Write a set of twelve stories, one for each of the following TYR regulars: Buck, Cody, Emma, Ike, Jimmy, Kid, Lou, Noah, Rachel, Sam, Teaspoon, and Jesse/Tompkins

There were 48 songs to choose from the Bob Dylan discography

Email Darks Hornet

Character
Title
Summary
Rachel
Fallen Lady
Rachel had always lived a life of privilege, however life was about to take her on a whole different path


Fallen Lady



BOB DYLAN - Like A Rolling Stone

Once upon a time you dressed so fine

You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?

People'd call, say, "Beware doll, you're bound to fall"

You thought they were all kiddin' you

You used to laugh about

Everybody that was hangin' out

Now you don't talk so loud

Now you don't seem so proud

About having to be scrounging for your next meal.

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be without a home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone?

You've gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely

But you know you only used to get juiced in it

And nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street

And now you find out you're gonna have to get used to it

You said you'd never compromise

With the mystery tramp, but now you realize

He's not selling any alibis

As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes

And ask him do you want to make a deal?

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be on your own

With no direction home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone?

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns

When they all come down and did tricks for you

You never understood that it ain't no good

You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you

You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat

Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat

Ain't it hard when you discover that

He really wasn't where it's at

After he took from you everything he could steal.

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be on your own

With no direction home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone?

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people

They're drinkin', thinkin' that they got it made

Exchanging all kinds of precious gifts and things

But you'd better lift your diamond ring, you'd better pawn it babe

You used to be so amused

At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used

Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse

When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose

You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be on your own

With no direction home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone?

Fallen Lady

The enthusiasm was so thick in the air that it was almost palpable. It was the last day of the school term which was breaking for the summer. Miss Daniel's school for young ladies was in the process of moving all the young ladies out before the dreaded summer heat fell upon the city of Charleston. The wealthy families who sent their daughters to the school would soon be leaving for the slightly cooler air of their country homes and would then return later in the fall.

Squeals of laughter and bursts of sobs could be heard above the huffing and puffing of the maids and coachmen as they scurried about packing trunks of clothing which were then moved out to the carriages that stood waiting for their young charges.

Curled in the bay window at the end of the hall, two young ladies sat facing each other. Their lace gloved hands with fingers intertwined, clutching each other as they vowed to stay in contact over the long summer.

The dark haired girl turned and pulled her silk handkerchief from her reticule. "Rachel," she whispered excitedly yet in hushed tones. "Just think of it. Next semester we will wear our skirts down and our hair up. We will be all grown up. No more looks down their noses from the older girls, we will be one of them, children no longer. Then we can treat the younger girls the same way," her eyes twinkled mischievously.

Rachel giggled unladylike, her green eyes dancing with excitement, "Why Esther, the only reason you are in such a hurry to grow up is so that Bernard Stevens will take a look at you."

"You are just being nasty!" Esther flopped back on the cushions in the window. "I am every bit as pretty as Muriel Nelson," she huffed as she flicked her hand in the air at her raven black hair. "He just hasn't seen me as the true woman I am . . .yet. This summer Mama has promised me a tour of France. Think of it Rachel, I will come back to school with a new wardrobe, straight from Paris." Esther's eyes practically glowed at the vision she saw of herself. "Then, dear friend, he'll have no choice but to see me."

Rachel shook her head, her blonde curls bouncing around her perfectly shaped face and pink rosebud lips. "My dear sweet friend, already you are planning the end of our friendship . . . for a boy!!!!" Esther lurched quickly forward and once again caught Rachel's hand in her own.

"Never my dear friend, in fact I have a silk handkerchief that I embroidered myself, just for you." Esther crushed the piece of silk into Rachel's hand. "This is a symbol of our bond of friendship, never to be forgotten. Every time you take it out, remember the friendship we share."

At that moment a maid stepped into sight and made a deep curtsy to the young girls. "Miss Esther, your chests are on the carriage and we are prepared to leave whenever you are." The maid stepped backwards before she turned and spun away.

