilt around his shoulders, and ran to close the window. “OKAY! I’ll go!” The quilt was thrown back on the bed as a blue shirt and tan pants were snatched and quickly put on. “Acting like a five year old not wanting to eat alone...” Boots, grey coat, and gun belt followed.
Curry grinned as he leaned against the door that he’d shut just as his partner had shot out of his bed. “While somebody else acts like a five year old not wantin’ to get outta bed.”
A look was thrown at the fast draw. “Why are you so happy this morning? You been drinking some whiskey you got stashed in here?” The eternally dusty black hat was pulled down.
“No. Just thought I’d like some company for Christmas Eve is all.”
Heyes stopped and his eyes dropped to the floor as he let out a soft, “Oh, yeah. I guess it is the 24th.” Looking back up, he put on a false grin which Curry saw through immediately. “Let’s go get some breakfast then.”
Kid opened the door and let his cousin go through first as he lay a hand on his shoulder.
After a huge breakfast, of which most was eaten by the blond one, Heyes said he was going to go exercise the horses to warm them up. That suited Kid just fine as he had a mission to go on. As soon as his partner was out of the restaurant door, Curry got up and watched him through the window. When Heyes entered the livery, he slipped out and hurried into the General Store. He had a couple of special things in mind for his cousin’s Christmas gifts. He just hoped he could find them there.
“Hi there. Can I help you with something?” The clerk smiled at the handsome cowboy walking toward the counter.
“I certainly hope so, ma’am. I see some chocolate sittin’ here. I was wonderin’ if you could possibly make somethin’ special for me.”
Later that evening, trying to relax in the hotel room, Heyes sat reclined on his bed reading when his partner walked in with a basketful of food. “What’s in the basket?” Heyes asked as he put his book down and sat up curious.
“Thought we’d have ourselves an early Christmas dinner. By the looks of those clouds this evenin’, we probably should head out tomorrow and jerky and beans sure ain’t no kind of Christmas supper.” Kid started setting all the food out on the table. He had a brought a bit of everything from the restaurant, some turkey, potatoes, corn, stuffing, biscuits, even some pumpkin pie for dessert.
“Have to admit, Kid, that looks pretty good.” Heyes smiled as he walked over and sat down.
After they had eaten their fill and were relaxing with a bottle of Kentucky bourbon, Kid pulled a small bag from his pocket.
“Got you some chocolates for a gift. They’re filled with different stuff like strawberry jam, peach jam, dark chocolate, pecans.” Kid smiled happily as he reached into the bag and handed one over.
Heyes took the proffered candy and looked up fondly. “Thanks, Jed.”
Kid smiled, leaned back in his chair, and waited.
Heyes eagerly put the candy in his mouth. As soon as he bit down, he retched and spit the almost chewed thing on the floor, spitting more after the now slimy chocolate was lying at his boots. “Oh my GOD! WHAT THE HECK WAS IN THAT?!” He looked down and saw pieces of something white embedded in the mess. More retching and spitting was done followed by a long draw from the bourbon bottle.
“Remember that stupid toffee onion you tricked me with a couple years ago? Well, consider yourself paid back. That was chocolate covered garlic.” Kid started laughing at the sick look on Heyes’ face.
“Garlic?! That was DISGUSTING! MY GOD, KID!” Then the more Heyes thought about it, the sicker he felt. Finally, he had to grab the chamber pot and puke while his partner laughed loudly. Once finished, he wiped his mouth and looked up. “You’re a sick, twisted man, Jed Curry.”
“Learned it from my cousin.”
“If the rest of those chocolates are like that, I’m going to cram them down your throat!”
“They’re not. I swear.” To prove it, Curry ate one then pushed the bag over. Then he reached into an inside pocket. “Here. This is your real gift.”
Heyes opened the tightly folded, paper wrapped object after rinsing his mouth out and eating a bite of pie to try to counteract the vile nastiness lingering in his mouth. Upon opening it, he found a new dark blue shirt. That put a smile on his face. “Thanks, Jed. I got you something too, although I should just keep it now.” He went and pulled a wrapped object from under his pillow.
Kid opened it to find a brand new pocket knife and peppermint sticks. He also smiled as he thanked his cousin, inspecting his gifts. “That’s a real nice knife, Han. Best I’ve seen.”
Heyes cautiously pulled apart another chocolate he’d pulled from the bag and found a cherry which he plopped in his mouth. “How about we share these?”
The younger cousin smiled as he took one. “Just remember somethin’, Han.”
“We’re even now.”
Heyes smiled fondly. “Guess you’re right. Merry Christmas, Jed.”