Copyright 2023 Lorenzo Marks.
“Only the very best for the Prophet Zachary,” Billy Conner said to himself as he surveyed his naked body in the full-length bedroom mirror.
Lean and pale, his erect penis jutting out a full eight inches in front of him, he was, in his own humble opinion, in excellent shape for his forty-five years, and as he cupped his weighty balls, still as virile as a teenager. He ran his fingers through his long, dark hair, which he had been told by more than a few women, gave him a remarkable resemblance to Jesus Christ Himself.
“Yes—only the best.”
And his new home since his rather hasty departure from Fort Worth more than a year ago, did indeed bear testimony to his impeccable tastes. Although his personal residence in the Sanctuary of the Radiant Light was nothing more than a large log cabin—albeit a very well built one—you would never have imagined it from the inside.
From the silk upholstered couch, walnut dining table, velvet drapes, and well-stocked teak drinks cabinet in his spacious dining room, to the iron coal oven in his kitchen and the porcelain clawfoot tub in his bathroom, he had spared no expense in creating the kind of luxurious surroundings he so fully deserved in this otherwise barren wilderness.
He turned to his finely crafted hickory wood king-size bed and picked up his breeches, which he slipped into without any underclothes. He preferred to swing free for comfort, and also because his impressive bulge always brought an amusing flush to the cheeks of the female members of his congregation. After putting on a crisply laundered white shirt with a black bootlace tie, he shrugged into a dark gray single-breasted waistcoat, and then pulled on a pair of polished custom-made leather boots.
He paused and gazed fondly at the large unmade bed for a moment. Florence Quimby, his current live-in housemaid, would come in and tidy up once he had left the house to make his rounds of the sanctuary. Of course, Florence had reluctantly helped him to ruffle the sheets during the night, so it was only right that she should make up the bed. He noticed a long blonde strand of her hair on the pillow and he picked it up and held it in front of the window. The poor woman had been in tears the whole time he had fucked her, but despite her guilt and self-disgust, she had been physically compelled to climax repeatedly during the night.
Putting the hair into his pocket, he opened the wardrobe and turned the combination on the Hall’s iron safe inside. He inserted the key and swung the heavy door open. There were just a few hundred dollars and a small bag of gold nuggets left inside. Even though he had departed Fort Worth with more than enough money to pay for the sanctuary’s land and buildings, as well as the expensive trappings of his house, his ill-gotten stash was now becoming seriously depleted.
After locking the safe, he walked through to his dining room, and stood in front of the drinks cabinet. He always found it amusing that in a world filled with religious idols and shrines, his personal altar should be an elegantly fashioned sideboard stocked with the best quality labels of the demon drink!
Sitting in the center of the expensive imported bottles of liquor were two large crystal-cut decanters, one filled with a green liquid the other an opaque white. He took a tumbler from a silver tray, poured himself a generous glass of the green, and downed it in one. Within seconds, his entire body flushed and his cock stiffened even more. Zachary had no idea what this aphrodisiac beverage was made from, but his sex life had never been the same since he had first sampled it. He had always been a red-blooded man, but this concoction had turned him into a stallion—his beloved penis ever ready to spread his abundant seed! He wasn’t sure if this green elixir contained any addictive ingredients but he doubted if he could live without it now—he had decided to name it Jade Rapture.
The contents of the other decanter he never touched himself, and the only reason he kept it in his house was for those occasions when he might need to manipulate an unsuspecting visitor to bend to his will. This entirely different potion was made from a combination of the hypnotic seeds of the South American borrachero tree—the Indians called it the Devil’s Breath—and the hallucinogenic peyote buttons readily found in the Arizona desert. It was this toxic combination that Zachary depended upon to ensure that his congregation remained pliant and confused—he had, in keeping with his priestly status, rebranded this drink as Holy Water.
Unfortunately, although the Holy Water was extremely potent in the short term, its mind altering effects were not permanent, which was why Zachary had laced the water in the font at the front of the chapel with it—thus ensuring that his flock of Chosen Ones remained perpetually under his spell.
Last night, Zachary had made Florence drink both concoctions before taking her to his bed and now he watched the still-flustered girl as she prepared his coffee in the kitchen. After the ravishing he had given her last night, she looked even more vulnerable than ever in her plain gray frock. She kept her head bowed when she heard his footsteps, her face an adorable picture of shame. This was absolutely fine as far as Zachary was concerned—and the fact that her sexually enhanced body had responded so treacherously as he had pounded into her made her state of humiliation that much more pleasurable to him. Florence poured his coffee into a large earthenware mug, and with her eyes downcast, brought it to the kitchen table. Zachary remained standing, and when Florence began to back away, he caught her by the arm.
“Don’t you want to say good morning to Prophet Zachary?” he said.
Trembling, Florence continued to look at the floor, so Zachary grabbed her by the chin and forced her to look into his eyes. She was a pretty creature, with large brown eyes set in a slightly chubby face. Florence’s Rubenesque but youthful body had caught his attention from the first moment that she and her husband Orville had arrived at the Sanctuary of the Radiant Light. They hadn’t been here more than a fortnight before Zachary had moved her into his home—much to the consternation of Orville, who had forthwith been denied any further access to his wife.
“No?” Zachary said. “How about a kiss then? We are lovers now, after all.”
