tagLoving WivesAnnie Fucking Oakley

Annie Fucking Oakley

byqhml1©

The hemi engine in the big dually truck throbbed as it flew down the highway.

The tall man driving glanced at the petite red head huddled in the passenger seat. She was rocking back and forth in obvious pain.

"Doc, will you stop for a bottle of water? I need to take two more Midol."

"I'll stop for the water. But, Annie, you've already taken eight in the last two hours. Two more won't help. I can't believe you forgot your medicine."

The woman exploded in anger.

"I DID NOT FORGET THE FUCKING PILLS! I PUT THEM INTO MY SUITCASE JUST BEFORE I CLOSED IT. GODDAMN IT STRAIGHT TO HELL!"

She stopped suddenly, "I'm sorry. It's not your fault. You know I'm not mad at you, right?"

He patted her hand.

"I know. Yell at me if it helps. We'll be home in about 40 minutes, just hold on."

She attempted a smile.

"Sing for me Doc. You know it calms me."

So the man she called Doc sang for her in a soft baritone voice. He sang love ballads, murder ballads, songs of cowboys, miners, fallen women, sweethearts, and outlaws until he pulled into her drive.

................................................

His real name was Will Jones, not Doc Holliday.

Her real name was Sherry Wilson, not Annie Oakley. She was married, but not to the man she called Doc.

They were members of the Rough River Rangers, a western reenactment club. They were from Rolla, a small town in the rolling hills of Missouri.

There were similar clubs in every state and many foreign countries. People joined for different reasons. Some for nostalgia of a more simple time, some for the spirit of adventure the times represented, others for the period costumes and companionship of like minded people. Some joined for the shooting, especially the black powder weapons. Most for a combination of it all.

................................................

Sherry became a member at twelve when her dad joined them up. He had always had a fondness for vintage weapons, but when he married he obliged his wife by locking his weapons in his gun safe. She was from St. Louis, a nurse who had seen too often what gunshots wounds could do to a human body. Unfortunately, when Sherry was ten her mom started feeling tired. She ignored it for a while but finally saw her doctor. Cancer. Terminal. She lasted another year.

Her dad owned an insurance company, with a string of offices across the state. Money was not an object, but he threw himself into expanding his business. Sherry was given a nanny and time alone. After six months her dad realized his mistake and started reconnecting. He never actually ignored her, he loved her dearly, but the grief clouded his judgment.

Joining the Rangers provided the bonding experience he was seeking. One of his clients remembered his fondness for shooting. He was a local judge and a board member, and invited them out to the farm.

"The Farm" was Ranger headquarters. An actual farm with 140 acres bequeathed by a founding member with the understanding that should the club dissolve the land would go to charity. With a roster of over 100 members the chances of that happening were slim indeed.

Sherry would never forget her first visit. The farm was well kept, with pastures, fields, and woods well tended. There was a full time caretaker who lived in the farmhouse and made sure everything was maintained. He lived rent free and was furnished with a truck and a small salary.

The focal point was the barn. Carefully converted over the years it now housed a full replica of a western saloon that doubled as the meeting hall. During meetings and in the presence of minors the bar was closed. On Saturday nights and adult functions alcohol was served. Members rotated bar tending duties.

Sherry and her dad visited on a Saturday afternoon. They were given a tour of the barn and treated to frosty mugs of root beer[IBC, of course. It was Missouri after all]. Petite all her life, at twelve she was only 4' 8", and sitting on a bar stool in a real western saloon with a mug in her hand made quite an impression. When they went out to the shooting range, every thing, EVERY THING, changed.

One of the focal points of these clubs was the shooting competitions. The best shooters would compete in districts, progress to sectionals, states, regionals, and finally nationals. These were strictly amateur events. No money changed hands[except for perhaps a gentlemanly wager], just trophies and bragging rights.

They visited at a time when practice for district meets were being held. Even with the mandatory ear plugs Sherry was impressed with how loud it was. Seeing the black powder flame out of the barrels and the smoke hang in the air fascinated her. She stayed close to her dad and the judge, as they paused from time to time to chat with the shooters. From time to time one of the shooters would offer her father a chance to fire one of the weapons. He would always accept eagerly.