"So this is it, until next semester," Esther reached over and squeezed Rachel's hand one more time. "Don't forget about me," she quipped as she kissed Rachel's cheek. Then in a whirl of satin and lace Esther was gone.

Rachel turned and looked out the window in time to see Esther step up into the carriage before being whisked away by a team of handsome matched bays. Rachel's eyes strained up and down the street in search of her mother's carriage. She did not want to be the last girl to leave the school. She closed her eyes and offered a prayer that it would come soon.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The colonel stepped out of his coach and stood on the quiet walk way. He tugged on the sleeves of his coat and spoke to his driver without turning to him. "Wait here, I won't be long. I have a little business to attend to and I'll be right back." His voice was commanding and urgent, this was no time to make any more mistakes. He should never have taken on this little…business venture. His wife had found out about it and had been the demise of the china set. She had screamed and yelled like a fishwife all the while hurtling the plates and cups at him. He smiled to himself as he thought he had done a pretty good job of dodging most of the flying china. He rubbed his arm thoughtfully, at least for the most part. The heels of his boots made a clicking sound as he walked determinedly to the small but stylish red house at the end of the block. It would never do to have his carriage waiting outside its door, there was too much to lose now.

Word had come to him in the gentleman's club that his name was being considered for a position in government. These times were beginning to become very unstable politically and this was the opportunity of a lifetime. The cracks of government were starting to show, the north held such different views from the south. Soon he would step in and become invaluable in the formation of the country. But, in order to do that, he had to rid himself of a few things in his life. The population must see him as an honorable and loving man. In order to keep that façade, he needed to let his mistress go.

He didn't bother knocking on the door; after all he was paying the bills. The door swung open wide as he stepped into the foyer, his large presence dwarfing the furniture around him. A butler appeared in front of him. Unruffled by his appearance at the house so early in the day he indicated the way into the front parlor. "I'll notify Miss Laura that you are here," the butler bowed stiffly and disappeared behind a curtain. The colonel sat down in a chair and waited as patiently as an inpatient man could. His eyes drifted over the room. It was tastefully decorated in yellow and blue. A mirror on the far wall reflected his image back at him and he snorted at the stern look upon his face. A table was nestled in the corner with two chairs tucked under it, a table where they had spent the evening three nights ago playing poker. Strip Poker. The far wall held a cabinet of the finest liquors and whisky a person could own. His throat felt dry but he resisted the urge to make himself a drink. He needed his wits about him, this, would not go well.

Laura Deschene dashed about the bedroom while her maid tried to finish pinning her hair up. "Why is he here?? Today!"

"I have no idea my lady," the butler replied. "I did not ask him his intentions."

Laure flashed the man a stern look as she patted down her skirts and quickly moved about the room. She had dabbed a little cologne in the valley of her chest and pulled down on her gown a little more to reveal the two mounds of flesh pressed together. With a deep breath to compose herself she sailed into the room through the doors, a smile painted on her face. "Why my dear Colonel," she fawned over him and batted her eyelashes. "To what do I owe the pleasure . . . or is it your pleasure you seek," she said with a smile. She moved closer to him so that he could feast his eyes on the delights in front of him.

For a moment the Colonel forgot why he was there. He leapt to his feet and pushed himself away from her. "You little minx," he growled. "Thought I'd fall for that trick did you?" He swallowed hard, regaining his composure, "I have come today to make you aware that I will no longer require your services ma'am. I expect you and your staff to vacate this house by the end of the month. That should give you sufficient time to find another . . . keeper." He reached inside his elegant coat and pulled a stack of money from it, with a flourish he tossed it on the table.

Laura felt as if she could not breathe, the air around her was gone. What was he saying, her mind scrambled for clarity, "You're letting me go?" her voice was raspy. Her fingers tightened on the back on the chair she was leaning on for support.

