I awoke with a headache from hell. Things looked a little blurry.
Wait a minute, this can't be right. I rubbed my eyes and looked again. Someone spiked my drink, yeah, that's it, Spike spiked my drink right? I began to feel around with my hands, dirt, just, plain dirt. I'm sitting in dirt in some kind of alley that smells like horse poop leaning against a wood building and looking at another wood building. Just outside the alley I can hear horses trotting by and what sounds like carriage wheels. What the hell?
"Hey little lady, you alright there?" A large man dressed like a cowboy came walking towards me with his horse. He looked friendly enough but I wasn't a fan of taking chances.
"Stay back," I grabbed a stake from my belt and jumped up.
"Now don't go gettin' all riled up, little lady," He said as he put his hands palms up towards me in a friendly gesture, "The name's Hoss, Hoss Cartwright and I don't aim to hurt ya none."
I stared into his eyes for a minute and put the stake away. This guy definitely wasn't the one I was hunting for.
"You look a little hurt, your eyes look kinda funny, are you ok?" He stared at me like I was something he'd never seen before. I wasn't sure who was more confused.
I dusted off my pants and straightened my belt, "Would you mind telling me where I am? Uh, Hoss."
"Why, Virginia City, Virginia City, Nevada. You didn't know you was in Virginia City?" He came a little closer.
"Hoss, this is going to sound strange to you but would you mind telling me what year it is?"
"No ma'am, it's 1865, May 8, 1865. You musta took a wallop on the head, say maybe we should take you to see the doc..."
"No...no, I'll be fine Hoss. Do you know if there is anybody else in town that is kind of like me? You know, doesn't fit in, maybe dresses funny or looks funny?"
"Funny?" He scratched his head and tipped back his hat, "I hear there's some stranger who come through but no one sees him 'cept at night...folks say he's mighty odd."
"Yes, I bet he is," That might explain me being here, in a loose sense anyway, "Is there a place here where I can stay? I need to find that person you're talking about."
"Sure thing, the inn is right over yonder, you kin..."
I started to feel around my pockets for my trusty wallet and realized all I had was the icon of the 21st century, debit cards. I stomped my foot in frustration.
"Why, what's wrong little lady?"
"Well, I don't exactly have any money. Maybe I'll just camp out here in the alley."
"Now there's no need for that, you come on home to the Ponderosa with me and you can stay there. We got plenty of room." He smiled a great big crooked smile. I didn't know who this Hoss Cartwright guy was but I already liked him.
Hoss is one funny guy. He put me on that horse of his like I was a ragdoll and took me all the way out to the Ponderosa moving me one way and then the next to keep me from falling. All the way, he told me about his dad and two brothers and their cook, Hop Singh. Hoss puts a lot of stock in good cooking. I found out one thing on the way to the Ponderosa, it's true that cowboys must eat lots of beans because Hoss passed gas more times than I could count while we were riding!
"Here we are, little lady," Hoss said as he helped me off of the horse first. "Home sweet home."
"Thank you, Hoss." I was so glad to stand on the ground, my butt was chapped already, how did they ride all the time?
Three gentlemen came walking out the door to greet us as Hoss tied up his horse.
"Howdy Paw, Joe, Adam, I have someone I want ya to meet. This here's...um...I reckon I fergot to get yer name." He looked at me sheepishly.
"Buffy, my name is Buffy."
"This here's Buffy," He said with a smile, "She's new in town and needed a place to stay. She had a hard hit on the head too and I was a little worried so felt better bringing her back here." He motioned to each of the men. "This here's my paw, Ben Cartwright, and my brothers, Adam and Little Joe."
Ben looked at Buffy cautiously as did Adam, that was nothing new to her, Joe looked at her with interest. All three of the men were handsome but Little Joe was definitely the most handsome, stunningly so with beautiful, big blue eyes. What was she thinking? This was 1865, she couldn't think about big blue eyes now, she had to find a way to get back to 2013. Still those eyes were awfully big and awfully blue.
"Well, Buffy, welcome to our home," Ben Cartwright was the first to speak, his voice commanding like his stature.
"Thank you Mr. Cartwright, I certainly appreciate you allowing me to stay."
"You're welcome anytime, and always call me Ben" He stated, and he meant it, this was a man who had a lot and shared it without complaint.
After a huge dinner, I sat in the parlor with the 4 Cartwrights and spoke to them about why I was really in Virginia city. I wasn't going to tell them but I needed some allies and they were the only option. They would either think the knock on my head made me crazy or they would believe me and help me.
"I know you all have some questions for me so maybe we better start with them but first I need you to promise me that you will be open minded. What I say isn't going to sound possible to you, I need you to understand that it is possible, just believe what I say ok?"
"How come you wear them odd clothes?" Hoss was the first one to ask a question.
"Remember this is going to sound strange, it is because I came from a different time."
They all raised their eyebrows and cleared their throats.
"What time?", "What're them things on yer belt?" This time Adam asked at the same time Hoss asked another.