They were discussing the merits of a particular rifle, a 50 caliber Hawkin reproduction, when Sherry wandered off unnoticed. Two stations down, she saw it lying on the stand. The owner was sitting at a table facing the other way, breaking down and cleaning another weapon. He noticed her, but with her small stature he took her for a much younger child and dismissed her from his thoughts. She picked it up, and having watched closely knew what to do. It was too heavy for her to hold steady with her small hands so she set the butt on the stand for better support and carefully lined up the target.

Firing had stopped or the owner would never have heard the triple click of the hammer being pulled back. He turned around and was horrified to see a child of about eight holding his Walker Colt, her face just inches away as she tried to line up the sights.

Three things happened almost instantaneously.

He screamed "NO!"

She squeezed the trigger.

The 44 caliber, six and a half pound Walker bucked backwards, her small hands not strong enough to hold it. It flew backwards, catching her between the eyes. Down she went.

Stunned, she remembered the next few minutes in bits and pieces. Lots of yelling, mostly at her. A man, talking to her, shining a light in her eyes. And everywhere she looked adults with angry eyes.

They sat her in a golf cart and took her back to the barn. Once she had an ice pack on her rapidly swelling bruise the lectures began.

The judge went first.

"Young lady, you just committed the most serious breech of rules possible on a firing range. You fired a weapon without permission into an area that was not cleared. Thank God the target setters were already done. These are weapons, child. People could have died from your carelessness. Plus, through your carelessness you were hurt. It was just luck that one of our shooters today was an EMT."

When the judge ran down the owner of the Colt started.

"Aside from all that, it is a serious lapse of etiquette to ever touch another persons' weapon without permission. It is an act of total disrespect, and one we don't take lightly."

Her father chimed in, offering apologies and withdrawing his request for membership. Sherry was crying bitterly and begging for forgiveness. Her pleas were so heartfelt and piteous she didn't see the smiles starting to appear.

The judge looked round the room.

"How about it boys? Feel like convening a kangaroo court?"

Quickly six people, four men and two women were seated. The judge acted as both prosecutor and judge. Oddly enough, the man who owned the Colt agreed to defend her. It was short and sweet.

"Do you admit to your deeds?" said the judge severely.

She did through her sobs.

"Your witness, councilor."

The man, who happened to be their gunsmith and went by the name Sam Colt, began.

"Judge, members of the jury, mistakes were made today. I should never have left a loaded weapon unattended. Judge, she was your guest, you should have watched her more carefully[this drew a frown from the judge]. And you young lady, should have had more respect. I think that about sums it up."

He looked directly at the jury.

"That being said, I believe she is truly sorry and won't repeat her mistakes."

He paused for effect. Then he pulled a target out from under his vest.

"But most of all, we would be idiots to let a girl, who has never fired a weapon of any kind before, without any training, and can still do this, go."

He handed the target to the jury. It was the one she had shot at. There was a hole exactly in the center of the bulls eye. Even the judge was grinning.

"What say you, jury?'

One of the women stood after conferring with her companions.

"Your honor, we find this girl guilty."

She looked directly at Sherry, who put her head down in tears.

"It is our request that she and her father be offered membership, on the condition that she take a gun safety course as soon as possible, and as punishment for her crime be sentenced to two months clean up duties on the range and in the saloon. If it pleases you, your honor."

The judge stood.

"Well said. You have upheld the western tradition of having the punishment fit the crime. Stand, young lady."

She stood.

"The jury has spoken and I agree, with one addition. Every member here has a name taken from a real person of the old west. I'm a judge in real life so here I go by Roy Bean. Sometimes the member picks it, sometimes the board of governors. We have four board members here. With the approval of everyone here I suggest forthwith you be called Annie Oakley, in honor of the petite woman who was probably one of the best shots ever of any gender. What say ye, officers and members?"

The saloon walls echoed with approval, and that's how the modern day Annie Oakley came to be.