"Your attention to the obvious is astounding," he said with a cruel smile. "My life, is let's just say, headed in a different direction then yours and I can't afford to have you in it. So, we are finished with our arrangement and you and your daughters can find lodgings elsewhere. Given your level of marketable skills it should not be too hard for you to find employment elsewhere," he chided. He grasped her hand and bent over the back of wrist, "You are getting a little long on the tooth but I must admit I did enjoy our time together, while it lasted." His lips brushed the back of her hand before he turned on the heel of his well oiled boots and was out the door.

Laura stood in the room, trembling. What was she going to do, what were they going to do. She had two daughters to care for. Ever since that no good excuse for a husband walked out the door abandoning them, it was she who had to scrape and fend for them. Her palms pressed into the sides of her face, the girls, oh no …..Rachel!!! She had forgotten to send the carriage across town for Rachel.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Rachel stood at the top of the steps, her hand lifted to the brim of her hat to shield her eyes from the sun. Her teachers would be mortified to see her expose herself to the sun like this. But everyone was so busy that they were not paying any attention to the lonely young girl on the step. A beggar crept up the side of the building and was beside Rachel before she was aware of her presence. The beggar woman reached out a thin filthy hand and grasped Rachel's arm. Rachel gasped in surprised and pulled away. Her nose wrinkled in disgust from the smell that emanated from the woman and she pulled her skirts back quickly so that they would not touch her. "Get away from me!" Rachel shrieked. The commotion caught the attention of a coachman loading a carriage and he swiftly came to Rachel's defense. He gruffly pulled the woman away from Rachel as she retreated back into the safety of the school.

Rachel quivered for a few minutes before the sight before her brought joy to her eye. It was Bernard, their coachman along with the carriage. Her mother had remembered.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Laura stumbled toward the cabinet and pulled a crystal glass from behind the door. Her hand shook as she pulled the stopped from the whisky decanter. The amber liquid splashed on the counter as she poured herself a drink. Grasping it with two hands to steady her she downed the entire contents in seconds. The glass fell to the floor shattering in a thousand small splinters and a sob escaped from her lips. What was she going to do?

The sound of the crash had brought the maid to running to the room. Slowly she entered the room and gently grasped Laura's arm and moved her out of the room. Laura's eyes stared straight ahead but it was as if she was sightless. The maid helped her into bed but Laura never let go of the decanter in her other hand.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The carriage moved slowly through the street of Charleston. Rachel almost fell asleep with its gentle swaying. It seemed to take forever to get home. Home, how she looked forward to spending time with her sister and listening to stories from her mother.

The carriage finally pulled up in front of the small house and Rachel bounded out of it and up the stairs into the house. "Mother!", her voice quivered with anticipation, "Mother".

Dolly, the housemaid, maid appeared at the top of the stairs, "Your mother is rather indisposed at the moment Miss Rachel. She has taken to her bed to rest."

Bed!!!, Her mother never went to bed in the middle of the day. Rachel mounted the stairs and opened the door to her mother's room. The smell of whisky permeated the air. The room was dark as the coverings over the windows were closed tight. The bed clothes mounded over her mother's listless form. Rachel moved quietly to her side. Her mother looked pale against the pillows. Rachel reached out and twisted a blonde tendril with her fingers.

"Mother," she whispered.

Laura turned her head towards the voice and slowly opened her eyes. They were glazed and unfocused. A half smile broke across her face and her eyes seemed to try and focus on Rachel. She reached out her hand and laid it on Rachel's arm. "Darling, you're home", her words slurred before she drifted back off to slumber.

Rachel's head fell to her chest in despair. A cold shiver gripped her soul; life would never be the same.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The summer had been unusually hot and Rachel was glad it was over. Instead of the parties and picnics that had filled her summers in the past, she found herself caring for her young sister, Isabelle.

