“It’s never a pleasure to hang a woman,” the man drawled atop the gallows. Between the muddy streets and the dripping slats, sunlight seemed to dance over his silver hair like ripples of creek water. Polished boots squeaked with each step as he paced and crowed across the huddled crowd, voice rich in the sullen silence of a people who wish for a well of courage but come up dry. “Let no man say I was not kind in this woman’s final hour. I ask her now: any last words, Odette Lorraine Bowen?”
With eyes like hammered emeralds, the woman grinned, all boiling rage and the uncaged madness of a she-wolf. Autumn wind tangled her raven hair while the rope around her neck lay dead- a loose snake, rough scaled and weighted, across her skin.
“History may favor the bold,” she called into the silence, her alto sultry as whiskey, “but fate favors a woman with a gun in her hands.”
©️ Pearl Bayou
Not sure this exact snippet will make the cut come November when I start pouring myself into this story – but here’s a little insight into my main character, Odette.
Odette “Dettie” Bowen is all hellfire and wild-beauty, only fifteen when the War Between the States begins at Fort Sumter. By the time General Lee surrenders in April of 1865, Dettie has buried her own father and witnessed the death of her only brother in a bloodied surgeon’s tent.
Odette grows, against all odds, to rule a frontier empire. Spirited and stubbornly loyal – a gentle word and an iron fist- she arms a band of “heathen” women and forges her way into history.
And it might just get her killed in the end.