For the next three weeks Annie had to stay off the range while her father practiced. She spent the time getting to know members and their children. Every week before she went home she swept the saloon and emptied the garbage. It drove her crazy listening to the booms of black powder weapons, but she never once complained. By the fourth week she had her gun safety certification in hand, and a set of Remington 31 caliber five shot revolvers with 3 1/2" barrels.

Even at a third the weight of the Walker, they were still almost too much for her. But under the tutelage of Sam Colt she became adept. They experimented with loads and found that they were still effective with only two thirds the normal charge of powder. The lessened recoil helped tremendously.

At 13 she began to shoot competitively. She came in third at the district meet. Six month later she came in first and made it all the way to state. At 15 she won state and regional and came in third in nationals. At 17 she won it all. Junior national champion in pistol and rifle, black powder division.

She gave up competitive shooting to concentrate on college, graduating with a degree in finance. She started out as an agent in one of her fathers' offices and progressed to manager. Free from school, she resumed competitive shooting.

She married, a man her father didn't trust or approve of. This brings us back to where we started, almost.

.................................................

Will Jones arrived about three years prior to the start of our story. He had a distant cousin here who wanted to sell his dental practice at a good price. He knew the area and got a good deal so he bought it, arriving from Georgia with a wife of six months. Three months later in the grip of one of the worst winters in years she decided she liked the sunny South better than being married. He fortunately had a prenup, and being married less than a year got an annulment. He met Sherrys' dad when his dentist retired and he came to him. They talked guns, and Will invited him to his house to show him his prized possession, a Confederate version of the 36 Navy Colt, made by Starr Arms. It had been carried in the war by his great-great grandfather. Her father invited to come out to meet the Rangers.

He bonded with the group instantly. Come to find it out, he was a deadly shot with a pistol. Being ambidextrous he could use two pistols at once accurately. Almost overnight, the trophy case began to expand.

Being tall, thin, and a dentist from Georgia, only one name would fit. Doc Holliday.

When he met Annie he was instantly attracted. When he saw her rings he felt an odd sense of loss, but being a Southern gentleman he treated her with respect and deference. She felt the same, but even if her marriage was a bit rocky at times, she still honored her vows.

Being the two best shots in the group they were thrown together constantly and developed a close friendship after the initial awkwardness.

When the Rangers went to a competition, they traveled in style. The richer members were inordinately proud of their trophy case, even to to point of sponsoring some of the better shots financially. One of the members was a trucker, and when possible he would haul the custom made stagecoach and the three buggies to the state level and above. Other members would haul the horses with dually trucks like the one Doc owned. They would make reservations at equestrian campgrounds and set up tents, while the more comfort loving would stay in hotels. The day of the shoot they would meet and ride in style, with outriders leading the stagecoach and buggies in a procession designed to intimidate. It almost always worked.

At the state level and above it was a two day event. Most of the Rangers loved it, it gave them a chance to socialize with other groups informally. Will played the mandolin, and there were several guitar players and violinists so there would often be a jam session or impromptu dance. Annie stayed close to Doc during these meets for safety. The tent that she and her father shared was almost always right beside his.

The particular meet they were returning from had been canceled due to rain. It was supposed to be just showers on Friday morning but was a full downpour by afternoon. It didn't let up all night and by Saturday morning was still going strong. Black powder does not do well in the rain. The host club called it off and rescheduled for two weeks. Everyone packed up and left.

It was a blessing for Annie. In her junior year at college she developed an acute case of PMS. She tried to fight it but it got so bad she almost flunked out. Finally the doctor found the right medication to balance her hormones and mental state. Before the medicine the cramps would be agonizing, and to put it in her own words, she became "a screaming bitch who hated everyone including her". She kept up with her pills religiously, and could not understand why they went missing from her suitcase. She couldn't have competed also in her words "because she would be shaking so badly she couldn't hit anything, which was good, because a loaded weapon in her hands right now was not a good idea."

Her father was on the national board of directors, and since no one could compete they decided to have an impromptu planning meeting. He was sad on one hand because he had finally met someone and wanted to get home to her, and glad because he had experience with Annie off her pills, and a five hour ride with her scared him. He took the easy way out and got Doc to take her home. And now we're back to where we started.