When the frightened girl still didn’t move, Zachary slapped her across the cheek. She yelped and turned her face away, so he roughly grabbed her chin again. Her soft, white cheek had now turned a ruddy hue of pink.
“I could slap your ass instead, if you prefer,” he smiled.
Florence’s eyes grew wider, and she tilted her face upward and touched her lips to his. Zachary clamped his hand around the back of her head and forced his tongue between her teeth. She squealed into his mouth, her breath sweet and hot, and he pulled her tight against his body. After exploring the inside of her mouth with his tongue for a while, he dismissively let her go and picked up his coffee mug.
“You’ll find it a lot more pleasant in the future if you learn to relax,” Zachary said.
He went out to his front porch and sipped his coffee. It was already quite warm, the sky a clear blue over the semi-arid land that stretched out to the distant mountains. He looked around at his private domain, watching his Chosen Ones as they went about their early morning duties. Although, many of his congregation were married couples, he deliberately organized their long work day so that the men and women were kept apart as much as possible, only ever coming under one roof for Zachary’s sermons in the chapel.
His official reason for this harsh regimen was that a strict life of hard work and sexual purity was the only way to ascend to the Radiant Light—which also meant that physical contact with the opposite sex was banned on the sanctuary. Of course, Zachary had an ulterior motive here—as their spiritual leader who’s word was beyond reproach, it gave him the freedom to pick and choose any of the females he wished to take to his bed, while the frustrated men slept in their segregated quarters. The only other males on the settlement who he permitted play with the occasional selected woman, were Zachary’s gang of renegade cowboy sidekicks—a bunch of low-life delinquents who shared Zachary’s cruel and sadistic qualities and watched over his flock in the unlikely event that any of his strict rules were being broken.
Two of these cowboys, Jed and Travis, were now sitting outside their bunkhouse drinking their early morning whisky and smoking. Zachary hadn’t expected them back from Arrowhead Creek so soon, which meant they must have news for him—hopefully good. Even though they didn’t regard him with the same awe as his Chosen Ones, the cowboys knew better than to disturb him, so after finishing his coffee, Zachary sauntered across to the bunkhouse.
“You’re back early,” he said. “What did you find?”
Jed reached into his pocket and handed Zachary a small cloth bag. Zachary glanced around and then emptied the contents into his hand. Six decent sized gold nuggets. This was extremely promising.
“You found this in the creek?”
“Yep,” Jed nodded. “Reckon the vein is nearby.”
“I don’t suppose it was on my land by any chance?” Zachary said.
“Nope,” Jed said, waving his arm. “Out yonder.”
Zachary looked out across his fields to the wild lands beyond.
“The Brook homestead,” he muttered.
“That’s right,” Jed said to him.
Zachary cursed inwardly. Just his luck that the gold should be located on the property of that infuriatingly stubborn young couple! He had tried on several occasions to buy their government allocated land—admittedly at an unreasonably low price—but Ethan Brook had been adamant each time that it was not for sale.
Zachary regarded the shiny nuggets in his hand. Well, now he was just going to have to up the ante. He really couldn’t understand what a newlywed couple like that were doing out in the wilds anyway. It was an inhospitable piece of land for farming and it had occurred to him that they might be secretly looking for gold too. Zachary decided he would have to pay them another visit soon, see if he couldn’t change their minds. It would also provide him with an opportunity to take another look at Cora Brook, a feisty looking redhead with intelligent green eyes, and what appeared to be are rather imposing bust.
“There was a bit of a problem, too,” Jed said.
“Problem?” said Zachary.
Jed took a slug of whisky. “We was seen.”
“While you were prospecting at the creek?”
“Uh-huh,” Jed said.
“Well, by who? Ethan Brook?” Zachary said impatiently.
“Nope,” Jed said. “Indian.”
That didn’t sound good. Zachary wanted his plan kept secret until he could stake a legal claim. As far as he was aware, nobody else knew about the gold deposits in the creek, and he wanted to keep it that way.
“So what happened?” he said.
“We took her.”
“Indian squaw. All alone. Just happened along at the wrong time. Saw what we was doing, so we took her.”
Zachary drew a deep breath—this was like pulling teeth!
“And where did you take her, may I ask?”
Jed scratched the back of his neck and took another drink of whisky.
“We stuck her in the hot hole.”
At the end of a dusty trail behind Prophet Zachary’s house was a square iron door set flat in the hard-baked earth. The sun was already high, and by noon the metal door handles would be too hot to touch. Beneath the door was a shallow pit, just large enough for a human to lie down in if they kept their legs slightly bent. Four holes drilled through the door allowed in air and a little light—and water on the rare occasions that it rained.
Zachary stood over the door and said, “How long has she been in there?”
“Since first light, when we got back,” Jed said.
Zachary glanced up at the sun in the cloudless sky. It was already getting hot and as the day wore on and the desert heat permeated the metal, that pit would become like a furnace. He squatted down and peered through one of the ventilation holes but it was too dark to see anything in there.
“Apache?” he said.
“That would be my guess,” said Jed.
Zachary considered this. He didn’t need any trouble from the Indians. They were most likely looking for her right now.
“What about your tracks?” Zachary said.
“I took care of that,” Travis said.
“You’re quite sure?” Zachary said.
Travis spat a line of tobacco into the sand and nodded.
