Jenny's CurseMature

Jenny looked from her window; sadly watching the people of Silver City, Colorado go about their business. From her tower in Belle's Saloon she could clearly see the entire town. Doc Cater's hospital, the Sheriff’s office and The Pringle Mercantile. The place was shithole, a real one-horse town. Now she was trapped here forever.

She turned away from the window, pulling the thin, black lace shawl about her shoulders, trying to cover up what little clothing she was wearing. She was a whore, or as she preferred to be called a Lady of Pleasure. She smiled to herself, settling down in front of her vanity, reaching for her hairbrush and pulling it through her long blond hair. She looked at her face in the mirror, noticing all at once the fear that was slowly creeping into her eyes. She applied more rouge to her lips, smiling falsely at her reflection. She would be ok for another hour, until the sun dipped below the horizon and they would come.

       She’d moved to Silver City with her husband, full of dreams, a child growing within her, a ring on her finger and a deed to a farm in her husband’s name.  She’d been so happy when they’d left Ireland; moving to America had been Aiden’s dream.  They had such hopes for the future as they had crossed the Atlantic to New York.  They had stood on the deck looking out onto the expanse of ocean; each knowing in their hearts that what lay before them was a huge adventure.  

Jenny shook her head sadly; how could such a dream turn into an unbelievable nightmare.  Here she was now, 2 years later, a whore, childless, a widow and cursed forever.  She closed her eyes, as the tears rolled down her cheeks.  They had not even set foot on the land they had claimed as their own.  Aiden had died of the fever after only a couple of weeks in Silver City.  Jenny had caught it too, and when she had awoken from her coma, her baby was gone too; she was all alone in a strange land, with no one to help her.

       She opened the door to her room, stepping out onto the landing outside. Another door along the landing opened, and Sarah walked out smiling weakly at Jenny, twisting a black ringlet around her finger. Jenny nodded and looked over the balustrade at the saloon below. It was empty apart from Belle wiping the countertop with an old rag. She looked up at Jenny now standing at the top of the stairs.
"You coming down Jenny Wren?" She said finally throwing the rag to the floor and reaching for a bottle of whiskey from the shelf behind her. Jenny nodded and almost ran down the stairs. Jenny perched herself on a stool in front of Belle and reached for the shot glass that she offered.

       Jenny smiled at Belle.  It wasn’t her fault that it had happened.  Belle was in it just as surely as she was, as doomed as she was.  Belle had taken her in when nobody else had cared about her.  Belle had nursed her back to health after her fever and given her a job cleaning the rooms and doing the laundry.  After a few months of this, she had moved on to working behind the bar and then finally to being a whore.  Belle was like a mother to her, she’d even allowed Father Alonzo into the back room to give confession to the girls that lived in the saloon.  He didn’t think badly of the woman that worked there plying their trade.  He was the sweetest man, offering absolution and Hail Mary’s twice a week. Jenny felt his loss as keenly as she felt the death of her own husband and un-born son.

"You all ready now, Jenny?" Belle asked her eyes filling suddenly with terrified tears. Jenny nodded knocking back the whiskey in one swallow.
"I'm ready, Sarah is too, not sure about Rose and Mary though, not seen them." She slammed the glass down hard on the counter and swore loudly.
"For the love of Christ, why did they have to take away the taste of the liquor?" Belle shook her head sadly, swallowing her own glass.
"It's just one more way to punish us." She said quietly. A clatter of feet on the stair brought Rose, Sarah and Mary down on to the saloon floor. Sarah bit her lip her eyes darting around like a frightened animal.
"How long do we have Jenny?" She asked sitting down next to her friend.

Jenny looked at the patterns the sun made through the red tinted glass and sighed.
"We've got maybe 20 minutes at the most." Rose began to cry, unable to help herself. She was the youngest, forced into being a whore by her family, barely 17 years old. Jenny grabbed her hand and squeezed it.
"Don't worry Rosie, it'll be over soon and then you can sleep for a while." Rose swallowed her tears and nodded her head, gripping Jenny's hand tightly. Her mouth moved as if in question, but she lowered her head and closed her lips tight.

Belle moved out from behind the bar, flicking her long red curls over her shoulders.  She pulled the girls to her, hugging them closely to her.
“Hail Mary full of Grace…” She began the usual prayer they shared every night.  It had become almost a ritual with them, a ritual that brought them closer together in their shared hell.  

