“Well, I haven’t quit yet, Sheriff,” she said with a smile.
“I suppose it’s time to find out just how resilient I am.”
"Briley of Crooked Creek" Excerpt
Crooked Creek, Montana Territory—December 1865
“Open your eyes!”
Warm breath caressed her cheek, and she could almost move her limbs again. She felt weightless, and then something cocooned her to block the frigid air she swore would kill her. She heard the man’s voice now calling her name over and over. The shouting made her head hurt, and Briley forced her eyes open to see who made her head pound.
His face a blur, she blinked a few times to bring him into focus. Instead, blackness swallowed her whole.
When her eyes opened again, there was no snow and no cold. Her body lay beneath thick layers of quilts. A fire blazed steadily in the stone hearth, emitting enough heat to wonder why she wasn’t sweating. She could see only the black of night outside one of the windows. In the small kitchen stood a large man, his back to her. Briley hefted aside the blankets only to realize she was in her long white nightgown and not the clothes she’d put on that morning.
Every muscle in her body moved slower than usual from a deep ache she didn’t have before. The storm.
This short story is available at Amazon.
Also available in the western short story collection, The Women of Crooked Creek.