“They’ll think it was Navajo or a renegade Apache clan,” he said. “They won’t have no need to come looking here.”
“Even so, they might after a while,” Zachary said. “And you’re certain that she knew what you were doing?”
“Pretty much,” Jed said. “We was sifting in the middle of the creek. Figured it was best not to take the chance.”
Zachary knew Jed was right. Until he somehow convinced the Brooks to sell, he couldn’t risk anyone else finding out about the gold—especially the natives.
“Okay then,” Zachary said, gripping one of the handles. “Let’s take a look at her.”
Jed took the other handle and Travis unhooked his whip from his belt.
Zachary looked up at him. “Is that necessary?”
“In case she tries to run,” Travis said. “She’s a bit of wild one.”
They pulled on the heavy door and it squeaked on its hinges as it came up and then slammed over onto the hard ground. The squaw was curled up inside and she blinked up into the sudden daylight.
“Come on, missy!” Jed snarled. “Up you get!”
She didn’t move.
“Get on up, now!” Travis cracked the whip onto the ground and a cloud of dust rose up around them.
The squaw jumped and pulled her knees up higher and hid her face in her hands.
“Okay, then I’m coming in to get you!” Jed said.
He climbed down into the pit, took hold of the squaw’s long black hair, and pulled hard. To Zachary’s surprise, she didn’t cry out, and she dug her fingers and toes into the earthen walls and braced herself. Jed grabbed her leg and yanked harder on her hair, but she wouldn’t budge. Zachary gazed with interest at the muscles flexing in her firm brown thighs as she resisted Jed’s efforts to dislodge her.
“Stubborn as a mule!” Jed gasped. “Travis, give me a hand here!”
Travis dropped his whip and reached into the pit and got hold of the squaw’s arm. After a great deal of struggling, which Zachary found quite entertaining, they finally got her up into a sitting position, holding an arm each as they caught their breath.
“Damn, she’s strong!” Travis puffed.
Zachary looked down upon her—admiring her proud, angular features, and watching the rise and fall of her breasts as she glared defiantly back at him—and his ever-curious cock stirred under his breeches.
“I think you fellas had better rest up a while,” he chuckled. “But make sure she doesn’t get away if you can manage it—I’m going to fetch Anthony.”
On a neighboring plot of land a mile west of the Sanctuary of the Radiant Light, Cora Brook poured out a fresh cup of coffee for her handsome young husband, Ethan. She was wearing nothing but the button-up shirt she had slipped on after climbing out of their matrimonial bed, and now Ethan slid his hand up the inside of her thigh until his thumb touched her still-damp labia.
“Careful, cowboy!” she smiled. “You’re gonna get hot coffee splashed in your lap!”
“I’ll take my chances!” Ethan said, giving her left buttock a squeeze.
“Forget it,” Cora said. “You have a busy day ahead of you. Finish your breakfast.”
She kissed him on the top of his head and took her own coffee out to the front porch. Leaning back into the rocking chair, she put her bare feet up on the wooden rail and gazed out over the magnificent vista stretched out before her. Their land. Well, maybe one day, when they finally paid off their government loans.
In spite of their financial difficulties and the major disapproval of her family and friends, Cora didn’t regret running off with Ethan one little bit. There was a freedom out here in this wild country that she had never experienced in her life before. She knew that it wasn’t going to be easy building up their little homestead, but she sure was ready to give it everything she had.
Cora sipped her coffee and looked across the fledgling hay and cotton fields that she and Ethan had cultivated together—a little oasis in this beautiful but barren land. Behind the farmhouse was a small kitchen garden where they grew vegetables and at the bottom of the garden was a hen house which provided them with their breakfast eggs. Being a city girl from San Francisco, this farming life was all new to her, but Ethan was a country boy and Cora a quick learner. They had started small, but if they worked hard together, she truly believed that they could make this work.
Ethan had been smart enough to make sure that their land included a long stretch of running water called Arrowhead Creek, and although the arable part of their smallholding was limited to a few dozen acres for now, their government land deed covered a much wider area, most of it rocky semi-desert, and Ethan had expressed his desire to raise cattle out here from the outset. That was where the real money was, he had told her, and today he was heading over to the Crescent Moon Ranch to collect his first twenty head.
Cora Brook—a rancher’s wife! Who would have believed it? Certainly not the humorless and strict sisters at the Maple Hills Catholic School for Girls back in San Francisco, which had only succeeded in leaving Cora with a deep seated mistrust of institutionalized religion of any stripe! It was ironic however, that having escaped to this dusty wilderness, she should find her new property neighboring the restricted religious community of the Sanctuary of the Radiant Light—although as Cora had discovered to her dismay, the boundaries apparently didn’t work both ways.
Several times now, that nauseatingly egotistical self-styled preacher who went by the name of Prophet Zachary had approached her and Ethan with an offer for their land. Quite apart from the fact that his proposed purchase price had been nothing short of an insult, Cora had felt the hair rising on the back of her neck each time he had ridden around here uninvited. The way his hungry eyes had furtively checked her out while he had been talking with her husband had brought goosebumps up all over Cora’s body!
Ethan had spotted it too of course, and the animosity between the two men had sparked like a brush fire. Even so, Zachary had always maintained his sickly, sugar-coated veneer of cordiality, and with a tip of his hat and a lecherous wink in Cora’s direction, ridden back to the grounds of his mysterious religious cult—hardly the type of behavior to be expected from a man of the cloth!
