The Adventures of Maite and Kepa: Part 73

The Adventures of Maite and Kepa is a weekly serial. While it is a work of fiction, it has elements from both my own experiences and stories I’ve heard from various people. The characters, while in some cases inspired by real people, aren’t directly modeled on anyone in particular. I expect there will be inconsistencies and factual errors. I don’t know where it is going, and I’ll probably forget where it’s been. Why am I doing this? To give me an excuse and a deadline for some creative writing and because I thought people might enjoy it. Gozatu!

“Lagundu!” cried Kepa as he barreled into town a few hours later, Santi slumped against him as he tried to guide the exhausted horse down the road toward the Noriega. “Help!”

It was late at night and most lights were out. Even so, a few weary souls came rushing out of the Noriega as Kepa pulled up. Juan Jose was the first one out.

“What’s happened?” asked Juan Jose. Kepa assumed he must have been in the middle of a game of mus. 

Kepa hopped off of the tired beast. “Santi’s been shot. In the shoulder. He’s lost a lot of blood.”

Maite came bursting out of the front doors. “Kepa!” she yelled as she rushed over to him.

“It’s ok, we’re safe now,” he said as she engulfed him in her arms.

Juan Jose and a few other men helped Santi off of the horse and into the boarding house as a few others led the horse toward the stable. Santi turned as he crossed the doorway, his hand clutching his injured shoulder and his eyes wide in fear as he stared at Kepa.

“What’s that about?” asked Maite when she saw the terror etched on Santi’s face. 

“I…” began Kepa, quietly so only Maite could hear. “I did some magic.” 

“You what?” asked Maite incredulously.

He shrugged and gave her a weak smile. “I shot light out of my hand. It helped us get away from Donny.”

“Donny? He’s behind this?”

“Bai,” replied Kepa. “And I don’t think this is the end of it.”

“I think you’re right,” said Maite as she pointed behind him. 

Kepa turned to see Donny riding into town, his horse at a full gallop, throwing dirt and dust with every kick. It seemed Donny was alone.

Donny bore down on the Noriega as Maite and Kepa retreated for the door. A bullet smashed into the door frame, sending splinters of wood flying in all directions. Kepa cringed.

“If you go in there,” bellowed Donny, his voice twisted in rage, “I swear I will burn the whole damn thing down!”

Kepa and Maite stopped. They turned to watch Donny pull up in front of the Noriega, his revolver aimed directly at them.

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