.................................................. Thirty eight minute later, Doc backed into her driveway so they could unload her gear. Her house was old, and built partially into the side of a hill. It was in excellent shape and she kept it neat as a pin, no small feat with her husbands' habits. The garage was also the basement.

She got out and slung the gun belt over her shoulder.

"Give me a minute, Doc. The garage door opener is on the visor of my car over at Dads' house. I'll go in the side door and open it from the inside. Then I"ll see where I left my pills."

She was shaking almost uncontrollably. He was afraid she might collapse.

"I'll walk with you. Maybe you dropped your pills on the garage floor."

She was fumbling with her keys. He took them, used the one she pointed at, and walked her inside.

"What the fuck? Why is that bimbos' car in my garage?"

Parked in her spot was a convertible Volkswagen with a tye dye paint job. Only one person in town drives a car like that. Lisa Gold, one of her agents. Before he could react she was inside the door headed towards the master bedroom.

He caught her at the open bedroom door. Luckily, she had frozen for a minute. He reached her just as she pulled one of her pistols and aimed it at the bed. He didn't have time to pull the gun from her hand so he tried to push it down. His hand made contact just as she pulled the trigger and his thumb caught between the hammer and the cap. It split his skin but stopped it from firing. Using his momentum and size he picked her up and placed a hand over her mouth. She was hammering his shins with her boots and trying to bite his hand off but he got her back into the basement.

The couple on the bed never noticed them. Lisa had on Annie's favorite stetson hat and her ostrich skin boots and nothing else. She was on her hands and knees. Jimmy was behind her pounding away while she was screaming "Ride em Cowboy. Yee-haw."

He let her struggle for awhile.

"Annie, calm down. I'm not gonna lose you by letting you kill them. It's not worth it."

His words barely registered but she finally stopped. He took his hand from her mouth and set her on a workbench where she kept her shooting supplies. He took her pistols and removed the cylinders. She lay there shaking.

He touched her gently.

"Come on, I'm taking you home with me."

She blinked a few times, and started shaking her head no.

"Not yet, I'm gonna let those two assholes know I know. "

He could see the rage building in her. She looked around wildly, saw her pistols with the missing cylinders and stopped and smiled. reaching into a cabinet behind the work bench she pulled out an extra cylinder and started seating it.

"Annie, I'm not gonna let you shoot them."

She was pouring and packing powder into the cylinders, adding a little rock salt she had in the corner for clearing the sidewalks from snow.

"I'm not gonna shoot them. I'm not putting in bullets. But I am going to scare the shit out of them."

She loaded four cylinders and seated the caps.

"Come on and be quiet."

They crept quietly up the stairs. They had finished and they could hear them talking.

"Honey, aren't you afraid we might get caught? It won't matter much to me because I'm single."

"If you despise the little bitch why do you stay with her? You keep telling me I got better pussy and do things she won't. I never say no and always come when you call, in more ways than one."

Lisa giggled at her own joke.

He laughed with her.

"We've been going strong for almost a year and she still has no clue. Thanks to that stupid gun club and her belief she's Annie Fucking Oakley reincarnated, we got plenty of time. Anyone who might tell on us is with her right now."

He stopped to sneer in satisfaction.

"Bet she don't win this one. She pissed me off before she left with a honey do list, so I snuck her bitch pills out of her bag. Right about now she's probably shaking like a leaf and tearing some poor s.o.b. a new ass with one hand and ripping his head off with the other." "And as much as I love these, and this, and this-" They could hear little gasps "she has something you don't. A pocket full of money. Oh, she doesn't have it yet, but her old man won't last forever, and when he goes she gets it all. We don't have a prenuptial, so I automatically get half. Half is worth millions. I'll dump her ass for a 50/50 split, and you and I will head for someplace warm. Sound like a good plan?"

Annie heard all she could stand. She burst through the door screaming "ASSHOLES!" and popped the first cap. Black powder is loud, especially in a confined space. Combine that with the smoke, flame, the sound of unburned powder and rock salt hitting the wall, and anyone would be freaked out.

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