Cora gazed across the sparsely vegetated area and wondered what Zachary’s fixation was all about. Apart from the fertile strips of grassland bordering Arrowhead Creek, there wasn’t anything significant out there that she was aware of, and from what she had heard in town, the Sanctuary of the Radiant Light covered at least four times the size of this plot already. Maybe he was expecting an influx of more of his Chosen Ones, as he arrogantly called them!
“Get thee unto those fields, indolent woman!”
Cora looked up to see Ethan placing his black fedora on his head at a cheeky tilt. If she ever found herself questioning why she had come to this untamed territory, his cheerful smile always set her straight. He leaned down and kissed her, long and soft, and she felt her nipples hardening, so she broke away.
“Go get your cows!” she said, trying to look annoyed.
Ethan slid his Smith and Wesson into its holster with a wide grin and Cora had to smile back at him. As she watched him ride off, she felt the usual irrational pang of loss, as if she would never see him again. Cora looked around at the big country. She didn’t scare easily, but she always felt more comfortable when Ethan was around. She went inside to get changed into her work clothes—there was always plenty to keep her occupied on their little homestead.
Anthony’s self-made wickiup was tucked away in a secluded corner, well away from the main group of buildings that clustered around the large wooden cross in the center of the sanctuary. It had been Anthony’s choice to live out here by himself—after all those years growing up wild with the Apache, he had discovered he was unable to readjust to Western comforts.
A purple plume of smoke rose up through a hole in the brush-covered dome, and Zachary’s nostrils were assaulted by a pungent odor emanating from inside. Making sure not to bump against a hanging line of dried snake skins, Zachary paused outside the small entrance. He wouldn’t say he was exactly afraid of Anthony, but past experience gave him reason to be cautious—one never quite knew what to expect from the half-crazed Skinwalker who dwelt within.
The sickly-sweet smell was almost overbearing, and not wishing to linger, Zachary pushed aside the bead curtain covering the entrance and went inside. Anthony was naked, sitting cross-legged in front of the glowing embers of the fire that produced the billowing, noxious smoke. Dangling from a length of twine that was hanging around his neck was a dried snake’s rattle. His face was painted entirely black and his eyes were closed, which meant that he was probably on one of his dream walks. Zachary also couldn’t help but notice Anthony’s rock-hard erection—not as large as Zachary’s, but every bit as stout.
“Anthony, can you hear me?”
Even though he was keen to get back to the Indian squaw, Zachary sat down beside the fire—Anthony was not a young man to be rushed. While he waited for his eccentric young sidekick to return to the physical realm, Zachary cast his eyes around the dim interior of the wickiup. Two neat piles of peyote buttons and borrachero seeds indicated that Anthony was getting ready to prepare a fresh batch of Holy Water—the mind-altering and hallucinogenic brew that was the key to Zachary’s illusion of omnipotence in the sanctuary.
Hanging from a string above the peyote and borrachero piles was a cluster of tuberous roots that each bore an uncanny resemblance to the human penis. Zachary had no idea where Anthony found these or what they were, but their phallic shape was more than symbolic because this was the base ingredient of the potent love drug that Zachary had named Jade Rapture.
On that note, Zachary’s eyes were again drawn to Anthony’s proud, jutting penis, which looked disproportionately out of place on the young man’s skinny frame. Zachary had absolutely no sexual interest in Anthony, but they had a developed a kinship which transcended social moral sensibilities. Rather, he found Anthony’s throbbing, angry member fascinating to look at and he suspected that this secretive desert alchemist partook in the sexually supercharging Jade Rapture at least as frequently as Zachary did.
While Zachary was still gazing at his impressive erection, Anthony said, “What did you wish to speak about, Father?”
Zachary looked up and saw that Anthony had opened his eyes, two pellucid blue pools surrounded by a black mask of mud. His form of address did not ascribe to Zachary’s self-proclaimed evangelistic status, but was intended in the paternal sense, a habit that Anthony had acquired ever since their fateful coming together in the desert. Zachary was indeed old enough to be Anthony’s father, and rather than be offended, he found the honorific strangely pleasing to the ear.
“I need your help for a moment,” Zachary said.
Anthony’s clear eyes sparkled. “Is it one of the women? Does she need a body cleansing?”
“It is a woman, but not one of our flock,” Zachary said.
“Oh? A visitor?”
“Sort of. The boys brought her back from the creek—she saw too much.”
“Ah,” Anthony frowned.
“Indian squaw,” Zachary said.
Anthony’s eyes narrowed.
“We think so,” Zachary said. “That’s what I want you to find out.”
Anthony closed his eyes again and inhaled the smoke from the fire. He didn’t speak much about his years growing up with the renegade Apache clan that had killed his parents, but Zachary had gleaned that they hadn’t been pleasant memories. Zachary had no desire to pry. All that mattered to him were the mystical talents that Anthony had acquired from the witch doctor he had been forced to cohabit with. Even so, bringing him into contact with a female member of the tribe that had so radically altered his life would be interesting to say the least.
Anthony snapped his eyes back open and abruptly stood, his hard cock vibrating in front of him like a red hot spear. He picked up a pair of cotton pants and stepped into them, his erection pushing the light material out in front of him.
