The Amen Trail

Publisher: Sharon Sala Books
Publication date: 3/15/2012

The lantern light shed a pitiful beam through the dark as Letty rounded the side of the building. She held it high above her head in hopes of lighting a broader area, and followed her nose to the outhouse. The door was hanging on one hinge and she thought she caught a flash of something furry scurrying out the door as she went in, but she couldn’t be bothered. She needed to pee and there wasn’t any kind of creeping denizen that could be worse than some of the men that she’d bedded. What did slow her down was the realization that if she took the lantern into the outhouse, her every action would be backlit for the world to see. Reluctantly, she set it down a few feet from the door, gritted her teeth, and stepped inside into the dark.

Between the scent, the heat, and the pressure on her bladder, she was about to pass out. The smell emanating from the dark hole was only a degree or so worse than the inside of the stagecoach had been, but she’d only been a proper lady less than a year, and this was no time to be delicate. She hitched her skirts up around her waist, pulled down her drawers, and aimed toward what she hoped was the hole in the seat.

About the time her water started to flow, she heard a snort, then a snuffle. To her horror, there was a thump and then the little shed started to sway. She squeezed her eyes shut and tried to stop what she’d started, but there are certain things that, once begun, are almost impossible to stop – one being the emptying of a very full bladder.

In the middle of her panic, the snorting stopped and the outhouse settled. She shifted her position just enough to peer out, but all she could see was darkness.

Relaxing, she continued her business with an easier mind until the hole over which she was bending suddenly shifted out from under her. She hear pee hit the floor at the same time the shed started to lean. Instinctively, she dropped her skirt and slapped her hands against the opposite wall, putting all her weight against the rough, hand-hewn wood in an effort to settle it back, trying to ignore the fact that she just peed in her shoe. As she did, the tile of the outhouse stopped, rocked once, and then started to sway back and forth on the uneven foundation.

“Lord have mercy,” Letty cried, and was reaching for the door when something hit the back wall with a thud.

Even as she was falling, she began to scream. She’d heard of being shit-faced, but never thought it would happen to her.

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