Author: Ghost of Eternity
Willow pulled her Stetson further down on her brow and walked along in the dusty street, her spurs clinking.
"Where do ya think yer goin', Willow?"
She turned, and her lip curled in a sneer, "What do you want, Dawson?"
"I'ma callin' you out, girly. Ya put mah son in jail, and I ain't mighty pleased 'bout it."
"Well now, we couldn't let him continue robbing cattle could we?"
The man narrowed his eyes and spat tobacco juice into the street. "Draw!" he shouted, and his hand went for his gun.
Before he even shouted his challenge, Willow had pulled her gun, and took his shout as her cue to fire. She shot twice, once in the head and the other in her heart. As he fell, she put her gun back in her holster and continued her walk down the street, doing her duty in the Wild West...
Willow Rosenburg started and shook her head, her daydream gone as she greeted the stares of her father and their customer.
"Willow," her father hissed at her in Russian, "Mr. Rayne has been trying to talk to you for ten minutes. He wants to know if his order is ready!"
Willow turned to Mr. Rayne and said in English, "I'm so sorry Mr. Rayne. Your order is ready; I'll go get it from the back."
As she scurried into the back room, Ira Rosenburg turned to his customer; "I'm sorry Ethan. She does that so often nowadays."
"It's all right, Ira. My son was the same way before he left for Paris. She'll be fine once you give her the train ticket."
"Thank so you much for the ticket, Ethan."
"Not at all. Anything for a friend. I only hope Willow will have done a good repair job on my violin."
Ira smiled, "But of course. She is my daughter, you know. Ah Willow, there you are."
"Here you are Mr. Rayne. I gave her a new bridge and strings. Just try not to let your dog get a hold of it next time."
Willow smiled and her father looked on proudly as the concert violinist admired Willow's handiwork. "Perfect condition for my concert on Sunday. Thank you very much, Willow. I've already paid your father. Good day."
As Ethan left the store, Willow looked at her father hopefully. He sighed.
"All right. You go on home, I'll close up."
"See you at home Papa!"
The three Rosenburgs ate silently that evening. Normally the evening would be filled with Sheila's "eat your bread Willow," or "Willow, don't slouch like that." But as it had been for the last few evenings, it was silent.
Ira pushed his plate away and said, "Willow, I have something for you."
Willow looked up from her soup and Sheila's face turned pale. Ira reached into his pocket and took out an envelope. He gave it to his daughter; "I was going to wait until your birthday, but what you did today made me decide to give it to you now."
Willow opened it and her eyes went wide, "A t-train ticket to Green River! You mean..."
"I suggest that you pack your suitcase. You leave the day after tomorrow."
"Oh Papa!" Willow cried as she jumped up and ran around the table, throwing her arms around him.
Willow cocked her revolver and aimed at the can on the railing. She shot it off and it landed in the water with a splash, and she smiled.
"Nice shot Will. You get better with that thing every day."
The scruffy-looking young man with brown hair appeared from behind her, "Aw, how'd you know it's me?"
"Anyone who calls me Will is either looking for trouble or money. You happen to do both." she replied as she lined up another shot.
Xander's face darkened, "Willow, you ok?"
She smiled as her shot once again hit the target. She was happy, granted, but she didn't want to say anything to hurt Xander's feelings.
"Well, if you've gotta know, I have a train ticket to go to Green River. I leave tomorrow."
She closed her eyes and waited for Xander's angry response. When nothing happened, she turned and looked at her best friend.
Who was smiling bright enough to melt metal.
"Willow, that's great! Did your father buy the ticket? What are you gonna do there?" he said excitedly.
"You're not angry with me?" Willow asked nervously.
"Angry? Will, I'm not angry. I know we promised we'd go together, but it's okay. You get to go first." Xander replied, still smiling.
Willow smiled, "Did anyone ever tell you that you're the best friend anyone could ever have?"
He quipped, "Nope, but if you have ten dollars I could think of a few people who have."
Willow hugged her mother, "Bye Mama. I'll write you soon."
Her mother burst into tears and pulled away, sobbing into her handkerchief. Willow looked at her father, who shrugged, then pulled her into a hug.
"Be safe, Willowushka. I love you."
"I love you too Papa." she said, breathing in his scent of pipe tobacco and wood polish.
"All aboard for Houston, Dallas, Santa Fe and Green River!"
Willow pulled away from her father and picked up her bag. As she climbed up onto the train, she looked around for Xander. She didn't see him. She sighed and waved one more time to her parents.
Willow settled into her seat and grinned. Well, Green River, here I come.
Oh, little did she know that the greatest adventure of her life was about to begin...