Our challenge today is: getting reacquainted.
You can do what you like with that prompt, but I'm choosing to revisit a couple of characters that I have not written for much, much too long. Though Greg might suggest that it has been about the usual amount of time for me.
Sorry about that.
Final prenatal class went tonight. Really glad we took it, as I'm feeling much more prepared now. Still plenty of questions remaining, obviously, but at least I know which ones I need to ask.
"Well Red," Ben said as he pulled the train's fourth and final cargo door shut, "I'd say we truly earned this one."
"Indeed we did, my friend."
That was putting it mildly, really. The job had begun long before we'd stepped foot on that train.
Once we'd determined the exact location we'd bring the cash on rails to a halt, we tied up our horses, left them with enough feed to keep them alive for a week, and made the two day hike back to the station. We carried only food and water, not bothering with niceties like extra clothes and soap.
We'd both been pretty relieved to see that outdoor shower at the hotel next to our destination.
Ideally we would have just blocked the tracks and jumped aboard when the train screeched to a halt. But there was hardly a curve to be found in that stretch of dirt and the driver was a paranoid fellow who was well known for his use of a spyglass to avoid ambushes.
Alternatively we could have split up, but the man left waiting in the wilderness would have worried a hole through his gut wondering how the man on the train was doing. Not that either of us would have ever admitted to that.
"Maybe next time we can pick an easier target," Ben said over his shoulder as we moved through the trees on our way back to the horses.
"Maybe." Easy wasn't really our style, but there was guaranteed to be a next time. Even with the haul we were dragging through the woods, neither of us would ever consider hanging 'em up.
"Uh, Red?" Ben had stopped a few steps in front of me, blocking my view of what lay ahead. I came up beside him and quickly saw the problem: no sight of our mounts, other than two broken ropes drooping from the pine trees we'd left them hitched to.
"Looks like something spooked the poor fellas," I said with a sigh. "Nothing for it but to track them down."
"It's days like this," Ben muttered as he reached for a fresh cigar, "that makes me think we could really use a third man."