"Adam, I am from 2013, Hoss these are stakes and I use them for killing vampires, which is why I'm here now."
"Pa, I think I've heard enough, I'm just going to..." Adam got up to walk out of the parlor.
"Adam wait, please, remember, I tried to warn you how strange it would all sound, please don't dismiss me, I bet that there have been women getting hurt in town haven't there? I can stop that."
"Time travel? And what's a vamm-pire? " Adam was not convinced.
"Wait a minute now Adam, you was just talkin yesterday about that odd bird in town and how them women come up missing, maybe it wouldn't hurt to listen to her? At least give her a chance?" Hoss took up my cause and ran with it. "Don't you think so paw?"
"Well, this is all very unusual indeed but there is something not right in town and I don't see how it would hurt to allow Buffy here to help out if she can, but what is a vampire?" Ben asked, echoing Adam's earlier question.
By the time I explained what a vampire was, they were all eager to help me get rid of the one that was plaguing their town.
"It's beautiful out here." Little Joe walked up behind me, not realizing that 30 seconds before I had almost jumped up and kicked him in the face...it's a habit.
"If only you knew, where I'm from there is nothing this beautiful."
"Oh come on," I could see his eyes shining in the moonlight, "The world must still have beauty in it even in two thousand um..."
"Yeah...that's something. What's it like?" He sat down next to me on the wagon overlooking the moonlit mountains and lake.
"Mostly busy, people never slow down. They don't notice things like this." I motioned to the mountains and lake.
"Then I'm glad I live here and not there." He said matter-of-factly.
The next day we all went to town to find the vampire that I knew was hiding in plain sight. Hoss entertained us all the way with constant chatter. All four men seemed to have a constant gas passing contest and would laugh at the top of their lungs every time one of them would emit a large fart. At first I tried to play the prim and proper girl and ignore it but eventually I laughed with them and joined right in.
In town, 3 women had come up missing with no trail or any clue to their whereabouts. We questioned people about the one man who people say is only seen at night and no one knew where he lived. The territory being so large it would be next to impossible to find him without any clue. Then we spoke to one of the barkeeps who worked late one night and saw him go into a cellar below a curio shop near the end of town. Knowing he would be asleep right now, we went to have a look. We approached the curio shop and opened the cellar door behind the shop.
I could smell it already and knew we'd found something, We slowly walked down the steps as the stench got worse. At the bottom, we found three women, all white as snow with fang marks in their necks. The flies buzzed around the warming ground and bumped us as they tried to find places to lay their eggs.
I looked to the side and saw a wooden casket, I would wager the killer laid right inside it but I didn't dare wake him at that moment. We had to get rid of these bodies and I needed to make sure the Cartwrights were safe before I took him on.
"Who did this?" Ben asked with his hand covering his nose and mouth.
"Shhhh, be very quiet," I whispered, "He's in there and I don't want him to wake up yet."
Ben nodded his head as we headed up to get the Sheriff to get the bodies removed.
"But little lady, you don't weigh much more'n a feather, how you gonna stop a killer like that? I don't like it" Hoss, ever protective, tried to talk me out of going back to the cellar alone.
"Hoss, this is what I do, I'll be okay, I promise." Not to be talked out of it, I turned around and walked right back to the cellar. The bodies had been taken out so the stench wasn't quite as bad. I didn't like having to fight this guy in such a small area. Maybe I could stab him before he woke up...yeah that was a good plan. It wasn't sportsmanlike but it was safer.
I opened up the lid of the casket and couldn't believe what I saw.
"L'eStat! What the hell? You promised to stay away from my territory!"
The handsome vampire yawned and wiped his eyes, "Since when is 1865 your territory?"
"Since now, I guess."
"Oh such a bother," He jumped up in a flash and was standing face to face with me.
"A bother for you," I grabbed one of my stakes and took aim directly at his heart but he moved so fast that the stake dropped to the ground.
"Hmmm?" He smiled as he side slid in front of me.
Another stake in my hand, I flipped in front of him and pounded his chest but I missed the sweet spot.
"You've lost your touch," He chided.
I jumped in front of him, flipped and pounded the stake directly into his heart. A shocked look came over his face, he gasped and then turned to black ash that fell to the dirt floor.
The Cartwrights were pleased that I got rid of the vampire though they still don't know how much they believe because they never saw him or his body, they only saw the women he killed. I'm still here, I haven't had to hunt in a while, maybe it was time for me to retire? I started dressing what Hoss calls reg'lar. I don't know how to get back but I don't miss it much. Oh sure I miss indoor plumbing and air conditioning and cars and ice cold Diet Coke but that's about it. I'm a permanent resident of the Ponderosa now, they consider me a part of the family. I hope I don't ever have to go back to 2013, the vamps and the politicians can have it.
Challenge: Pick two of the topics listed above and use poetry or prose to combine them to make a cohesive story.
I gave this idea the last time I put up this challenge and nobody accepted it but I’d love to see someone write about Buffy the Vampire Slayer transported back to the old West to chase down a vampire problem in... I don’t know, how about Virginia City, NV.