“Then let’s go and see her, Father,” he said.
The squaw was still sitting in the hot hole, the two cowboys standing either side of her with their guns drawn. At first unable to see Anthony who was walking behind, she glared defiantly at Zachary.
“Still giving you trouble?” Zachary said.
“Yup, she was looking to make a run for it, but she stayed put when we pulled our guns,” Jed said.
“Well, it’s time we were introduced properly,” Zachary said, smiling down at the squaw.
She raised her chin and scowled at him, but then Anthony stepped into view with his blackened face and the snake’s rattle hanging against his bare chest and her eyes instantly grew wide with fear. This was the reaction that Zachary had been hoping for. He had seen it before in the eyes of other natives who had encountered Anthony in town. It was something that the cowboys couldn’t see, but was as plain as the black paint on Anthony’s face to the deeply spiritual Indians. Zachary, who had always been a secular man until their meeting in the desert, could sense the dark aura that surrounded Anthony too. But unlike the natives, it didn’t frighten him. It may have been a malevolent force, but Zachary thrived on it, drew much of his own strength from it, and he intended to benefit from it to acquire all the wealth and power he could possibly dream of.
The squaw shuffled backward until she was pressed against the far earthen wall of the hot hole. Anthony stepped toward her, a friendly smile on his face and his erection still clearly visible under his pants—and Zachary discovered that he was also getting hard as he savored the sheer terror in the Indian girl’s eyes.
“She’s very pretty, Father,” Anthony said.
“Ask her name,” said Zachary.
Anthony spoke to her in the unfamiliar guttural native tongue but the girl just stared at him, so he hopped down into the hot hole with her and her entire body stiffened. Stroking her long, braided hair, Anthony whispered into her ear and this time, with quivering lips she answered him.
“Her name is Sky Flower,” Anthony said.
“Is she Apache?” said Zachary.
Anthony spoke with the girl again.
“She is. Her tribe is presently camped out on the Mormon land to the north.”
“Bring her out of the hole,” Zachary said. “I want to take a proper look at her.”
Anthony took the girl by the wrist and she reluctantly allowed him to guide her out of the hole.
“Ask her what she saw up at the creek,” Zachary said.
The girl’s pretty dark eyes now flickered toward Zachary as she answered the question. Despite her obvious fear of Anthony, she was now figuring out that Zachary was the one in charge around here—it was time he cemented that impression.
Zachary stepped forward and struck the Indian girl open handed across the cheek. She yelped in surprise and lowered her head, so Zachary grabbed her by the chin and forced her to look into his eyes. Her original outrage flashed again in those shining black eyes, which only excited Zachary further—he always enjoyed a rebellious woman.
Her nostrils flaring, the squaw spoke through gritted teeth.
“She says she didn’t see anything,” Anthony said. “She demands to know why you have brought her here.”
“She demands, does she?’ Zachary grinned.
Her looked down at her bare brown feet, up her smooth legs and broad hips, to the cleavage between her impressive breasts, and then back up to her pretty face. She bravely held his gaze, even though she must have sensed his arousal.
“Tell her to take off her tunic,” Zachary said.
Anthony spoke quietly to her, but despite her obvious fear of him, Sky Flower again raised her chin defiantly toward Zachary and shook her head.
Ah, such a proud and stubborn young woman! Just how I like them!
Now Anthony uttered a few sharp words and then shook the snake’s rattle at her. This time, with a little whimper of terror, Sky Flower took hold of the hem of her buckskin tunic and slowly raised it up over her head and then bunched it in front of her body. Anthony held out his hand, and after a brief hesitation, she allowed him to take her tunic, leaving her naked before them with her arms protecting her breasts and her hand over her crotch.
“Tell her to put her arms behind her back,” Zachary said to Anthony.
Still holding the snake’s rattle, Anthony delivered the next instructions, and Sky Flower averted her eyes and reluctantly moved her arms. Zachary stared with pleasure at her bare, coppertone skin gleaming in the early morning sunlight. She was athletically built, her thighs thick and muscular, her shoulders broad, and her waist narrow. Her full, firm breasts rose and fell rapidly, the nipples dark brown and chunky, and below her flat stomach a thick triangle of black hair flourished between her legs.
“What happened to her moccasins?” Zachary said.
“We took them,” Jed said. “Don’t worry, there was nothing left for the Apache trackers.”
Zachary pondered this a moment and then turned his attention back to the girl. She was a strong, well-built young woman, designed by nature simply for fucking, but her attempt at dignity even under these humiliating circumstances suggested that she might be an Apache squaw of some importance—and therefore potentially trouble.
“She is very lovely,” Anthony commented again. “When you are done, may I play with her?”
“Perhaps,” Zachary said. “But we’ll need to keep her out of sight for a while, I think.”
While the four white men were ogling the young girl’s body, Virgil, the oldest and dimmest of the cowboys, came ambling up the trail toward them. When he saw the naked squaw, he took off his hat and scratched his balding pate.
“God dang! That sure is one handsome looking Indian girl!” the old cowhand said.
Sky Flower shuffled her bare toes in the dust and continued to look shamefully away from the leering white men.
“What is it, Virgil?” Zachary said impatiently.
“Orville Quimby has gone.”
“Yup. Skedaddled in the night.”
