The Lancer Fanfiction Archive

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Barbara

 

Johnny

 

Someone Else's Star

This was from a challenge to write s story based on a favorite song. The title is from a song by Bryan White.

Twilight had settled on the land. A lone figure sat at his campsite listening to the sounds of the night. He had tethered his horse close by for safety as well as companionship.

"Well, it looks like it is you and me alone again, Amigo."

He drank his coffee and nibbled a bit from a stolen loaf of bread. He did not really consider it stealing. There were two loaves cooling on a window sill. He did leave his last dime on the sill for the one he took. He knew he had to make it last.

Being alone gives a man time to think. At thirteen, he did not consider himself a boy. His childhood was lost a long time ago. He thought about the town he passed through today. There seemed to be a wedding celebration and from the crowd it looked like most of the town was in the little square.

He knew he could move around in the shadows unobserved by anyone. The young couple seemed so happy and in love. He watched from the alley way for a while, but it only brought him sadness. There were happy families everywhere, but he was alone.

From the shadows he saw a well-dressed man with a satchel walking toward a little rooming house. A beautiful young woman stepped out and was flanked by two small children who squealed with delight and ran to the man shouting "Papa". He dropped his satchel and scooped up the two children in his arms; a little boy in one arm, a smaller little girl in the other. The young lady joined the group, happy to see this young man. The group walked back into the rooming house.

Deciding it was time to leave, and realizing how hungry he was, the cooling loaves of bread smelled wonderful. Peeping in the window it did not seem as anyone was in the kitchen. He took one of the loaves. He checked his pockets and had only one dime left. He left it on the window sill.

He had used the other money he had earned in the last town he passed through. The old livery owner gave him a few days’ work. He had to have bullets if he was going to practice, but he also had to eat. He left the little celebration and returned to his horse.

Wrapping the rest of the loaf in an old sack he carried, he sat drinking another cup of coffee and thought back to his childhood. He used to wish the wishes of a child. He wished he had a mother and father who loved him and would keep him safe.

Instead he got a mother who was concerned only about herself, caring little about him, as she considered him an inconvenience. She could barely take care of herself let alone a child.

The father he got was a gringo who hated him and his mother. He threw them out to fend for themselves. His mother had told him his father could not stand the site of a mestizo offspring, and the marriage was a mistake. The gringo’s name was only spoken once, and mama said they were never to speak it again. He did ask once about his father after a while, but was soundly punished by mama for mentioning it again. He hated his father.

He wished to have friends like other boys in the towns, but because of his deep blue eyes, he was taunted and beat up. He learned how to fight back at an early age. If he did find a friend, it was short lived. The parents would not allow him near their children, so he was alone again.

His happiest memories were of Rosa, the kindly old widow he was sent to stay with when his mother was entertaining. He used to pretend Rosa was his abuela. She was so sweet to him he actually felt loved. He always gathered wood and carried water for her. She in turn would share her meager meal with him. She was very wise. They would often sit outside her hut and talk as darkness fell.

He would tell her his wishes, realizing they were just that; wishes. She would hold his hand and run her fingers through his long black hair as she silently listened.

He wished his mother did not have to earn money entertaining men.

He wished his father had not thrown them out.

He wished he was never born with blue eyes.

She never interrupted the child as he spoke, but listened intently. His heart was a little lighter after his talks, but he was still such a sad and lonely child. Her heart ached for him.

One evening they stared up into the sky which was shining bright with what seemed like a million stars. Rosa told him that everyone has their very own star to wish upon, and if a person had believed enough, their wishes would come true. She pointed up to a star shining a little brighter than the others and told him that was her own wishing star. The boy was intrigued by this.

"But Abuela, you mean your wishes came true? You are alone, with only this hut. Didn't you ever wish for more?"

