Molly Blackthorn (Deceased)
Poor Mayor Blackthorn's widow
The confession of an anonymous source, as submitted to the Society by Reverend Jebediah Stanford, Church of St. Matthew, Fort Worth.
Reverend Stanford is not in the habit of publishing the confessions he hears. However, he felt this one, and that concerning the Pox Walker, were important enough to relate to our readership. Again, and with good reason, Reverend Stanford insists the source remain anonymous.
Bless me father, for I have sinned. I’d be lyin’ if I said I could remember my last confession. Truth is, after some o’ the things I done, I figger no amount o’ Hail Marys gonna make up for ’em. Guess my biggest sin was bein’ convinced there weren’t no God no more, leastways not one looked after the likes o’ me. What I saw a week ago proved me wrong. I ain’t gonna lie, father. I ran with a rough crowd. We was generally up to no good of one kind or another. I’ve taken a few lives, and I must confess not every occasion was in self-defense. And I suppose the same could be said of every one o’ my companions. We thought we were mighty bad men, kinda took some pride in it, in fact. But you know better’n anyone what they say about pride and the fall.
So it came to pass that we happened to get some folks angry at us, and well, they up and formed a posse and headed out after us and the saloon keeper’s daughter, who we had taken a fancy to. So we had to lie low for a little while. We found a deserted house, all shot up and ransacked like some men like us had been through some time before. But we’d seen our share o’ that stuff, so we holed up for the night. Round ’bout midnight, I woke up with a start, ’cause I hear someone cryin’. It starts as a low, moaning sob and starts to get a little louder. It sounded like a woman, which meant it had to be the girl we brought with us, ’cept we had knocked her out to keep her quiet. Gil, who was up keepin’ watch, went over to check on her. I heard him say somethin’ to her, and then he’s yellin’, stampin’ up and down, and wavin’ his hand like he’s touched a hot stove. “YEEOW!” he yells and calls her a name which I’ll not repeat for respect to this here church, father, and pulls back his other hand to lay it upside her head.
Now I know this sounds a little loco, padre, but I’m swearin’ on mah soul here that it’s the truth. The noise woke us all up and someone lit the lamp. The girl looked, well, different. She was dressed all in black lace, with a veil over her face. She was sobbin’, and every tear that rolled off her cheek and hit the floor made a little sizzlin’ sound, like water hittin’ a hot skillet. Lightnin’ fast, she stepped toward Gil and slapped him hard across the face. He screamed and fell down, and we could smell burnin’ flesh where her hand touched him. When she did, her veil flew back enough I could see her face. It wasn’t the saloon keeper’s daughter! It was the woman in the picture over the mantle. The picture was faded, but it was her for sure. I know I was the only one got to see her, padre, cause I was the only one turned my tail and ran and ran. I weren’t proud no more, no sir.
The screams of my former bad friends was fillin’ the night, the gunshots I was hearin’ didn’t seem to do much, and I wasn’t thinkin’ ’bout nothin’ but puttin’ one foot in front of the other. But as the screams faded, I heard a voice shriek even louder than them screams. “Know pain as I have. Know a mother’s grief!” Padre, I’m walkin’ the straight and narrow from now on. That was one tough mother. I’d suggest taking a preacher along if you plan on facing one of these beings.