They had moved out of the townhouse and let all of the servants go at the beginning of the summer in order to cut back on the household bills. Rachel had found a small apartment for them with two bedrooms, allowing her mother the privacy to keep . . . working. The money she made barley kept them off the street and her mother was quick to spend it on a cheap bottle of whiskey.

Rachel had found some employment helping out in the home of a family. Her dream of continuing her education had vanished into dust. She held onto the silk handkerchief, somehow it gave her the strength and courage to keep going. It represented the life of privilege she had lost and one day with help from her friends, she would find it again.

Today she was off to the market. Cook had given her a list of vegetables to buy for tonight's meal, the woven basket swung off of her arm as she made her way through the afternoon traffic.

"Ruthie! Now do hurry up with those parcels!" Rachel turned at the familiar sound of the irritated and raised voice. A young dark girl was trying to balance a number of hat boxes and parcels in her arms. The young woman in front of her was scolding her, an older lady stood nearby.

"Sush! Miss Esther," came the stern rebuke from the second lady dressed in a grey plain dress. "A lady never raises her voice, especially when speaking to a servant publically."

The first lady turned to acknowledge the lady who was with her. Rachel felt her breath catch in her chest. Beneath the straw hat was hair as black as ebony twisted and pinned into an elegant coiffure. Rachel's hand lifted to her face and tucked the errant curls back behind her ear.

There was no mistake, the years peeled back in an instant, Esther.

It was in that moment that Esther looked up, as if she knew she was being watched. Their eyes locked.

"Esther!!" Rachel moved quickly to her friend. Her hand fumbled in her pocket, grasping the silk handkerchief in her fingers.

Esther's eyes widened, she stepped back as if she was being approached by a wild animal. A look of horror spread across her face just as the second woman stepped in front of Esther, protecting her.

"I," the word slipped from Rachel's chocked voice.

"Never you mind bothering decent folk," the woman scolded Rachel. "Now go away!!"

"But," Rachel pleaded.

"It's alright Miss De la Hunt," Esther laid her hand on the woman's arm and stepped around her, her voice sweet and sympathetic. "Mother has always taught me to be kind to those less fortunate." Esther reached down into her reticule and pulled out a dime. "Here," she pressed the money into Rachel's palm.

Rachel felt the burn of tears as they threatened to pour down her face. "Esther," she mouthed the word.

Esther glared at Rachel. "Just take it and leave," she hissed. "My chaperone Miss De la Hunt, must not know who you are . . . what you've become. That you and I were ever acquainted. I could lose my standing, my chance at…"

"But you and I . . . we were best friends! I tried to call on you but you were not home."

"Rachel, I was at home. Don't you understand? That was all in the past!!" Esther pulled away from Rachel, twisting her skirts away from her, as if the mere contact would contaminate her.

"Come Ruthie," she commanded the girl. Stepping down off the walkway Esther made her way across the street.

Rachel stood on the walkway oblivious to the hustle around her, watching them disappear out of sight. Her fingers stoked the soft silk in her pocket; in that moment it no longer felt soft. Its texture had changed, it was rough and coarse.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Rachel sat up in bed; out of the corner of her eyes she noted that the other side of the bed was empty, Thad had already left. She pulled on the sheets and tossed them about in a half hearted attempt at making the bed. The air smelt like sweat and sex. She looked up and caught her reflection in the mirror across from her. She studied the woman who stared back at her. Her eyes were listless and her skin looked sallow. Her hair was tousled and half pinned up. Her shift was pulled off one shoulder, she looked like a women who had been recently rolled.

How did her life come to this, she raised her hand and ran her fingers through her hair. How did her life become such a disaster? How did she end up here? Like this? This person?

She stood and walked towards the women in the mirror. A pitcher of water sat on the wash stand and she poured it into the bowl. She silently cursed herself, she had no one to blame but herself. She had been on her own since she was thirteen. Her mother used up and wasted, drunken most of the time, could not look after the daughters she had borne. They had lived off the parish for the last years; her mother had nothing of value left to sell. Rachel had vowed to herself that she would not end up like her. Yet here she was, not that much different.