Zachary sighed. What a day this was turning out to be—and he hadn’t even had breakfast! He closed his eyes and raised his face to the sun.
“Well saddle up and go look for him, gentlemen,” he said.
Then he tucked Sky Flower’s tunic into the waistband of his pants and said, “Give her some water and put her back in the hole.”
Cora was tilling one of the small plots of land behind the farmhouse when she heard the sound of hoofbeats. Too early for Ethan unless something had gone wrong with his business over at the Crescent Moon Ranch. She dropped the hoe in the middle of the field and hurried to the back door of the house. Inside, she picked up the Winchester rifle that was always kept loaded beside the front door, then she inched back the window curtain and peeked out—sitting arrogantly up on his mount, was the charlatan who went by the name of Prophet Zachary.
To her chagrin, Cora realized that her heart was beating faster as she reached for the door handle. She paused, took a couple of deep breaths, and then opened the door and went out to the front porch. She kept the rifle pointed to the ground but she hoped she was making her point. Ethan had taught her how to use the Winchester and she was a pretty darned good shot with it.
She looked up at him and he gave her a friendly smile. Cora didn’t return it.
“Mrs. Brook,” Zachary said. “A very good morning to you.”
Cora waited. She didn’t need to bother with pleasantries—she had already made it plain what she thought of him and his bogus church. Glancing at the rifle, Zachary remained on horseback and maintained his amiable countenance. Cora wasn’t fooled. There was something unsettling about the way this false prophet looked her up and down, as if he were undressing her with her eyes. Now Cora realized that in her haste she had forgotten about her work attire—or rather the lack of it! Because of the early morning heat, she had opted to wear denim overalls, a straw hat, and leather boots—but with nothing on underneath!
Zachary said, “And may I add that it is always a pleasure to rest my weary eyes upon the beautiful, pale skinned, flaming haired Irish beauty that you truly are, Mrs. Brook?”
“What do you want?” Cora said, trying to keep her voice even.
Zachary pushed the brim of his hat back and said, “Well, I seem to have lost a member of my flock.”
Cora said, “I’ve seen no sheep pass by here this morning.”
Zachary chuckled, his eyes dropping briefly down to Cora’s exposed cleavage.
“I’m sure you are aware that I am talking about the human variety, Mrs. Brook—or may I call you Cora?”
Ignoring his request, Cora said, “Nobody has been here. I can’t say whether they would have crossed our land.”
“So, nobody is taking shelter in your quaint little farmhouse, then?” Zachary said.
“Are you accusing me of lying?” Cora said.
“I wouldn’t dream of it,” said Zachary. “But my men suspected he may have passed this way, so I needed to check with you before we continue our search.”
Cora didn’t reply but she forced herself to meet his steady gaze. She knew how to stand up to most people, but there was something intimidating about this man’s self-assuredness, as if he knew that he could do whatever he wanted with her, if he so chose.
“Anyway,” Zachary continued. “The man’s name is Orville Quimby. If he should happen by, I would be grateful if you would send a message to me.”
Cora wanted this swaggering man off her property as quickly as possible, but curiosity got the better of her.
“May I ask what this man has done wrong that you should be chasing him?”
Zachary looked past her at the farmhouse door as if he might catch Orville lurking in the shadows.
“He stole from me,” he said.
“What did he steal?”
Zachary returned his eyes to Cora, and for a moment she glimpsed in them the true dark nature of this strange man. She had no idea what actually went on at the Sanctuary of the Radiant Light, but she had heard the gossip in the nearby town of Silver Post, and none of it was good. Rumor was, the congregation were under some kind of Indian magic spell and being kept against their will. Cora didn’t go for superstition much, but she didn’t doubt that something rotten was going on over there.
“Gold,” Zachary said. “From my very home.”
There was a menace in the way those words rolled off his tongue, that suggested Orville Quimby would be in a whole lot of trouble should Zachary ever catch up with him.
Zachary looked over at the hay field in front of the farmhouse.
“Is your husband around?” he said. “Maybe he saw Orville pass this way.”
Cora thought about lying as a way to deter this loathsome man, but she figured he’d see through it.
She said, “My husband is away on business—but he will be back soon.”
Zachary glanced at the Winchester again, and said, “If I had such a pretty young wife, I would never dream of leaving her unattended on such remote land.”
“I can take care of myself,” Cora said.
“I’m sure you can,” Zachary smirked.
He took off his black, wide brimmed hat and wiped his brow. “The Lord has certainly blessed us with yet another beautiful and sunny day. Would it be too much to ask for a cup of water before I go on my way?”
Cora regarded him a moment. He had a revolver holstered on his belt—which was unusual, but not unheard of, for a man of the cloth in these lawless parts—but Cora had the Winchester loaded and ready to aim. Against her better judgment, she said, “The fresh water barrel is over there.”
Glancing again at the Winchester, Zachary cautiously dismounted. As he walked past her, it suddenly struck Cora how tall he was—this was the first time she had seen him off his horse, and never without Ethan by her side. She watched him scoop up water with the wooden ladle and drink his fill as he kept his eyes on her the whole time.
Returning to his horse, he paused directly in front of Cora, unfazed that the rifle barrel was now pointing at his crotch, and glanced at her barely concealed chest again before studying her face. Trying not to show her increasing discomfiture, Cora stood her ground and held his gaze.