        Jenny felt tears on her cheeks and wiped at them quickly before any of the other girls saw them.  She was the strong one among them, the one who encouraged and offered her shoulder when it all became too much for them.  

       The sound of horses heralded the arrival they had all dreaded. Jenny closed her eyes taking a deep breath, crossing herself and kissing an imaginary rosary.

She looked up in barely disguised horror as the saloon doors swung and the first customers of the evening walked in. Jenny swallowed her fear and walked forward to greet them.

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It was the smell that you couldn't escape Jenny thought later as the man pumped into her, filling her painfully with his hard cock. You could screw up your eyes and not even look upon the face of the one you were lying with that night, but the smell was always there. The stench of the grave, the smell of the rotting living corpse, fucking her, always fucking her, tonight and every night. Tears leaked out through her clamped lashes wetting the pillow beneath her head. Silently she asked for deliverance, although she knew in her heart there would never be any for her.

       It had been a Wednesday night.  Father Alonzo was giving confession, as was the norm.  The saloon was closed while he did this; the whole town knew that between 6pm and 8pm on a Wednesday and Sunday they wouldn’t get a drink or a girl at Belle’s Saloon.  It was just the way things were.  Father Alonzo had even taken to having his evening meal on those nights with Belle’s Ladies.  He was a sweet man; he didn’t condone their way of life, like the other members of Silver City.  As he delighted in telling Jenny prostitution was the oldest profession in the world.  

     But that night a gang had rode into Silver City, hungry for girls and liquor and they didn’t take kindly to the rules.  They had sauntered into the saloon, and demanded liquor and sex in that order.  Belle had refused, kindly informing them of the rules.  They had hit her across the face making her lip bleed.  Father Alonzo had come out to reason with them, and they had beaten him too.  Then they had raped each of the girls in turn, while Father Alonzo looked on in horror.  Finally when they had finished and were drinking and playing cards, Father Alonzo had attempted to leave.  The ringleader of the gang had tied him to a chair and had shot him first in the feet and then in hands.  Then he had mocked him calling him “Jesus on the Cross” Jenny had been so scared, she couldn’t even move from her spot, naked and bleeding on the floor as they tortured the Father in front of them.

    Finally as he sat bleeding to death in his chair, his eyes flickering around the inhabitants of the room, he’d utter his curse.
“Damn you all to a hell of your own making!”  He’d said before he breathed his last and died.  The Gang had howled and whooped in delight then left, leaving the ladies of Belle’s Saloon with the body of their beloved Father Alonzo.  

     The town was in uproar when they had learned of the murder, and of how the ladies had stood by and done nothing to help.  Belle had closed the Saloon out of respect.  The Ladies had been numb, unable to comprehend how someone could have done that to such a honourable man as Father Alonzo.  That night as they slept, someone had burned down the saloon killing them all in their beds.

*************************************************

The small boy looked up at the burned shell of the saloon, his eyes catching sight of Jenny watching him from her window.
"Mamma, why is she so sad?" He asked his heart filling with pity for the beautiful lady in the window.
"Don't you pay her no mind Tommy. She's one of them whores, stood by when Father Alonzo was gunned down in the saloon, God rest his soul. He was a good man, would go to give confession to the whores, even though they didn't deserve it. Well they got their eternal reward." His mother said with morbid glee.
"What do you mean Mamma?" He asked, his own fascination growing.
"As he lay dying, he cursed them. Let them live in a hell of their own making, he said! And so they will, forever." The boy was stunned, not quite believing his mothers words.
"But Mamma, what about pity? Did they really deserve it?" He asked tears filling his eyes, as he saw the sad tears fall down Jenny's cheeks.
"Maybe no, but there's nothing can be done now. They made their beds, and now they have to lie in them."

Jenny heard the harsh words and turned away sadly from the window. It was true they had stood by and watched Father Alonzo be gunned down in the saloon, but she had been rooted to the spot by fear, fear for her own life. How she wished that she had taken the bullet instead of him. How she wished that she had wrestled with the gunman, taking the bullet into her heart and freeing her. But she hadn't, and when the fire had engulfed the saloon the next night, killing her and all of the other Ladies her fate was sealed.

For now and ever more, Jenny would be a Zombie's whore, cursed to lie each night with the ever decaying and putrefying inhabitants of Silver City's growing cemetery.

The End

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