Set in Cripple Creek, Colorado year 2009...Brought to you by Sage Sweetwater, her next lesbian western novel sequel to DOMINGA RIO OF CUERO...to be released early 2010!
The burros are braying, answering bleats from distant sheep. The mourners are praying up top of the hill at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery. Dominga Rio leans against her open White 1966 Cadillac hearse front door, listening to the Taps blowing from the trumpets. She didn’t deliver the casket; it’s what she drives everyday. They buried a woman with her loom, where her wool was weaved. The deceased woman’s orphaned baby lamb runs around her grave, bleating for her.
The lightning is striking way up high on top of Mt. Pisgah. A mirage of 1890s gold dust flies. The ghostly miners’ picks salute the Gold God and the Madam—Bobby Womack and Madam Pearl DeVere.
* * * * * * *
Indigo is standing at the pawn shop counter with her blacksmith tools. The anvil has a familiar ring to it. Indigo struck it for the last time with her hammer. “Gone cold, forge fire’s out,” Indigo tells the proprietor. “How much for this pile of steel?” She choked back the tears.
“Three-hundred fifty,” he said. He’s a pawn shop poster boy, tattooed drugstore cowboy, smoking Marlboro man wearing snakehide western boots.
“Is that the best you can do?” Indigo asked him. “Here, take a look at this anvil—signed by her own fire Dominga Rio—branded by her own iron.”
“Shit! Is that so? You wouldn’t be sayin’ it if it wasn’t so, would you?" he asked.
“It’s about as real as it gets,” Indigo said.
Indigo walks out with three thousand dollars, not near what that anvil alone is worth in sentimental value. Hell, blacksmith tools are a dime a fucking dozen. Indigo feels some shame, but a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do.
The serpent never sleeps. The pawn shop proprietor calls THE RAIDER. Figures he can add some more money to his till by cold calling in a national tabloid story. “I got Dominga Rio’s anvil!” he belts through the cell. Ace Banner is on the way—to Las Vegas.
* * * * * * * *
Chance LaRue smells the wind, heavy with the scent of obedience to God. Chance’s horse stepped with a shiver of fear through Phantom Canyon. Chance’s breath is heavy of the day’s saloon beer she consumed at Womack’s Casino earlier in the day. She and the horse stumbled on to a woman in the scripture of a loose dirt clod. There she was, in a burrow woven in the willows, on Gold Camp road, apparently in a sacred anointing in the woods. The air is scented with myrrh, cedar, and Rose of Sharon. Chance startles the woman who appears to be in a meditative trance.
“To the one, we are the smell of death. To the other one, the fragrance of life,” the born-again mountain-kissed woman said. It was scripture from Corinthians 2:15. The woman appeared to be wafting aloft the fragrance of salvation and life among the living and dead. It’s a dimension of worship not always recognized. “Would you be so kind to take off your spurs, and bend to anoint my feet? Balm blesses, Good Samaritan woman.”
Chance tipped her hat, and then bent down and unbuckled her spurs. “What do they call you?” Chance asked the woman.
“Madam Blaze Starr, known well in memory of the Mustang Ranch,” the woman said. It was a title that roused the erect tail feathers of the quail from the sagebrush. They flew in every direction to salute the oldest profession and the new name in town.
“Would that be the one in Reno?” Chance asked. She laid her spurs on the Truth balled up in a dirt clod.
“That would be the one,” Madam Blaze Starr said.
“Born again, Madam?” Chance asked. “I am prepared to find you a church in Cripple Creek.” Chance pulled a quill from her beaded tresses, and handed Madam Blaze Starr an inkwell bundled in parchment wrapped inside her bedroll. “Just write on the back of this playing card, ‘Sagebrush Truth’ and we’ll get on with it. My religion is anointed with whiskey and sagebrush Truth in eights and aces. This card came from the green felt of Dominga Rio’s blackjack table at the Midnight Rose Poker Room downtown Cripple Creek. It’s why there’s a hole punched in the top of it—it’s been replaced with a new deck, but it’s still good with me.”
“It’s not a church I need,” Madam Blaze Starr said, fanning the cedar smoke at her breasts, pushing it up her cleavage to her nostrils.
“What do you need, Madam?” Chance asked.
“Your gold pan, for starters, and then confession. I have a predilection—the sexual liking of women. I am born again—into the profession.” She pulled out hidden in the sagebrush, a crock booze jug. She saw Chance’s gold pan strapped with rawhide on Chance’s horse. “What do they call you?"
“Chance LaRue, known well as the firebrand,” Chance answered.
“Would that be the one in Colorado?” Madam Blaze Starr asked, standing with Chance LaRue in the spiritual spot of the Gold God and the Madam, Bobby Womack and Madam Pearle DeVere in Cripple Creek, Colorado. She recognized Chance’s turquoise beads weaved into her hair. Madam had seen Chance LaRue blazed on the lesbian erotic pages…
Copyright 2005-2009 Ms. Sage Sweetwater, firebrand lesbian novelist
Site: Sage On MySpace
Reader Reviews for
"Madam Blaze Starr: Whiskey and Sagebrush Truth in Eights and Aces"
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|Reviewed by Victoria's Poetry & Voices of Muse
the kind that I prefer
wide open spaces
& the calling of nature
and all these women
empowered in spirit & mind
a cut above & largely erotic
coming from a woman's eyes of your visionary
taking their reins into their hand
Boots & Cleavage
|Reviewed by Barbara Terry
|Written as only you can write them Sage. This is a wonderful story of two women meeting...for something special maybe? Thank you for sharing this.
May the Lord Jesus bless you, and those whom you love, and who love you, and be with you always, and at your side constantly. With much love in my heart, joy to the world, peace on earth, & ((((((((((MANY WONDERFUL SISTERLY HUGGGGSSSS)))))))))), your little sister, Barbie.
|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|Great story, Sage; well penned! BRAVA!
(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D
|Reviewed by Gene Williamson
|As always, Sage, I am captive of the spell you flourish with
that magic pen:
The woman appeared to be wafting aloft the fragrance of salvation and life among the living and dead. Itís a dimension of worship not always recognized.
|Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan
|such wonderful writing-you have woven an amazing tale with intrique and your incredible talent for reading people put into your characters--all the best to you, Sage--|
|Reviewed by Gianetta Ellis
|"She and the horse stumbled on to a woman in the scripture of a loose dirt clod. There she was, in a burrow woven in the willows, on Gold Camp road, apparently in a sacred anointing in the woods. The air is scented with myrrh, cedar, and Rose of Sharon." I love this poetically-expressed imagery. I'm drawn to the idea of self-sufficient women living unapologetically in a state of self-knowledge and acceptance, as well as living close to and intimately comfortable with all that is the Earth. There's a strength and a mystery here that's both empowering and intriguing.|
|Reviewed by Regis Auffray
|Thank you for sharing this classic "Sage" tale. Love and best wishes to you,