“Are you a woman of faith, Cora?” he said.
“I have faith in my husband and that we’ll grow plentiful crops,” Cora said.
“I meant, do you believe in God?” Zachary said.
Cora said, “I believe that if you work hard and treat people with kindness and respect, then good things will come back to you.”
“Hmm,” Zachary said. “Unfortunately, hard work and kindness alone will not be enough for you to find the way to the Radiant Light—that has to be earned.”
“Oh?” Cora said. “And how would I do that?”
“By becoming a member of my flock,” said Zachary, his eyes again dropping to Cora’s chest. “You are ripe and healthy and very beautiful and it must be easy for you to abandon yourself to carnal sin—probably every day, am I right, Cora?”
“That’s none of your goddamn business,” Cora said.
“Yes, I imagine you take your wifely duties very seriously—and also with extreme pleasure, I don’t doubt,” Zachary said.
“I think you should leave now,” Cora said.
She glanced down at the rifle barrel and saw that it was almost touching an enormous bulge in Prophet Zachary’s pants!
Dear Lord! The perverted man has an erection!
“Come to my next service on Sunday, Cora,” Zachary said. “When you see how contented the Chosen Ones are at the Sanctuary of the Radiant Light, I’m sure you will feel compelled to stay with us.”
“You mean like Orville Quimby?” Cora said.
Zachary’s eyes suddenly darkened again his cheek twitched as if he was struggling to keep his temper under control. Cora suspected that this man was unaccustomed to being mocked by a mere woman—and also that he was borderline insane.
“I can save you, Cora,” Zachary said, with a forced smile that looked more like a sneer. “Ethan is a weak man. Nothing good will come from you toiling away out here. You deserve so much more.”
Cora raised the Winchester so that it was pointing at Zachary’s chest.
“I want you to go now,” she said in a low voice.
Prophet Zachary climbed back onto his horse and, apparently having got his unstable emotions back under control, raised his hat.
“It’s always a delight to talk with you, Cora,” he said. “And please, if you hear any news of Orville’s whereabouts, I would be grateful if you’ll kindly let me know.”
Cora remained on her porch and waited until he had ridden completely out of sight before she finally exhaled.
The cowboys had hogtied Florence Quimby securely to a mesquite tree behind the house. Zachary walked around the panting, naked blonde woman, inspecting the knots and binds and nodding his head approvingly. Florence was bent over with her arms pulled straight up behind her, her wrists bound together and secured to an overhanging bough.
Zachary appraised the terrified woman’s sweating, trembling body. For such a young woman, she was a little overweight, with chunky thighs and a broad ass, but her fat tits wobbled splendidly like cows udders as she strained against her bonds. Zachary was intimately familiar with her buxom physique having taken her to his bed and this, he suspected, was the reason for Orville’s decision to take flight.
Zachary’s crew of miscreant cowboys, Jed, Travis, Virgil, Dusty, Floyd and Luke, were sitting in the shade on the back porch, passing a bottle of whiskey back and forth and enjoying the sight of Mrs. Quimby’s spread rear end as she struggled against the rough ropes. Also watching from under the shade of the tree was Claude Leggett, the highly corrupt sheriff of Silver Post—a position he had acquired after running the cowardly incumbent out of town at gunpoint and subsequently intimidating the townsfolk into electing him into office.
Since his own arrival in the area, Zachary had spent not a small amount of his ill-gotten money currying favor with this mean-spirited soul, but experience and instinct had told him the investment would be worth it—and indeed it was today. Kneeling at Sheriff Leggett’s feet was the erstwhile escapee, Orville Quimby. Like his wife, he too was tied, albeit fully clothed and with just a single lasso rope securing his arms to his sides.
Zachary grabbed a handful of Florence’s blonde tresses and yanked her head up.
“Take a good look at your husband—he is the reason why you are being punished,” he said.
Florence was unable to reply because another length of coarse rope had been jammed between her teeth and tied around her head. Zachary felt that it would be better to keep Florence’s screams muffled lest they trigger any more escape attempts from the sanctuary.
“Punish me, not her!” Orville moaned. “She didn’t do anything wrong!”
“It is the Lord who metes out the punishment,” Zachary said. “I am merely His vessel.”
Despite the obvious fear in his eyes, Orville surprised Zachary by saying, “You are not a prophet of God—you fucked my wife!”
“No, Orville, I enlightened your wife,” Zachary said. “I showed her the way to the Radiant Light.”
“Yeah—with your dick!” Sheriff Leggett chuckled.
Ignoring the sheriff’s crudity, Zachary said, “My flesh is merely a conduit through which a Chosen One may find assistance on the way to the Radiant Light.”
“But the bible says adultery is a sin!” Orville sobbed.
“Ah, how little you have learned,” Zachary said. “Yet in time, with the right teaching methods, I am sure that you and your succulent young wife will come to embrace my blessed wisdom.”
“You’re going to burn in hell!” Orville said.
Zachary narrowed his eyes and scowled at him. He thought he had snuffed out any rebellious thoughts among his flock. Somehow, Orville must have found a way to avoid his daily dose of the Holy Water. This loophole would have to be addressed.
“Shame upon you to utter such sacrilegious words on these holy grounds!”
Zachary unclipped a leather whip from his belt and dangled it between the cheeks of Florence’s white, round buttocks.