She splashed water on her face. She had to go to work soon. She could hear the soft splashing of the paddles as they hit the water and sway of the floor as the boat pulled away from the dock. The sounds of laughter and gaiety although still muffled were beginning to crescendo in the night air.

Rachel lifted the silk handkerchief to her cheek, the only reminder of a promising life now in shambles, a tear slide down her face. It represented her past, a place she no longer fit into. Her friends who had been her bosom friends had abandoned her. Once their mothers realized what her mother truly was, they had forbidden their daughters to associate with Rachel. Rachel quickly found out that she was not received any more in their homes and all doors were closed to her. The silk handkerchief was the only link she had to a past. Life had cruelly taught her people did not tell the truth and everybody used the weak. She crushed in her fist, it served as a reminder, never trust anyone, ever.

She grabbed the brush and roughly pulled it through her tangled locks. Tonight would be different. She would take back her life and she would control her destiny. No longer would she be a pawn in his game. This was her life and she wanted more from it. She knew the person inside her, a person she had long buried. The confident polished young lady was still there, she needed to discover that part of her once again.

Rachel leaned into the mirror and drew the kohl liner around her eyes. She repinned her hair and let some of the curls fall so that they directed the eye downward, a calculated move. She was the dealer and the more attention she could focus on her assets the more of an advantage she had at the tables over the other dealers on the boat. She pulled on the ribbons of her corset and allowed it to transform her body. She then slipped the emerald green satin gown over her body. The seams strained under the pressure threatening to release her body from its confines. It added to the allure as men watched, hoped and prayed to see the bounty released.

The pounding on the door caused her to jump, "Rachel!!!" the voice bellowed. "Get out here you lazy wench, the games have started. Your customers are waiting!"

She grabbed the handle and flung the door wide. Picking up her skirts in her fist so she did not hit the blowhard in front of her as she stormed past Otis Samuels. Otis's body slammed up against the hallway, "You listen here," he sputtered after her. "No need for you to get all uppity on me." Drool leaked from the edge of his tiny mouth, "You owe me a living, so get your sorry hide up there and start making me some money!!"

She would escape this place, no longer would she work for men like Otis, who owned this floating gambling palace. She was in charge of her own destiny. She stopped before entering the room, took a deep breath and swept into the crowd.

When she entered the room; the party was in full swing. Thad caught her eye as she entered. It was not hard to spot him. He leaned back over the bar. He was handsome, taller than the average man; his brown eyes twinkled in the gaslights of the room, his dark brown hair perfectly cut in the latest style. His arm rested on the bar and the other on the shoulder of a man who stood in front on him. Rachel recognized the signal, spoken with no words. This man would be one of tonight's targets. Rachel and he had, amongst other things, a business arrangement.

Thad worked the room finding opportunities, men and woman with more money and greed then brains. He would then swindle them out of their money and land leaving them broke. He and his brothers had been doing it for years, always ahead of the law as they were a law unto themselves. Rachel's job was to stay close by, in case Thad needed her . . . skills.

Yips and hollers filled the air as the chorus girls bounced onto the stage. Flipping and swinging their bodies in time to the beat of the piano that Sampson, the piano man, was banging away on. Laughter and the smoke from numerous pipes and cheroots filled the air. Rachel felt the slide of despondency drag like a shadow across her sprit. It was a night like all the others.

Rachel slide onto her seat at the table, "Gentlemen." She cocked her head and smiled coyly. "Shall we begin?"

The gentleman to her left, if one could call him that, leered at her chest. Her dress was having the desired effect as he could no more look at her face for clues if he tried. It only took a few hands before he had to fold and back away from the table. Then Thad moved in like a wolf circling its dying prey. He could smell the vulnerable men and women, after losing at the table they were desperate to recover their losses and Thad would 'help' them with a solution, a business deal too good to pass up. By the time they realized that they had been swindled he would be long gone.

