I paced back and forth in my room, thinking of a way to change my fate. A way to re-align my stars and change the way my life played out.

I strode to the balcony and opened the doors. I stood and looked at the stars. Then I thought of what Cassius said to Brutus...

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves that we are underlings.

A shooting star streaked across the sky and at that moment I knew what I needed to do.

If I wanted my life to change I would have to bring change around myself. I needed to leave.

I made a mental note of what I needed. Horse, clothes, money, gun. A gun. In the west I needed protection. I needed to prepare a bag with the essentials for camping if I couldn't find a room to board. Nana needed to know I was leaving. But if I told her now, she would try and prevent me from leaving. I quickly penned her a note:

Dearest Nana,

I hope you will understand why I'm doing this. But I think you knew it was bound to happen considering you gave me the locket. I want to thank you, because now you'll truly be with me when I'm roaming around somewhere. I don't know where I'm headed yet but I have a vague idea. I cannot tell you where, for if uncle gets his hands on this he'll know. I can just promise you one thing Nana, I'll be back to see you.

With deepest regret and love,


and a note to Uncle:


I'm glad you threw that engagement party for me, if it wasn't for that I wouldn't have figured out your plan and therefore wouldn't have had enough time to leave.



I put some of my few belongings in a leather knapsack. Now for the gun and a mode of transportation. On my way to the armory I left Nana's note under her door and did the same for Uncle's.

I crept down the stairs and into the left hallway of the house. Luckily Uncle never locked the door due to a fear of bandits sneaking onto the land. I found myself a nice Winchester repeater, and a holster so I could sling it across my back. I rummaged around some drawers quietly and found myself 2 six shooters. I found myself another holster for around my hips and took the appropriate amount of ammunition. Who knew when I was going to need it.

I heard boards creaking upstairs above my head. It was time to head to the barn. After I got my mare Honey, I needed to leave. Staying too long was going to be risky.

I headed out to the stables, I checked the closet in the barn and grabbed a couple small pair of pants that were provided for ranch hands, I changed into a pair of clean ones and decided to go for a couple of cream colored shirts and a vest. I found Honey in a stall by the back. She pawed the ground and came closer once she realized it was me. I stared into her wide eyes. She nuzzled me in return.

"You ready, girl?" I stroked her nose and gave her a kiss. I saddled her up and led her outside. As I was getting ready to leave, she was frightened by something unseen. She reared up on her hind legs and let out several noises of distress.

At once several lamps were litten up around the ranch. I saw groggy ranch hands ramble out of their quarters.

Realizing it was me many of them yelled for Uncle, I guess he had been ready because he was standing on the porch yelling at someone to saddle up a horse for him. I took that as my cue to leave.


I didn't stick around long enough to hear anything else he yelled at me. I  jumped up onto Honey and gave her a quick smack on her hindquarters. She set off into full gallop.

We made it several feet before I realized I was being pursued by three of my uncles' ranch hands.

One of them caught up to me and was galloping by my side and attempted to grab my reins.

"Come on, girl. Don't make this harder." He said to me and attempted to grab my arm this time.

"Didn't they ever teach you to keep your hands off a lady?!" I yelled at him as I shoved him off his horse.

He landed with a thud on his back, his horse ran wild into some near by brush. I turned around for one last glance, I saw him out cold on his back, another one of my pursuiters had stopped to care for him. That only left one still chasing me.

I was hoping that his horse would tire out and he would have to stop following me. I needed a place to hide, I was going to ride to the river that emptied out of the Aurora Basin, where the wreck of the serendipity, an old steamboat, was. I could find refuge in there for the night. Luckily we lived on the outskirts of town.

I could see the river.

The next second I was falling off my horse. The remaining ranch hand had caught up to me and yanked me off Honey. She ran off. He tied his horse to a nearby tree.

"Well looks like I finally got you." He said and turned around. He stood by the tree. He started taking slow steps toward me.

Stunned from my fall, I still hadn't gotten up. I needed to do something. I did the only thing I knew could stop him. I drew my six shooter from its holster and aimed it at him.

"Whoa, put it down. Someone's gonna get hurt. I don't think you even know how to shoot a gun." he had his hands raised slightly.

I could tell he hadn't expected me to have a weapon. I looked at his hips and found him without a gun.

"Stay away or... I.. I'll shoot" My lips trembled and my voice sounded weak as it traveled out of my mouth.

He did not heed my warning. He ran towards me.

I aimed the gun at his running figure. I closed my eyes right as I pulled the trigger.

I heard him scream in pain. So I hadn't killed him... I looked up to see him clutching his leg. I could smell the thick scent of blood wafting through the air.

What was I gonna do? I couldn't help him, after all he was looking for me and he would return me to Uncle. But I couldn't kill him either, I would have a bounty on my head if I did.

All the sudden thoughts made me panic.


"You son of a..." the man mumbled as he stood up.

A voice from behind me said, "Indeed, Lily Cavendish, you just shot a man but you didn't even aim for his head."

I heard a click of a trigger, and saw a spray of blood and the man hit the ground a second time.

I turned to look behind me and saw a tall handsome dark haired man inspecting his gun. He walked towards the dead man and looted the body of anything valuable.

"And who are you...?" I asked the mysterious stranger.

He held something up and examined it in the moonlight.

He sighed before answering my question.

"John Marston."

That was all I heard before losing all consciousness.

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