“You don’t have to hurt her!” Orville cried. “You can whip me instead!”
“Indeed I could, but your emotional pain will be far greater if you have to watch your beloved Florence’s bare ass being whipped raw,” Zachary said. “And I want you to understand that you are responsible for her suffering.”
Florence gargled around the rope gag and wriggled her hips as Zachary brought the whip down onto her cheeks and a red stripe instantly rose up over her soft flesh.
“Leave her be!” Orville yelled.
“It’s a little late to be protecting your wife, isn’t it?” Zachary said. “If you truly loved her, surely you wouldn’t have left her behind.”
He swiped the leather thong across Florence’s upended rump again and she rose up onto her toes in agony.
“Do you feel the pain that you are inflicting upon her?” Zachary said to Orville.
“Please! Stop hurting her!” Orville cried.
“Why did you leave the sanctuary?” Zachary said.
“To get help!” Orville said.
Zachary laid another crimson stripe across Florence’s ass, and she let out mournful cry of anguish. A little squirt of piss escaped from between her labia, and Zachary paused to watch it soak into the dry earth.
“But why?” Zachary said. “You are safe here in the sanctuary.”
“I-I don’t believe that anymore!” Orville said. “Not since you took my Florence away from me!”
“Ah, such a basic creature you are,” Zachary said. “You aspire to become one of my Chosen Ones, but your true nature remains grounded in sinful earthly pleasures.”
The whip hissed through the air again and landed on Florence’s exposed behind with a resounding crack. The wretched young woman clenched her toes in the dust and squawked around the rope gag.
“So did you find any help?” Zachary said.
“No!” Orville sobbed.
“Which way were you headed?” Zachary said.
“Why not Silver Post?”
Orville nodded miserably toward Sheriff Leggett. “Because he works for you!”
Leggett chuckled and kicked Orville up the backside.
“All I want to know is who you spoke to,” Zachary said.
“I didn’t see nobody!”
“Hmm. How can I be sure that you are telling the truth?”
Zachary landed a well-aimed stroke that caught Florence right across the crease where her wobbling buttocks met her chubby thighs, and the anguished young woman emitted a garbled scream that sounded almost musical to Zachary.
“I give my word!” Orville groaned. “Please leave my wife alone now!”
“Your word?” Zachary said. “What is that worth, Orville? You have learned nothing since you have been here. You want to spread wicked lies about the good work I am doing here, and yet you are driven only by jealousy, lust and greed!”
“What greed?” Orville said. “We gave away all our earthly possessions to you!”
That was indeed a requirement if a Chosen One wished to worship at the Sanctuary of the Radiant Light. And of course for Zachary, that was the central point of this spiritual deception—money meant power, which included sex with any woman at the sanctuary that he desired! But money was in short supply, and right now there was only one place he could think of to get it—and it was so tantalizingly close by!
“I need to be certain that you aren’t bringing trouble back to my sanctuary, Orville!”
Zachary whipped Florence’s contused rump twice in quick succession, forehand and backhand. Her writhing buttocks were now almost completely covered in ugly, red welts, and Zachary ran his fingers lightly over the angry bumps, as a master sculptor would check the texture of his work in progress.
“I swear! Nobody’s coming here!” Orville cried.
Zachary turned his attention away from the sobbing woman and looked at him. “You were captured out on the Brook homestead. Did you speak to anyone there?”
Orville paused for a fraction of a second too long, and Zachary painted another red line across the back of Florence’s calves.
“I just saw Cora Brook! Only for a moment! I just asked her permission to cross her land!”
Zachary gripped the whip handle tighter.
So the arrogant bitch lied to me! Of course she did!
Then something happened that Zachary could only explain as divine intervention! As he raised the whip again, Orville unexpectedly struggled to his feet and charged at Zachary, who instinctively adjusted the whip’s trajectory in mid-air, the leather thong curling around Orville’s neck, throwing him off his feet, and sending him slamming onto the hard-packed earth. For a moment Orville was still, but then his feet began to twitch and he started making strange gargling noises. Sheriff Leggett squatted down beside him and said, “Orville, you okay?”
Now Zachary saw white froth coming out of Orville’s mouth and his eyes were rolling crazily in their sockets. The sheriff tilted Orville’s head up and forced his fingers into the choking man’s mouth.
“I do believe he’s swallowed his tongue,” Sheriff Leggett said as he probed with his fingers.
A couple of the cowboys came over to help, raising Orville up into a sitting position and thumping him on the back while Leggett kept on trying to pull out the tongue. After a couple of minutes, Orville stopped twitching and frothing and they put him back on the ground. The sheriff lowered his ear to Orville’s face and then shook his head.
“Dammit,” Zachary said softly. “Did anybody see you bring him in?”
“Nope,” said Sheriff Leggett. “We came up the back trail yonder.”
“Good. Put him in the icehouse for now. We’ll get rid of the body after sunset.”
He looked at Florence who was making a long, low guttural noise around her rope gag. Turning the whip around, he parted her exposed labia and inserted the handle deep into her cunt and she squealed like a farmyard animal—which he found appropriate because the leather whip now hung from her trembling body like a tail.
“Where?” asked Sheriff Leggett.
“On the Brook land,” said Zachary. “The Good Lord has just given me an idea.”