Rosa smiled and hugged the boy. "Child, I have had many wishes come true. I met my true love when I met my husband. He and I were happily married almost fifty years. I wished for children, and God gave us a son and a daughter. They are with their father in Heaven now, but they gave us so much joy while they were here. I do get lonely and I don't get around as well any more. I sometimes wish I had someone to visit me, and help with some chores. You are another of my wishes that came true. I have been truly blessed, and I have my star to thank. It may take a while but it will happen. I have a wish or two that has not come true yet, but I have patience; they will come true. I will get my wish."

She encouraged him to pick a star for his very own and he did. He looked to the sky and thought carefully, as he looked for his very own star. He finally found one almost as bright as Rosa's and that is the one he chose.

He started to recite parts of a memory from somewhere. "Star light, star bright. First star I see tonight. Wish I may, wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight."

"That's lovely, Child. Where did you hear that poem?"

"I don't rightly know Abuela. Seems I remember from a long time ago. It's kind of like a dream. I remember being held. I was warm and felt safe. The words were spoken by someone with a loud but kind voice."

He loved his surrogate abuela, but all too soon his mama packed them up to leave, heading for another town. He cried they day he had to leave and told Rosa he would never forget her and the things she taught him.

As he hugged her, she spoke. "Remember your star Child, and have faith."

After his mama was killed by a drunken suitor he was left alone. At the age of ten he was put into an orphanage but he decided this was no place for him. Mestizos are hated even among the orphans and the priests who ran the orphanage. He ran away and decided he would take care of himself.

He thought about Rosa, and made his way back to the small town where she lived. He went to the hut but found it empty. A kindly old mission padre saw him and asked who he was looking for. He told him Rosa, the widow who lives here. Hearing this, the padre put his arms on the boy's shoulders.

"I am sorry son, but Rosa has gone home to be with the Lord. Come, I will show you her resting place."

They walked together to the small graveyard behind the mission. Rosa's grave was placed near the older graves of her husband and children. The tears flowed freely for his dear friend he loved.

"You are with your family now, Abuela. Was this one of your wishes that you were waiting to come true? I am sure you are happy to be with your family again. I love you, and will never forget you." Placing a kiss on the cross of Rosa's grave, he stood to leave, thinking he is truly alone now.

As time passed he decided he would take up the gun. He practiced long and hard. He realized if he became good enough at his trade he would be respected even if he is a mestizo. He realized he had quite a bit to learn.

While learning his skill he moved around quite a bit. He met a pretty young girl in a town near the border. They became very close. He knew they were too young to marry yet but he loved her.

She came to him one evening saying she could no longer see him. Her parents did not approve of a mestizo boy trying to make a name as a gun-hawk. She told him she had to honor the wishes of her parents. They kissed and that was the last time they met. He moved on soon after that to a new town, getting work where he could and still honing his trade.

His thoughts were interrupted by the mournful howl of a coyote, calling for his lost mate. This made his horse anxious. He checked him, and tied him very securely so he would not bolt. After some soft words and gentle pats the horse settled down. He went back to his campsite and rested back against his upturned saddle.

"You alone tonight too buddy? I hope you find your lady friend. Don't end up alone like me."

Later he heard what sounded like two coyotes making playful yipping noises. The sound traveled away from the camp area, leading him to believe they were no harm to him or his horse.

"Well, at least you got your girl."

While drinking the last of the coffee from his beat up pot, he stared up to the sky. It was a cloudless night, and the stars seemed to shine more brightly than other nights. He looked up at the stars and softly spoke.

"Hola, Abuela. It has been a while since I talked to ya'. You were a very wise lady. I know you believe we all have our own star and it will help our wishes come true. Well, I think I have been wishing on someone else's star. Seems like everyone but me is getting what I am wishing for. Why can't I be as lucky as those other people are? Maybe someday I really will find my very own star to wish on. Until then, I guess I will have to make it on my own with this gun."

Looking up once more to the stars, he felt he could see Rosa smiling down on him.

"Goodnight, Abuela. I better get some sleep. Tomorrow I will need to find a place to hide out while I practice some more."

January 2020

Barbara

 

 

 

~ end ~

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