Rachel hated her life; she blinked back the tears that were on the brink of starting. She felt like she was about to burst into tears in a moment. "Let's take a break and stretch our legs, gentlemen," Rachel said pleasantly. They stood as she rose from her place at the table. A sweet sound caught her attention and she turned her ear to listen to the gentle brogue of a voice.

"Ní bhíonn airgead amadáin i bhfad ina phóca." Two men were seated at a small table, a tankard of ale clutched in each ones hand. "He's nothing more than a gowl and a langered," the older man said. His pale blue eyes and wizened face revealed years of knowledge. "Aye," responded the younger man in the same soothing accent, "A drunk who is a fool, if he doesn't lose his money because he's stupid, they will take it from him while he's drunk." Rachel felt drawn towards the younger man. His grey eyes full of compassion and kindness, so out of sorts for this group of men. The older man leaned forward towards the younger man. "Remember my words son." He laughed softly before standing up. The younger man looked up, "Tada gan iarracht. My friend, tada gan iarracht." A smile broke across his face and his eyes lit up. He watched the older man as he left the room.

Rachel could not help herself and she found that she was starring at the stranger, she was drawn to him. There was something about him. Innocent, fresh. He looked up and caught her stare, Rachel felt herself blush and quickly turned away. She headed for the door out onto the deck. The night air would do her good. It would clear her mind and steady her thoughts.

She made her way to the rail of the boat. She closed her eyes against the evening breeze as it moved across her face. The sounds of the blades of the paddle boat striking the water in perfect rhythm and the croaking of the frogs filled the air with simple and calming sounds. She felt the years fall off her shoulders as the boat moved through the water. She pulled the silk handkerchief from the waist band of her outfit, running her fingers over its smooth surface she stretched her hand out over the water and let it go. She watched as the wind currents picked it up and tossed it about as if it were a dance. It was free, free like she would be.

There was a haunting sadness in her face that was what drew him to her. She looked like she could use a friend or at least someone who could listen to her. He slipped into the spot beside her on the rail. Rachel became instantly aware that someone was standing beside her, her spine stiffened, Thad?? She shuddered and turned quickly stepping back all in one motion.

The stranger was standing in front of her. Rachel felt a shiver course through her body.

"Now what's a fine feek like you standing out here all along?" The sound of his voice was soothing yet musical to her ears. His pale grey eyes lit from the moonlight.

Rachel felt herself blush like a school girl. "I have no idea what you are saying, sir, but for some reason I trust you to be gentlemanly about it."

"Aye," he shrugged his coat off his shoulders and placed it over her shoulders. The warmth of his body clung to it, warming her spirit. "It's my accent that throws you off, is it?" he chuckled. "I can't say that I've heard it before," her voice, a little strained.

"My friend and I have recently come from Dingle, in Ireland. I forget myself from time to time and a little Gaelic slips out. I miss my homeland," he stopped and took a deep sigh. "But, when I look into your green eyes I see the rolling hills of home."

Rachel giggled softly.

The stranger moved beside her to look over the railing. "That's where I'm going. Way out there. They tell me a man can start a new life out there. And I intent to do just that," he sighed contentedly. "A small homestead, hard work and a little piece of land to live off of, that'll be my piece of heaven on earth."

Rachel grasped the rail and leaned back allowing the breeze to wash over her face. The stranger watched her with wise eyes. "That's my dream; what's yours?"

Rachel threw her head back and laughed, "Dream, I have not had one for years."

"Everyone needs to dream. If you don't, bitterness and hopeless, Is í ding di féin a scoileann an dair. You will find yourself destroyed. A beautiful lass like yourself is too young and pretty to let that happen to ya. I'm forgetting my manners," He reached out his hand, "Let me introduce myself. Henry, Henry Dunne at your service."

Author's Note: A big thank you to Ellie for consenting to beta this story. She always has something to teach me, helping me to grow as a writer. Thank you Ellie.


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