“That Indian looks outa place, don’t he, Miss?” said Trevor. Trevor was generally a nice kid. He’d run messages for you over town for some penny candy.
“He does,” you say. “He could use a welcome.” You move around the counter to greet him.
“That ain’t what I meant!” hissed the boy. “I meant he don’t belong!”
You were aware of what Trevor meant, but you didn’t intend on paying him any mind.
“Welcome to the goods store,” you say to the Native American. He looked at you, and you wondered if maybe you should be intimidated after all. He IS big. And strong too. You find yourself wondering who those hands might have killed.
He nods at you after a long moment of studying your face. You can feel your cheeks go hot.
“Er… do you have a name, sir?” you ask. Someone comes into the shop behind you, but you ignore them for the time being, afraid of disrespecting the man in front of you.
“I am Red Harvest,” he says in a deep voice. Then he turns back to a shelf he’s looking at. You don’t even see the merchandise; your eyes are locked on Red Harvest.
“Miss!” says a grating voice from behind you. “I need your help.”
You turn to see Mrs. Tews, a lady you’ve known all your life. She’s motioning frantically, offering a way away from the dangerous injun in your store.
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Tews. I’m helping Red Harvest,” you say.
Her jaw all but drops.
When you turn, he’s looking at you with sharp eyes. Everything about him is sharp. His jaw, his hairline, the arrows he’s probably killes with…
“You want to help me?” His voice is quiet. He looks past you at Mrs. Tews, judging the situation.
“You were here first.” Are your cheeks as red as they feel?
He looks back down at you, then asks, “What color?”
With a start, you look at the shelf and find it’s the one with all the ribbons. You wonder what on earth he wants ribbons for. Decorate a horse mane? Hang with feathers from his hair? You can’t even imagine, and you have no facts; only stories told in saloons after too many drinks.
“This one looks good with nearly everything,” you say, lightly laying a finger on a red ribbon, thinking of his name.
Red Harvest nods and takes the small spool. “One,” he says.
You take the ribbon slowly and bring it to the counter, cutting off a decent length. Before you can wonder if the Native can pay, he sets down the money. Cheeks flushed with embarrassment at your assumptions, you pass the ribbon to him, laying the smooth fabric in his rough hands.
You put the money in the register, but when you straighten, you’re surprised to find Red Harvest still standing there.
“Do yo- oh.”
He hands the ribbon to you.
You take it gently, then watch the large man walk out of the shop and vanish from view.
“Well I never!” breathed Mrs. Tews. Trevor swore, and the lady cuffed the back of his head.
You dart around the counter and look out the shop window, but Red Harvest is no where in sight.
Whenever you see the color red, you remember the Native American in your shop who bought you a ribbon as red as your blush, as red as his name, and as red as your feelings long after he’d vanished.
Here’s a concept;
What if Luke was a super famous Instagram tattoo artist, and would be booked up months in advance. But he promised you and his lil baby girl that although he’s super busy he’ll make it home early Sunday night for a family movie night where lil curly baby girl hemmo gets to watched tangled. But it’s pushing 7pm and he texts you saying “to start the movie he’s going to be late” so you and baby hemmo are watching tangled, laughing and singing to the songs. Luke comes home at 11, ready to face his sad lil baby because she doesn’t like singing I See The Light without her daddy. But when he walks into his room to see you and the lil baby passed out in a mess of blankets and popcorn in both your hair, he can’t help but feel guilty that he always misses out on popcorn fights and buttery baby kisses. So he snaps a photo of his lil messy family and posts it to his tattoo Instagram account saying that as of that moment he refuses to miss anymore of his baby’s childhood, and that he will no longer be taking clients on Sunday’s, and is now dedicating that day to his family; No exceptions.